Winter solstice reflections

Shortest day of the year, but what a lovely start.

Solstice sunrise

Solstice sunrise

You can’t take a warm and sunny day for granted this time of year. Our destination was the marshy confluence where the Okanogan River flows into the Columbia River in north central Washington. There is a great walk along the dike that separates the river from the marsh.

A perfect day to stroll along the dike and enjoy being in nature. Bald eagles where hanging out near a Cormorant rookery.

Eagles in Cormorant rookery

Eagles in Cormorant rookery

This adult had been hunting ducks and was drying its wings in the sun after getting them wet in the river. The eagle then took a short test flight to make sure his/her wings were dry.

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A kingfisher successfully hunted a small fish.

Kingfisher

Kingfisher

Ring-necked and Bufflehead ducks lazily floated on the water that had been frozen at Thanksgiving.

Ring-necked ducks

Ring-necked ducks

Goldeneye duck

Bufflehead duck

Hundreds of coots were rafting together in the water. An eagle flew out to hunt the stray birds on the edge. The coots saw the eagle and as if of one mind formed a very tight circular ball, protecting everyone from an individual eagle strike. The eagle gave up and returned to shore.

Coots rafting

Coots rafting

The sun sailed across the southern sky as if in a hurry to give way to night. Late in the evening returning home, we happened upon an old abandoned homestead. It was at the end of life, just like this year. As 2014 gives way to 2015, a new year is born.

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I hope everyone has a happy, healthy and successful new year.

Get out there and be amazed…

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