Nature Surprise

I have quite a few different routes that I travel when I ride. I have the Lake Washington Loop, The Half lake loop, my regular 40 (a 40 mile loop through Everett and over to Woodinville) and the Seattle loop. (Some of these are my names, so you won’t find them on Google. The Lake Washington loop is real though!)

All of these routes listed have one thing in common: At some point I am on the Burke-Gilman/Sammamish River trail.This trail stretches from Seattle to Redmond. I use it to commute to the Seattle office during the dark days of winter, and, more frequently, I use it for my quick out and back rides.

What is an out and back?

Out and backs are those rides where I take off on the trail, go to a certain point, and turn around. I use these when time is short, or when weather is crappy.


There are multiple places to turn around. Frequently I will stop at this bridge.


Which I learned about a month ago is a prime spot to see salmon swimming up-stream!

Other times it is an egg run, so I will hit the farm store and grab a couple of dozen for breakfast.


And I won’t lie, sometimes the goal of the ride, and the turn around point is a winery!


The egg store and about 20 wine tasting rooms in Woodinville (this is a CONSERVATIVE estimate of wineries by the way) are just off the trail!

Sometimes, I don’t know how far I am going to go. So I just ride, and take in scenery. It is not uncommon to see bald eagles


Red Tail Hawks

Red Tail Hawk Samammish River trail
Red Tail Hawk Samammish River trail

and blue herons

Blue Heron in the Samamish River, Burke Gilman trail
Blue Heron in the Samamish River, Burke Gilman trail

In fact one of the reasons I try to always have my point and shoot camera with me (it has a GREAT zoom) is that I have missed great photo ops while riding along this path without it. Once there were 4 river otters playing in the river and the phone just couldn’t get them! I’ve never seen them again either!

There are times I get tired of the BG (as I call it, I lump both trails into one for ease). You have to dodge kids, dogs, strollers and those cyclist who all dress alike and think they are in a peloton! However, it is also close, convenient and I can get a 30 mile round trip in without having to deal with cars at all! In fact, rumor has it, if I continue on the Sammamish Lake trail I might be able to get close to Snoqualmie Falls!

img_3474It is on the list to investigate soon!

Yesterday, though, reminded me why I love nature. You just never know what you will see! As I said, blue herons are common on this trail. Most of the time, I see them like this

img_3506 image

But, as I rounded corner yesterday, I saw something new.

imageThis guy looked like he was trying to catch a tan on a rare sunny day in October! Honestly, along this path, the Oregon coast and the Olympic Peninsula, I have seen 100s of herons. Never once have I see one do this!

One person thought he might me meditating (I didn’t hear him say “Ohmmmmmmmmmmmm”) another thought he might be warming up after being in the cold water.

Me? I think he was just kicking back, and simply enjoying the day. Just as I was out riding to take advantage of the break in the clouds, he wanted to people watch. I stopped, took a couple of photos, told him thank you, and I was on my way.

When I passed that spot again on the way back, the sun had gone behind the clouds, and he had flown off.

Living in the Northwest, I am lucky to be surrounded by nature. It is one of the biggest reasons I love it here. To enjoy takes two things. First you have to get out into it, and the second is you have to pay attention. The bike allows me to do both, and to catch those time Nature tries to surprise me!

4 thoughts on “Nature Surprise

  1. I’m lucky here too, with all sorts of encounters. I’ve read somewhere that cormorants, shags etc. spread their wings to aid digestion, maybe this is the same?

    1. Funny! I have a picture of a cormorant doing just that as well! Excellent observation. He seemed quite happy to just sit there, and does seem to have a satisfied “I just ate a fish” look on his face

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