Photo of the Week - August 4, 2013

Marine Mammal Bones
Cape Alava
Olympic National Park
August 4, 2013
Washingtonians are fortunate to have many wild and scenic places to visit including Mount Rainier and North Cascades National Park. Some of the most remote and wild places in our state are found along the Pacific beaches of Olympic National Park. Cape Alava is one of those places. Although it is an easy 3 mile hike from the parking lot at Lake Ozette, Cape Alava is home to a vast array of mammals, birds and fish. The sea stacks just off shore provide vital rearing grounds for marine birds, as well as seals and sea lions.
While walking on the beach just south of Cape Alava's camping area, we encountered the skeletal remains of a large marine mammal. It was probably a small whale, judging by the size of its skull. Most of the flesh was gone, leaving the beautiful spine, reminiscent of a Henry Moore sculpture.
Coming upon the remains of animal, one can't help but feeling a bit sad for its death. And yet, there is a dignity and beauty in what remains.