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Arboretum - July 4th Weekend

I finally picked up my two person Kayak from storage this weekend and Christi and I took it out to the UW Arboretum on Sunday and Monday. I've been driving by the Arboretum for years and have always wanted to get down there and paddle around.

We put in at McCurdy Park which has free four hour parking and easy access to drop your kayak in. To get there just get onto Montlake down by the UW, get onto E Lake Washington Blvd (right to the South of 520) and turn left onto 24th Ave E (it goes over 520). The parking is also the same parking for the Museum of History and Industry so you can watch for signs for that too.

It was even better than I'd hoped, with wonderful weather and lots of great animals. On Sunday I decided to risk taking my camera but wasn't willing to risk my big lens on this first try. After such a great outing on our first try we headed back the next day with my 75-200mm lens and some snacks for the ducks.

I highly recommend going down there and paddling around. If you don't have your own kayak or canoe the UW has a water recreation center right across the Montlake bridge next to Husky stadium where they rent rowboats and canoes.


 

Heron on Dock

There several Herons there on both days, and I was able to get really close to them

Heron Flight

While I was taking pictures of the Heron on the dock he took off and I was able to snap this shot of him in flight

Heron Perch

Further into the Arboretum we ran into this Heron perched on a branch

Heron Perch 2

Here he is fron another angle

Heron Close

I was able to get up close to him in this shot

Ducklings

Once the ducks and ducklings caught on to the fact that we had bread (whole wheat to keep them healthy: ) they followed us around like some sort of aquatic pied piper.

Duckling

It was hilarous and we had a great time trying to evenly divide the snacks among the throng of ducks. Most of them would even swim right up to the side of the boat and eat out of your hands!

Reflection

Great shot of a duck and its reflection

Duck Shake

I caught this guy as he shook off

On a Log

I love this shot of two ducks on a log

On Lily Pads

There were a few birds that looked like ducks, but not like your standard variety. They were really cute.

Water Nibble

Here's another one of those non-standard ducks

Turtle Frightener

There were quite a few tutles sunning themselves on logs and on the bank, but when we'd get close they'd jump back in the water. I dubbed Christi the "Turtle Frightener" because she was in the front of the boat and I was pretty sure it was her fault (despite the fact that I had control of the rudder : )

Raccoon Peek

On the second day we even saw a Raccoon. He was on the shore washing his hands, and gnawing on something that he found in the bushes.

Raccoon - Far

He was really cute (from a distance), but when he opened his mouth to chew on whatever he was eating you were able to see he had some major teeth!

Raccoon - Close

Here's a zoom in on that last shot