Getting muddy

We went to the Audubon center at Forest Park (again) today. Aside from the joy at not having the dog with us (so we could take the Sanctuary Trail), we ended up having a fairly exciting trip. While we visited the mews for permanent “teaching” raptors, one of the handlers asked if we’d be interested in meeting her Peregrine falcon, Finnegan. Mum and I immediately said yes and got to see Finnegan up close:

Finnegan the Peregrine falcon

Mum’s favourite raptor is the Peregrine falcon (I can’t blame her, but I’m a hardcore kestrel fan), and she ventured as close as Finnegan was comfortable with:

Mom meets Finnegan

(which, admittedly, wasn’t too close)

After a lengthy discussion and many a compliment on the flustered bird, we headed off to the Sanctuary Trail – an Audubon maintained trail/ section in Forest Park. The animals immediately started taunting us. Don’t let them fool you, they’re wicked creatures. Wrens frequently started singing right next to the path, only to flit off into a fern or tree as soon as we turned to look. Mum and I managed to catch sight of two Winter Wrens, tho.

While walking along the creek trail, I mentioned that I really wanted to see salamanders again. I hadn’t seen any since S. Dakota, but constantly saw signs in OR warning to watch for them (so you won’t step on them). I guess the salamanders decided to make up for the birds’ teasing, as when we headed to the lily pond, Mum caught one within 2 minutes of arriving:

Dunn's Salamander

Dad then noticed that there were, oh, 3 or 4 dozen Dunn salamanders in a pile on a log:

Lots and lots of salamanders

Right. Mum and I had fun catching them (and releasing them) and getting really, really muddy. Dad didn’t seem as interested in playing in the mud. After hiking along two more trails (we’d traumatized the salamanders enough), we headed back to the Audubon center. On the way back we made certain to mention to two boys (and their family) that there were salamanders at the pond. Why not spread the fun, eh? Their dad found it amusing.

At the Audubon gift shop, Dad found some hiking goodies and I got a Finnegan t-shirt (alright, a t-shirt with a Peregrine falcon on it). From there we headed home. And I snapped another couple shots of Geraldine, to keep this blog knitter-friendly:

Geraldine 1 instep progressGeraldine 1 heel progress

Bad pix, I know. But you get the idea. I’ve actually made a lot of progress since these were taken and might have my first Geraldine sock done in a day or two. The pattern is almost done, too.

Oh, and a warning. Penny and I have been working on setting up my website. Soooo, at some point in the not-too-distant future, the blog is going to move again. Sorry. But, it’ll be much, much cooler. I swear. Scout’s Honor.

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