Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Front-row Seats at Cascade Lake Wildlife Dramas
Our site nestled on the very edge of Cascade Lake; we pitched our tent a dozen feet from the water. Then we sat on the vast, well-worn log separating land from lake, dangling our feet in the water.
Straight away, one of the many dragonflies skimming over the water swooped by to take a look at the newcomers in his territory. He hovered in front of us; the little probe droid certainly looked as if he were glowering. Then he was off to nab smaller insects and chase away larger intruders. Incredible, the dogfights waged among the dragonflies; I saw one dragonfly nearly drive another underwater.
Some animals, of course, didn't hesitate to stroll right into our campsite, despite the presence of our large yellow Lab, Luna. A pair of cheeky song sparrows nearly perched on our knees to join us for morning oatmeal. A family of juncos, a bit more shy, foraged in an orbit around our table. A yellow warbler glowed briefly on a branch above us. Under cover of night, deer investigated the plastic bins that contained our food, as did raccoons. Fortunately for this timid camper, Orcas lacks bears, so one could get away with being quite careless with food--as long as you plonked a few heavy stones atop the cooler, furry bandits didn't make off with your meals.
Best new-bird-for-the-list sighting: a merlin streaking after smaller birds by the water in the small town of Eastsound.