Sunday, January 8, 2012

Wintering Bald Eagles in the Methow Valley

On Saturday, Jan 7th Libby and I led a field trip observing and discussing wintering bald eagles throughout the Methow Valley.  The highlight was the 15 eagles we saw at the confluence of the Methow River and Spring Creek, just in Winthrop.  We had many opportunities to age many juveniles, from 1 year olds with dark feathers and dark eyes, to approximately 4 year olds with mottled bodies, wings and head.  We were able to see Coho salmon, and mallards and common mergansers in the shallows of the river,  all favorite food of the eagles this time of the year. We also headed to the Big Valley area, where road kill deer had been freshly scavenged on by coyotes, eagles, ravens, and magpies.
After lunch at the Rocking Horse Bakery in Winthrop, we ended our day with a night roost survey south of Carlton.  Unfortunately, an individual was target practicing with their shotgun at the roosting location, and their shots flushed the eagles off the roost and they left the area.  Amelia and I had counted at least 15 eagles at the roost location the evening before.  The group had a great time, even with the cold temperatures of the day.  We ended up counting at least 25 eagles in the mid-Valley area.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Winter Fun in the Methow Valley

There is so much to be thankful for living and visiting the Methow Valley in the winter.  The best part is that the scenery and the weather invite us outdoors every day for one activity or another. Here is an account of our outdoor time at the North Cascades Basecamp this winter- and we are only 1 month into the snowy season. Skiing, snow fort-igloo building, sledding, hockey and ice-skating.  Bundle up and get outside!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Solstice Celebration 2011

The shortest day of the year is a wonderful time to welcome in the darkness and look forward to the brighter sunlit days ahead.  A time to celebrate light, stories and music, friends and family, and to dance beneath the stars.  The North Cascades Basecamp hosted a Solstice Celebration as part of our Thursday Soup and Presentation Series.   Around the bonfire, Celeste and Kip Roberts led us in a percussion circle, a snow dance (which worked!) with chanting and song, and burning cedar and sage to welcome in the New Year.