|Padilla Bay is one of those rare hikes in Western Washington that has something like 0, as in ZERO, none, till flatter than the christian rendition of earth, elevation. Well, maybe there are a few inches in one direction or another. However, it is the home of many interesting birds and plant life. Though it seems someone notified them of our arrival prior to our getting there and they decided to play a prank by being virtually non-existent the entire time we were there. Or it could also have been a lucky fishing boat off to the other side of the hill that they were getting a free lunch from. Either way, it became more of a nature hike with a few interesting sightings during the course of it.
|There were a few encounters, like this one. I believe it is a Cooper’s Hawk. Pretty little things.
|These tracks, we were able to successfully identify as belong to a distant relative of the Dodo bird which is now extinct. The Didit bird, though rarely seen, has been known to leave tracks as it prowls for tidbits to share with its companion, the Sasquatch. Its a symbiotic relationship and adds to the mystery of Sasquatch sightings. Its also where the bird got its name. When seen, people will point to it and stutter, “he diditditdit”, which eventually got shortened to Didit.
|Looks like this one was engaged in the mysterious two step hippity hop mating dance where they first jump one foot forward, one foot back, then straight down and bow to their prospective partner. We didn’t see any other tracks in the other direction, so she must have been playing very coy and hiding behind the reeds. Which they often do as they chortle a beckoning call to the suitor.
|The aliens found many areas of this region to be difficult to leave their calling cards and had to improvise. So, where the Midwest has crop circles, we have wetland tribal markings. The decision was reached after a long negotiation process with the local tribes of the region, who, unlike in other areas of this country, did not lose all their lands and rights, came to an agreement that they could mark the land, but they had to use ancient tribal symbolism. It is rumored that it wasn’t tobacco that was in the peace pipe they handed the aliens and this is the reason for the rather unique interpretation of the tribal marks.
|And it seems the aliens also left another gift on their visit to our wetlands. One might believe these small puffs to be fallen pieces of moss, but on closer inspection, it is noted that they completely encompass the branch they are attached to.
|And here, their nefarious intent becomes apparent. The obvious blood on this batch shows them to be a alien carnivorous dust bunnies of the vamperical extraterrarium family. A highly invasive species that will need addressing and eradicating.
|And here we have one of the alien all terrain vessels in submarine mode posing as a stick.
|Little does it know that the Earth protects herself and is readying herself for a light snack of alien kabobs by opening her gaping maw of doom.
|After a quick bite, she returns to her normal and serene demeanor.
|This tiny island, surrounded my vast expanses of mud was once home to a tiny band of mud people. It took them hundreds of years to build their mud moat around the island. A feat for which they generally get the last laugh as most people are unaware of the extreme danger that mud presents. One can swim through water. But, mud will suck you down as effectively as wet cement. Which is probably where the gangsters first got that idea from.
|Proof that everything is made of star stuff.
|Although they may look like the tusks of a mastodon skeleton, the closeness of them is more indicative of a rarer species of the Beelociraptor. As the vegetation began to shrink in size, so did this creature evolve to meet the ever smaller orifices it had to probe, until it became the honeybee we know today.
|See? On closer inspection, you can see the tubular opening at the other end where this voracious creature sucked in massive amounts of nectar.
|Remember a while back when it was stated about the dangers in the mud zones? Well, this poor unsuspecting creature thought nothing of her trusty canines wanting to wander into the mudlands and when she saw that they were unaffected by the terrain, allowed them to venture further. The end results speak for themselves here. Poor thing forgot that god spelled backwards is dog, thereby giving them near deity abilities to walk on watery surfaces that are denied to most other creatures. You can see them having a grand laugh over the joke on their human companion. Thankfully, she also had a great sense of humor which almost got her laughed even deeper into her sinkhole.
|Lesson number 2. Dogs that will drag you into the mudflats to begin with will NOT pull you back out if you ease up on their leash. When you tell them to come on, they think you want to go play farther out. And that is just where they will take you.
|She did finally extract herself from the mud after releasing the dogs to their own devices. Though the bog monster did demand the sacrifice of one shoe before releasing her. That made the end of their adventure in the bay for the day, but gave them plenty of material to fill the pages of their journals that night.
|Eureka! We found the entrance to the Bog Monster’s Lair. And people said it didn’t exist!
|Damn! Wasn’t wearing the overalls. Probably doesn’t look the same to dangle one out of your teeth in hiking clothes. I’ll just admire them.
|Tiny little starbursts in a sea of gray!
|Well, at least the plovers didn’t go into hiding like the rest of the birds. Or, at least this one didn’t.
|Lookie! Its a little fairy parasol! Bet they are hiding in the rock crevices. Though it could be trolls which can be really mean and have very sharp teeth!
|Little splatters of gold just jump out in this terrain.
|Yeah, that would be a find I will keep a safe distance from. Not sure I have ever seen them build a home in a driftwood tree before.
|Keep looking. I am sure there is a hidden picture in there somewhere!
|This is the fairy dust runway where the pixies fly low over to collect the dust from the tips of the waving tendrils for use in helping young children to fly and bring back to Neverland to keep Peter company.
|And those black pods below? Those would be the pods of zombie walking death that must not be consumed, no matter the cajoling from the fairies. Never forget that one should never eat or drink of a fairy’s offering.
|Wow! That’s REALLY pink!
|There! Much better!
|And that is not a smudge in front of the mountain. Its the damn raptor that has been evading me all day. And there is no doubt in my mind that it is the same raptor!
|Oh lookie! BUTTERFLY!
|Not a dandelion.
| Party poopers.
|Oh lookie! Its a secret chest hidden in a stone tomb. Can it be claimed as a treasure hunter’s find? Cool enclosure though. Bet the person who forgot to put the stone back in in trouble. Hmmm? It could be a gateway into another realm.
|Its the contemplation bridge.
|I think this came out quite nicely!
| Well, swifts ARE birds. The are NOT raptors. But when the raptors are playing hide and seek, you have to accept what you can catch.
| What lies under these murky depths???