September 5, 2016
I don’t enjoy crowds, so instead of hiking in the Columbia River Gorge or going to a waterfall on Sunday (a three-day holiday weekend), I took a drive. Surprisingly I ended up at one of my favorite places, Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge.
It was a lovely quiet day and felt like I had the entire place to myself! The shot at top was looking east and this shot was looking west. Sun on one side and rain on the other!
After watching a bachelor of bucks close to home practice their rutting techniques the previous night, I was hoping to find elk doing the same. Alas, no elk and very few birds revealed themselves to me.
Instead I found a ton of dragonflies! I watched this one eat a bug!!
And a Sulphur finally let me capture it! I can’t tell you how long I’ve chased these beautiful butterflies hoping for a picture!
I did see several sparrows ~ I believe this is a Song Sparrow.
Swallows are still filling the sky and I managed to capture this Violet-green Swallow in flight!
I entertained myself for a moment studying this stand of Quaking Aspen.
From the top to bottom they are a magnificent tree.
Just look at that beautiful bark!
Speaking of magnificence, wildflowers abound on the refuge. I’m not sure, but I think there were two bees sharing pollen in this aster.
Goldenrod lit up some of the roads…..
…interspersed with Bird’s-foot Trefoil.
I thought I heard a Western Meadowlark! He pretended to not notice me as I pretended to not sneak closer to him.
He thought he was invisible and he almost was. My camera had a hard time focusing through the branches so I had to give it a little help. Yes, I can still focus manually!
House Wren made a lot of racket as I chased some nearby butterflies.
Sandhill Cranes are still roaming the refuge, but I only saw 6 all day long and they were in flight.
I think this is a Golden-crowned Sparrow, but it could be a juvenile White-crowned. Help with ID is always appreciated ~ especially for sparrows, the ultimate of Little Brown Birds!
As the afternoon wore on, dark clouds moved closer and a few spots of rain hit my dusty car.
The dragonflies didn’t mind.
Oh look, another Sulphur resting long enough to let me watch him.
As I thought about calling it a day I heard Sandhill Cranes calling from afar…
…and watched a Heron crossing Kreps Lane ~ first time I’ve seen them in this area!
With the arrival of colorful foliage, I wish you a Happy September my friends. I’ve had a magical summer and hope to stay at my computer long enough to tell you about it!! One day soon…..I promise….I hope….maybe…..after my next adventure!
By the way, I’m now on Instagram, I hope you’ll follow me there! Just look for Steider Studios!