Are We Walking to Alaska

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

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Mallards - this one is for you, Bert!

Mr. and Mrs. Mallard (they pronounce it mu LARD) live in our neighborhood during nesting season. They are seen walking up and down the street - flying overhead - and mucking about in the muddy sides of the street. Today it was raining as we came through and there they were - happy as ducks in a puddle.

My friend Bert mentioned that she loves the color on the wings of Mrs. Mallard (mu Lard, if you please), so I tried to capture the blue.

If you click to enlarge the photo you can see the raindrops on Mr. Mallard's back.

And Mr. Mallard's pretty curl on his duck tail . . .

This is another shot of Mrs. Mallard on a sunny day in our yard - they often come for tea time and enjoy the seeds we put out for tea.

Mr. Mallard also has a pretty blue stripe on his wing - not one to be outdone by Mrs. Mallard.

Looks like Mr. Mallard has taken up ballet - what lovely wings!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Snow Geese - in action

One of the most spectacular things you can ever hope to see - and hear - is hundreds and hundreds of Snow Geese taking off. Sometimes something will frighten them and they will take off, and sometimes for no reason apparent to us, up they will go, circle around and land again. There aren't words to describe it - overwhelming - magnificent - spiritual communing - those are just a few, and seem so inadequate.

Click to enlarge the photos - makes them even better!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Snow Geese

Every winter there are thousands of Snow Geese that over-winter in the Skagit Valley, about 20 miles south of here. We have several favorite spots where we often find them, but this day we had decided to head to La Conner to see what was on the other side of the big bridge over the bay. On the way we spotted masses of white and turned down a long farm driveway (there are several farms there so we weren't on private property, just on a long gravel road to the farms. And there they were - two huge flocks - one on each side of the road.

Snow Geese everywhere . . .

The brown tint on their faces is from minerals in the soil, it colors those feathers a brownish color - it isn't a stain, but a permanent color given to the feathers from the minerals.

The feathers on the young geese are amazing!

The sound by the flocks is sometimes almost deafening and when they fly up it seems every Snow Goose is honking - perhaps it is their guidance system.

We drove slowly down the gravel road and at one point, part of the flock was crossing the road.

They didn't seem to mind us one bit . . .

And slowly they got to the other side - plenty of time for more photos . . .

Time for some sleep - come back tomorrow for lots of action shots - here is a little sample.

Good Bye!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Ducks and Swans

Driving the backroads we often come across some amazing sightings of birds. On the old hiway from Burlington to Alger, WA we saw flooded fields and huge flocks of Pintail and Mallard Ducks - more Pintails than Mallards. The two ducks often flock together.

When the fields flood there are lots of temporary ponds for the ducks. We've had a very rainy winter this year.

The feathers on Pintails are spectacular . . .

And the Mallards . . . there is almost nothing as striking as their green head . . .

Across the road from the flocks of ducks were some of the Tundra Swans that over-winter here. We usually see them a little farther south so it was a treat on this sunny day to find them.

Time to go - bye!