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Tag Archives: mallards

Mallards are common ducks, seen frequently in many places. The ducks in these photos are hatch year males, males in eclipse plumage or females. I’ll leave it up to you to determine which. The photos are from three different days in roughly the same location.

As so often happens, my kayak allowed me to get fairly close to them (with a long lens in hand) without seeming to disturb them. I should have told them that in a relatively short time, people will be aiming shotguns at them. Not me.

We continued to travel south, staying at another RV park without goatheads this time, north of Socorro. I wanted to see wintering Sandhill Cranes and other birds at Bosque del Apache, a National Wildlife Refuge in the Rio Grande valley. After setting up camp, we headed for the refuge and spent the afternoon in the visitors’ center and driving one of the auto tours. The dogs spent the whole time in the car so as not to disturb the wildlife. The weather was cold and windy, not the best for bird watching and photography but I made the best of it.

Yesterday I went to Wenatchee for a variety of errands and one of them took me to Hydro/Billingsly Park on the Columbia River. It is a place where my mom and her dog Kelly, walked every single day, rain or shine. My mom’s been gone now for more than six years now and her dog, Kelly who went to live with Ken before we all moved up here together, died in February. I needed to spread a few of Kelly’s ashes near the shore where she used to run with great abandon along the edge of the big river. I like to think of her and my mom together again – healthy and enjoying the crisp air of fall.


The park is a combination of manicured lawns and ball fields coupled with a sometimes tangled shoreline of the river.

Lots of beautiful fall colors among the non-native trees.

Why is one branch bright red while others are yellow?

Mom loved seeing the birds and learned many of them during the years she frequented the park. I saw this fairly tame group of Mallards and a Common Loon in winter plumage.

I was pretty obsessed with this leaf.

This photo of it, from my cell phone was my favorite


Leaves, like tears fallen from the trees

I spent some time Sunday near the river hoping to get photos of the hot air balloons. Instead, I mostly watched birds as the balloons floated overhead and down the other side of the valley. To see images of the balloons from Saturday go to my Reflected Light blog

Methow River






At home, this Hairy Woodpecker was oblivious to the balloons landing across the valley.Hairy Woodpecker

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