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Posts Tagged ‘wild animal pictures’

This post and some of the subsequent posts will be a little different from most of my posts.  I mentioned in my last post that my wife and I, along with our oldest daughter and her husband, made a trip down the west coast of the US.  Photography is a primary hobby of which also spills over into some of my work.  I would like to share some of the best photos from that trip.

The Mouth of the Mighty Columbia River. This is arguably the most dangerous river entrance in the United States. This view is from North Head Lighthouse.

The Mouth of the Mighty Columbia River. This is arguably the most dangerous river entrance in the United States. This view is from North Head Lighthouse.

 

Cape Disappointment, North Head Lighthouse. The "youngest" of the two lighthouses. Only 118 years old. Warned ships coming from the north of the dangerous Columbia River mouth and shoals.

Cape Disappointment, North Head Lighthouse. The “youngest” of the two lighthouses. Only 118 years old. Warned ships coming from the north of the dangerous Columbia River mouth and shoals.

 

This tenacious tree has laid claim to what little soil exists on it's personal island apart.

This tenacious tree has laid claim to what little soil exists on it’s personal island apart.

 

Raven harassing a Golden Eagle.

Raven harassing a Golden Eagle.

 

That Golden Eagle has a 7 - 8 foot wingspan.

That Golden Eagle has a 7 – 8 foot wingspan.

 

Coast Guard Severe Weather Training Station at Cape Disappointment. Hundreds of shipwrecks with over 700 lives lost in the waters off Cape Disappointment. Hundreds saved though due to the efforts of the Coast Guard teams here and from Astoria.

Coast Guard Severe Weather Training Station at Cape Disappointment. Hundreds of shipwrecks with over 700 lives lost in the waters off Cape Disappointment. Hundreds saved though due to the efforts of the Coast Guard teams here and from Astoria.

 

Ilwaco, Washington viewed from Cape Disappointment.

Ilwaco, Washington viewed from Cape Disappointment.

 

Plants I pay good money to plant in my garden grow like weeds in the Pacific Northwest. Beautiful shoulder side bed of Foxglove.

Plants I pay good money to plant in my garden grow like weeds in the Pacific Northwest. Beautiful shoulder side bed of Foxglove.

 

Astoria and the Astoria Megler Bridge, the final crossing of the Columbia River before the Pacific Ocean.

Astoria and the Astoria Megler Bridge, the final crossing of the Columbia River before the Pacific Ocean.

 

Astoria Column on the brow of the highest hill in Astoria.

Astoria Column on the brow of the highest hill in Astoria.

 

A wider view from the Astoria Column out the mouth of the Columbia River. Cape Disappointment, Washington in the far distance.

A wider view from the Astoria Column out the mouth of the Columbia River. Cape Disappointment, Washington in the far distance.

 

Necanicum River with Quatat Park on the right in Seaside, Oregon.

Necanicum River with Quatat Park on the right in Seaside, Oregon.

 

Statue of Lewis and Clark overlooking the beach at Seaside, Oregon at "The Turnaround". Marks the spot, theoretically, where the Corps of Discovery viewed the Pacific and then turned around and headed back to report to Thomas Jefferson.

Statue of Lewis and Clark overlooking the beach at Seaside, Oregon at “The Turnaround”. Marks the spot, theoretically, where the Corps of Discovery viewed the Pacific and then turned around and headed back to report to Thomas Jefferson.

 

The beach at Seaside, Oregon. Wide and sandy at low tide on this relatively peaceful Friday night. Showers came through earlier and other than occasional fog, we enjoyed good weather the rest of the trip.

The beach at Seaside, Oregon. Wide and sandy at low tide on this relatively peaceful Friday night. Showers came through earlier and other than occasional fog, we enjoyed good weather the rest of the trip.

 

Sunset approaches. View from Sunset Boulevard in Seaside, Oregon.

Sunset approaches. View from Sunset Boulevard in Seaside, Oregon.

 

Final shot on Day One from the Water's edge in Seaside, Oregon.

Final shot on Day One from the Water’s edge in Seaside, Oregon.

I hope you enjoyed these pictures.  We were just getting started and we had already seen some really beautiful sights.  The Golden Eagle at Cape Disappointment was the highlight of the day for me, but there were even better sites and inspirational moments ahead.  Check back in a day to two to see pics from Day Two.

Until then, May the Lord Bless you with the fullness and richness of His love.

