Springtime in the Pacific Northwest

I often walk my dog in a sparsely wooded area, where melting snow and dry grass form numerous swamp-like patches and temporary creeks during early spring. The water remains there only for a couple of months--replenished by the rain season of the Pacific Northwest--but in that brief time frame, this area turns into an entire ecosystem. Mallards appear to be the most prominent residents. Glossy green drakes seem quite doting and protective of their females, especially when they feed, as my camera-hunt demonstrated. The ducks move about the swampy patches in pairs--ever so decorously--or weightlessly swim down these miniature temporary rivers like children’s paper ships.

But, of course, there are other residents here attracted by the residual waters.  Ringed plovers, for instance, clownishly patter around and occasionally let out an equally comical "peep-peep!" that always alerts my basset hound. (Taking a hunting dog along to engage in wildlife photography is probably not the brightest decision I've made, but it's his walk I'm on, not the other way around!) 

Then, there are the usual suspects, seasonal mini-flooding notwithstanding: American robins, sparrows, crows and ravens having a macabre feast with deer carcasses on the menu, and even woodpeckers occasionally heard tapping in the distance--inspiring envy in heavy-metal drummers everywhere.  

It's no wonder that the basset returns home overwhelmed by the scents and sounds, letting me process the images!