Outdoors on the Mountain
As I close the cabin door I am refreshed and hopeful. This morning actually feels and smells like an early spring day. It has rained so much here on the mountain that I have almost had enough. I love the rain … the cleansing effect it has on the Natural World, and its power to make things grow. The taste of cold water dripping from the rocks on a hot day is always one of satisfaction, equaled only by a very cold beer that has spent a few hours in this same cold water. I will save this thought for later.
This rain cleanses the land, and makes its way down the mountain, to the rivers, and eventually to the ocean. I never question the ways of Nature. They always seem to have a purpose that I am not capable of fully understanding.
On the trail with the dog “on point”, I work hard to keep up with him. He will stay on point until we get close to the marsh. He is my early warning system for Black bears and Cougar. The weather is getting warmer and the bears are either out of their dens or seriously thinking about it. He serves me well for this purpose. It makes him an important part of our team and he already has had a half dozen encounters with these two mountain characters. His ability to detect them with his nose, long before I do and his attitude towards them helps me diminish the severity of our encounters.
I am making my way down to “the crescent marsh” again. This is the same marsh that only weeks ago was veiled in a blinding snowstorm. I have given it this name because of its shape. It forms an almost perfect crescent. I have seen and heard the Tundra Swans here, and there will also be many other water birds. The Red-Winged Blackbird and other species will all be nesting in this large, crescent-shaped marsh. The area is very secluded and many hours of walking from the nearest FSR. I am hoping to set up blinds along its perimeter to photograph its many inhabitants.
I hear the dog ahead, sniffing his way along the trail. I call him back as we are nearing the marsh. Now at the forest’s edge, I can see most of the water’s surface. As I move more towards the East, I will be able to see all of it. The marsh and all its flora are surrounded by the boreal forest, however, there is a 25-meter section of open land that I cannot cross without exposing myself to these birds.
I have to build a few blinds to reduce this distance. I see the Tundra Swans at the far end and there are also Wood Ducks and Ring-necked ducks here as well. Through my binoculars, I can easily identify over a dozen species. I know there are more. What a find this has been. All that remains now is to shorten the distance between them and my camera lens.
I will stay to observe them for most of the day and evening. Where is the best place to build these blinds? Pulling out my spotting scope, I search for a comfortable area to sit and observe where they are building their nests and where they are feeding.
The dog is laying down not far away and he is fast asleep. He has quickly found out how to make good use of these breaks in the action. After all, he has to work the night shift and all other periods when I have to get my rest. It is very comforting to have him here with me. Perhaps later on in the afternoon, I can catch a few winks as well. The time spent here scouting will not be wasted.
Now to get comfortable and enjoy the sights and sounds of Nature. I must say, that the warm sun shining down on me doesn’t feel all that bad either.
An excellent time to bring out the stove and make a hot chocolate drink!
If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions about building blinds or any other means or methods of capturing birds with photography, please do not hesitate to contact me. I thank you for reading my blog and look forward to your comments.