Saturday, March 19, 2016

Leavenworth: Part Two

People who blog regularly must have time machines I've decided. Or that device that Hermione gets in Prisoner of Azkaban that allows her to be in two places at once. Any time that I'm doing anything interesting enough to meet my admittedly low standards for a blog update, I'm too busy doing whatever it is to write about it. And when I do have time, it feels too distant or too dull or I'm just too lazy to want to write. I realize that plenty is written--and written well--not about doing things but about whatever the writer is thinking about. You know, inspirational, thinky blogs. At least I recognize that's a shot I don't have.

But on Monday I declared there would be a second Leavenworth report in which I'd reveal my new life bird and also make use of this photo which I found hysterical at the time:

Doing my stretch in Leavenworth
Get it? Doing my stretch in Leavenworth? Is there anything funnier than prison puns? Surely not. We did a fair bit of walking on the trip--along the Wenatchee River and then supposedly not far from the Columbia (at Wenatchee Confluence Park where high waters prevented us from reaching the part of the park from which, presumably, we'd actually see the Columbia again) and around in endless loops in town. Walking on flat terrain doesn't make me long for a good stretch the way a bike ride or hills might, but I'm not one to miss the opportunity for a good pun--or a nice stretch.

It was at Confluence Park that I saw the bird that is currently being seen here and there in Western Washington where it doesn't really belong at all, at last not this time of year: the Say's Phoebe. But it was new to me in Wenatchee and a pair of them posed nicely for me time and time again so I could get plenty of photos from which to make a positive identification. And it's a pretty little bird too.
Say's Phoebe on a lovely bit of barbed wire fencing
The Wenatchee Confluence Park (featured in Day Hiking Central Cascades and also what you find if you Google "birding" and "Leavenworth area") is a nice little park. There's a bike path that runs along and, I believe, beyond it which had us wondering if one could rent bikes in Wenatchee and/or just what sort of car we'd have to rent to transport our bikes across a pass or two. Without bikes, we walked. The weather was varied and it was early in the year, but we saw a great many birds, including a downy woodpecker, a passel of chickadees, a pair of yellow-rumped warblers, a red-tailed hawk, some wood ducks, quite a number of violet-green swallows (which I am now able to identify by their bowties, even if said ties are closer to their tails than their heads), and a mess of other birds that I'm not remembering just now (while I write sitting in the backyard, keeping an eye on Gradka, and so some distance from my birdlist). We saw signage about owls, and nestboxes for owls, and later I heard reports about a barn owl said to be in the park, but we saw no owls. Still, a lovely park of the Montlake Fill sort and well worth a ramble in whatever absurd costume one happens to have on hand.
High fashion in central Washington

Most of the clothes I'm wearing in the above photo went into the dirty clothes pile when we finally returned to the hotel because we stopped en route at Smallwood's Harvest which might be more appropriately called the Peshastin Petting Zoo. Oh, we bought a bag of pink lady apples which have been truly excellent, but I didn't insist upon making the left turn across US2 on the drive back to Leavenworth for apples. No, it was the goats. They have a surprisingly extensive collection of animals (goats, pigs, llamas, miniature donkeys and cows, rabbits, a peacock or two and a turkey, to name those I remember best) available for feeding and, coincidentally, they sell small bags of grain for a dollar. Scott did not care for the way the business turned the animals into beggers and I worried a little about their health during the high season but they all seemed to have a reasonable amount of room and to be spry enough so, well, I got my hands slobbered on and my clothes splashed with mud. Good times.
Goat habitrail at Smallwood's Harvest
But goats and cows aren't the only ones who have to eat and the next day, after the snow and slushy roads, we were pleased to see the sign for Rico's Pizza in Gold Bar. The pizza was surprisingly excellent.


  1. Congrats on the phoebe! Did you get to see it fly-catching? They sometimes hover in a fascinating fashion, very fun to see.

    Yesterday evening I was thinking, "Mary said she was going to post more about her trip and her life bird and that seems like ages ago and maybe I should prod her about that," but then I thought, "no, just wait, don't be pushy, let her get to it in her own good time." You know, blog when you feel like it! Or just do what I did, and retire!

    1. I did see it catch an insect or two, yes, but it was fairly business-like about it; it swooped down and grabbed at something in the grass and then returned to the wire with a bug in its beak.

      Sigh. I'd *like* to follow your fine example, what with the improved outlook, weight loss, and lower blood pressure and all. I am glad you are enjoying it so.