Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Rain on the Scarecrow!

This time of year I have my own personal wildlife refuge across the street. I live just above the Skagit River overlooking the floodplain. In summer the plain is producing various vegetables. In winter and particularly after a deluge-like what we are experiencing right now, the plain is a sprawling shallow lake teeming with tundra and trumpeter swans. Very cool. Throughout the day swans in v-formation fly over the house. Giuseppe runs across the house tracking the noise. Scruffers just bats an eye. I particularly enjoy my daily runs this time of year with the swans flying overhead honking away-Mount Baker (when I can see it) and snow-brushed Cultus Mountain provide a beautiful backdrop. And when certain roads are closed due to the flooding, I enjoy heading out on a run on those roads-now temporarily car free -to get up close and personal with the wintering birds. No, I don't try to run on water. No messianic complex here. I just run up to the flooded terrain then retreat to higher ground-which I am thankful that I live on. For if flooding were to ever reach my humble abode, then a certain Noah may want to stop by and pick up a pair of trumpeter and tundra swans on his way to Ararat. Floods are important processes in nature recharging nutrients and enhancing habitat. Of course if you live on a flood plain, and over 1/3 the population of Skagit County does, floods can be a nightmare and a reminder to us that some places are better left in their natural habitat. Here's praying that this winter's floods claim no human life and losses and that no more flood plain here along the Skagit is claimed by human residences and commerce. Sounds like a fair deal to me.

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