Skagit eagles and flying saucers over Mt. Rainier

Or, two more reasons I love where I live.

My friend L and I drove up to the Skagit River Valley on Sunday to see bald eagles, because it was something neither one of us had done before, and it sounded like fun.

The Skagit River in northwestern Washington state
The Skagit River in northwestern Washington state

The Skagit River (named after a local Indian tribe) is about an hour and a half north of Seattle and half an hour or so south of the Canadian border.  It’s well-known as a wintering spot for bald eagles, who come to feast on the salmon.  The locals make much of this on December and January weekends, providing various activities and visitor centers and volunteers out with spotting scopes to help those of us who are novices at this sort of thing.

The latter was a very good thing, because the only eagles we saw on Sunday were through the spotting scopes of volunteers.

Our first eagle
Our first eagle, across the river from a city park in the town of Rockport.
A much poorer picture of our second eagle, taken at the salmon hatchery near the village of Marblemount.

As you can tell, sometimes it’s not easy to take a photo through a spotting scope.  But without the spotting scope, it was hard to tell he was even there.

We had a nice lunch at the Washington Café in the town of Concrete, then, on the advice of one of the spotting scope volunteers, we took the long way back to I-5  by way of the towns of Darrington and Arlington in hopes of seeing more eagles, but alas, with no luck.

It rained on us most of the day, but we were expecting that, so we were prepared, and it was a fun day, even if we didn’t see as many eagles as I’d hoped.

Oh, and here’s the other reason I love western Washington.  Mt. Rainier with flying saucers (aka lenticular clouds).  I took this photo today, on my way back from running errands.  Sorry about the truck…

Mt. Rainier with the biggest flying saucer (aka a lenticular cloud) I've ever seen above it.
Mt. Rainier with the biggest flying saucer (aka a lenticular cloud) I’ve ever seen above it.