Back to Theler Wetlands

I felt like I’d really lucked out when it turned out to be a beautiful day Monday. I didn’t even have to wait half the day for the fog to clear. I headed out for Belfair by 8:00 AM and was greeted by the sight of the Olympics with a dusting of new snow.

Olympics in the distance I had to reduce the size of the shot to fit here, but it’s actually nine different HDR exposures processed through Photomatix Pro and then Photomerged in Photoshop. I think it’s the best mountain shot I’ve ever managed and can hardly wait to try the technique on more spectacular mountain shots.

Not to be outdone, many of the plants at Theler were dusted with Hoar Frost.

 Hoar Frost

I think I’ve walked by this holly tree dozens of times without taking a shot of it,

Holly

but seen in the context of all the plants that have died and turned brown, it’s easy to see why early people might have attributed magical powers to it.

The birding wasn’t great, but there were Golden-Crowned Sparrows searching for seeds on the trail,

 Golden-Crowned Sparrow

Song Sparrows flitting among the weeds,

Song Sparrow flitting

flocks of Finches feasting on last summer’s berries.

finch eating berry

Flocks of Chickadees and Oregon Juncos also buzzed me at eye-level as I walked the path, far too fast to get a shot. I suspect their flighty behavior was inspired by a pair of Cooper Hawks

Cooper Hawk

that I sighted atop a nearby tree.

It was a delightful morning, and the day just got better when I reached Port Orchard.

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