Wildlife watching on two wheels!

Anyone who watch the Seahawk – Saints game yesterday (GO HAWKS!) (And might I say my old heart can’t take games like that!) you saw what kind of weather we were having this weekend.  It was raining sideways, the wind was whipping, it was ugly.  In short, it was NOT bike riding weather.  I was hunkered down watching the game, and doing a LOT of pacing.

I wasn’t too disappointed as I had ridden or worked out every day this week, and had a good weigh in.  So a day off on the couch with a sick wife was called for.

Today, I was up and running errands, Michelle was better, but not full guns yet.  So it was another resting day for her.  Long about 1030, when I was done, she asked if it was raining.  Surprisingly, there was no rain and the wind had died.  She looked at me as asked “And you aren’t riding why?”

By 11, I was rolling downhill heading for the Burke Gilman, trail enjoying the fresh air!  Turns out I wasn’t the only one doing so.

One of the wild chickens (ok roosters) of Woodinville
One of the wild chickens (ok roosters) of Woodinville

This guy seemed quite proud of himself and was quite happy to sit there and pose for me.  On the way back we was hanging out with ducks and possibly having an identity crisis.  I will be watching the river from now on to see if he tries to swim.

He reminded me, though, that the animals you see on a bike ride is one of the many advantages to cycling over driving.  Yes, you do have to keep an eye on the road, but because you are going slower, and quieter, you will see much much more!

For example, while riding the Oregon coast, I stumbled on these guys and girlsIMG_0133They didn’t seem to mind, and never raised their heads when I went by.  I just sat and watched them for a while then rolled on to the lighthouse.  On my way back, a car came by and scattered them.  Also on the coast I stopped to say “hi” to this guyIMG_0052But my favorite pic, was this one, I caught a glimpse of him from the road, and pulled over to head to the beach.  In a car I never would’ve seen him.


I stayed far away and used the zoom, just for the record, never get close to baby seals, the seal moms hate that.

That trip was amazing for the animals I saw.  Sea lions, humming birds, whales, ospreys and herons.  I learned on that trip to keep an eye out just for that reason.  Sometimes you see motion, or hear a sound, or if there is water, hear a splash.  Then its just a matter of looking for the source.

Of course, it helps living here where I do.  We have animals everywhere all year round.  Sadly though, I am NOT the best picture taker of them.  But just from memory I can tell you that I have seen from the back of the bike:

Elk, Seal Lions, Harbor Seals, King Fishers, Humming Birds, Red Tail and Sharp Shinned Hawks, Bald Eagles (everywhere!) a Fox, Stellar Blue Jays, Wood Peckers, Jelly Fish, Beaver, Ducks, Geese and Garter Snakes just to list a few.

The mighty chicken we see here has issued me a challenge.  This year, in addition to mountains and scenery, I am going to try and snag as many pictures of the animals I see as well.  We’ll see how well this happens.

More importantly though, for those of you who ride.  Look up, look around, take out the ear buds and listen to the world around you.  You will be amazed at what you see.

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