Monday, July 20, 2015

A Summer Morning Walk - Bunnies, Birds and Blackberries for Breakfast

Instead of sleeping late on weekend mornings, my border collie, Hank and I like to get up when the sun rises and go for a walk at one of our favorite places in the Snoqualmie River Valley.  I like to go early because I enjoy the solitude and it is a good time to look for birds and take photos.

Hank my border collie on the trail through the meadow

A trail leads through a wild meadow with lots bunnies for Hank to chase and great scents to smell.  No need to worry about the bunnies - Hank has never caught one - there are many thickets they can easily escape into.

Morning Mist over a Snoqualmie Valley Meadow
As we arrive the sun is just rising and a mist lies low over the meadow.

Hank the Border Collie in the Tall Grass
Hank enjoys the scents in the maze of trails left by the elk and deer who graze in the meadow at night.  Sometimes he leaps over the vegetation, but mostly I keep him in sight by his white tail waving through the tall grass.

A misty spider web

While my dog enjoys using his nose, I enjoy the sights of the meadow like this spider web revealed by morning mist captured on the silk strands.

Wild Blackberries

I also enjoy grazing on the wild blackberries that grow along the trail on the edge of the meadow.

Ripe Blackberries
Handfuls of the sweet, juicy fruit make their way into my mouth.

Elk Poop

Hank also finds breakfast along the trail.  Elk poop is one of his favorites!  (I know - Yuk!)  I tell him to leave it if I see him stop for a nibble, but usually my reaction time isn't fast enough to stop him before he gets a morsel or two.

Cedar Waxwing
Early morning is a great time of day to look for birds and the Snoqualmie Valley is a great birding spot with the possibility of seeing numerous species, including this cedar waxwing that briefly posed for a photo.

I might be able to see more birds and get better photos if Hank didn't make it so challenging.

American Robin
As we meander into a large area where the grass and weeds are mowed I snapped this fuzzy photo of the main object of Hank's obsession - robins.

Hank the border collie stalking a robin
He crouches and stalks them and when he decides he is close enough, he takes off in a blur.

A blurry photo of a border collie on the run
As is pretty typical with border collies, Hank has assigned himself a job.  In his mind all of the robins (and there are many) must be chased out of the area.  Of course he'll chase other birds as well. So while I'm trying to see and photograph birds, Hank chases them.

Northern Flicker
He chased this Northern Flicker and it flew up into a nearby tree where I managed to take yet another blurry photo to add to my collection.

Great Blue Heron
Hank likes to chase herons, too, but I did manage to see and photograph this one sitting on a snag before he spotted it. (blurry again)  After Hank cleared the area of birds, we made our way home, but we'll be back again soon - probably next weekend!

Since I continue to try to watch birds while taking walks with Hank, perhaps this is what I need...