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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Nice Weather for Ducks

When presented with the options of where to wander this weekend, I have to look to Professor Mass and his wonderful weather blog. It shows that one has the option of rain, or rain and wind. I have a desire to explore Washington Park, up in Anacortes, but the thought of dealing with both wind and rain kept me close to home. Here there is only rain and it is a bit easier to be in it for over an hour.

Jay is doing well in his first week of work. I knew it was too good to be true that all would continue fine. Yesterday I found he had lost a shoe and of course it would be from the front hoof. He let me know that precious, delicate ponies should not have to work in soft footing with one shoe missing. It causes "Oh So Horrible Pain" in tender toes. Personally I think he knew I did not write a check this week to pay someone who sees to his every needs and I was getting off easy. Poor rusty put upon steed. No matter, it is tempting to rush a rehab when it is going well. A day off will not make a great impact and might just benefit.

I chose to stick close to home and visit Juanita Bay Park. This little park , just north of downtown Kirkland, can yield some pretty good bird sightings. I figured on a day like this there would be fewer folks out. This allows sneaking up on those good birds that are hard to find most days.

Thing is, those birds figured no one is dumb enough to be out in the rain. They might as well stay in bed.

It is a pretty little lake edge wetlands. Forbes Creek, which drains much of North Kirkland has overspilled its banks and the marsh was nicely full of water. Even though there were plenty of cars driving up Juanita Drive, the rush of the creek almost drown out the car sounds.

There is a very nice set of signs telling of the local native peoples and their community names. I learned that I was born and raised in the community of Skahtelbshab(u)sh near the place called Suhteecheeb. Now I live in the community of the s'Tsahpahbsh , meandering river = Sammamish River.

Here at Juanita Bay there were varied resources. Fishing and duck hunting plus edible plants and roots to harvest. Cattails were not only used for their rushes to make fiber objects but the roots were eaten. The information kiosk said women dug up the cattail reeds by working their feet down into the roots and pulling them up. I suspect those women did not have big brothers who filled them with stories of fish that would eat their toes off or dragonflies who suck blood.

This Kingfisher didn't trust me to come close and only returned to her perch when I was far away.

A good sized flock of Wood Ducks were on the beach at the north end of the park. The males are about the most beautiful of our native birds. During nesting season you will find them in trees in marsh complexes. Wood Duck nest in woodpecker holes and when the ducklings hatch, that first step is a doozy. At the urging of their parents they launch from the hole and fall to earth, bouncing off their still chubby breast. They have quite a bounce when they land and seem no worse for wear.

I only lasted about 2 hours in the rain. Scotchguard goes on my shopping list as my favorite coat seems to have lost its protective ability.

Atkowchug (Lake Washington) showing why we drink so much coffee and read so many books.

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