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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa


May 15th, 2011 · No Comments

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Driving from Portland to Seattle on Saturday, I didn’t hope to see any wildlife. My map of Washington state isn’t detailed enough to show the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge a few miles from Interstate 5 and the Columbia River.

But I always read the brown highway signs, which mean recreational and cultural points of interest. And there, just 14 miles after I entered Washington state, was a sign to this national wildlife refuge that I had never known existed.

Of course, I immediately turned off the freeway. With the good help of Google Maps on my iPad with a 3G (cellular) connection, I found the refuge.

While it is too small to be more than a speck on my map, Ridgefield NWR has 5,218 acres of marshes, grasslands and woodlands that attract waterfowl. Even better, the refuge has a 4.2 mile auto tour route that took my mobile blind, otherwise known as my SUV, very close to the birds who, like me, were visiting.

The route took me closer to beautiful dabbling ducks that I had previously seen only from a distance and never before satisfactorily photographed. I saw several Cinnamon Teals feeding by dabbling in the shallows right next to the auto route.

A Cinnamon Teal

A Cinnamon Teal

Click on the picture above to enlarge
Walking on Water

Walking on Water

Click on the picture above to enlarge

The other wildlife that attracted me at Ridgefield NWR was neither a bird nor a mammal. The attraction was in part their reddish color, which I like the most.

Turtles Bask in the Sun

Turtles Bask in the Sun

Click on the picture above to enlarge

When I hit the road again, I had 170 miles yet to go before reaching the home of my friends Tom and Martha Schulte in Redmond, 20 miles east of Seattle. I got there just in time for a delicious low-carb dinner featuring shrimp that Martha cooked for the family and me.

I have known Tom for years. What started as a professional relationship when he was vice-president of the company that made the best lancing device has developed into a strong friendship where we share many interests. It’s good to be staying with Tom and Martha and their family.


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