After repeated trips to Theler Wetlands and the Port Orchard marina, it’s difficult to post pictures without repeating yourself, often with pictures that aren’t as good as ones I’ve published earlier.
Though I’d prefer not to repeat myself continually I realized that repetition isn’t necessarily a bad thing after following awritersalchemy’s link to Ellen Bass’ poem “Ode to Repetition” which can also be found here.
Despite that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of Green-Winged Teal feeding on the mudflats at Theler Wetlands, I find myself taking pictures on our weekly visits. The brightly colored male with its geometric patterns is particularly appealing.
Sometimes seeing a subject from different angles helps us to see it in new ways.
Though it’s easy to identify a female Green-Winged Teal when it’s next to a male, that green stripe in the back is always a positive sign that it is, indeed, a Green-Winged Teal and not a female Mallard.
It’s always seemed to me that feeding compulsively with your head stuck down in the mud/water is awfully dangerous when predators are around despite blending in quite well with the mud. There is some additional safety in numbers, especially in flight.
When an Eagle flies over the wetlands explode with hundreds of ducks flying surprisingly close to each other.
I don’t think I’d want to be an eagle trying to pick out a particular target in the middle of that flock; the chances of accidentally getting struck by another bird would have to be high. Not to mention that it’s nearly impossible to focus on just one bird, as my camera’s automatic sensor pointed out.
I must agree with Ellen Bass that some kinds of repetition are positive forces in our lives or I wouldn’t have been walking Theler Wetlands repeatedly since discovering it many years ago. In birding, at least, familiarity is more apt to breed appreciation than to breed contempt.
I keep checking Port Orchard’s marina to see if the Horned Grebes have started turning into their breeding colors, but so far all I’ve managed to do is repeat shots I’ve already shown many times. That’s okay, though, because the photographer in me still loves close-up like this with interesting reflections.
The birder in me, though, gets more excited when I spot Western Grebes,
even though the shots never come close to the quality that I’ll get later when I go to Bear River and Malheur and I usually discard the shots as soon as I post them here. Still, when I do spot them they are usually too far out to get even this good of a picture.
The birder in me, though, was even more thrilled to see this Red-Necked Grebe surface near a Western Grebe.
Once I spotted the Red-Necked Grebe I lost interest in the Western Grebes and managed to get a little better shot even though it never came very close while I was in the marina.
Even though I knew the shot wasn’t going to be very good, the birder in me took control, and I knew that this was the shot of the day, even if the photographer in me doesn’t agree.
Although the annual Grays Harbor Shorebird Festival doesn’t take place until May 6-7, I’ve noticed Least Sandpipers on my last two visits to Theler Wetlands, the first time I’ve seen them this year.
Of course, the fact they’ve been there at least two weeks also suggests it’s too cold to keep moving further north. They’re in no hurry to move one.
At the very least, these early birds seem to be busily stocking up for the long trip ahead
as it’s nearly impossible to get a shot of more than one of them with their head up.
We sighted a single Tree Swallow in a fly over, but there were several male Red-Winged Blackbirds who were singing loudly, claiming their territory and trying to attract mates.
We’re definitely getting mixed messages about the arrival of Spring, whether it’s early-blooming flowers or early arriving birds.
It’s clear after one of the coldest, wettest winters on record, EVERYONE is ready for some blustery Spring weather, which probably best explains why I keep interpreting these events as signs that Spring is right around the corner.
I need to get out of the house and AWAY from the internet. Despite my better judgment, I’m drawn to the steady stream of stories about Trump and his God-awful administration. I feel like a driver gawking at accident even though he really doesn’t want to see what happened, knowing full well that whatever he sees will stay with him longer than he wants it to.
I was driving down Ninth Avenue
As the sky was getting dark
Didn’t have nothin’ else to do
So I kept on riding to Battery Park
I stepped out in the damp and misty night
As the fog was rolling in
Man said, “Last boat leaving tonight
Is the boat for Ellis Island”
As my feet touched solid ground
I felt a chill run down my spine
I could almost hear the sound
of thousands pushing through the lines
Mothers and bewildered wives
that sailed across the raging sea
Others running for their lives
to the land of opportunity
Down on Ellis Island
“What is this strange paradise?”
They must’ve wondered through their cries and moans
After all they’ve sacrificed
Their faith, their families, friends and homes
Then on the Inspection Stairs
They were counted out or counted in
Frozen while the inspectors stared
Down on Ellis Island
Now me I only stumbled in
Just to wander around that empty hall
Where someone else’s fate had been
Decided in no time at all
And cases filled with hats and clothes
And the belongings of those who journeyed far
They’re strange reminders I suppose
Of where we’re from and who we are
But as the boat pulled off the shore
I could see the fog was lifting
And lights I never seen before
Were shining down on Ellis Island
Shining down on Ellis Island