The Birdwatcher

Photo By: Carrie

Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary, Arcata CA

I can’t stay away from this place for too long. There is always something new to see here. My boys love it here too. So, they run like wild puppies, climbing over every rock and running with the runners trying to get some exercise. They know I will take my time, so they circle back again and again. Never getting too far out of view, their shrills always give away their location.

I found this thistle, soon after we started walking. I have never seen one like this, open with the white on the tips. As I studied it, getting as close as I could, an older man stopped next to me. He was sporting an expensive pair of binoculars, his wife was not far behind him. They were bird watching but it was clear he was very perplexed by my sudden interest in such a common weed.

He went so far as to remind me, “You know you are looking at a thistle, right?” I said yes and tried to explain, although he wasn’t really understanding me, that I like to photograph things like this close up. He went on to tell me that thistles and artichokes are from the same family, which I didn’t know. But, once he said so, it makes sense. My boys were well ahead of me now, I thanked him and moved along.

Photo By: Carrie

I was so excited to find this interesting seed pod on my walk. I have watched Robyn (Captivate Me) transform her sweet little seed pod for three weeks with her new challenge, One Four Challenge. I recognized it immediately. I can see why she was intrigued, it really is an interesting subject.

Photo By: Carrie

A common dandelion, yes. The bird watcher caught up to me again as my nose was in this photograph. He shrugged and moved on. I guess the birds were more interesting than figuring out why I was photographing weeds.

Photo By: Carrie

My boys were climbing a tree behind me when I took this image. I love these tight white flowers. They are now nearing the end of their season but still beautiful. The bird watcher and his wife were smiling at my boys hanging from the tree. He started telling me a few other interesting details about the origins and connections of other plants nearby. I told him I hoped he was here the next time I was. I wished I had a notebook with me or a tape recorder. He was so knowledgeable.

Photo By: Carrie

We went our separate ways once the trail split. My younger son picked me some flowers reminding me he would give me more when we get married. For some reason, when we walk here together, he talks about marrying me, I can’t complain.

I always enjoy our walks here, morning or late afternoon. It is remarkably tranquil and beautiful.

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