After all of last week's political gloom and doom, and then cold and snow, this morning dawned a balmy 38 degrees. I was determined to take my toddler for an early morning walk around town to cheer us up, banish the cabin fever we've both been feeling and hopefully spot the bald eagle I saw near the town wharf a few weeks ago (when I sadly did not have a camera). One thing I love about my town is that I can step out my front door, walk five minutes down the street and be along the river walk.
I told my daughter that it won't be long before the chimney swifts are back to nest in the round holes in the foundation of the long building on the right (click to enlarge). They fill the sky over the river in the summer chasing insects.
It was still a bit icy and with yesterday's rain there was a lot of water coming over the dam. This dam has been here for centuries but there's a movement starting in town to have it removed to make fish passage easier and hopefully restore our anadromous fish run. Studies show there's bedrock just upstream of the dam and without the impediment there would be a nice rapid right through town. Our house is just around the bend upstream, we could literally walk to the end of our street, jump in our kayaks and paddle the three miles out to sea. I told my daughter that I hope we can all do that someday, she smiled.
She was even more happy when I let her out of the stroller to walk up and down the foot bridge. This is the first time she's been able to do this since she learned to walk as there's been so much snow and ice. I swear she let out a twenty second rapid jumble of words as soon as she ran up to the bars and pressed her little face closer to the falls. I recognized "happy", "water" and "walk" in there. "Happy" was repeated over and over. It's her new favorite word.
She fell asleep somewhere along the lower river near the town wharf so she missed the beautiful shapes the melting ice takes when the current slows.
But when she woke up in Zumi's, our local fair trade coffee shop, she babbled "happy" again and again. I think we both feel better. Walks and January thaws (and a decaf caramel cloud latte for me:) definitely make us both "happy". Perhaps when she wakes up from her nap we'll go to the beach!
Lake Padden, a month later
3 hours ago