 

 

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IMG_5222One of the thrills of my Mount Rainier trip was all the wildlife that I got to see and capture in my pics.  I shared a few stories already on Facebook, but now I have the pics that go with those stories.

I had never seen a Marmot before, but my experience this weekend would lead me to believe they are pretty common.  I think I saw six different ones and got pictures of several.  The most intriguing thing was that for two of them, I slipped up on them unaware and I got pictures of them gazing out over the beautiful view from their mountain top perches.  The first was on Saturday morning shown below.

Coming down the mountain I happened upon this Marmot taking in the scenery.  I happened upon a similar scene in Sunrise the next day.

Coming down the mountain I happened upon this Marmot taking in the scenery. I happened upon a similar scene in Sunrise the next day.

Even the Marmots appreciate the wonder of God's creation.  This fellow was on a rock outcropping on the side of Pinnacle Peak gazing out toward Mount Rainier.

Even the Marmots appreciate the wonder of God’s creation. This fellow was on a rock outcropping on the side of Pinnacle Peak gazing out toward Mount Rainier.

 

As I moved down the trail this fellow slipped down into the brush on the side of the mountain and began picking fruit off the plants.

One of several Marmots I got pictures of while hiking.  Early mornings are the best time to view the wildlife.

One of several Marmots I got pictures of while hiking. Early mornings are the best time to view the wildlife.

After taking this picture I looked around to see if I could identify what he was eating.  I saw what appeared to be blueberries and in my enthusiasm I quickly picked one and popped it in my mouth.  As it entered my mouth I realized I really didn’t know what it was I was about to ingest, so I quickly spit it out.  Visions of me writhing in the middle of a mountain trail because I had eaten a poisonous berry freaked me out just a little.

As I headed down the mountain I got into the forest and I came upon a couple stopped by the trail eating something.  The woman about my age asked me if I had eaten my share of blueberries.  THEY WERE BLUEBERRIES!

A juicy, sweet mid-morning snack along the trail.

A juicy, sweet mid-morning snack along the trail.

It was an absolute delight finding the blueberries ripe and within reach all along the lower part of the trail.

It was an absolute delight finding the blueberries ripe and within reach all along the lower part of the trail.

Finding the blueberries almost put me into sensory overload.  All five of my physical senses had been saturated.

The sights were phenomenal as I have tried to capture with these pictures.

The smell of the forest of fir and spruce brought on nostalgic thoughts of Christmas.

From the howling of the coyotes to the crunch of rocks underfoot to the bird song all along the trail my ears were filled with the sounds of nature.  What was missing was the man-made noise of cars and machines that so often fill our lives.  The deep stretches of quiet were also a welcome respite to my sense of hearing which had become numb from the ever-present sounds of civilization.

The chill morning air that caused my hands to seek my pockets or rub together was the first of many times my sense of touch was stirred.  Sitting on the mountain top a gentle breeze caressed my sweating brow.  As the day wore on and the miles hiked mounted, even the sore muscles reminded me I was doing something special.

So the blueberries were just icing on the cake.  The term ‘bursting with flavor’ literally came true as I snagged a second and then a third handful of plump berries and popped them in my mouth.

 

 

While I saw other marmots and lots of chipmunks through the day on Saturday, nothing prepared me for the 30 minute window early Sunday morning.  I took the trail from Sunrise up to the Sourdough Ridge and Wonderland Trail.  I started a little before 6 am.

The visitor center and parking lot at Sunrise on the northeast side of Mount Rainier.

The visitor center and parking lot at Sunrise on the northeast side of Mount Rainier.

I had my eyes peeled looking for wildlife.  I had come upon a nice herd of elk in the dark as I was driving up the mountain so I was already primed.  I scanned the beautiful valleys on either side of the trail as I headed toward Burroughs Mountain.

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I kept expecting to see a herd of elk or deer stroll across one of the meadows below me.

I kept expecting to see a herd of elk or deer stroll across one of the meadows below me.

I did not see them, but at about the same time of the morning that coyotes were howling on the trail in front of me on Saturday, one or two raised a cry somewhere down close to the lake in this picture.  I waited for a few minutes to see if they might break into the open, but they never did.

Coyotes began howling down around that lake a mile or so away.

Coyotes began howling down around that lake a mile or so away.

After this I was on high alert.  My head was on a swivel looking for wildlife.  In fact I switched to my “big” lens to reach out and capture close up pics if possible.  Shortly after the coyotes howled, as I approached the end of the Sourdough trail I saw movement ahead that appeared to be about the size of a dog.  I snapped pics thinking that a coyote had crossed in front of me but the exposure was all wrong as the fleeting shape was lost in the shadow while my camera adjusted exposure to the light beyond.

