Monday, December 19, 2011

Autumn Adventures: A Convention of Crows and Fish Tails

Last Friday, Mr. D and I decided to do our last Autumn Adventure of the year at Carkeek Park, in the Broadview neighborhood of Seattle. The park is known for its rocky beach and spectacular views of the Olympic Mountains, and for Piper's Creek, which runs through the park and empties out into Puget Sound. It was a gray, cool day, with no Olympic views, but we still found much to look at and listen to.

We started out by walking on the beach, where we observed some typical Puget Sound waterfowl.

There were some other birds hanging around, too, causing quite a ruckus. I recorded some video, which you can see below. In addition to the bird activity you can see Mr. D, exercising his arms and shoulders, and, if you look closely, you can see a sea lion out in the Sound, just after Mr. D leaves the frame.

The crows were, as you can tell, very loud, but also fascinating. I snapped this photo of some of the them in action:

After listening to and watching all of the crow activity, we headed for the trail that follows Piper's Creek.  The silence was welcome after the commotion down on the beach. It was not completely silent, however. One of the reasons that we wanted to walk in Carkeek Park at this time of year is that a salmon run has been restored in Piper's Creek, and chum salmon spawn in late November and  December. As we walked along the creek, we at first thought that we might be too late to see any spawning salmon. We did see a few dead salmon (salmon die after they spawn), and were about to give up looking for live ones when we stopped at a viewing area along the creek. Here is what we saw and heard:

Isn't that amazing? It certainly showed me that nature's wonders happen even in the cold months of the year.

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