Dahlia Time

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been nearly a month since we visited the Rose Garden to see the dahlias in full bloom. Time seems to go much slower when the smoke is so thick that you can’t leave the house for nearly a week and half. I’ll have to admit that just looking at these shots cheered me up a little bit.

I’ve posted so many dahlia pictures in this blog over the years that I have to remind myself that I love them just as much every summer as I did the summer before.  After all, absence makes the heart grow fonder.

It’s hard to imagine that this beauty wouldn’t always seem striking:

Certainly the bees never seem to lose their fondness for them.

Judging from the number of  photos I’ve posted over the years, this would have to be my favorite.

I’ll have to admit, though, this 

was my favorite shot of the day.

Sunday at Theler

I’ll have to admit that I found our last birding trip to Theler Wetlands a bit disappointing, though in retrospect, after three days of being confined to the house because of hazardous smoke conditions, it appears to have been a delightful day.  

It began with a quick sighting of an American Goldfinch

another sighting of a male Red Crossbill, 

a juvenile Marsh Wren indulging in an extended dust bath, 

a Cedar Waxwing, 

and, best of all, because it’s seen least often, a Spotted Sandpiper apparently walking on water.

An Osprey Day

It’s possible to see hundreds of different birds at Theler Wetlands throughout the year so you never know what to expect.  I go there precisely because you can see so many different birds.  Still, there are days when one, particular bird takes center stage.  On a recent trip, three (possibly four) Ospreys captured our attention.

We had just started our walk when Leslie spotted this Osprey across the river.  

It was too far away to get a very good shot, but I was surprised when another Osprey suddenly appeared from the opposite direction

and flew so close that the biggest challenge was trying not to cut off a body part when taking a picture.

It barely glanced at us before circling over the river.  

It was obvious on its second pass that it had spotted a fish,

It dropped from the sky so quickly it was impossible to keep it in frame and hit the water so hard that my Canon had a hard time figuring out what to focus on.

I would have been more disappointed if I had missed a shot of it catching a salmon, but, as it turned out, it missed its target.

We must have spent nearly a half hour observing the Osprey on this visit, but on our visit a week later we didn’t see a single Osprey.

Lake Louise

Although our weekly trip to Mt. Rainier ended this week because of dense smoke from numerous wildfires, we did manage to walk another piece of the Wonderland Trail by walking from Reflection Lake to Lake Louise last. week.  Unfortunately, my Sony camera suffered a malfunction at the beginning of the hike, and I had to resort to my iPhone 11 to take pictures.  

We had actually spotted Lake Louise on our Reflection Lake hike last year but had never visited it.  It’s a rather short hike from Reflection Lake, all downhill, except for the climb back to Reflection Lake.

It was the perfect hike for a hot day descending through a dense forest and crossing several creeks that feed the lake.

From the lake we could see the overlook where we headed next; it’s a lot higher than it looks in the picture.

This shot from the Overlook gives a much more accurate depiction of how far we climbed from Lake Louise.

Luckily, we reached the high point of our hike by noon and could enjoy the lush meadows that make up the High Lakes Trail.