Double Snake

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Getting a glimpse of a snake, or a root, or anything remotely snake like, from along the edge of the trail always makes one do that quick double take. This time it was in fact a Common Garter snake nestled down in a small patch of snake grass (or horsetail if you prefer) that elicited the snake-double take. Although the Garter snake is one of the most common and widespread reptiles in our area and by no means are we snake-lovers it is always nice to see one slither away as we walk the trails. I wonder if their numbers have decreased with the decline of amphibians as this was reported to be their main food source or they have shifted dietary habits?

My Stump!


As we moved into our campsite for the evening this chubby ground squirrel let it be known loud and clear this was his stump and not to be used for a place to put our camp stove.

And in case we weren’t listening ….this is My Stump!

Have a great weekend.

Swainson’s Song

As we set out for a walk on a rainy Monday morning we decided to just carry a lightweight macro lens on the camera as the birds would be hunkered down as it was raining slowly and steadily.

For most of the walk it was one of those very calm and silent mornings only a walk in the rain can bring. However on the way back down the hill we heard the beautiful song of several Swainson’s Thrushes echoing in the distance. As we walked towards the trailhead the songs became closer and more frequent. Much to out surprise the Swainson’s Thrushes were out from the tall trees and perched singing in branches down low. It was nice to get a glimpse of these reclusive forest dwellers and to get a few photos but most of all hearing  that amazing song.

How do they get it to echo like that?

Calliope Hummingbird: Selasphorus calliope


We have had the opportunity to visit with these small guys up close this summer and they are a joy to have around.

From the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, “This is the smallest bird in the United States, yet this tiny hummingbird breeds in meadows and open forests high in chilly Northwestern mountains, and travels more than 5,000 miles each year to pine-oak forests in Mexico and back again.”

3 inches of spunkiness and color that is hard to forget.

Mighty Mink

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While out at a local lake on our kayaks we were treated to a very unexpected sight…a mink hunting crawfish. This guy/gal was working the shoreline and caught at least two crawfish while we watched from out in the lake on our kayaks. We had no idea mink lived along the shores of this lake and have never seen one before. Another reminder that those little moments sure can make your day.