I went off to count Trumpeter swans, instead. It was raining too hard to see clearly, far too hard to bring good glasses out into the rain. We stayed in the car and rolled down the windows for just long enough to count; even inside the car, our jackets were dripping on the floor by the time we had finished.
It was too wet for ducks. Or maybe the whole area counted as one big pond, and they were spread out all over; we saw very few, and only one eagle. But there were more than 100 swans in one field, so we finished the route happily.
Afterwards, I drove around, tracing roads barely seen on the map, looking at the drenched forests. I saw a sign; "Sensitive Wetland Habitat." And a bit further on, another; "Bear Creek Nature Park." And it was the perfect day for a Nature hike, wasn't it? At least, the pouring rain was "Natural," right? I followed the arrow.
|The road in. Taken through the windshield, between fast swipes of the windshield wipers.|
After a short drive, I came to a parking lot and a trailhead, going down and curving out of sight. Off to the side, the hillside dropped away; I could hear water rushing below. I wrapped the camera in plastic and went to look.
|Happy Bear Creek, full of cold water.|
|Quick shot of the stump above, with a few mushrooms. The raindrops are fat enough to draw straight downward lines against the background.|
My warm, thick, down coat was soaked all the way through after less than 5 minutes; I squelched back into the car and cranked up the heat. The trail can wait for sunnier days.
|Seen on another road; fresh firewood drying in the rain.|
|A sign at the trailhead warned us to watch for black bears. It's too early; they're still sleeping. But a deer is fine, too.|