Sunday, August 3, 2014

An Early Morning at Lake Crescent

I woke up around 5 am on the first morning we were at Olympic National Park's Log Cabin Resort by Lake Crescent. Since the rest of the family were still sound asleep, I sneaked out of our lake front cabin for an early morning hike around part of the lake shore.

There was nobody else by the lake front or on the lake. I sat in front of our cabin, watching the clouds moving from east to west under the breeze, the lake rippling, and listening to the soft bird chirping which broke the silent early morning from time to time. 

As the clouds moved, the light on the lake varied and I noticed that there were two water fowls on a concrete slab - apparently a duck and a duckling. They preened themselves, looked around, and then rested their heads on their backs - lazily enjoying the quiet morning.

A corner of Lake Crescent
White Cloud
A duck and duckling

After about ten minutes, I walked west toward the shoreline, trying to reach the trail along the shoreline we saw the previous day while kayaking. At this corner of the lake, there was little wind, and the lake surface was mirror flat, reflecting the buildings and trees on the other side of the lake in the water. A pair of ducks disturbed the stillness of the water in the shallow, but the ripples they generated did not propagate too far.

A turn at the shore revealed a motor boat which was anchored by a rope tied to a post.

A creek blocked my path forward. I turned around and walked back to our cabin.
A couple in the lake

A boat at shore
I was still the only person at the lake front of the cabins. More birds were flying around, eating something on the beach, chasing one another, or resting on top of the warning sign at the beach. They were mostly small, seemingly the same birds. However, I could tell that there were quite a few different kinds of birds by their chirping. With the help of binoculars, I saw that the bird resting on the warning had yellowish breast, brownish neck, white stripped back and a bluish head; those frequent the beach looked similar, but had different color of feathers - brownish or grayish breasts. I suspect the noisiest birds were sparrows.

There were three or four pine trees by the pier of the resort which attracted a lot more birds. There was one black bird like a crow, which made beautiful sounds and had red patches on its wings; another bird had a black spot on top and a white band around its head, with a white breast, brownish back and black feathered tail. I believe that I saw a tiny humming bird in the tree as well, but I was not quite sure. The next morning as I was sitting in front of the cabin, a bird swished down from the roof and flapping its wings right in front of me  - a humming bird! Just as quickly it flew away, so I had no chance to capture it on camera.

I had the whole lake front and the world of birds all for myself for about 60 minutes -  totally immersed in the tranquility at Lake Crescent until the sound of the engine from a white car running on the south shore of the lake, over one mile away, reached me.

Another couple?

A curious black bird

Birds resting on a steel beam of an old building
Sky over Lake Crescent
Northwest Corner of Lake Crescent
Note: the next two mornings at Lake Crescent, I got up much later, and did not see many of the birds again. 

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