I love a good story, especially about birds. Humans are built to deliver, receive and even interpret the allegorical nature of some stories.
Lois Utt has a story, a straightforward oh-my-gosh tale.
The Mukilteo resident has been watching birds a very long time, thanks to reaching age 94 and still enjoying their behavior and beauty. But in all those years, she had never experienced an eagle moment like this.
She’s enjoyed the eagles in the nearby “eagle tree,” and now and then had an eagle on a tree on her property.
One day, she said, “I woke up to a noise in the kitchen area. Well, there was an eagle on my back porch. The dining room window comes down to the floor, and an immature eagle was pecking on the window. He had been in the top of the tall Himalayan cedar before, and didn’t seem to know where his territory was.”
A few days later: “There was an eagle, the same one I saw on my back porch, in my bird bath on the ground. When I stuck the bird bath out there, I never thought of an eagle,” Utt said.
Speaking of eagles. The Skagit Eagle Festival will return in January with activities and tours during weekends starting Jan. 6-7. More information is at www.skagiteaglefestival.com.
The Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest continues its Eagle Watcher Volunteers Stewardship Program in December and January. Trained volunteers are at sites along the Skagit River near Rockport State Park to talk about eagles that have flocked to the area to feed on the carcasses of salmon that have died after spawning.
There will be no calls for volunteers next year because all spots have been filled.
A park’s future. Sultan is the site for the first public informational meeting on the long-term future of Wallace Falls State Park near Gold Bar.
The very popular 1,380-acre camping park has shoreline on the Wallace River, three lakes and the Skykomish River. It features a 265-foot-high waterfall and an old-growth coniferous forest, but its popularity has outgrown its existing parking facilities.
Washington State Park officials are looking for creative parking solutions at a meeting from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 15.
In addition, the adjacent public lands could provide exciting potential trail connections, with the goal of improved visitor experience for hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians and other trail users, and this is an opportunity to offer suggestions or concerns.
The meeting is at the Sultan City Hall Community Room, 319 Main St. Public comment can also be made by contacting parks planner Randy Kline at 360-902-8632 or at email@example.com.
The wait is over. Sno-Park permits are on sale online and from various vendors. The permits allow visitors to park in cleared, designated areas with access for cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, dog sledding and tubing statewide, and are good through April 30 for more than 120 sites.
There are daily Sno-Park permits, seasonal non-motorized Sno-Park permits and special groomed stickers.
Because there are various requirements, costs and some combinations of permits for certain sites, it’s best to go to parks.state.wa.us/204/passes-permits for information.
On the bookshelf. A coffee table book worth mentioning is “Yellowstone Migration” (Braided River) — wildlife biologist and photographer Joe Riss’ journey with the migrations of elk, mule deer and pronghorn sheep. It’s a show-and-tell of the strength, beauty and vulnerability of the animals during their treks.
It includes a section on highway barriers to migration and solutions. For those who need an economic reason to build wildlife bridges over highways, look at the $9.7 million Trappers Point (Wyoming) overpass.
In the first three years following construction, nearly 60,000 mule deer and 26,000 pronghorn sheep crossed over. Traffic collisions dropped more than 80 percent, from more than 135 in 2012 to fewer than 25 in 2015.
Fewer accidents, fewer repair bills, fewer injuries.
Sharon Wootton: 360-468-3964 or firstname.lastname@example.org.