On Monday we took advantage of the cold but clear weather to make a trip north to the Skagit Valley to see snow geese, trumpet swans, and eagles, all spending the winter in the agricultural valley.
Right off the freeway, on Fir Island at the south end of the valley, we found fields of snow geese.We drove into the reserve on Skagit Bay to see what we could see.
The Olympic Mountains are to the west.
A hawk was working the edges of the bay.
A Great Blue Heron was fishing in a backwater.
Sparrows worked the hedgerows.
A eagle supervised from its high perch.
Mt Baker and the North Cascades provided the views to the east.
The swans, in smaller flocks, were busy eating in the farmer's fields.
The valley is a treasure trove for lovers of barns.
Raptor's nests, this one probably an eagle nest, sit high in trees along the river.
I found this early spring bloomer in a church yard. I have no idea what it is.
The white on the ground is snow geese, not snow.
Eagles and swans everywhere.
Of course we had to stop at one of our favorite nurseries, Christianson's, right out in the middle of the valley.
I love this wonderful old trough.
The water was glazed with ice.
Nursery cat soaking up sun.
Hellebore blossoms under a glass cloche.
Inside the gift shop.
And the greenhouse.
My favorite color combination!
A Bird of Paradise for our birding trip.
There's more to come. We explored the north valley along Padilla Bay, and then drove down Whidbey Island for an overnight at the cabin.