Friday, February 27, 2009

draw me: where did you go last weekend?

the answer: to vashon island, to get a look at the migrating grebes.

the mister and I are both suffering health-wise. that's fun stuff. it means lots of things, but one of them is this: neither of us can walk very far. this is a super big bummer. we are walkers. we walk every where. we're those people who park at the back of the lot so we can have a longer walk to the store. we have a hairy yellow dog. he needs walking. daily. (he's used to a three mile loop minimum.)

so. in the interest of not losing our minds, we've been taking road trips to new destinations that don't involve taking too many steps, but still feel like we're out in the world. two weekends ago we drove up to snoqualmie falls.

last weekend we went to vashon island to look at the grebes. they are migrating right now, and like to stop at the island for a few months to eat herring and mate.

except for this year. this year at the annual count, the locals spotted 17. a few years ago, they counted over 1,000. boo.
we did, however, bring the bird book. we saw maybe 50 grebes flying overhead as we sat at Jensen Point in the sun (gasp! the sun!), and a few more at Shawnee Beach (which, by the way, would be easier to find if any of the landmarks we were told to look for in our guide book had been there. okay, to the book's credit, the Important Bird Area sign was there, but a minivan was parked in front of it...). We also visited the vashon lighthouse, where we ate a fabulous picnic lunch in the sand and shells.

we also had the good fortune to hang out with a large number of scoters and of course, gulls and crows. they're all good too.

NB. Barnacle bill can be spotted quite often in these parts. Barnacles have been my new fascination for awhile. ever since i learned that they have feathery appendages that they thrust forth from their hard beaks to catch prey in the water. how great is that?

Also. tiny tiny shell guys. What kind of shell guys? Maybe sayra will chime in and let us know. she's a marine biologist, you know. she knows these things (it was she who taught me about Barnacle Bill). These two are having a conversation. Or tea. I'm pretty sure that if they're having tea, the tea is too small to see. so we can't know for sure.

you'll note, too, that i documented the pentapus that lives on the dashboard of our red jetta, Claus. what's with his name? well, dear reader, I'm glad you asked. he (strangely) only has 5 legs. he was found at ikea for the awesome purchasing price of sixty seven either A) they didn't have enough money to make all eight legs, or B) that's just how they are in sweeden. you be the judge. [this documentation took place while waiting for the return ferry. the trouble with ferrys, as you may know, is that they fill up fast, and sometimes you have to wait another hour for the next one. boo.]

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