When You Get Out of the Ruts

When I arrived in the Theler Wetlands parking lot Monday, I thought I’d hit the jackpot as there was only one other car in the parking lot. Unfortunately, it didn’t take me long to discover why there were so few people there. They’ve finally started breaching the dike so the main trail is temporarily closed, though they have provided an alternate trail through the Salmon Recovery area.

My first response was to just go home, and I seriously thought about doing that. However, it was a sunny day and I’d just driven 20 miles to get there. So, instead of leaving I decided to go to the areas that weren’t affected by the construction.

Dike Removal

I spotted a pair of Mourning Doves in the field just before the dike.

Mourning Doves

Back at the visitors’ center, I loved these azaleas.


I walked out on to the boardwalk and despite the fact that my hard drive is filling up with Marsh Wren shots

Marsh Wren

I spent fifteen minutes listening to him and taking a whole new batch of photos.

When I looked at my pedometer it read a little over a mile and a quarter, not nearly enough walking for a day. So, I finally decided to ignore the machinery and take the alternate path through the meadow. I didn’t see any birds no matter how hard I looked, but I did enjoy the Lupine I would normally never have seen.


Once I got back on the old trail I found the small flock of Cedar Waxwings I’ve seen the last few times I’ve been at Theler.

Cedar Waxwing

Considering the construction, I thought the day had gone well, and I’d walked further than normal, nearly five and a half miles. But as I was passing the visitors’ center I heard crows mobbing something. I had to check out the area behind the center, an area I seldom explore.

The forest was actually quite dense, surrounding me with a dense green light, challenging even my new camera’s sensor. Still, this photograph of a Swainson’s Thrush

Swainson’s Thrush

is quite a bit clearer than it appeared to me in real life.

It took a bit of wandering but I finally saw the owl the crows had been harassing, though it turned out to be TWO Barred Owls, even though I could never quite fit both in a single frame.

Barred  Owls

After I spotted the owls and had taken a picture, I had time to appreciate the beauty of the light that managed to filter through the dense canopy of this Old Growth Forest.


What started out as a disappointing morning turned out to be a remarkably good morning.

4 thoughts on “When You Get Out of the Ruts”

  1. Wonderful post, Loren! Great shots, and a valuable reminder. A bit of a Robert Frost moment, no?

    I must have missed a post. What’s your new camera body?

    1. I’m pretty sure you didn’t miss a post, Dave. My new camera is a EOS 5D Mark III. It has most of the capabilities of my older Canon 1D with less than half the weight, a nice trade off considering that I usually walk a long ways on my photographic expeditions.

      1. Congratulations! You’re getting great use out of it! Anything that gets us off the couch and out of the house is good. Looking forward to many more beautiful pictures.

  2. “Sometime you get shown the light in the strangest places if you look at it twice…” Hunter/Garcia

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