Wednesday, December 31, 2014

On This Last Day Of 2014 Spencer Jack Did Not Take Me Bird Watching On The Trinity River

This afternoon Spencer Jack and his dad emailed me some photos, one of which, as you can see, has Spencer waving goodbye to 2014.

The subject line in the email was "Bird Nerd".

The text in the email said, "Spencer Jack took me bird watching on this beautiful last day of 2014 in the great PNW.  More specifically, Fir Island and Conway".

Being familiar with the valley in which Spencer Jack is waving, I can tell he is standing west of the Amtrak tracks, which behind Spencer head to Canada, and in front of him lead to Seattle. My old hometown, and Spencer Jack's current hometown, Mount Vernon, is behind Spencer Jack, surrounding that raised area known as a mountain, Little Mountain, to be specific.

The birds being referred to are Trumpeter Swans and Bald Eagles. Trumpeter Swans migrate south from Canada every year to spend some vacation time in the Skagit Valley. It can be quite a spectacle when a flock of Trumpeter Swans decides to take flight. Noisy and you want to be wearing head protection if you are under the flight path.

Above you are looking at a grounded flock of Trumpeter Swans, with the Mount Baker volcano hovering over the birds. When I lived in Mount Vernon I could look out my kitchen window and see Mount Baker. I look out the kitchen window at my current location and I do not see a volcano. I see absolutely nothing.

That is a Bald Eagle in the tree high above Spencer Jack. Below is a closeup look at the Bald Eagle perched to swoop down on Spencer Jack.

In the tall fir trees behind my house in Mount Vernon a big Bald Eagle made a really big nest. It was sort of unsettling to be outside peacefully swaying on my hammock to look up to see the Big Bird coming home. This Big Bird only made his home at this location for a few years. I suppose the salmon supply ran out in the creek which flowed behind my house, and so the Big Bird moved on to better fishing grounds, like upstream on the Skagit River, perhaps, where a big flock of Bald Eagles spends a lot of time every year feasting on returning salmon.

As I previously indicated the text in the email which contained these pictures said that Spencer Jack had taken his dad bird watching to Conway and Fir Island on this last day of 2014. Below you are looking at the bridge which crosses the Skagit River from Conway to Fir Island. Below the below picture we will talk about the Fort Worth connection to the below bridge.

As you can see, the above bridge is built over water.

The Skagit River.

What you can not see is that at this location the river is subject to tidal changes, what with being so close to the mouth of the river and Skagit Bay, which is a bay on Puget Sound.

This bridge over the Skagit River was built over water in far less than four years. As you can see, the bridge has to cross a rather wide river at this point.

I remember the bridge the above bridge replaced. It was a sort of old-fashioned bridge from a much earlier era of bridge building. I can not remember if the original bridge was a one-way one where you waited your turn to cross.

As previously mentioned, this bridge crosses the Skagit River to Fir Island.

Fir Island is a real island, not an imaginary island like Fort Worth's embarrassingly pretentious Panther Island, which may one day be an island, if one really stretches, to the near breaking point, the concept of that which an island makes.

To make Fort Worth's imaginary island the Three Bridges Over Nothing, currently supposedly under construction, have to be finished.

Fort Worth's Three Bridges Over Nothing are extremely complex feats of bridge engineering requiring four years to build. If the bridges are ever finished being built then the ditch can be dug under them, water added, and the imaginary island can be proclaimed pseudo real, likely with a massive celebration of explosives to mark the occasion.

For the final picture from today's collection it would appear that Spencer Jack and his dad are channeling Fort Worth's Brian Luenser's School of Photographic Exaggeration, with this closeup look at a flock of Trumpeter Swans and Mount Baker looming way too close above them...

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