September 14, Back in Seattle

We have left Alaska behind and are now in Seattle. Just before leaving Alaska, we stopped by the Creamer's Dairy Migratory Waterfowl Refuge in Fairbanks and were just in time to see hundreds of Sandhill Cranes, Canada Geese, and ducks. Evidently, this is one of the first "staging" stops as the birds migrate south. Very impressive sight. One of the interesting things about the place is the name. The property was once a dairy and Creamer was the owner's last name--a very fitting one indeed. We also stopped in Haines, another of those very pretty places with a scenic drive in, but because of weather (clouds and rain), we didn't see much scenery. We did, however, see Grizzly Bears fishing for salmon in Chilkat River. The Eagles were there too, but mainly going for the leavings of the bears.

Sandhill Cranes & Canada Geese

Bears fishing for Salmon

Canada was great too, but I wasn't feeling particularly well--a reaction to one of my new medications for diabetes--so we headed fairly straight back without too much dawdling. I quit taking that particular medication, going back to an old one, and have been feeling well since. Have an appointment Friday with the doctor to discuss options. We had another distressing border crossing. We were sent to secondary once more, so they could take our food and throw it away. I've learned from past experience not to have beef in the freezer, but this time it was avocados they asked about. Besides taking the food, the guards also confiscated our very US plant that we have carried back and forth across the border many times. Said we could keep it if we went back to Canadian customs, got them to certify the plant, and then came back through US customs once more. We figured the Canadians would just laugh at us for asking them to certify a US plant that we have owned for years and most obviously had not just bought in Canada. Also, we did not want to go through US Customs again--what will they think of next to take from us? So we gave up the plant along with the food and came on through.

We had a wonderful weekend with Gaynell and Thad. Went to the movies and saw "The Constant Gardener;" very well done murder mystery but a bit depressing--much to think about. Based on a novel by John Le Carre and starred Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz. We also went out to the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge again. We were too early for most of the migrants to have arrived but saw lots of birds, including the first arrivals of Sandhill Cranes.

We are now camped out in Roxie's driveway. She has a cold but did manage a pizza and movie with us last night. We watched "The Hudsucker Proxy," always a favorite. Genna & Steve came by and we had a nice visit with them as well.

Plans are still afoot to go for a motorcycle trip with Dick and Eric later this month.

Love to all,
Margie & Riley

Bird Diary
August 27, 2005 Creamer's Dairy Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge, Fairbanks, Alaska
Greater White-fronted Goose
Canada Geese (hundreds)
American Wigeon: m & f (eclipse plumage)
Blue-winged Teal: m & f (eclipse plumage)
Northern Pintail: m & f (eclipse plumage)
Sandhill Cranes (hundreds)
Hairy Woodpecker
Common Raven
Black-capped Chickadee
Dark-eyed "Slate" Junco
Orange-crowned Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler

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