This month in outdoorsies | 12.2015

Well, it’s been a while.

When I’m not tromping through the woods, I’m styling mannequins and store displays as a visual merchandiser. As you can imagine, the holidays are quite a busy time in the retail business, and unfortunately that means being pulled away from tromping through any kind of outdoor environment. I go to work and leave work in the dark, and am lucky to stay awake for even a few hours in my off time. Now that Christmas is over and the decorations are down I finally have my evenings and weekends back to get out of the fluorescent lighting and into the fresh air!

Admittedly, I did manage to get a few moments of outdoorsy-ness into my life this past month, but no time to sit down and log any of it. So I’ll just share the highlights.

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Frosts and floods. Bare branches and berries. Watching the wintertime habits of our local crows.

In the last month I managed to visit Cougar Mountain (Issaquah, WA), Lake Sammamish State Park (Issaquah, WA), Martha Lake (Lynnwood, WA) and my neighborhood trails (Bothell, WA). My neighborhood was especially interesting this past month because due to torrential rains we had some fantastic flooding in our nearby wetlands. This forced some animals out of their usual hiding places, and changed the landscape in fascinating ways. Areas that had been mudflats in the summer and fall were now 6-10 feet underwater, and the usefulness of a nearby levee became apparent when the pond next to it flooded to the brim. Creeks became raging rivers; ponds became lakes. And then, in a week, the waters drained and the land became a tidy swamp once again.

Species spotted this month: Canada Goose, American Wigeon, Mallard (and several interesting domestic hybrids), Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Bufflehead, Common Merganser, Ruddy Duck, Pied-billed Grebe, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Bald Eagle, Red-Tailed Hawk, American Coot, Killdeer, Ring-billed Gull, Rock Pigeon, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy woodpecker, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Golden-crowned Kinglet, American Robin, Spotted Towhee, Song Sparrow, Golden-crowned Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Red-winged Blackbird, House Finch, Pine Siskin. Saw plenty of evidence of muskrats, weasels and coyotes, but they were more elusive than the birds.

New year’s resolutions include not letting so much time slip by between trips outdoors, and crossing a few more locations off my list.

 

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