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Birds – Wildflowers - Eclipse

Spring in the Pacific Northwest

Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge

A river with trees and a cloudy sky

We step out of our car, the gravel crunching under our boots. The air is crisp, carrying the scent of pine and damp earth. We’re at the Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge, a sanctuary of nature's beauty nestled on the Columbia River in Washington. The sun is just beginning to peek over the horizon, casting a soft glow on the landscape.

We start down the trail, the dew-kissed grass brushing against my jeans. The world is quiet, save for the distant call of a bird and the rustling of leaves in the gentle breeze. I can feel the cool morning air filling my lungs, the tranquility of the refuge seeping into my bones.

As we walk, I hear a frog croak as it is soaking up the warmth of the rising sun. A smile tugs at the corners of my mouth. There's something incredibly soothing about this simple, unassuming creature, content in its existence.

We continue, the trail winding through open fields and riparian woodlands. I can see the Columbia River in the distance, its waters shimmering under the morning sun. The sight is breathtaking, a testament to the awe-inspiring power of nature.

We reach a marsh, the air thick with the scent of wet earth and vegetation. I can hear the distant croaking of frogs, a symphony of nature's music. I close my eyes, letting the sounds wash over me. It's moments like these that make me truly appreciate the beauty of the natural world.

As we make our way back to the trail, we peer through binoculars, our faces lit up with excitement and enthusiasm of the joy of discovering the many birds.

We spend the rest of the morning exploring the refuge, each step revealing a new facet of nature's beauty. As we finally make our way back to our car, I can't help but feel a sense of peace. The Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge is more than just a sanctuary for wildlife. It's a place where one can truly connect with nature, a reminder of the simple joys that life has to offer.

As we drive away, I carry with me the memories of this morning, a testament to the beauty and tranquility of the refuge. And I know, without a doubt, that we will be back again.

Catherine Creek

As we get out of our car the air is crisp, the scent of spring heavy in the air. We have arrived at Catherine Creek, Washington, a place that transforms into a paradise every spring.

The trail ahead of us is well-trodden, winding its way through the landscape. We start walking, the sound of our footsteps the only noise in the quiet morning. The sun is just beginning to rise in the partly cloudy sky, casting a warm glow over the landscape.

As we walk, I can't help but marvel at the beauty around us. The meadows are a riot of colors, wildflowers blooming in every direction. They sway gently in the breeze, their petals vibrant against the green grass. I can see why locals call this place "Sunflower Hill".

We pass by a small creek, the water gurgling softly. The sound is soothing, a gentle reminder of nature's presence. I pause for a moment, taking in the serene scene. The reflection of the sky in the water is picture-perfect, the blue of the sky mingling with the green of the trees.

We continue our hike, the trail leading us higher. The view from the top is breathtaking. I can see the Columbia River in the distance, its waters sparkling in the sunlight. Across the river, Mount Hood stands tall, its snow-capped peak a stark contrast against the blue sky.

I sit down on a rock, taking a moment to soak in the beauty around me. The peace and tranquility of the place is calming, a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of city life. I can hear the distant chirping of birds, the rustling of leaves, the soft whisper of the wind.

We spend the rest of the day exploring the area, each turn revealing a new sight. We come across a waterfall, the water cascading down in a rush. The sound is deafening, yet oddly soothing. We stand there for a while, mesmerized by the sight.

We stop for lunch in a meadow surrounding us with the bright colors of wildflowers rustling in the wind. We prepare ourselves for the Eclipse.

Partial Solar Eclipse

We sit in a field surrounded by the beauty of Catherine Creek. The air is crisp, the scent of wildflowers heavy in the air. Today is not just any spring day; it's the day of the much-anticipated solar eclipse.

As the time nears 10:33 am, we can feel a sense of anticipation building around us. We have our special eclipse glasses ready, knowing that looking directly at the sun can be harmful.

The moment arrives. We rush to get our camera setup. Slowly, the moon begins to move across the sun, casting a shadow that gradually grows larger. It's a partial eclipse here in Washington, but the sight is no less mesmerizing. The sun, the giver of life, is being obscured by the moon, a celestial body so intimately connected with the night.

The landscape around us seems to hold its breath. The wildflowers sway gently in the breeze, their vibrant colors a stark contrast against the darkening sky. The creek gurgles softly, the sound echoing in the sudden quiet. It feels as if time has slowed down, the world pausing to witness this cosmic dance.

At 11:29 am, the eclipse reaches its maximum. About 20% of the sun is covered by the moon, a sight that sends a thrill down my spine. The usual bright daylight has turned into a strange twilight, the shadows around me lengthening, the temperature dropping slightly.

We sit there, awestruck by the spectacle unfolding in the sky. It's a humbling experience, a reminder of our small place in the vast universe. The usual boundaries between day and night, sun and moon, light and dark, all seem to blur for a few magical moments.

A partial eclipse of the sun

Description automatically generated

Slowly, the moon begins to move away, the sun emerging from behind it. The landscape around us starts to brighten, the wildflowers seeming to glow in the returning light. The spell is broken, but the sense of wonder remains.

By 12:32 pm, the eclipse is over. The sun is once again shining brightly, casting its warm glow over Catherine Creek. But the memory of the eclipse lingers, a reminder of the celestial ballet that took place in the sky.

As we leave Catherine Creek, we carry with us the memory of the eclipse. It's a memory I know I'll cherish, a story I'll tell over and over again. After all, how often does one get to witness the moon dancing with the sun?


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