Back to Theler Wetlands

With the weather still refusing to cooperate, we have been going to the YMCA regularly instead of birding, and there’s not much to photograph at the Y.  I think we’ve only gotten to Theler twice in the past month, and we heard a lot more birds than we saw because the ducks are gone and the songbirds, like this House Finch, have taken up residence.

male House Finch

The highlight of a recent visit was seeing a Bald Eagle attacking and killing a Great Blue Heron by holding it underwater until it drowned. I’ve seen a lot of Bald Eagles harass Great Blue Herons and steal their catch, but this was the first time I’ve ever seen an Eagle actually kill one.

Eagle drowning Great Blue Heron

The event took another turn when two other Bald Eagles came swooping in and attempted to steal the first Eagle’s catch, but he was having none of it.

Eagles sparring over catch

It was a dramatic moment in our visit, but I have to admit that I preferred the moment when this little Bewick Wren confronted us.

Bewick Wren

This Robin wasn’t quite as bold but definitely let us know it was there, too.

Robin on Log

I wasn’t surprised when the seabirds I see in the winter at the Port Orchard Marina were gone and the only shot I got was this one of a Gull eating a small fish.

Glaucous-Winged Gull with fish scrap

I feel like I have to force myself to walk a mile and a half on the track at the YMCA, but I usually walk over three miles when I bird and it never feels like I’m exercising.  Instead, it becomes a walking meditation, an escape from the crazy world we all seem trapped in.

Great Grandpa’s Ray of Sunshine

It seems like we’ve been home from our Santa Rosa vacation for months now, but we haven’t managed to get out much during that time.  A wicked combination of doctor appointments and poor weather has kept us close to home.  

Luckily, though, Kasen and I managed a couple of playdates during that period, definitely the highlight of my time home. 

I didn’t have too many chances to get pictures — way too busy playing for that, and most of the time he was crawling away from me as fast as he could.  Of course, he would stop and look back to make sure I was chasing him. No fun crawling away if no one is going to chase you.

Cornered. though, he would crawl right up to me so I could capture a shot of him with my iPhone.

I volunteered several months ago to babysit whenever his mother needed someone to fill in as a babysitter, but we’ve only had him three or four times so far.  

Gavin kept worrying that taking care of him would wear me out, but the only problem I encountered while he was here was that Leslie wanted to hold him too much, cutting back on our playtime.

I’ll have to admit that at my age I wouldn’t want to take care of a toddler every day but having him occasionally makes me feel more alive than days when I sit inside at my computer looking at the rain coming down+. 

A Brief Visit to the Redwoods on the Way Home

After years of trying to capture the beauty of the Redwoods with the most expensive camera equipment money can buy, and failing miserably, I still couldn’t resist taking pictures with my iPhone on our way home from Santa Rosa, and, realistically, they’re almost as good as ones I’ve taken previously when I used a top-of-the-line Canon with wide-angle lenses.

No matter how many times we stop here on the way home, I am amazed by the size and

Redwood Canopy

height of these trees, 

Leslie Dwarfed by Redwoods

so tall they seem to block the sky itself.

Redwoods Blocking the Sky

If it weren’t for the shattered giants blocking the trail, you might think these giants were immortal.

Shattered fallen Redwood

Unfortunately, I still haven’t discovered how to create pictures that convey the awe-inspiring magnitude of these forests or that convey how being made to feel so insignificant can also be liberating.  

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