Fall at the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge

Date of Visit: October 11, 2018

I’m working through the pictures, descriptions, and accounts of our recent Western US Loop road trip in order to write my posts. But the seasons are turning to Fall so I went out to grab some pictures of the changing colors. I went to the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge thinking I could get some good shots of the season changing; so my primary purpose was landscape shots; but I wouldn’t not take pictures of birds or trains that I happened across.

I brought two cameras with me; the wide shots are from my  Sony A7R3 with the Sony FE 4/24-205 G OSS lens. the close ups and zooms are from my Sony RX10M4. As with most of my posts, you can click on the photos to open a new tab with a bigger version.

Before crossing over the bridge to the sanctuary I took a look down the tracks to find that yellow-leaved tree basking in the sunlight. It was a bright day but you can see hints of the fog I encountered on the drive out past the second signal.

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A northbound container train was rolling through just as I pulled up to park but there wasn’t much activity after that. What to do when you are waiting for trains? Take pictures of what’s available – in this case a couple of leaves on the ballast in the parking area. They show the color changes.

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I noticed some markers on the ground in the area I park in; I wonder if there is some new construction coming to my favorite train spot…

I came for landscape pictures so I didn’t dawdle too long trackside; I crossed the single lane wooden bridge into the refuge for the approximately three mile loop. I was barely at the start when I saw this – egret? (I’m not a birder; if I get the names wrong, please let me know so I can correct it.) You can’t get out of the car on this loop so I rolled down the passenger side window, slowly rolled up beside it lifted my camera to take an almost blind shot.

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While I didn’t see as much red as I had hoped for, overall the vistas did not disappoint. The sun was to my back so I was able to capture some pictures across the meadows. The leaves are just starting to turn.

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I liked this view of the tree line rising out of the field of grass – or whatever that is.

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As I passed to the far side of the loop the sun was directly in my face so there weren’t opportunities for good pictures; but the sun was behind me again as I continued around the circle. A group of ducks were in the pond.

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And then I got the shot of the day – a blue heron.

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I exited the wildlife refuge and couldn’t help but stop to wait for a train or two. A southbound Amtrak Cascades raced by as I was driving back across the bridge so I had hopes that a lower priority train might be behind it. Sure enough I heard a team of locomotives powering up from what must have been a full stop. I heard them for a couple of minutes before they appeared. But eventually this southbound Union Pacific container train lumbered up to the crossing.

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It picked up speed as it continued south and I captured this shot before the train moved into the shade of the hill behind me.

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The Ridgefield National Wildlife Sanctuary is a great place to see in the different seasons. Plus, it’s ideal for me being just under an hour drive from home. Click here if you’d like to read about my other trips there.

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