Can you guess who owns this feathery back? No cheating by looking at the tags below.
I took the picture of the feathers while the heron hunted for fish in the shallows of Rest Lake, then focused on its face when it wheeled around to listen for voles in the grasses on the shoreline.
I visited Ridgefield on Tuesday morning after nearly a nine month absence, by far the longest I’ve ever stayed away from one of my favorite places. Some of that is a good thing, I made a conscious decision to explore other places this summer and spent some time hiking in the Columbia River Gorge.
During the fall I just never felt up to it on days I had free but planned to visit often during the couple of weeks I had off for Christmas. But then we got quite a bit of snow which made the visit too risky, and after the snow had sufficiently melted we started looking for a dog. And once we found Ellie, I’ve wanted to spend time with her and the cats rather than venture out.
But we were shutdown at work on Tuesday so I got up before sunrise and had the refuge more or less to myself for the first couple of hours. It wasn’t a huge day for photography although I did come up with a few that I like. But it was a fun morning, there were a lot of bald eagles out and about, a large family of otters playing in the water, two black-tailed deer, hunting herons, and a small band of female common mergansers swimming in Rest Lake.
This picture of a marsh wren singing atop a cattail at South Quigley Lake is from last year, I didn’t see any wrens on Tuesday. I was surprised to see the grasses along the road and some of the ponds mowed to the ground. I’m not sure how I feel about it but I’ll give it some time. It gives much better views into the ponds, particularly for birders who want to scope out the distant ducks on the water, but it seems like it also wiped out the cover where I used to watch wrens, sparrows, bitterns, weasels, …
I’ll eventually bring Ellie to see what she thinks of the refuge, you can’t take dogs on the trails but you can drive the auto tour with them. I didn’t take her Tuesday and I’m glad I didn’t, many of the animals were skittish and I’m glad to know it wasn’t because of her.
I’m on the couch in the basement with little Sam sleeping on my lap, Ellie curled up against both of us, and Emma curled up at Ellie’s feet. All we need is Scout!
Maybe our dog Ellie is too smart for my own good.
My wife has been a TiVo subscriber for time immemorial but I am yet a neophtye in its arcane arts, needing guidance to watch a show she’s recorded for me. She just won a high def TiVo so I’m inheriting her old one, necessitating I join with the moderns and learn to use it.
Ellie knows the ways of TiVo, picking it up by osmosis at the (literal) foot of the master, and kindly volunteered to show me the ropes. A generous offer, perhaps as a thank you for the obedience classes I’ve taken her to, so I jumped at the chance. She’s a great teacher, no doubt, and I’m learning quickly, but as reward for selecting the right menu she pats my head and feeds me an orange choco treat.
I’d put a stop to it but I do love my orange choco treats.
I can’t seem to stop injuring Ellie.
I took her on an extra-long walk today, during the day she had somehow gotten into a sealed jar of treats and ate the whole batch, so I figured she could both use the exercise and an extra chance to do her business. Right at the end of the walk she started falling behind and even labored up the steps to our house, I just figured she was a pooped pooch from the long walk. When I got her inside, I noticed blood on the floor and realized she cut her foot at the end of the walk, it’s the opposite front foot from the one she injured the other day while we were playing ball so it’s a wonder she can walk at all.
It stopped bleeding pretty quickly but I’m feeling a little cursed. Fortunately she bears no grudges, when I get home from work the three cats greet me at the door and after playing with them a bit, I go downstairs and there’s Ellie with her tail wagging in furious delight.
Emma is once again reveling in the electric warmth of the heated bed so last night’s foray was not a fluke. Fortunately Scout has preferred the window seat in the living room the past couple of nights as she will not be too pleased when she discovers there’s no room in the inn.
There’s plenty of room in Ellie’s bed Miss Scout.