Friday, October 22, 2010

Snared by work

I didn't intend to take the time away from my blog.  It's just been a difficult few days.  You know, when you retire  you figure it's all going to be easy.  No more alarm clock wakings followed by heading out on dark winter mornings.  No, instead, I'll hook rugs all day, I'll knit and read my mountain of books into the night.  Well, it started that way but I thought it was a bit dull.  So, I began volunteering which I love.  But just lately there's been a hiccup and life is a wee bit frazzled.

But, on Tuesday I had a lovely relaxing day.  I can almost remember it.  I went back to look at our photos to make sure.  Pretty sure these are Lesser Yellowlegs sunning themselves on a log.

Yup.  We went to see the snow geese.  There were hundreds of them in this field  by the road.  We live right on their migratory path as the Lesser Snow Geese fly from Wrangel Island (north of Siberia) and spend the fall with us.

Later in the winter they will journey on to the Skagit Valley and join the other half of their nesting flock.  Then in the spring they'll begin the long journey north to nest, stopping off again, briefly, in our farmers' fields.  Apparently, they appreciate potatoes left in the fields.  And winter grasses are planted for them, too.  I think it helps to keep them out of schoolyards and playing fields.

  Even though there are hundreds of them - and they're blindingly white - the flocks can be hard to find.  Or inaccessible without a fancy telephoto lens.  But, this day we were lucky and spotted them wheeling out of the sky.  They do have the most awkward landing style. 

We'd started following some signs for a 'Sharing Farm' which turned out to be a big community garden project.  The photo at the top is from the garden.   Then we went for a walk around the nature preserve across from the field where we found the geese.  As you can see, there is housing all around but behind the houses a sizable piece of the original farm has been left for the birds and field critters.  There are usually hawks and eagles circling overhead or perhaps perched on a fence post-- just waiting.  A wide path circles the preserve and it was such a quiet place to enjoy what was rapidly becoming a very warm day.

More photos of the town part of our day tomorrow.


Ginny said...

What lovely pictures, and you actually caught the geese taking off and flying, no easy task! I also love the second water picture with the reflection and the geese. But wait, the geese eat potatoes, how can they? The ducks here like to soak their bread in the water to soften it first, I can't imagine a goose bill chewing through a potato! How funny, I love this piece of info! Yes, Phil is much busier than ever since retirement! But it's a good thing, isn't it.

Rudee said...

Snared by work, but saved by nature. Your photos, as usual, are beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Mimi said...

I know how you feel!
But now we're off for a week, I'll get time to do a few posts.
Your geese pictures are fabulous, especially the second one. They do have an awkward-looking landing method, but I suppose it works for them.
Have a lovely, (?relaxing?) weekend!

jeannette said...

Love to see birds in migration! In Holland I saw that much more than here in California as you can understand! Hope your days will even out...soon!

Peg said...

Retirement is ever so busy isn't it. Loved the cobwebs in the first photo.

Angie said...

Great lot of photos! What an amazing way to relax.

Anonymous said...

Great photos from a place where the white geese can rest and eat ;-)
Close to my home, at Maribo Lakes, there are lots of geesse, and in the sky I can daily watch birds flying south!
Have a nice weekend

Paws on the Run said...

Wow! I don't think I've ever seen so many shore birds together in one place before. Very cool.

Joanna said...

What great shots of these geese Stephanie. It must have been a treat to be there with so many around you.

Gill - That British Woman said...

I personally don't know how I had the time to work and do everything else.

I am sitting here at 9am still in my pj's and I have been up a couple of hours already!!! Now I must get on!!



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