Are We Walking to Alaska

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

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Birds and Mountains

After a morning of ham and eggs breakfast, baking bread, recycling, washing and folding laundry and shed cleaning (I'll let you guess who did which - and you might be surprised), we headed down to Anacortes to see what birds we might find. It was a bit cloudy when we left, around noon, but cleared off nicely.

First stop - some ducks on a small pond.

American Widgeon

Bufflehead female

Ring Neck Duck - female

Ring Neck Duck - male

Greater Scaup - female

Widgeon and Bufflehead

Cedar Grove Pond - where we saw the ducks - you can see some in the distance. It was a great day for reflections too.

We drove on towards Anacortes - taking a side road along the shore - and found some seagulls harvesting  mussels in the bay - this is near Fidalgo Bay Resort - where we stayed last summer on vacation.

This gull just dove in the shallow bay to find a mussel

Seagull taking off from the shore

Ducks in the same bay

Pintail Ducks - I could hear their little whistling - and there they were - swimming in a row

I think Pintails are some of my favorites.

We stopped at Island Cafe in Anacortes for lunch - one of our favorites - good food for sure.

This was Don's burger - I had a plain burger, we shared the fries - delicious

And the mountains - oh the mountains

Mt. Baker was out - and I never pass up a chance to get a picture.

Taken from the Anacortes boat harbor - a ring of clouds below the peak

  It was time to head home - and as I looked to my left I could see Mt. Baker (taken from the freeway - between poles and trees as we zipped along, and no, I was not the one driving) - and far off to the right - what?  Could it be?  It was - Mt. Ranier. 

And there is Mt. Ranier - taken from the moving car.  Zoom at 140X

The map shows the driving distance between Bellingham and Mt Rainier - Mt Baker is just to the east (right) of Bellingham, in the edge of the green.  As the crow flies - it is about 110 miles between the two mountains.  The black arrow shows our location when I took the pictures of Mt. Ranier

Now we only see both mountains on days when the air is very clear - what an amazing treat.  I had to take the pictures of Mt. Ranier from the moving car - window rolled down - cold air (34 degrees) blowing in the car.  I got several shots that were blurry - several than had nice electric poles in the middle of the mountain.  Finally a good shot - just as we came to a place where we could no longer see Mt. Ranier.


greenthumb said...

It all looks just so lovely.

Rowan said...

Some lovely photos as always, you live in a beautiful area.

joanne said...

I just love the way our mountains, lakes, birds, all show off on a beautiful albeit cold sunny afternoon. I could see Mt. Rainier in all her glory and it was gorgeous. Enjoy your Sunday...;j

Julie Fukuda said...

We get to see some of those same ducks as winter visitors. The Ring-necked Duck, Scaup, and American Wigeon usually get a lot of attention from birders when they arrive. The Eurasian Wigeon is quite similar and much more common., and Pintails are a dime a dozen. Even the most common visitor is so lovely reflected in the calm waters.
I have to admit, I can see Mt Fuji a million times and it still grabs my attention. Unfortunately, I am the driver in the family.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Lovely. I particularly like the ring neck female and that shimmery water, and the mountain with the snow! Majestic!



Mary said...

That is such a lovely drive,have done it a few times when visiting your area and, like you, I've managed to view both mountains on the same day - just awesome. I've only done it on Summer trips so have seen less snow of course on the summits - still beautiful though!

Ducks are always adorable - nice birds for the most part. Love the pic with a beakful of mussel - great shot JoAnn.

That was a very busy day - glad you're up for road trips, they are often still the best way to see the beauty surrounding us.

Hugs - Mary

Grandma Barb's This and That said...

Great photos of the ducks and the mountains. I love the Buffleheads and the Pintails and the shot of the gull with the mussel. Great that you got to see both mountains in one day.

J said...

The shimmering water is so pretty! Nothing like the majesty of a snow covered mountain!
I love the way wildlife just goes about its business of surviving, rarely bothering any of us. Yet some people sure make it their business to bother THEM! That's why I admire and respect you so much - you "take only pictures and leave only footprints" as the saying goes!

Kay said...

What a wonderful assortment of ducks and gorgeous reflections, too! And both mountains in a single day! We don't see Rainier from where I live, but have from the Kitsap Peninsula and from Marrowstone Island.

Lori E said...

A cute bunch of quackers I must say. I have such fond memories of our 10th anniversary celebration at Rosario Resort many years ago. Such a beautiful area.
The place I am hoping we move to is in Abbotsford and both decks give spectacular views of Mt. Baker which I couldn't see the day I toured the townhouse due to cloudy skies.

Candy S said...

I am amazed at the diversity of the waterfowl in your area. I only see mallards in my back yard. You truly live in one of the most amazing areas of the country. Your photographs of the mountains and the birds are beautiful. I have not had an opportunity to visit the Pacific North West of our beautiful nation, but I think that is going onto the bucket list for when I retire.