Tag Archive | beautiful sunset

Cloudy Sunset

I was perusing photos the other day and came across this one that spoke to me.  A sunset at the harbor in early September, 2016.  The colors!  I wish every sunset looked like that…

I hope you are all enjoying a beautiful sunset this evening, wherever you happen to be.

 

 

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Evening Walk

Last night I went for a walk in the neighborhood, to clear my head, get some fresh air, and shake off the day.  It was a warm, summer night, those nights that are all too short-lived here.

I ended up at the university; I often end up there.  It is such a peaceful place in the evening, when there are few students there.

I watched the sunset over the water, and snapped a couple other photos as I did a loop of campus.

A beautiful sunset!

 

The afterglow following the sunset

 

One of my favorite sculptures there; a strong woman.

 

The antique streetlight obscured by shrubbery.

 

 

I hope you are all having a good week – more than halfway to the weekend!

 

 

The Sun Sinking Lower

I had a wonderful weekend with girlfriends, preceded by a busy workweek.  I still have posting to do on my West trip (and a couple other trips – I am so far behind!), but this photo struck me as I was going through pictures this evening.

The sinking sun over the water in Coupeville, Washington.  It was the evening before my most recent half marathon in April, and I was still battling a bad cold, but this view!  This view…  I am blessed.

Beautiful Sunsets

I walked up to the University yesterday evening to watch the sunset.  It was beautiful!

Sunset at the University

Sunset at the University

The post-sunset sky

The post-sunset sky

 

It also made me reminisce on some of the other beautiful sunsets I’ve seen over the years.

The sunset turned a gorgeous pink later on...

Chincoteague Island, Virginia…

 

Harbor-Sunset-1

The Marina at Home

 

A stunning sunset at the Nehalem Bay Campground.

Nehalem Bay State Park, Oregon Coast

 

Sunset at Gold Beach

Sunset at Gold Beach, Oregon Coast

 

A beautiful California sunset

Santa Monica, California

 

A spectacular Lake Michigan Sunset!

Sunset over Lake Michigan at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

 

The Sunset at the Refuge was Fantastic

Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, Willows, California

Sunset at Fort Casey

Sunset at Fort Casey, Washington

 

Desert Sunset

Saguaro National Park, Arizona

 

I know my future travels will add more beautiful sunsets.  Which one is your favorite? 

Harbor Sunset…

I have had a couple long, difficult weeks, and haven’t really had the time or energy to blog much.  I’ll be back at it soon, I’m sure, but in the meanwhile, I hope you enjoy this photo of the sunset from my walk at the harbor the other night.  It’s peaceful.

Harbor-Sunset-1

California Marathon Road Trip: Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge

In an attempt to get me to California again after I told Jon that our next trip would not be in Cali, he signed up to run his first ever full marathon on December 8th.  The California International Marathon.  In California.  But with those sweet puppy dog eyes and his desire to do the run where the weather was warmer, and where he lived for a few years, how could I say no?  Yes, I’m a sucker…

So off we went.  As is usual on our road trips, we headed out directly after work the first evening to get a jump on the drive.  The first night’s drive was to Eugene, and there was a risk of snow.  Luckily, it held off, and we spent the night in Eugene under cloudy, 17 degree skies.  We got up early – before 6!, after arriving just before midnight and getting only about 5 hours sleep.  Next up, the drive from Eugene to Sacramento.  We got on the road just after 7 – after scraping all the windows and spending several minutes warming up the car.  The Siskyous awaited.  Of mountain passes, the Siskyous can be treacherous in snow, with the highest elevation at 4610 feet!  Fortunately, we passed through bare and mostly dry roads, with only a light dusting of snow on the ground at the edge of the road.  We heard that Eugene got 7 inches of snow later that day – so we certainly lucked out…

Not much snow on Mount Shasta, December 5, 2013

Not much snow on Mount Shasta, December 5, 2013

The rest of the drive was uneventful, with us enjoying a few of the vantage points along the way, and a quick stop for a lunch at Subway.  Then we made our way to just outside of Willows, California.  Willows is home to the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge.  I had read about it on the internet, and saw that December and January are the peak season for the refuge, when it has the highest numbers of migrating birds for the winter.  Jon wasn’t as excited about the refuge, mostly because it is about 75 miles north of Sacramento, and he was envisioning driving all the way back to the refuge after we had already arrived in Sacramento.  When I told him we could stop on the way down (assuming the drive didn’t take too long), he checked out their website and got a bit more intrigued.

For a little history, the area where the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge sits was once known as the Colusa Plains, a windswept plain with short grasses and shrubs.  However, much of the area in Sacramento and immediately surrounding it was a wetland delta.  It would flood in the winter, and dry out in the summer.  That makes for extremely fertile soil, with all the nutrients which are deposited there during the seasonal floods.   Before the turn of the last century, settlers began damming the creeks and rivers to prevent the delta from flooding.  By the 1930s, the landscape had been dramatically altered.

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Red Tailed Hawk Checking Us Out

The Emergency Conservation Fund Act of 1933 was tasked with providing habitat and breeding areas for migratory birds, because so much of the original wetland areas had been lost to agriculture.  Bring in the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression, who set to work creating this area of now federally protected land, using bulldozers and shovels to artificially create a delta.  The flooding is mechanically induced each season, with a series of pipes and valves releasing water from the river into the delta.

Out for an afternoon stroll

Ring Necked Pheasant – Out for an afternoon stroll

The Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge is part of a complex of five different refuges, and three Wildlife Management Areas that are administered together by the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife.  Admission is $6 to the refuge for the day, or an annual pass is a steal at $12 – the other refuges in the complex have no admission fees.

Butts Up Everybody!

Butts Up Everybody!

The birds don’t care whether the flooding is natural or man-made.  They have flocked back to the area over the years, with MILLIONS of ducks and geese, songbirds and hawks overwintering here.  There is a 2 mile walking tour, where the birds were not hanging out the day of our visit; but we did see muskrats (or otters, not sure which), some mallards, deer, and Jon saw a jackrabbit.    There is also a 6 mile driving tour, which you can do at your own pace.  The day we were there, there were only three other cars, so we mostly felt that we were entirely alone.  They will even loan you binoculars at the visitor’s center (we brought our own).

Red Winged Blackbird

Red Winged Blackbird

In a word, we were awestruck – the sheer numbers of birds on the marsh, feeding, sleeping, preening and occasionally taking flight, was spectacular.  We saw hawks watching birds, and even saw a hawk with a kill (he was a bit too far away to see what he had though).  We saw great egrets hunting, deer wading in the water for better feeding grounds, and we even saw two ring necked pheasants.  This is easily a few of the best hours I have spent in my life.

Great Egret

Great Egret

Getting in a Scratch While Crossing the Delta

Getting in a Scratch While Crossing the Delta

We watched one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen, and then continued on our way to Sacramento.   And almost a month later, Jon is still saying this is one of the best experiences he has ever had, so if you can, GO.

The Sunset at the Refuge was Fantastic

The Sunset at the Refuge was Fantastic

Farewell from the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge

Farewell from the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge