Archive for loons

hiking the Dungeness spit

Posted in Mountains, pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 16, 2015 by xi'an

sandspitsandspit2We had a great hike while staying on the Olympic peninsula, walking a sand spit housing the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, located at the end of the Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The sand spit goes into sea for five and a half miles, enlighthusding up at a decommissioned lighthouse that has been preserved by a local association, with voluntary keepers staying there one week at a time. Which is a great way to spend a retreat far from the maddening crowd… Except for the few hikers managing the walk to the lighthouse, of course!

The walk is quite easy, on packed sand, provided there is no high tide at the time, and few enough people embark on the eleven miles trip to make it quiet and peaceful. It is a wee bit monotonous, obviously, even though watching for birds and flotsam and jetsam enlivens the trip. Nothing extreme, obviously, but great views on the Olympic National Park peaks. With a cooling wind that hid the strength of the sun. As we discovered too late!

While there are many potential species of birds taking refuge on that preserved spit, we did not see many. Besides the obvious gulls and relatives, a heron, two types of sandpipers, and a loon-like bird at sea. Plus a few seals fishing at sea, clearly not bothered by the potential orcas around the spit. That we sadly did not see.


Maine-ly relaxing

Posted in Kids, Travel with tags , , on August 11, 2009 by xi'an

sunrise1Starting the day by kayaking on a Maine lake, next to quiet loons diving for food, and by a long run on a forest road certainly makes a great beginning for a vacation day! If you add reading through the whole Sunday New York Times on the porch while drinking chai tea and taking an invigorating swim in the lake before dinner, it is difficult to beat. The weather is absolutely perfect, with a small breeze to keep mosquitoes away and a moderate temperature cooling down at night… This morning, we even kayaked with my daughter across the lake to get fresh muffins (and the daily New York Times) from the local convenience store, making the twenty minute crossing worth every stroke.