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Buchanan Lake as a Night Roost - 2 Dec

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  • Rich712@aol.com
    Chirp, Yesterday s sunshine was promise enough to send me to a weather site to check the evening s forecast. Promised were mostly clear skies, winds below 3
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 3, 2006

      Yesterday's sunshine was promise enough to send me to a weather site to
      check the evening's forecast. Promised were mostly clear skies, winds below 3
      mph, and a nearly full moon for illumination. Tenable teenaged temps were not
      formidable enough to chill a chance to view waterfowl flocking after sunset
      to Buchanan Lake's calm waters, surely reflective under a full moon.

      I parked at Sarg Hubbard Park just in time to catch 200 Canada Geese,
      flushed off bare grass by a dog walker, settle into the concert pond. By body size
      and bill shape, two were candidates for Cackler status.

      On the pathway at 3:30, a Northern Harrier kicked up a Wilson's Snipe that
      approximated the erratic flight of the paper planes I folded as a
      kid...airborne ever so briefly before diving nose first into the earth. A Bewick's Wren
      was prominent in sparse brush at the river's edge. At Buchanan, another 62
      geese loafed with a single female goldeneye.

      A brisk walk to the Arboretum Sparrow Patch turned up a mix of 100+ small
      seed eaters on the ground. A half-dozen Mourning Doves and 120 Red-winged
      Blackbirds were in the surrounding tree tops awaiting my departure as their
      signal to join the buffet. Two adult Bald Eagles along the Yakima River greeted
      my return to the pathway.

      Ten minutes prior to sunset, Buchanan's geese were joined by a pair of
      Mallards, 3 Common Goldeneyes, and 16 Hooded Mergansers. The flock of geese would
      grow to over 100 fifteen minutes past sunset. At sunset, the mist rising
      from the lake became increasingly less enchanting. Nineteen Common Goldeneyes
      paddled near the raft of geese.

      Pinkish hues remained in the sky ten minutes past sunset. When the color
      abandoned the skies, my cheeks compensated for the loss. At that point, my
      confidence that the dropping temperatures would hit the dew point and clear the
      mist weakened. Never happened. Thirty minutes after sunset, 170 diver-size
      shapes bobbed amongst the 100 geese. A few Hooded Merganser silhouettes were
      evident but the vapor curtain exasperated my efforts at further ID.

      Though I had picked an evening with calm, flat water and a well illuminated
      sky, mist defeated me. The air was certainly cold enough to turn a dew point
      into a frost point but the lake's deep water must throw a kink into the
      process. I hit the Wikepedia website for help on unraveling the mysteries of the
      dew point but ran aground when the offered formula had symbols I was not
      familiar with.

      I then noted a sidebar offered a choice of other languages. As the English
      version was Greek, I randomly selected Polski. The formula presented there
      was equally challenging but it did contain numbers with six decimal places.
      Equally impressive was the title for Dew Point...Temperatura punkty rosy.
      Loosely translated, I think that means if it is cold enough to turn your cheeks
      rosy, the formula is kaput...ya ain't gonna see nuthin'.

      As I exited, I noticed that the lake's floating island with its small stand
      of conifers and seated fisherman was adrift near the eastern shore. My prior
      experiment with seeing better by using a spotlight failed. My pleas for
      flares and a submarine have gone unheeded. Seeing better by getting closer
      still seems viable though. If I could replace the island's dummy with myself (a
      straight dummy for dummy exchange) in the chair (armed only with my Swifts
      8X42s) and enlist a couple Navy Seals to power the island within bino range...

      PS Better yet, as this is a Fantasy Island adventure, does anyone have a
      number for Tattoo or Mr. Roarke (Ricardo Montalban)? On a second thought,
      better leave Tattoo on the pathway...he makes too much noise with the bell and
      shouting, " De goose, De goose!"

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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