Swans and Beyond
Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Romantic outings don’t necessarily need to involve fine dining, bouquets of flowers or the giving and receiving of material things. Sometimes, all that is needed to get your heart racing is an activity that takes place in the great outdoors and involves the appreciation of the natural world. The following activities fit the bill.
To get a look a closer look at birds that are monogamous and often mate for life, two different Swan Watches taking place this weekend and next will draw attention to the wonders of Trumpeter and Tundra swans as they lift off from the water and head to the skies to explore for the day’s forage. First up, the annual Swan Watch hosted by Friends of Tennant Lake and Hovander Park takes place from 7-10am Sat., Feb. 9 in Ferndale at Tennant Lake (5236 Nielsen Ave.). Show up at dawn to see as many as 300 swans lift off, then stick around to warm up and listen to a guest speaker at the Interpretive Center. If you’re farther south, meet with Skagit Land Trust to celebrate the lovebirds at a Valentine’s Swan Watch at 6:45am Sat., Feb. 16 at Barney Lake (east of Mount Vernon). Many other birds winter at the picturesque locale and bald eagles nest along the shore, so be sure to bring your binoculars—and your sweetie. Info: http://www.fotlhp.org or www.skagitlandtrust.org
Meet up with a pal, furry friend or someone special and take part in Max Higbee Center’s fifth annual Hearty Party 5K! Run, Walk & Roll starting at 11am Sat., Feb. 9 at the center’s headquarters at 1210 Bay St. Entry to take part in the “race for inclusion” is $20-$35 and includes breathtaking views of Bellingham Bay and Zuanich Point Park, as well as entrance to an after-party at Boundary Bay Brewery. The nonprofit provides recreational services to teens and adults living with developmental disabilities, and this event not only celebrates the people it helps, but will also raise funds toward finding a bigger home for the center. If you want to show them the love, you know what to do. Info: http://www.maxhigbee.org
At 6pm every Tuesday, a free All-Paces Run sets out for guided excursions from Fairhaven Runners (1209 11th St.) to routes that either follow the waterfront or the nearby woods. Once a month, however, the longtime athletic hub ups the ante with a themed outing. An annual You Make My Heart Race Run happening Tues., Feb. 12 will include pre- and post-run events including finding your sole-mate via Topo shoe demos, a “Get to Know Your Run Lovin’ Compatriots” contest, and sweet treats, prizes and giveaways designed to warm your heart. Wear red to receive a specially marked Valentine, and don a headlamp or bring a flashlight to ensure you end the night with your limbs intact. Info: http://www.fairhavenrunners.com
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Getting hairy in Bigfoot country
Some trail workers I know and respect adamantly report they’ve spent decades traveling and working in the great outdoors without ever once encountering a Bigfoot.
Although I don’t hold this against them, it does cause me to question their inability to perceive and accept the…