December 2023 Backyard Bulletin
A couple of friends of mine were recently observing the Bald Eagles that have taken over our riverbanks near the Spring Creek Bridge in Winthrop when someone walked by looking at their phone. "Did you see the eagles?!" they asked with excitement. The passerby didn't even look up and stated, "This is an eagle superhighway," before continuing to walk away. What a privilege to live in a place where something so remarkable can fall into the background of day to day life!
By December, the number of different plant and animal species on display in the Methow Valley has dwindled. Most migratory birds have left town, flowers are long gone, and those who hibernate have receded for the winter. We're left with a smaller, core cast of characters: Deer, moose, squirrels, cougars, eagles, wolves, and a few others. Most of these characters are either visually plentiful, or visually elusive. To see something elusive carries extra excitement; to see something common can be less inspiring. But should it be? I'm not sure I'd ever seen a Bald Eagle firsthand before moving to the Methow Valley. They're massive, gorgeous, and iconic! Every creature that we share the landscape with throughout the winter is achieving something incredible, and well worth pausing to observe. So consider this a friendly challenge to deconstruct the impulse that pegs something common as unremarkable. Then perhaps you'll enjoy this month's featured Eagle photos :) Happy holidays!
- Bridger Layton, Education Programs Coordinator