Monday, April 18, 2011

Enough With The Ocean, Day After Day

Once more continuing to fail to see gray whales. Insert here a rerun of Saturday's First Beach photos. On the other hand, the elk were out on Beaver Prairie; it is surely ridiculous to fuss about the absence of cetaceans when the Olympic Peninsula offers its own charismatic megafauna, just casually, in a field by the highway.

Elk on Beaver Prairie, April 17, 2011 (Click for larger image.)

Sunday was a beautiful spring morning at Rialto Beach, I got my COASST surveys for April done (no dead birds). There's more wrack than there had been for a while, and marine debris on the beach, nets, bits of rope, Asian plastic bottles from the North Pacific garbage patch.

Not much swell, Rialto Beach, April 17, 2011 (Click for larger image.)
James Island from Rialto Jetty, April 17, 2011 (Click for larger image.)
Kelp Ashore, April 17, 2011 (Click for larger image.)

Low Swell, Not Much Surf, Rialto Soundscape for Cee, April 17, 2011

Then I drove around to the La Push side of the river and not-saw gray whales for a couple of hours. Oh. I already mentioned that. It did occur to me that perhaps there just weren't any whales passing by when I happened to be looking— it's not like they could show up one after another all up and down the migration route simultaneously.

PS Saturday's unrecorded bird events included an eagle sitting in the shallows of the Quileute River, just sitting there, the way I used to sit in Tassajara Creek in the afternoons when the temperature would be around 110 degrees and nothing remained of my temper.

Eagle in the Quileute River, Rialto Beach, April 17, 2011 (Click for larger image.)

And there were lovely ducks paddling around in the river. I got a good look at one in the binoculars, a common merganser of such surpassing beauty that I wondered if I had maybe been a female merganser in a previous life to respond to it so clearly.

Sunday afternoon I stopped by the lake and a pair of mallards waddled up attentively: was I eating? would I share? They were both so drop-dead gorgeous, suddenly not just boring old mallards, it occured to me that oh it is spring and the birds are in their breeding colors and no surprise even passing elderly primates respond. Mrs. Mallard flashed her purple iridescent speculum at me repeatedly. I actually don't believe this is projection: she was flirting. I considered giving her the remains of my lunch...

Mrs. Mallard on a Log, Lake Crescent, April 17, 2011 (Click for larger image.)


Being Human said...

Yes, suddenly there is green in the photos from Port Angeles. Spring is wonderful, is it not?

Anonymous said...

Honestly? I'm longing for the ocean.

Anonymous said...

Female-to-female maybe the duck was showing you how to flirt. Ever think of that? There are many kinds of communication between species.

mb said...

But I don't HAVE a purple iridescent anything to flash. Monochrome blue or monochrome black head to toe is me, every day. I'd have a long way to go to reach Mrs. Mallard's understated elegance.