It’s been nearly three weeks since I’ve been at Lake Waughop in Steilacoom, but it turns out everything is just as I left it.

The snapdragons are as beautiful as ever.

Sweet Pea

Cardinal Meadowhawks patrol the water.

Cardinal Meadowhawk

Baby Wood Ducks

Baby Wood Duck

are still watched by their mothers,

Mother Wood Duck

while Mt. Rainier continues to tower over its realm

Mt. Rainier

knowing everything is just as it’s meant to be, still perfect in its moment.

A Flower by Any Other Name

One of the best reasons to go to Theler Wetlands when birding is slow is when you get skunked birding you can always find beautiful flowers to photograph.

Wednesday was no exception. I was pleased to see that the Tiger Lilies

Tiger Lily

were in full bloom.

As were these

Pink Lily

though I’ll have to admit that I don’t know exactly what they are.

One of the reasons I headed back, though, was that I wanted to get a picture of these “native” iris that bloom in the wetlands:

Yellow Flag Iris

It turns out, though, that this Yellow Flag Iris isn’t native at all and is regarded, at least in King County, as a noxious weed

Belfair in the Rain

As you’ve obviously noted if you’re a regular visitor, I haven’t had much of an opportunity to get out birding lately, either because the weather hasn’t cooperated or other responsibilities have gotten in the way. So, when it cleared here today, I decided to take a chance, even though the weather report called for rain. For a change, they were right and I spent much of my walk in the rain, though at least it was a warm rain.

Birding wasn’t particularly great either, mostly limited to crows who seemed too wet to notice anyone out walking


and a personal favorite, cedar waxwings

Three Cedar Waxwings

which might have been beautiful if I’d gotten the picture a half hour later when the sun broke through for ten or fifteen minutes. Again, I thought my camera, Aperture, and Photoshop did a great job of making a muddy picture look much better than it really was.

As so often happens on rainy days, though, I got the closest shot I’ve ever managed of this female Belted Kingfisher:

female Belted Kingfisher

Notice how the camera even captured the rain as it fell. Despite the rain, it seemed like a great day. I walked a little over three miles, got lunch out at a favorite Mexican restaurant and managed to get at least a few good shots.

Playing For Change Album

I have a habit of adding songs that I’m interested in to my iTunes basket and waiting until I have a certain number of songs before I actually purchase them. That way I have the chance to go back and make sure I really want a song and am not just acting on first impulse. It doesn’t always work because I always end up buying songs some I soon tire of, but it’s generally proven to be an effective technique for me.

Old Girl of the North Country’s recent entry on The Traveling Wilbury’s got me browsing iTunes for other old songs I’d forgotten. After I’d added several songs I wanted, I reached the magic number of songs that triggers a purchase and proceeded to download fifty dollars in songs.

My favorite songs were on an album I’d added to the cart quite awhile ago after watching a Bill Moyer show that featured the director of Playing for Change.

The album includes a video of each song, and the video showing people all over the world playing the songs is much more compelling than the song alone so I’ve spent much of the day listening to the album.

Not only is the music great, but watching musicians from all over the world from all different economic levels sing together almost makes you believe that the world could become a better place.