When it comes to New Years Day traditions, I actually have two.
1) Make sure to start the new year off with some kind of outdoor event. Anything like a kayak trip, hiking, snowshoe excursion, bicycle ride, or XC ski trip will set the tone for the rest of the year.
2) Pick your “year bird”. Although some times your year bird actually picks you. In case you didn’t know, your year bird is a theme bird for the rest of the year. Many people say it should be the very first bird you see in the new year. I’m not quite so stringent about that rule because that would make my year bird the Anna’s hummingbird EVERY year. Those little guys are year round residents of my back porch, and the first bird noise I hear every morning. A couple of years ago it was the snowy owl, because Susan and I hiked out to see a few snowy owls on New Years Day.
So, back to #1 for a minute: Sunrise in the Cascade Mountains found me headed up to the Old Sauk River Trail.
This peaceful, moss covered wonderland was the perfect place to begin a new year of adventures.
Crystal clear mountain river water made a beautiful reflecting pool.
My trail followed right along the Sauk River, dodging into and out of the forest.
Dork. Geek. Gadget nerd. Whatever you want to call it, I’m really not getting any better as the years roll on. This was my camera setup for the preceding image. Man I love that Gorilla Pod.
I had a delightful little hike of about 8-ish miles and and when I came upon this tiny little waterfall, surrounded by an impenetrable tangle of brush, I was sure there was a brilliant photograph hiding in there. Just waiting for me to bash my way in and capture it.
That’s what I came back with, you be the judge.
Oh, and as for #2: Belted Kingfisher nominated himself as my 2014 year bird. His ratchety calls were scolding me all along the trail. A fine choice I think.