I was really into birds at one time

Spring is finally (finally!) here, meaning that it’s both light enough and dry enough to bike to work again. Here in the Pacific NW I don’t worry about the cold, I just worry about the fine, insidious drizzle that will soak you and sap your will to live if you try to bike through it. But that’s all over now! Mostly! It hailed like hell’s frozen fury this afternoon and was still dripping when I had to ride home, but I took the bus most of the way and was able to tolerate the wet for the last few miles from the bus stop to my house.

In the morning I rode my bike to work the long way, with no bus–fifteen miles, down from my house to the trail along Lake Washington, connecting to the Sammamish River Trail, eight miles along the Sammamish River, and finally leaving the river to climb the hills into Redmond where I work. It’s a long, pleasant ride, mostly through parkland and river valley, past farms and woods and the occasional townhouse monstrosity. Today gave me an abundance of wildlife: two great herons, a plethora of ducks of different species, Canadian geese, a rabbit, a multitude of multicolored snails on the path, the usual assortment of crows, sparrows, robins, and songbirds, and rarest of all, a peregrine falcon carrying a branch for her nest! The peregrine falcon has been one of my favorite birds since elementary school, when I chose to do a report about them and fell in love. For a while, when people asked me what my favorite sport was, I said “falconry”, which tells you volumes about what kind of kid I was. You have to admit, they’re really beautiful birds:

Peregrine Falcon

But I’ve rarely gotten to see one in the wild, so this was a great treat.

(Made up for the grueling uphill in the last two miles to work. Almost murdered me, that hill did.)


  1. That sounds like a wonderful bike ride. Great workout and lovely scenery. I’m not really into birding, but they are fun to watch. On one of my walks, we saw a beautiful white bird with a feathery fringe at the end of its wings. We guessed it was an egret, but I’m not certain we were right.

    Our yard is always filled with birds of all kinds, since we have LOTS of worms and other bugs out there. It’s a treat to watch the action.

  2. Where the Peregrine falcon is concerned our childhoods sound exactly the same, except that I would say my favorite sport was cycling because my stepdad introduced me to the Tour de France the very year Greg Lemond won the first time.

  3. Jesse si nu ai scris cum te-am asteptat noi cu steaguri in prima zi cand ai venit cu bicicleta de la serviciu …

  4. Ghearele la soim arata ca niste maini de om. Ma sperie cand ma uit. Parca ar zice: “hai sa te strang de gat ca sunt mort oricum!”

  5. I loved My Side of the Mountain growing up. I “ran away” several times and tried to live on cattail tubers and lamb’s quarter, but I never found a falcon chick, and soit never stuck… plus, I was only 300 yards from the house.
    Also: the correct term is Canada geese. (I know, I was upset when I found out, too.)

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