Walk to Totem Park

This entry is part 126 of 133 in the series 2011 Photojournal

Around noon (shortly after the 12.38 high tide) I went for a walk down along Lincoln Street and through the park. I was thinking with the high tide there might be some birds fairly close to land, but it was much quieter than I hoped. I did see some Harlequin Ducks and gulls by the park. Black Turnstones on the beach, and Red-breasted and Common Mergansers off-shore and in the river, respectively.

Weather was quite gray this morning, though it was starting to get brighter by the time I left. While out walking, the clouds broke up and I saw a brief bit of sun and blue sky between the rain and hail squalls.

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Return to the 40s

Today was rather spring-like in many respects. Although snow may have falling as forecast in other parts of the area, very little snow fell in town. There was just enough wet snow to stick to the previously wind-polished ice and subsequently refreeze, leaving things much less slippery than before (a fact that was somewhat disappointing to me, as I had been thinking I would spend a little time skating/sliding down the ice hill with Connor and Rowan). As temperatures rose to over 40 by later this morning, the ice started to soften and melt.

Skies were partly to mostly cloudy through much of the day (with a fair amount of sun), and there was still some wind today, but it seemed to be out of a direction that made it much less noticeable in the areas I was walking around. By later this evening it seemed as though skies were mostly clear, and the ice had hardened up again, though air temperatures were still in the mid to upper 30s.

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Clearing and Cooling

Today ended up being a bit more full than I planned, as it took longer to get stuff ready for my dad’s arrival in town this evening. I was able to walk over to the bridge after class and catch the sunset, which was nice. Temperatures were cooler today, but the forecast is for even colder tonight and tomorrow. Winds were minor on the ground, though I noticed the wind turbine going at a moderate pace, so there was apparently at least some breeze aloft (strangely, I don’t recall noticing it much when I was upon the bridge). I took additional note of the patterns of snow on the trees covering the mountains and hills around town. I plan to write a post about my observations later this week.

On my walk I saw a Red-breasted Merganser in the Channel. Their were lots of them in the bays south of town during the Christmas Bird Count, but for some reason they’ve been mostly absent along the road system this winter. It was also interesting that I noticed the smell of seaweed and whatever else goes into the mix to create the fairly distinct low tide smell. (Interesting because I hadn’t noticed it yesterday when I was trying to pay more attention.) Several gulls seemed to be taking advantage of the low water levels to try and find food along the shoreline. I didn’t have enough time to watch and see if they were finding any success. I imagine at other times of year, they wouldn’t even bother, but from now until the herring run is probably the most difficult time of the year for them food-wise.

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