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Friday, April 18, 2008

travelling north


Sadly leaving behind our granddaughter and her parents we travelled Thursday and Friday from sunny California to snowy Seattle! We knew Maggie's parents were doing well and that they could ask her real Creator for her operating instructions. *

We took it slow. In that inbetween zone of leaving and return we watched the haymaking on the center strips of the highway, bales carted away on double flatbed trucks secured by metal straps. In Oregon we noticed truck after truck of huge cedar logs. We loved the old farms and barns along the highway, and green fields of cattle in California and sheep in Oregon.

We stopped and felt most at home at the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, the only car there, pausing every few minutes along the automobile route to view wildlife. Most of the birds had headed north before us, returning to their nesting sites as far away as Alaska. We, however, enjoyed the natives in their natural habitat and some newly arrived shorebirds. Wildlife, not having reason and will, but a guidance system and operating instructions built in, migrate the Pacific Flyway north and south according to the seasons since the beginning of time. We, with our will yielded to God's direction were instructed to have dominion and care for these creatures of the earth. I am thankful for refuges that help us experience that care and this rare peek at God's avian creation.

Because 90% of California's wetlands have disappeared, these wetlands are mostly manmade. Established in 1937 more than 35,000 acres of wetlands and uplands are managed by draining and reflooding, burning, mowing and irrigating grasslands and creating ponds, a replication of natural habitat. We drove at the edge of seasonal marshes, watching waders and by permanent ponds the waterfowl finding abundant wildlife in a fun few hours. The brochure states, "... appoximately 44% of the Pacific Flyway's waterfowl population winters in the Sacramento Valley. Three million ducks and over one million geese migrate here." We will try to come back at the peak in November, but then again, I don't think we can wait that long for another trip further south to visit our new granddaughter and family. If it keeps snowing in Seattle, we might just turn right around south again.

* 2 Timothy 3:15-17

See www. angelambryant Sacramento National Wildlife Reguge

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