Of Swans, snow geese, and eagles

I absolutely love this time of year in the Skagit Valley. While western Washington lacks the distinct hard seasonal changes that I loved back east–the seasonal changes here are measured differently-and they are distinct. Winter begins in November with the arrival of tens of thousands of wintering snow geese and trumpeter and tundra swans. A month later thousands of bald eagles join them. You can’t go anywhere in the Skagit Valley without these avian harbingers of winter wooing, amazing, and inspiring you!

I absolutely love  my afternoon runs near Barney Lake watching wedges of swans land in the floodplain pond like jets landing at a busy airport. From my office window overlooking the Skagit River I am constantly mesmerized by row after row of swans flying overhead. And the eagles! Nothing like having them land in one of the nearby towering cedars and making a raucous announcement of their arrival. The Snow geese, swans and eagles make this valley magical, adding beauty and intrigue to this most spiritual and reflective time of year. I savor each day with my wintering feathered friends, knowing that when they take flight again for northern reaches–the next season in the valley has begun–the blossoming of daffodils and tulips announcing that it’s Spring in the Skagit Valley!

What are your favorite harbingers of winter?

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