Whales on the way home

Ever and I on Forest and Muskeg trail

Another trip to the Forest and Muskeg trail. He'll be walking it beside us pretty soon.

Daylight savings is lifting everyone’s spirits around here. With the longer days, Ever and I can go for a walk after work and not have to rush too much to be back before dark. We still have to be back in time for him to have dinner and go to sleep at a reasonable hour, but on nice evenings it sure feels good to to take a walk in the woods with a baby on my back. Another sign of spring: the whales are back!

humpback whale spouting

Before Ever was born, I had time to kayak with whales each spring and fall. We're a bit too busy for that right now, but it will be just as fun to stand on a beach holding Ever's hand as he sees whales up close for the first time.

Ever and I saw about six whales on the way back home from tonight’s walk in the woods. We went to the Forest and Muskeg loop again, our favorite after-school hike lately. Ever made oohing and ahhing sounds the whole way, laughed at Willie playing in the snow, and generally loved being outdoors. On the way home I saw a whale spout in the distance, so I pulled over for a few minutes. I sat watching as more and more whales kept spouting in different places near the first whale. Ever just played with his toy in the back seat the whole time, looking up from time to time as I told him how the whales had just come back from Hawaii where they spent the winter. Two or three weeks from now, whales will come right up to the shore to eat the herring that spawn along the shoreline. Ever had no idea the whales were around today, but I can’t wait to see his face the first time a whale surfaces just a few feet offshore from where we are standing.

whale from behind

The whales are pretty skinny right now, because they just spent the winter in Hawaii where they don't each much at all. But they'll fatten up when the herring return in two or three weeks.

We’ve all been feeling a little cooped up from a particularly gray and dreary winter here. But days like today are why we live here, waking up to early morning sunlight glowing on the volcano across the sound, watching spring snow blanket the mountains each day on the drive to work, and seeing whales surface and raise their tails to dive on the way home. We didn’t see them very close today, we really just saw some spouts and tails about a mile offshore. But knowing there are whales nearby always has a calming effect on me. I think it’s just humbling to know there are animals so much bigger than me around. Whales are an amazing combination of graceful and powerful. Being in their presence, even when they are far away, is grounding. I can’t wait to share that wonder, awe, and respect for whales with Ever.


About ehmatthes

Teacher, hacker, new dad, outdoor guy
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