Here in the low lands weather was just as unsettled with squalls of rain and hail, thunder and lightning.
Today, after an early morning dose of "Mad Men" I chanced the weather for a run south to the Mima Mounds Nature Protection Area. The weather held off just enough to allow a quick trip without too much drama.
For years people have floated theory on how the mounds were produced; burial grounds, gophers, earthquakes glaciation.
The out wash of glacial melting is now felt to be the leading cause and mounded prairie is found in many regions of North America.
The Mima Mounds are well known for their flowers and butterflies as well as rare native grasses. I am here too early for the grand flower show, but there was enough to enjoy on this quick trip.
Broad-leaf shooting stars paved the way and are the early flowers here.
I found some Early Blue Violet that seem to be taking the heavy rains a bit hard. The are all drooping and not presenting their best face upward.
I was surprised to find wild Woods Strawberry in bloom. The grasses here are so thick it was a lucky find.
There was a little bit of bird action. I could hear a Meadowlark over the way singling sadly. Lincoln Sparrow were singing their high pitched buzzy song. From the woods I could hear a Ruffed Grouse giving its deep "woomp wooomp woomp" call. I even heard it drum once.
The prize of the day was a young Harrier, I think a female, sitting on a stump watching for prey. She was kind enough to sit still for a zoom in. I think she knew I would not venture off the path to get closer.
In the woods, Bleeding Heart was everywhere.
Trillium was up and blooming. There were even some flowers already changing to the pink and purple of age.
I saw two butterflies this day. Still early with the raw weather. This Mustard White was content to sit in a patch of sun while I captured some photos.
Yet again, a place to visit a week or so from now. I can see a lot of Camas here and there were buds just starting to show through the grass.
Driving home I hit a hail downpour and the layer on my window was quite something. On the freeway we would slow down as we drove through one hail downpour after another. They were not very wide, just local and spotty. While we were having this weather, to the north, on the other side of the Convergence Zone, the freeway was at a standstill as a hail storm battered Everett.
I made the lucky choice to head south today.