Simple Gifts

I believe I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world; the Snoqualmie Valley. I get to see amazing things everyday. It's time to celebrate that. (You can view pictures in larger format by clicking on them)

Friday, June 10, 2005

Vacation time!

I headed down to Southern Oregon to meet my best friend and her family. We were going to have a week of camping. The drive down was mostly uneventful. I used to think my dad was nuts, he'd drive and be peering up at the sky at airplanes. Now I drive peering up at the sky at the birds. I did see some raptors. They were mostly unidentifiable, except for all the turkey vultures. I also saw a raven in a flock of crows. Wow, was the size difference obvious. All these little black birds and there in the middle, twice as big was the slow flapping raven. I wonder what it was doing with the crows?

We stopped at a rest area in Southern Washington. Coal was desperate to poop. Rest areas tend to be unexciting and I was watching him ready to scoop when I caught movement out of the corner of my eye. It was a very small, young cottontail rabbit. It must have been well hidden or the poop desperation was all consuming because it was so close. It wasn't more than 4 Ft in front of us. It ran right past Coal?s nose but he was so busy taking a dump he didn't even notice. It was so small I could have held it in one hand and the white tail seemed huge.

We met at Rouge River camp ground. It's an OK campground but we planned to find a better place the next day. Tasha and I took a walk. She's almost 8 now. Walking with her is so interesting, sometimes she sees so much and other times she just runs ahead. Tasha remembered the alligator lizards from last year. She had tried so hard to catch them last year, but never came closer than almost. We weren't having much luck this time either, the weather was fairly cool. It was one of the days when Tasha was running ahead. Of course she'd been stuck in the truck for the long drive from California. I stopped for a major humming bird brawl. At least 4 different hummingbirds zipping through the sky all highly worked up. There noise seems perfect for a tiny cartoon character's exclamations. I couldn't tell you what species they were. They were just sound and motion. They sort of remind me of tiny version of Taz (Yep, I'm back to cartoons). There wings beat about 80 times per second, no wonder they sounds like little humming motors.

Then I noticed a Common Yellowthroat on a branch. I learned from Katie that in our area, if the bird has yellow on it, it's mostly likely a warbler. This held true. It was brightly colored and singing quite beautifully. I've never actually seen one before. Another great quote from the Cornell website:

A skulking masked warbler of wet thickets, the Common Yellowthroat is far more frequently heard than seen.

After returning from our walk, they insisted I open my present. It seemed odd since my birthday is at the end of the month. I am sooooooo spoiled! It was this wonderful digital camera! They gave it to me the first day so I could take pictures. It's absolutely great. For now on there will be pictures!


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