Thursday, April 01, 2010

Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge

Yesterday we spent the afternoon at the RWR, which has a section where you can drive a big loop around the ponds and sloughs, and watch the birds and wildlife from your car. If this sounds lazy, it isn't, because the cars act as blinds, and the animals tend to ignore them. It's less invasive than having people tromping around their protected areas. There are some areas along the loop where you can park and go hiking off into a different section, but it's not open until May, and another place where you can park and go use a permanent blind to look out over the marsh.

When we headed out it was blue skies and puffy clouds after a cloudy morning, so I was hoping we'd have good light for taking some pictures. Then when we got there I could see these rain storms coming from the west. I would have been more disappointed if they weren't so darned impressive!

The approaching storm made for some spectacular skies!

One of the first things we saw in the refuge was the Amtrak from Seattle blasting by on it's way to Vancouver.

Then we continued on to more peaceful waters where we saw, uh..some kind of duck.

And a, ummm, river otter? Maybe?

I think he's part terrier!

Why did the Heron cross the road?

To go hunting on the other side.

For a HUGE grey bird, he certainly blends in well.

I need a duck identification book!

Another heron, sneaking around in the reeds.

This is one of my favorite shots from the trip - red winged blackbird on cattails.

So the trip was over and we headed up the road only to find it blocked by a broken down semi that was hauling railroad ties from the train tracks. Fully loaded and heavy, it wasn't going anywhere, and since there is only one road in and out of this section of the refuge, the ranger told us to go enjoy another loop around.

More pretty ducks,

..gorgeous skies..

Spotted another heron waiting on the bank of a pond

I think this is a goldfinch. My second favorite picture of the day. Cute little guy.

And a gnarly old tree in the afternoon light against a stormy sky - beautiful!


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!!! These photos are absolutely fantastic!!!

Seriously!!! W.O.W!

That last one of the tree? WOW!

The Goldfinch is my favorite. The composition is amazing!!!!

The Redwing Black bird(?) is great, too!

And those menacing cloudy, gorgeous skies?? Spectacular!

If I were you I'd enter these into some kind of photography contest. They are just THAT good!

Oh and I think that 'river otter/ creature is a muskrat?

Well done!


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Oh! And I had to go back and look at them again. wow!

I forgot to say that the Amtrak photo looked like a toy in that picture. lol!
Very cool!


StefRobrts said...

Oh, you flatter me :) I wish I could make a living taking pictures, I enjoy it so much. I should look for some contests to enter, that would be fun. I was thinking of making prints and setting up a booth at the farmers market and see if I could sell some, just for a lark. My dream lifestyle would be to travel around the country in our Airstream taking pictures!

annaliese said...

These are VERY beautiful pics, Steph! So peaceful. I have been terribly delinquent in my blog reading and have so been enjoying catching up on yours! thanks for posting :)