Monday, January 18, 2016

Baikie Island, off-season

There is a sign near the entry to Baikie Island. A small rectangle, bashed, stained, and bent, on the street sign post. The street appears to be a lane through a construction company's storage area; gravelled, pot-holed, curving between stacks of pallets, old machinery, huge rusting tanks. I'd been down there before, searching for a way to the river bank, and gave up, feeling as if I were intruding. But I persisted this time, and at the end there's a parking spot, and two big parks' board signs.

It was raining when I parked, but not too heavily. I grabbed my pocket camera and headed down the main trail, hiding the camera under my jacket to keep the rain off.

"The Mill Pond Now". Not quite. The Mill Pond as it is in the summer. On the back side of the sign is the mill pond, before the restoration. Not pretty.

A bridge leading onto the island provides a view of the pond. On the far side, mallards slept in the rain; out in the water, buffleheads, coots, and goldeneyes were diving. Chickadees and other small birds poked around in the wet grasses.

The island still has a few signs of its industrial past; bits of metal and plastic embedded in the soil, a roll of rubber sheeting, a log ramp of sorts at the outer edge. And many old, greasy, mangled, and blackened snags and stumps, left as is, standing out against the wet greenery.

Tortured wood

There were several stumps inverted and jammed into the ground like this, with the roots upward and grass growing on top. I'm having trouble imagining why.

At the far end, there's a small beach. A mere stone's throw away, on the other side of the channel, there's the exiled machinery, piled high on the shore.

A large, rusty ramp, big enough for loaded logging trucks. And on the tip, a belted kingfisher. Treetop or ramp; whatever gives a good view of the fish in the water is ok with her.

Female belted kingfisher. The male doesn't have the rusty belt.

Callling, calling. She kept this up as long as I was in hearing distance.

Her rattle fitted right in with the industrial setting; she sounded like metal cables grating on their pulleys as they unwind. (Listen: Cornell All About Birds)

View from the tip. With raindrops on the water.

I was wet and cold, and worried about the rain on the camera. I hurried back to the car, but I'll be back, when the sun shines.



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