Are We Walking to Alaska

Are We Walking to Alaska
Are We Walking to Alaska - A True Story

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

An Amazing Day - Part Two

After the Swans in the last post -  we meandered across the flats until we came to a view of Mt. Baker that I've been wanting to get for some time - a friend's house and farm, in front of Mt. Baker.





We were on our way home after the last photos - as we followed the roads toward home we saw in the distance, SNOW GEESE.  This is the biggest flock we'd ever seen, and this is about one fourth of the whole flock.


The stretched for acres and acres - as far on the left and the right as you see here in the center.  Don estimated 20-40,000 snow geese.

There were rain ponds in the fields and it was bath time - with Snow Geese jumping in and out of the water - flapping and calling to each other.


The Snow Geese that were not enjoying a brisk, refreshing bath, were nibbling in the grass


And some were flying - right in front of Mt. Baker


They ate, called out to each other, flew around, changed places and made a wonderful murmuring sound




The grayer geese are juveniles.  The brown near their beaks is from minerals in the soil that colors their feathers - not like dirt - but an actual color change.




Flapping and preening





Lots of flapping of wings




And  suddenly - without warning - the entire flock took flight.  The sound of their wings was almost deafening


Higher and higher into the sky - swirling, swooshing, calling - it was almost unbelievable


They flew directly overhead


I took photos as fast as I could - the wonder of it all, tears were streaming down my face as the Snow Geese circled around and around, over us, back and forth - thousands and thousands of them



Some began to land,  some kept circling - all the while the sound of their wings and their calls filled the air




Thousands more joined them from all parts of the fields

Some of the geese nearer to us flew up and in front of the geese in the back


And in the background - the fabulous Mt. Baker!


I just couldn't stop taking pictures!










Circling once more in front of Mt.  Baker












It was a flap-your-wings, take-off-from-the-water, call-to-your-friends, do-a-little-dance kind of day.




16 comments:

J said...

Unbelievable! I knew your "surprise" would be a good one, but I never expected this! You wonder what signal from within - or from outside - triggered that mass exit....? But being there to enjoy it and photograph it is something no one would ever forget! Myself, I sometimes wonder if these special moments you come upon almost casually aren't God's way of saying "thank you" to someone who deeply respects his awesome creations and generously shares them with those who cannot be there in person!

joy said...

wow, JoAnn, what an amazing experience for you.
Joy x x

Lorrie said...

Such a fantastic experience, JoAnn. I'd have tears streaming down my face, too, at the wonder of it all. Even reading about it gave me little chills down my spine. The shots of the birds in front of Mount Baker are gorgeous. A once-in-a-lifetime happening.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

In all of my life, I have never seen anything like this. Amazing! I can't believe you got to witness it first hand. How awesome!

Do they fly south for the winter, or is Oregon as far south as they fly? And do they come from Canada, Alaska, or somewhere else?

rusty duck said...

Just fantastic. I am so envious!
Your photos are stunning JoAnn, especially of the geese flying in front of the mountain.

Beatrice Euphemie said...

Wow, wow, and wow! Amazing shots and I can just imagine the amazing sound as you stood there among all of that beauty! The geese flying in front of Mt. Baker are wonderful shots. What a splendid sight! Hugs xo Karen

Rowan said...

What a fantastic sight those geese must have been! And how marvellous it must have been to see them take flight. Really like the photo of your friend's farm with Mount Baker in the background too.

Lili said...

What an amazing gift you were given to experience this Jo! So glad you were able to keep shooting through your tears. I can only imagine what a magical connection you must have been feeling. I am so happy for you...it is amazing! xo

Jeanne said...

I'll bet you did a happy dance.
That was amazing!!

Julie Fukuda said...

I love the pictures with Mt Baker in the background. At one point we lived along a "fly-way" and I remember the first time a huge flock came by, landing and swirling and taking off. My little daughter looked out the window and said, "Look Mom! It's raining birds"! Thanks for the wonderful pictures.

Grandma Barb's This and That said...

The photo of your friends farm in front of Mt. Baker is gorgeous! And the thousands of snow geese is unbelievably spectacular! What a thrill to see all of those flying, and bathing and preening and then to hear all those wings flapping. One sight you won't ever forget.

Kay said...

These shots are simply incredible! I thought the shots of your friends' farm were amazing, but the snow geese....!!!! WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a sight, and what a blessing to have your camera to capture it. These are almost unbelievable shots, so beautiful. Truly spectacular. Wow! So glad to be able to share them!!!!!!!!!!

GardenOfDaisies said...

BEAUUUUTIFUL!!! Such an amazing site, all those geese at the same time! What a paradise for birds, Washington is.

Powell River Books said...

That looks like a wonderful place to live. Amazing shots of the Snow Geese. We sometimes get to see them flowing south over Powell River, but they don't stop. Seeing them all take flight must have been exciting, and a bit scary (remembering the old Hitchcock film). - Margy

Candy S said...

Seriously JoAnn, You should be selling these pictures to National Geographic. My mouth is hanging open in utter awe at the sight of these magnificent creatures all taking flight at the same time. Totally amazing! If you don't mind I want to give you a shout out and put a link to this amazing sight in my blog. I have never done that before, but then I have never been this awestruck before either. I am also going to send a link out to all of our friends in an e-mail.

Sharon Van Winkle said...

Hi, JoAnn, I came across your photos through a google search of snow geese. I am a silk painting artist who displays my works at galleries in Marysville and La Conner. I would like to use a few of your photos as inspiration for paintings and was hoping you would grant me permission to do so. You can check out my artwork at www.sharonshanklandstudio.com. I've only done one bird at this point (blue heron); the heron is finished but the painting is not, so it is not on my website yet. Anyway, if you would consider it, I would be honored to create something in one of these likenesses (I am thinking the one with the snow geese flying in front of Mt. Baker, or the one of the two standing in the water). Let me know. I can be reached at sharonshankland@comcast.net Thanks!!