Friday, June 12, 2020

Spending our Anniversary at the Grays Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Every once in a while, you find moments where you forget all your worries and life is so beautiful that all that matters is the moment. Renita and I were both in that moment as we were surrounded by a calliope of sights and sounds that filled our senses.
We were standing on a gravel road in eastern Idaho, surrounded by water and reeds and yellow headed blackbirds were calling to each other and their mates.
White faced ibis flew and landed displaying their iridescent wings and sporting beaks and legs with purple flashes of color.

American avocets waded and one even posed near us, unconcerned about our nearness.
It looked at us as it wondered what we were doing there, this was its marsh, it’s home.
A Wilsons phalarope swam by, but we kept watching the white-faced ibis with their beautiful colors. Renita said that the colors reminded her of the ink pen shells we find on the Gulf Coast beaches and we wondered if the feathers were grown from similar colors and materials….
It was our forty ninth anniversary and we had both decided that we would go birding to the Grays Lake National Wildlife refuge. It’s a short fifty miles away and we reach it by driving to Freedom, Wyoming before crossing into Idaho and then following Tin Cup, a meandering stream, until we reach the refuge.
Spring is the best time to be here and this is the first time we spotted sandhill cranes sitting on their nests. The ever-present ravens flew by along with a Harris hawk, (one time in the fall, we had seen a family of Harris hawks hunt together).
First stopping at the overlook, we continued our drive north passing a small marsh where a mallard pair swam away concerned but not enough to fly away.

We passed so may cranes and they were so near the road, for the most part feeding.
Our favorite part of the drive is when we reach the flooded marshes on both sides of the road. There time seemed to stand still.  Driving on we turned left at the first intersection and the road continued on to the south.  The land rose and we were now above the marsh allowing us to see the flooded areas below us.
Just before reaching the highway we crossed an irrigation ditch where the refuges water flows to a reservoir. All the water out west is claimed, but luckily some water was reserved for the refuge.
From there we turned east on the highway and we headed home, but the trip wasn’t over, and we stopped for a picnic at a small National Forest campground. Perhaps next year we will travel to a place we have never been, but that’s next year. 
Today we were at one of our favorite places. Clear skies


  1. Some beautiful birds. Happy Anniversary and many more.

  2. Happy Anniversary - Your pictures are beautiful!