Great Blue Heron

Great blue heron at Green Lake

Great blue heron at Green Lake

 

 

 

 

Fuchsia

Fuchsia

Trumpet flowers

Trumpet flowers

Leaf

Leaf

Calla lilies

Calla lilies

Trees

Trees

Great blue heron

Great blue heron

Face

Face

Crow

Crow

Hands

Hands

The end

The end

It was a rush to the finish, but I did complete this project by the end of the year as I had hoped.  Time for new projects in 2017.

 

Happy New Year!

Seagull

Seagull

Great blue heron

Great blue heron

Duck

Duck

Canada goose

Canada goose

Great blue heron

Great blue heron

Great blue heron

Great blue heron

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January morning at Green Lake

January morning at Green Lake

“How glorious the perfect stillness and peace of the winter landscape.”
—  Henry David Thoreau, from Winter:  The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 8, December 31, 1854

Path through the frosty grass, Green Lake

Path through the frosty grass, Green Lake

“We must go out and re-ally ourselves to Nature every day.  We must make root, send out some little fibre at least, even every winter day. . . . Staying in the house breeds a sort of insanity always.”
—  Henry David Thoreau, from Winter:  The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 8, December 29, 1856

I took Thoreau’s advice and walked around Green Lake on this frosty January morning.  It was crisp and clear.  I saw three great blue herons, a bald eagle perched in a tree, honking Canada geese, foraging ducks, and other Seattleites out to enjoy the fresh air.

Joggers at Green Lake

Joggers at Green Lake

Fishing from the dock, bundled up, enjoying the natural world

Fishing from the dock, bundled up, enjoying the natural world

One of three great blue herons (notice the frosty back feathers)

One of three great blue herons (notice the frosty back feathers)

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A trail through the Union Bay Natural Area

The wet prairie of the Union Bay Natural Area is studded with Queen Anne’s lace.

The Union Bay Natural Area is a calming oasis in the heart of urban Seattle.  It’s adjacent to the Center for Urban Horticulture and the Elisabeth C. Miller Library.  The looped trail takes you past a wet prairie studded with Queen Anne’s lace and cornflower-blue chicory.  There’s a pond, the shoreline of Lake Washington, lily pads and cattails.

Meadow with Queen Anne’s lace

Looks like a trap for insects!

A fork in the trail

Looking up — a lacy silhouette

Cornflower-blue chicory lining the trail

A place for a peaceful ramble

Great blue heron on the pond

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“For the animal shall not be measured by man. . . . In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear.  They are not brethren, they are not underlings, they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the spendour and travail of the earth.”
— Henry Beston, The Outermost House

I read this quote in a wonderful book about animal encounters, Wild Delicate Seconds: 29 Wildlife Encounters  Black Bears to Bumble Bees by Charles Finn.

Cover illustration by Claire Emery, Wild Delicate Seconds

These 29 very short essays imitate the brevity of the actual encounters that Finn shares.  His written descriptions are so vivid and alive and attentive, that they made me wonder which paints a better picture of the experience — words or photographs?

Bees on allium

Bee’s eye view of allium

For example, here is what Finn says about bumble bees:  “I sit watching the bees, their inner-tube bodies overinflated, their legs like kinked eyelashes hanging down.  The white-noise of their wings soothe me . . .”

Turtles sunning on a log amidst the lily pads at Green Lake

Or listen to this description of turtles:  “They are toy tanks, frowning Buddhas on the boomed ends of logs, the original mobile home.”

Great blue heron with turtles, Green Lake

Of the heron, Finn says:  “It looks like a hunched stone, an oval of waiting.”

Great blue heron, Green Lake

And:  “The heron hunts with unswerving patience, its hula hoop eyes highlighter yellow, circular as hope.  Its head is smooth, domed like the cockpit of a jet fighter, its long beak white on top, blue on the bottom, tapered like an immense sewing needle: the heron, nature’s idea of a spear-throwing machine.”

In these instances, I would vote for the power and poetry of the written word.