It Could’ve Been a Bad Day

Thursday I had a dental appointment in Vancouver to have a old crown removed and preparation for a new crown that I wasn’t looking forward to. There’s nothing like several shots in the mouth and an hour and a half in the dentist’s chair to make your day uncomfortable, though it still seems preferable to a bad toothache.

Leslie came along because she wanted to have dinner with her nephew who goes to Reed College in Portland. And, of course, I wanted to visit the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge. At least no one can accuse us of not maximizing our use of gasoline.

When I arrived for my dental appointment it was dark and dreary with threatening clouds hanging overhead. Amazingly when I came out nearly two hours later the clouds were burning away and by the time I got to Ridgefield it was as sunny as I’ve seen since I left Colorado a week ago.

The first thing we saw when we entered the refuge was a Great Egret (I think) foraging in a pond right next to the road. It’s the first one I’ve managed to get a picture of this year:

Great Egret (or Snowy Egret)

Perhaps not surprisingly, I also saw a Yellow-Headed Blackbird, the first time I’ve ever managed to see one at Ridgefield, a bird listed as rare in Western Washington, though there seems to have been a colony at Ridgefield the last few years. I have little doubt I would never have seen it if I hadn’t just seen one in Colorado last week.

Yellow-Headed Blackbird

Perhaps the hit of the day, though, was this little barn swallow who had built her nest inside the observation shelter and waited impatiently on the railing waiting for us to leave so that she could feed her very noisy chicks:

Barn Swallow with Insect

We ended our visit with a 1.5 mile walk, but then had to hurry to make our dinner appointment. Leslie bought us all a New Orleans’ style dinner that almost made the dental work bearable, or, a the very least, forgettable.