Category Archives: Adventures

Rock n Rolling

You can spend many enjoyable hours strolling down the beach or a river bank looking at the variety of beatiful stones. Most have been shaped and polished by eons spent rolling around in the water and sand.

Notice that when they are wet, the stones shine like jewels. When they dry, their luster fades.

  
You can easily put a permanent shine on those stones with a rock tumbler. We purcheased one from Lortone and found out how easy it is to polish river rocks. The tumbler was placed in the garage in a tray in case one of the containers leaked.

  
Skills needed are minimal, patience is the required talent. The rocks go into a container with water and polishing compound. They are then tumbled 24/7 for many weeks. Three to four different grits are used to get a progressively finer polish. Each grit requires 7 to 10 days of tumbling.

  
After five weeks of rock and rolling, the results were stuning. 

Get out there and be amazed…

Secret places

There is a place we regularly walk the dogs. It is very public. Dogs are off leash, they run about open fields, having lots of fun. Dog owners stroll around and chat, mostly about their dogs.

Just off the beaten path is a special place of solitude. Hidden from plain sight, it is largely passed by.

  
Many secret little places exist just out of reach of your daily awareness. They are found by exploring. Take the time to look beyound the normal boundaries of your world and you will find them. 

Get out there and be amazed…

Young dog loves beach

A young pup, Scout, did his best to get Maggie to play. Everyone loves the beach, especially the young at heart.

   
 Tonight will be good dreaming of a fun day.

Get out there and be amazed…

Raptor Day

Recently about 100 folks showed up at the Pacific Rim Institute on Whidbey Island to view a demonstration from local falconers. They were treated to awesome flying and a chance to talk to the falconers and get up close and personal with the birds of prey.

Steve, Sue and Brad put on quite a show. Three falcons and a Harris hawk entertained the group. The birds swooped and dove over the heads of the crowd as they attacked the lures flown by the falconers.

  
Afterward everyone had an opportunity to meet and greet.

  
The kids stood in awe of these magnificent birds.

  
  
It was an experience they will never forget.

Get out there and be amazed…

Silvers are running

The tide is high, the sun is just coming up and the silvers are running.

  
In the midst of solitude you share the beach with folks you don’t know, yet have a common connection. The seagulls are crying, a sea lion breaks the surface. Cargo ships pass by as they begin their distant journey.
You settle into a repetitive rhythm casting your lure. Early autumn chill is offset by constant motion. A hypnotic state settles around you… sudden excitement and action

  
Get out there and be amazed… 

New Year, New Day

First day of 2015 and we are visiting the Skagit Flats, located just north of Mt. Vernon, Washington. Bordering Puget Sound and the Skagit River the surrounding lowlands are a prime wintering ground for waterfowl, raptors and other birds.

Mt Baker from Skagit flats

Mt Baker from Skagit flats

What a beautiful day to start the new year. First stop was to enjoy thousands of Snow Geese feeding on a field of grass.

A loud bunch, they were constantly bickering with each other over a choice morsel.

One caught our eye. This goose had a neck band, labeled x4.

Neck band, X4

Neck band, X4

Later that evening we submitted a sighting report to the Bird Banding Laboratory located at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. Researchers trap and band many species of birds. Data is used to study the dispersal, migration, life span and population changes. The banding lab manages this data. They will enter this sighting into their database and send us a detailed report of this bird which was submitted to the lab at the time the bird was banded.

Short Eared Owls were hunting prey and harassing each other. They put on quite the airshow.

Short Eared Owl

Short Eared Owl

We saw Peregrine Falcons, Eagles, Red-tailed Hawks and Herons, just to name a few.

Many people were out walking, biking and birding. This little guy, though not a bird dog, was also enjoying the day.

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There are 364 days left in 2015. Get out there and be amazed…

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…