Sunday, August 26, 2012

Mountains and Planes

On the way back from Wisconsin we had cloudy skies most of the way, but the clouds cleared as we were approaching Bellingham for landing. Off to one side I could see Mt. Adams - it was spectacular but went by fairly fast - then up loomed Mt. Ranier - it seemed so close - and even though the pilot had already announced that we were to have all carry-on luggage stowed beneath the seat in front of us, I whipped out my camera and began taking pictures.

Now this was more difficult than usual, because I was in an aisle seat and had to aim the camera out the window - hoping to get the mountains and not the passengers' heads.
Mt. Ranier was majestic . . .
A lot farther away we could see the Olympic Mountains, but even my camera has its limits - so I was happy with Mt. Ranier, and hoped that Mt. Baker would appear on the other side of the plane.

And there she was. Her little cap of clouds - a glorious welcome home sight!

I have no idea what this mountain is - but it was beautiful too. I was taking these out of the opposite side of the plane - across the aisle and there was a mother and two young children in the seats so I had to time the photos so I got them when everyone was not leaning forward in their seats.

And once again Mt. Baker came into view - I guess we must have been circling - I took pictures until the pilot announced that the flight attendants must take their seats and prepare for landing - and I stowed my camera under the seat in front of me, like a good passenger.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

More Birds in Wisconsin

Besides the Sandhill Cranes and the Mergansers in the last two posts about Wisconsin, we saw a few other birds too. One thing I saw was not a bird, but it went by so fast I couldn't even get my camera up for a picture. We were on the freeway heading back to southern Wisconsin and right there, beside the freeway, munching on leaves was an Elk - no kidding - an Elk. I am not sure how it got there - freeway and fence on one side and fence with houses behind the fence on the other side of the Elk, yet there it was, enjoying a tasty meal of leaves, oblivious to the rushing traffic and the houses nearby. I only wish I had a picture of it - the antlers were impressive.

So - back to the birds.

We stopped in Delafield, where Don had lived for a year and a half when he was 7-8 years old. The house on the Mill Pond was still there - but the mill pond dam had been taken down. He spent some time walking around in the yard, and as we were pulling out I spotted this lovely fella.

His mate had been on the fence too, but as I snapped the picture she flew off. I was happy just to have one photo of a cardinal.

As we were leaving Kashena Falls we heard the geese before we saw them. I got off one quick picture before they flew behind the trees.

At Kashena Falls we had watch a heron fly in way down the river - and my camera was able to capture him, even at that distance. I love my camera - Canon Power Shot SX 30IS - it can zoom up to 140X.

And then the turkeys. We saw several flocks of turkeys in those two days, but they were easily frightened and were gone before I could get a picture of them. This one was at the edge of a hay field where I had been taking pictures of the Sandhill Cranes. I saw the grasses on the edge of the field waving and focused my camera on them, to see what might come out.

And there he was . . .

Amongst the wild Black-Eyed Susan - a perfect shot - and then he was gone back into the grasses.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Mergansers at Kashena Falls

While we were in Wisconsin for Don's class reunion, we set some time aside to enjoy the countryside of northern Wisconsin. One of the places we stopped at was Kashena Falls - there is no park there - no benches for sitting - no picnic tables, just a small graveled area off the side of the road to pull over and park. It is quiet and sacred there, the falls, the river, the trees - and the birds. We saw a heron fly in and land on a rock and then we walked across the bridge that goes over the falls.

Don spotted them first, a few ducks far across the river, swimming together. As I was focusing my camera and trying to find just where they were, they popped up again, right near the bridge. And this is what we saw.

The Mergansers were swimming in a group near the bridge . . .

They line up and followed each other through the small rapids . . .

I had to work fast - focusing and taking pictures - they moved quickly along with the current . . .

They floated down the river and crossed to the other side - still following in a line . . .

Walked up on some rocks on the edge of the river . . .

Crossed under the bridge . . .

And jumped back in the water . . .

And started off down the river - in line . . .

They used the rapids like a water slide . . .

Good Bye ducks . . . and thank you!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Oh - Mrs. BrownDirt

When last we visited with Mrs. BrownDirt, she was at a lodge, enjoying herself on vacation. That same vacation she had a few other adventures. Let's check in and see what she was up to on her vacation to Plain, WA.

It was a sunny and very warm day - so Mrs. BrownDirt and her people headed off for a picnic, trying to find some water - a lake, a river, an ocean - oh wait - no oceans in Plain, WA -

I love a good picnic - especially one with a cooler full of good food - and cool ice, it is very hot today and we cotton people might get wrinkled and mussed in the heat. Ahhhh comfort.

I think I'll have a look around - see what is in the woods by this river . . .

Oh noooo - a bear - run - hide. I thought this was going to be a civilized lodge vacation - not one with bears. They will eat the stuffing right out of you if you aren't careful!

It is a very big bear!!

Quick - up a tree - hope I don't fall over into that river - a girl doesn't like to get wet and messy in her good dress,.

Uh oh - I'm not such a good climber - heeeelp!

Oh dear - I forgot that bears can climb trees - now what?

I'll hide in the leaves . . .

The bear seems to be friendly - he says I should come down for lunch - I hope he doesn't mean that I am going to be lunch. I've very hungry so I will chance it - it is easier to get down out of a tree than to get up in a tree.

When I climb down - what do I see - Buddy E - waiting on a rock - is he laughing at me?

That frog - he is laughing because he ate the sandwiches while I was desperately trying to escape that ferocious bear - I bet Buddy E sent the bear after me.

No no - the frog is going to eat all the Girl Scout Cookies . . .

Go ahead frog - try and get those cookies!

Oops - did you fall into the box ? Hee Hee Heee

Oh I'm sorry frog - really I am - the cookies got all eaten up before you could get any - maybe it was that mean old bear - snicker snicker - really, I AM sorry frog.

It was a nice picnic, despite having to hide from a bear and then the frog eating the sandwiches - I think he has a tummy ache, I know I do - I mean the bear does, from eating all those cookies.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

See What Those Cranes Do Next

In the last post we watched the Sandhill Cranes in hay fields, and then they lined up and started walking - look where they went.

They started across the road . . .

Follow the leader . . .

Very neighborly . . .

They decided to pay a visit to the farmer who so graciously cut his hay so they could find something yummy to eat. We didn't follow them into the farmer's yard.