My sister’s birthday today so after telling her happy birthday and staying within a tight carbon burn constraint (<30 minutes total driving to / from), a different twist to Spencer Butte / Ridgeline was the order of the day. The hike started very early (before the sunrise) from the Fox Hollow TH; the birds at the Cascades Raptor Center started singing while I was getting ready. First was Dmitri (a Eurasian Eagle-Owl) with his deep hoots echoing across the way; then, while Dmitri paused, Danu, the only Osprey, started in. The chorus was perfect as I headed out in the mostly grey dark.
The hike itself was quiet relative to more recent hikes with construction and leaf blowers ruining the peace and quiet for birds to sing – as result, the smaller song birds and jays were out in mass. The hike went like this: Fox Hollow to top; top to N. Willamette TH; back to top; top to Owl Bench (just past the Ridgeline Tr and Summit Tr junction toward Fox Hollow; back to the top; finally top down to Fox Hollow. Not many people on the trail except for the final summit leg.
The sunrise pictures were good. (clicking on an image opens 90% quality)