How was your weekend? Ours was pretty quiet. I acquired some variation of the crud that’s been going around. Luckily it was a light version and didn’t keep me down for too long. I did seem to take the saying, “Feed a cold, starve a fever,” to heart. When I wasn’t laying on the couch I was in the kitchen. Chocolate pie. Smoked turkey burgers. Elk and tomato macaroni soup. Homemade bread. It was a tasty weekend.
I also seemed to communicate with my ten-year-old niece a lot via text during the weekend. Our exchanges are primarily made up of photos of our cats. I’m so glad I’ve passed on the crazy-cat gene. It warms my heart.
An REI order may also be heading my direction after some online shopping. Two pairs of Vasque hiking shoes, each in two sizes, in hopes of finding one of the four that will work. And a pair of burgundy (or maybe cranberry) capris that convert from capri to short. Those were on clearance. I’m starting to accumulate items for Costa Rica. Did I tell you we’re going to Costa Rica? We are. This spring. Very excited. The plan is to spend three nights on the beach and then head to the rain forest for the rest of the trip.
I am usually a….heavy (ahem) packer. Lots of clothes, lots of shoes, lots of odds-n-ends. But, while in Costa Rica we will be staying in three different locations. We’ll be giving up the rental part towards the end of the trip and connecting to our final destination via van-boat-jeep. Which will require lugging luggage. Which means that, for the first time, I am quite intent about taking only one suitcase and my backpack (which will serve as carry on/camera gear transporter). And, considering that I need cool clothing for the beach and warmer clothing for the cloud forest, my goal is light, wicking and easily-layered. Some of the items I use for hiking will work well, but I have some gaps I need to fill in. Wish me luck.
On Sunday morning I decided to use my daily energy allotment for a little walk down at Nisqually. It’s actually been a while since I’ve been out there, so a visit was overdue. I donned four layers, grabbed my camera and headed down the hill.
Have I told you about my new camera strap? The husband got it for me for Christmas. It’s an Envy harness system. I love it. I’ve used the Joby sling strap since purchasing my camera and really like it, but find it problematic when hiking. If I adjust it so that it’s not at or just above my hip I find that it’s difficult to pull it up to shoot. If it’s at or above my hip (which, in and of itself, is a difficult feat if I have a pack on my back) and I’m climbing it gets in the way and hampers movement. Plus, if I’m carrying a heavier lens it tends to pull on my shoulder after a few hours. Enter the Envy harness. I’ve coupled it with a neck strap for extra security. It takes all of the weight off my shoulder and neck. The material is stretchy, so relatively easy to pull the camera up for shots (I’m still playing with that to find the sweet spot), but has enough stiffness so that there’s little bounce when camera body is coupled with a wide angle lens. It’s perfect for hiking, or just for walks down at Nisqually.
Though I love the part of the boardwalk that stretches out over the estuary, a bracing (read: stinkin’ cold) wind tends to blow in the winter. The result? Streaming eyes, streaming nose, frozen fingers. So, I spent the bulk of my time on Sunday in the woods. Is there a bad part of that boardwalk? I think not.
I wound my way slowly through the trees, stopping to take photos and just enjoy the beauty surrounding me. As I broke out of the trees a passerby informed me that there was an eagle up in a tree down the way eating a mallard duck. A mallard duck??!! Holy crap! I didn’t know they went for things that….large. Needless to say, I didn’t think I needed to see that, so I proceeded out to the delta.
Sure ‘nough, the wind was blowing. I went part of the way out before the grumbling voice in my head (“It’s cold…this is stupid…stupid wind…I’m cold) compelled me to turn around. I didn’t get out quite far enough to get a good look at Her Majesty, but got a shot of her top peaking over the trees.
I passed the eagle(s) on my way back to my car. Luckily, they had finished their breakfast. Instead, they were sitting up in the tree talking to each other. Or yelling at me. Or yelling at the geese below the tree. It was really hard to say. Nonetheless, I do love the sound of an eagle call.
Back at the car I swiped the last of my drippy nose on the back of my glove (that’s what they’re for, right?) and headed home…ready for a hot shower and a little time on the couch…or in the kitchen…whichever had the most compelling call.