Friday, June 4, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend - Little Diamond

Dad and Kerry always go camping for Memorial Day weekend. Steve and I were really looking forward to getting some quality camping in this summer - having not camped since September of 07... But that's not exactly in the cards right now. So, we asked if we could come along for the trip as it would be one of my last opportunities to go and they have a tent trailer so I could sleep a little better than if we went in our tent. They always go to a campsite called Little Diamond over in Pend Oreille County in Northeastern Washington. It's a beautiful area!

Steve and I went up Friday night and walked around the area and played pool and ping pong at the lodge. Saturday, when Dad and Kerry came up - it poured all stinkin day. Which actually ended up being a lot of fun as we played cribbage, yahtzee, and Steve taught us some old band trip card games and we told embarrassing stories about each other and chatted the day away. We even had ice cream at the lodge that afternoon.

This silly killdeer made her nest in the parking area outside the lodge. Guests were worried about her so they marked her off with a cone and some rocks so nobody would park on her...
This killdeer stayed at the water 24/7 and was taking a good bath here. Earlier in the weekend he tried to lure us away with the broken wing act they do.
Sunday was a much nicer day. Steve and I went canoeing around the pond there and saw a ton of wildlife which was awesome! We went fishing that afternoon, and even though people had been catching fish like crazy that morning, the only person who seemed to catch anything while we were there was an 8 year old boy who drove the rest of us crazy. Steve did hook one and get it within about 5 feet of the dock, but then lost it. We gave up soon after - it had been 3.5 hours already... We did watch a merganser come into the netted/stocked part of the pond, catch a fish, and leave... He seemed to do pretty well. On our way back to camp we even came across a beautiful woodpecker that Steve spotted! It sat there and flew tree to tree right around us and even played peek-a-boo around one tree with Kerry for a few minutes. That night we had what Steve calls a "white man fire" to use up all the firewood we had brought but been unable to use because of the rain. Roasted chili dogs and marshmallows... doesn't get much better.

Some of the wildlife we saw. Little Diamond always has a TON of geese, and the best part of that is getting to see all the silly little goslings. They were so funny flapping their useless wings to try and keep up with Mama.
There are always tons of little black squirrels (no pictures) and these ground squirrels everywhere around the camp.
So Steve and I still have no idea what kind of birds these were, but they were neat, so enjoy.
Steve and I thought we were sneaking up on this turtle in the canoe. Turns out it's not very hard to sneak up on a dead turtle...
These little guys were CRUISING around the lake... Took some work to keep up with them to even try to get a picture.
Little Diamond has 3 or 4 of these beaver hutches on little marshy islands out in the lake. I've still never seen a beaver here, but like fairies and Santa Claus - I believe.
Turns out this guy is a pileated woodpecker. We was so neat! And, while we were watching, a hummingbird (presumably attracted to the red) came and buzzed him and was watching him for a while before deciding he wasn't a flower and flying off.
It's hard to tell, even if you click on the picture, but this bald eagle has a fish in its talons. We watched him take it, and then got some good pictures of him later on our canoe adventure. So cool!Not long after taking these pictures we saw the osprey that nest around the lake annually get mad at the eagles being around (there was also a juvenile but we couldn't get a picture). As a result, we saw a 5 osprey on 2 eagle dogfight up over the trees and even an osprey do a full on stoop! Steve was beyond excited and it was really neat to see!

Monday - it rained all day again. So we packed up in the rain and headed home. We had a great last hoorah for our time camping without a little one though. The family time was great, and we are so grateful that Dad and Kerry let us come along!

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