Wednesday, November 30, 2016

West Side Outing

Bill was on a mission yesterday.  He wanted to explore the possibility of using two venues for the outdoor experiential education program at Clark Fork High School. As a member of Trout Unlimited, he has been volunteering for a variety of aspects associated with the program.  

Yesterday's goal was to look over the possibilities with facilities available at the Lions' Club park on Snow Creek and the Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge, both on the west side of the Kootenai Valley near Bonners Ferry. 

Tough trip to have to take on any day, but someone has to do it. For decades, we have loved spending time up in that area. 

Yesterday turned out to be perfect as the sun was shining and the clouds were not dropping rain. Instead, they were performing as clouds should do every once in a while---just artful and heavenly accessories to the blue background.

When we drove across the valley from Bonners Ferry, eagles were out watching for their meals along the Kootenai River.  We spotted three big birds within half a mile.  One was too shy to pose for the camera, flying off the instant I stepped out of the pickup.

The other two, however, were quite content to continue their victual vigil and to provide some lovely poses as only proud eagles can do.  

At moments like these, I always wish for a longer lens.  

I don't think I've ever taken a trip up that way when the Kootenai River wasn't magnificent.  Any season of the year, its features, both water and shoreline are simply breath-taking.  

Yesterday was no exception.

When we moved on to the Lions' park, which is in a relatively shaded area, the sun remained our friend, casting lovely rays on the water and the moss-covered shoreline of Snow Creek, which was flowing vigorously along its way. 

While Bill walked around with his little camera, photographing the facilities, I walked the Snow Creek shoreline and around the pond, which Bill said was stocked with fish this past year.  

He figures the students can do their fishing activities at Snow Creek and some classroom work at the wildlife refuge , which has an impressive classroom where stuffed wildlife and pelts surround the room and survey the scene from above. 

We enjoyed a nice visit with manager Diana Ellis who was very accommodating in regard to Bill's plans to suggest the site  for a spring activity to the Clark Fork High School staff members. 

Twas, as usual, another great afternoon of driving through and walking through lovely landscapes to take in all the natural phenomena in their late fall magnificence. 

Enjoy the photos.  Happy Wednesday.  

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