Monday, December 14, 2015

Soggy, Sparse West Coast Trip

Another week, another work trip. I'm starting to get a feel for what my cousin Susan goes through with her job. Not always fun even when you plan a day for sightseeing and birding. The latest trip was out to Seattle and San Francisco.

I planned to go to Seattle early to meet with a client and then take of to go birding. I need a few species that I missed on earlier trips. The weather did not cooperate. I didn't even take my big camera once I learned of the 100% chance of rain each day. I went out to the park near our hotel anyway to see what was around. You can see how dreary it was. What you can't see is how soaked I was. So soaked that I had to use the hotel laundry to dry my coat and pants.


Here is a close-up of Juncos that flocked around me on my walk. They didn't seem to mind the rain.

Juncos
These trips are sponsored by Microsoft so that we can talk about some of their donations. We work closely with a small group of people there including James. Here he is showing me his photo of the Resplendant Quetzal from his trip to Costa Rica. I could just scream. The RQ is our nemesis bird - the bird that we most want to see in Central America but haven't been able to locate on multiple trips. Look at that shot! Amazing.

Resplendent James
We headed to San Francisco on Thursday and decided to stay in the city due to the forecast of rain. It didn't rain so Sam and I headed out to Coit Tower to see if we could find some birds. I call this photo "Red-tailed Hawk". Can you see the bird high above the tower? That was the only bird around. We climbed the tower and had awesome views of the San Francisco bay and city.


We took a boat ride out to Alcatraz to tour the old prison. Fun trip. Here is a shot of the island with Golden Gate Bridge in the distance. No birds to mention here either.

Alcatraz
 The funniest thing about going out west is their obsession with crossing the street. Honestly, I've never seen anything like it. If the signal is red, nobody crosses the street. Even if there isn't a car in sight. They all just stand there until the light turns green. What is wrong with these people. I tell them all the same thing - I've been crossing the street by myself since I was 4 years old. My mother taught me how to look both ways before crossing. It's a successful strategy. I haven't been run over yet. Sam and I went to a little town called Kirkland which is near Seattle to have dinner. Now these people take street crossing safety to a whole new level. They make you carry a flag with an image of a person carrying a flag when crossing the street. I swear, I can't make this up. Here is Sam safely crossing the street.

Street crossing flag
Glad to be home where I can cross the street like a grown up.

Post a Comment