With the forecast for the rains to return and Christmas preparations/celebration behind me I decided that I’d head to Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge for a morning tour. You just never know what Ridgefield will hand to you.
I stopped and paid my daily entry fee for the last time. Not that I’m going to be dishonest in the future but on the way home today I finally picked up my “Geezer Pass” for entrance to all the National Parks and Wildlife Refuges as well as USFS and BLM sites. I had been waiting to go to a park to purchase the pass since they charge an additional $10 to apply online. I showed them… I went to Ridgefield about 5 or 6 times at $3 per visit. You do the math and have a good laugh (or head scratching) on me. After getting my pass I set out on the loop. No one else was in sight. I didn’t see any other vehicles until I was leaving after two loops of the tour. It was a very quiet morning at Ridgefield.
As I drove up toward Rest Lake I saw a bunch of sparrows pecking away in the road. Not an unusual sight by any means. I decided to pull in, park by some blackberry plants and teasel to see if they would cooperate and pose nicely. I thought about Dennis Davenport a lot as I sat there and watched the birds fly in and out. I kept wondering “what would Dennis do?”. Believe it or not, I did not have a single shot of a Golden-crowned sparrow this year and just a few from years before. I remedied that today and came home with… well, a bunch. After I put the 1.4x on the lens the images got better since the birds got bigger. Of all the frames I shot today this is my favorite.
I did not see many herons today but this one was nervously walking along the edge of the lake near the famous Vermillion Flycatcher post 11. I approached slowly and knew that I’d be close and decided to just see if I could fill the frame with its head and eyes. I came close.
I finished off my second lap as the rains began. It was probably the most solitary visit to Ridgefield that I’ve ever made. Now to just settle in and enjoy the remaining holiday time with Dianne. We get to do a baby shoot with Arthur Vogt tomorrow and it will be fun to see Eric and Traci along with their baby son during his first Christmas. Joyous times.