Fires in the Lower Valley and Wildlife Sightings Today

IMG_1632Last week while we were up north, the mountains separating Yakima Valley from the Lower Valley burned.  Here’s what the news reported:

East of Yakima, Wash. — About 30 homes are threatened as a wildfire sparked late Wednesday night has grown to 5,000 acres on Rattlesnake Ridge.

Making matters worse, temperatures are expected to soar to triple digits, and it’s windy.

“We have multiple homes threatened,” Lt. Keith Schrank with East Valley Fire said.

The fire appeared to be slowing Thursday afternoon as firefighters gathered to fight it.

There are 3 very short video clips posted here:

Here’s what it looked like today–you can see the line where the fire was stopped.  These were taken from the car as we drove by:

IMG_1634The fire burned right to the edges of the beautiful green orchards and vineyards.IMG_1635IMG_1636IMG_1637IMG_1639IMG_1642IMG_1648In some places the fire came right down to the road.IMG_1651IMG_1652In the meantime, the rest of the valley is moving towards a great harvest year.  Here you can see the hops growing up the vines.IMG_1627IMG_1629

Wildlife update:  today I saw a flock of about 12 white pelicans on the Yakima River.  I am always watching for them.  I saw one last week.  Today I spotted the flock.  The pelicans look like this–they’re as large as swans and stunningly beautiful.  2017-7-11 White pelicans 12017-7-11 White pelicans

Today I also saw one Bald Eagle in flight.16690-a-bald-eagle-flying-with-a-fish-pv

And I always enjoy looking for the Ospreys. There are about 20 Osprey stands visible from the road as we drive from Yakima to Sunnyside.  The stands are along the river and sometimes just in the trees near the fields.  I’m not sure who builds the stands for them to build their nests on.  When we first arrived, I thought they were pelican nests, but then I learned they were Osprey nests.

These nests crack me up.  They look like bad hair days.  They are huge and they are messy.  Today almost every nest had an Osprey in it.  That’s unusual.  Here’s what they look like.  (I didn’t take any of these photos.)



About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

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