Last weekend Vireo and I dashed out to the Olympic Peninsula with our friends Elisa and Isaac for an overnight at Kalaloch Lodge and cabins. The beaches along this part of the Washington Coast are breathtakingly beautiful and wild. Ruby Beach, just up the road from Kalaloch, features haystack rocks and mist-laden treetops, and an expanse of driftwood packed against the shore that requires bouldering skills to access the surf.
But don't let the picturesque beachscape fool you. The waves can drag you out into the surf in seconds. After scrambling over driftwood to the water's edge, my son ran daringly into the tide, as is his love for getting head-to-toe soaking wet at the most inappropriate moments. This time I didn't laugh though, as my mama bear instincts kicked in. I grabbed him the same instant the waves crashed in, and together we got drenched up to our waists. Luckily, a warm car and cabin were not far away, and soon the near miss was just a good story to tell about the weekend.
These quick trips are less about birds and more about the whole environment, although I am always listening and looking for them! I caught sight of a gorgeous male Rufous hummingbird at the lodge, as well as Northern Rough-winged swallows which appeared to be nesting around the lodge and cabins. This time of year it's possible to see migrating gray whales offshore as well, though we weren't so lucky.
I wear rubber boots for 9 months of the year birding, as nothing is worse than cold wet feet when trying to concentrate on something else (wild birds!). I'm wearing my insulated Le Chameau rubber boots, which are the brand's "hunting" boot--I wear them for birding instead. I recommend them of my own free will and they have been worth every pretty penny I paid for them.