Monday, April 09, 2007

"Frog on a Log in a Bog" Blog

Friday, the day dawned amazingly blue-skyed and beautiful - especially for April (and it was nearing the end of my Spring Break!!), so I grabbed my friend, and fellow vegan, 'Froggy', and we took off for a walk at Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. (Froggy the person, not the little guy to the left - though we saw him on our hike - hence the name of this post...).

Being that the entire Puget Sound area had just emerged from a long, cold, damp winter, I didn't have high hopes of seeing much in the way of wildlife, but we were pleasantly surprised! (That's a picture of us, NOT the wildlife, by the way!).

There were birdwatchers, hikers and photographers all over the park, enjoying the unexpected weather just as we were. That didn't seem to scare
the birds and other critters away though.

Nisqually Wildlife Refuge has miles of great hiking trails (any trail that's flat is a favorite in my book!) many of them are raised boardwalk that pass through wetlands and marshy areas which are home to tons of different types of birds.

In the fields out out past the marshy area, we saw huge flocks of migrating Canada Geese (another person on the trail estimated there were several thousand geese in some of the!).
We also saw a fledgling baby Great Horned Owl-let. Pretty far away but SO fuzzy and cute! I was so excited to see him, and amazed at how big he was!

We spent quite a while watching this little guy swim around. I wasn't even sure what he was until a helpful fellow hiker identified him as a muskrat. (Silly me, I thought he was a baby beaver with a skinny tail - HA!) He was nibbling swamp grasses and towing mouthfuls of weeds away through the water to his home (? den? cave? I don't know where muskrats live).

Then there were wood ducks (which are shy and not usually seen too easily), hooded merganzer ducks, mallard ducks, snow geese, red tailed hawks, marsh hawks and many, many other birds I don't know the names of. In fact the only reason I can pretend to sound knowledgeable about a few species is due to the many hikes my avid bird-watching parents used to drag us kids on...

A wildlife photographer I am NOT, so excuse the blurry, small, far-away pictures, but I was so excited about all the critters and the breathtaking day, I just had to share them with everyone... (one final picture of some Hooded Merganzer Ducks).


Anonymous said...

What a great outing! We had snow on Friday (ugh) -- your pics remind me of how much I want it to be warm again.

KleoPatra said...

i love this post! Animals, all colours and types, large and small, flying and leaping or earthbound... they're all my faves. Thanks for a wonderful peek at this place. VERY COOL!!

Anonymous said...

great photos!