Saturday was Global Big Day, the bird count day.
A friend and I decided to celebrate by going to
Wings over Weston, a gathering at Weston Bend State Park,
just over the Missouri River from Leavenworth.
The funny thing was, we did not take one picture of the
actual Wings over Weston event, as it appeared to be geared to
families with young kids.
There were supposed to be birding hikes leaving the event, but we
never saw one, so... we hiked on our own. More about that in a minute.
Operation Wildlife, where I took the turtle several weeks ago,
was there with raptors on display.
Most of these birds cannot be released back into the wild.
This is a merlin, a small raptor.
This is a peregrine falcon, who actually belonged to a falconer.
Oh yes, one of my favorite birds was there, and was cleaning himself up
on his perch.
That's the merlin again, from the front. Pretty bird.
This woodpecker was flying back and forth from grassy area to tree.
I guess I should tell you that this park is on a bluff overlooking the Mighty Missouri, now the muddy Missouri, after the rain we have had.
Read this sign carefully. We had a good laugh, it had obviously been altered, but we
laughed our way right by the "Steep grades and inclines more than 10%. Bluffs or drop offs next
It started off looking pretty easy.
I took this from a very high point on the very narrow, on the bluff trail.
I climbed over several downed trees... and at one point, my companion
stood with her back to the drop off so I could inch past her.
I have to tell you I have vertigo, not really badly, but enough to be frightened.
We were in the forest primeval.
There was beauty everywhere.
You can see how shaded we were, it was unseasonably cool that day.
After a bit, we ran into two young woman coming the other way.
Then, a single man.... who told us to turn around and go back.
I looked at my friend and said "Uh, no".
At one point, we came upon a man in the uniform of a Missouri Dept. of Conservation agent.
He explained he was supposed to be working at the festival... but had decided to hike for a bit.
He looked at our map and told us what to look for.
I asked if there was any way he could get us airlifted out.
Several other couples and one pair of parents with two little kids and a stroller
passed us, and lo and behold, the fork came up that led out of the woods.
I only fell twice, once going down, and the other, going UP steeply.
That one hurt.
It still hurts.
I did pretty good for someone who turns 66 this summer and is a
casual walker in the park.
I checked my step counter on my phone when I got home, and I had walked
nearly seven miles that day.
We are ready for another hike in a few weeks!
How glad I was to see the familiar sights of home!
We have had some unusual visitors to our feeders the last few days,
and I'll show you pictures of them tomorrow.
It has rained all day here, so the dogs have had no exercise, nor have I.
We will have to try to get caught up tomorrow.