Martin Luther King Jr. Day was unusually warm and sunny, so we decided to get out into the sun. Hiking is kind of a challenge for our family right now, since Katie is too big for the baby backpack (indeed, the poor thing fell apart at the end of our climb up Mt. Washburn in Yellowstone last summer) but not quite big enough to walk long distances or any kind of elevation.
The trail we chose — Padilla Bay — is flat as a pancake, but Katie still got very tantrum-y. Eventually she gave in and cheered up — there were lots of distance markers for her to “race” towards — but it was rough going before she reached that point. Sigh. Summer hikes will be awful this year, but we have to stick ’em out or she’ll never learn to enjoy hiking.
Anyway . . . Padilla Bay is a birder’s paradise. We saw scads of waterfowl, including blue herons and trumpeter swans. At one point, all the birds on the water flew away, and we wondered what could have startled them. Looking up, we found the answer — a big bald eagle, flying right over our heads.
CUE THE PICTURESQUE BARN!
On the way back, I saw this big flock of some unidentifiable birds swarming out over the water. Their bodies shimmered in the light and it was hypnotically beautiful. I tried taping it a bit (the wind was biting so I couldn’t hold my camera out for long before my hands got too cold).