On a recent sunny Sunday in mid-April we set out towards the rich farm fields of Skagit Valley to see millions of tulips blooming in a dazzling array of colors.
Category Archives: Outdoors
Some have their favorite fishing hole, others a favorite campsite, or trail, or quiet place to lose themselves in the sunset, kept secret from the public at large and whose location is known only to them. We have our favorite snowshoeing spot.
In 1974 the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge was established to "to protect the delta and its diversity of fish and wildlife habitats." It's a beautiful and, at $3 per vehicle, inexpensive way to spend a day exploring the delta's rich variety of animal and plant life.
"I’ll never forget," says Mark Clayden, recounting his adventures in the Sierra Madres chasing the annual monarch butterfly migration. "At one point during the trip we came across a police roadblock stopping cars and trucks to allow the butterflies to cross the road safely."
A list of some, but by no means all, of the many animals we were lucky enough to witness while in Africa, and even luckier to recall.
We haven't seen a family pride yet - until now. Camouflaged within the grass we see some movement, and then one by one a whole family appears: one male, two females, and eight beautiful cubs! Craig reflexively eeowws at the little cubs, and one of the younger ones eeowws back and starts heading towards the truck. I turn to Craig and say, "I'm calling them the Honeymoon Pride!"
Craig and I acknowledge that there are some things here that we're not entirely happy about, and there are some things that are just simply different from what we've known these past couple of weeks. But that was the point of this part of our trip. It wasn't meant to be the same as the first part of our trip; it was meant to be intentionally different. We're settling into a groove here at Elephant Plains: outstanding wildlife viewing, delicious food, a luxurious room, spa treatments. Really, what's not to like?
It feels terribly awkward, and Craig and I are really uncomfortable. You're far enough away from the other guests that you can't really have a conversation with them, and yet you're in a group setting and it feels like you're supposed to socialize. The fire in the middle of our circle, combined with all of us looking across at each other, makes me feel like I'm on a reality TV show and that there is going to be a vote to decide which one of us is going to be thrown into the fire pit. We feel like we're on display; like we're being watched. You might say we feel like the animals do when a safari vehicle drives by.
We finally reach the top of the hill and, a little breathless, look out over the valley. It is a spectacular view. Absolutely spectacular. You can see why it was the seat of power. Philip smiles and says, "Nice view, yes? The king was thought of as the mountain, and when the king would die people would say, 'The mountain has fallen! The mountain has fallen!'"