Balancing rock above the trail.  I saw movement sink across the trail ahead of me just after taking this pic.

Balancing rock above the trail. I saw movement slink across the trail ahead of me just after taking this pic.

I cautiously moved through the area where the “coyote” had slipped across the trail.  I thought that I should be able to see him since the area opened up into the wide open, tundra-like topography of Burroughs Mountain.

Oddly enough I bumped into the Manager of the plant where I am working out on the trail just a few minutes after this.

My friend trail running early in the morning at Sunrise.

My friend trail running early in the morning at Sunrise.

We chatted a bit and then I turned to point back where I had just come from and the direction he was heading to tell him to keep his eyes open for a coyote.  And this is what we saw.

We at first thought this was a coyote that for some reason was following me.

We at first thought this was a coyote that for some reason was following me.

We walked toward him to make him decide whether he wanted to take on both of us.  Instead he decided since we weren’t going to get out of his way on the trail, he would just go around us.

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I believe he had caught a chipmunk just before I noticed him.  I had come upon him quick enough that he slipped into cover in the few trees there so I passed by.  But he had a home down the trail and we were simply in his way.  I was surprised at his total lack of fear of us.

With the big lens on I continued up the path.  I stopped at one point a few minutes later to change lenses to my smaller lens to take landscapes, but I felt a prompting to leave on the big lens.

Now let me interject briefly.  I do not think I am special above anyone else.  I am just a guy who loves the Lord and in my imperfect way, I try to follow and obey Him as best I can.  However I do believe that God loves His children and enjoys our taking delight in Him and His creation.  I personally believe God loves to hear His children laugh.  So when I, in joyful exuberance, asked the Lord for some good pics of wildlife, I had faith I would get those shots.  Now that was about 5 minutes before the encounter with the fox.  So when I got the nudge to leave on the big lens, I did.  As I tightened the big lens on my camera I looked up at the ridge overhead and this is what I saw.

Mountain goats above me on Burroughs Mountain #1.

Mountain goats above me on Burroughs Mountain #1.

At this point I am thanking the Father for the simple and fun blessings He has given me.  But He was not through yet.  About 5 minutes later I looked down the slope and there is a family of mountain goats.

Family of Mountain Goats on the side of Burroughs 1

Family of Mountain Goats on the side of Burroughs 1

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At this point I was just plain thrilled.  I remember telling the Lord, I was satisfied, that He had provided more than I had hoped for.  But the surprises weren’t through quite yet.  As I finally neared the top of Burroughs 1 I happened to look up.  And there on an outcropping overlooking the broad valley below was a Marmot enjoying the view.

My first thought was, I guess humans aren’t the only ones who can appreciate a beautiful view.

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Here is the view he was gazing at.

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It was funny to me.  The Marmot reminded me of Mr Beaver in the CS Lewis book, “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”.  In the land of Narnia the animals talk.  As the shutter on my camera snapped, the Marmot turned to look at me as if to say, “Why are you disturbing my morning meditation?”  To which I apologized and quietly moved on.

Psalm 104 perfectly fit this day.

Verse 1 “Praise the LORD, my soul.

LORD my God, you are very great;

you are clothed with splendor and majesty.”

Verse 18 says “The high mountains belong to the wild goats;

the crags are a refuge for the hyrax.”

Verse 24 “How many are your works, LORD!

In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.”

The final verses sum it up.

27 All creatures look to you

to give them their food at the proper time.
28 When you give it to them,
they gather it up;
when you open your hand,
they are satisfied with good things.
29 When you hide your face,
they are terrified;
when you take away their breath,
they die and return to the dust.
30 When you send your Spirit,
they are created,
and you renew the face of the ground.
31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
may the Lord rejoice in his works—
32 He who looks at the earth, and it trembles,
who touches the mountains, and they smoke.
33 I will sing to the Lord all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him,
as I rejoice in the Lord.
35 But may sinners vanish from the earth
and the wicked be no more.
Praise the Lord, my soul.
Praise the Lord.
If you like the pics stay tuned for at least one more installment of Mount Rainer pics.  Sunrise over Sunrise was absolutely magnificent.  Pictures can’t fully capture it, but they do a pretty good job.  Until next time, look to the LORD and enjoy His gracious mercy and love.

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