Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.

The Flying Stick


The campsite is just in the trees near the bottom of the photo, at this end of the lake. We thought it would be good to get some firewood from the logging slash piles behind the camp. If we didn’t need it, we could leave it for the next campers.

In the sweltering heat on the hillside, we cut and loaded a few bits of wood.

“We must be completely nuts to even think of making a fire. It has to be 30 degrees C,” I said, wanting to get back to the shade of the campsite.

But the evenings can cool off, so we persevered.

On the way back, at the bottom of the hill, I saw something.

“Stop! There! Is that a bird … or … is it a … stick? Or a rock?”

From inside the truck and at this distance I couldn’t tell what it was. I had been fooled many, many times by rocks or sticks that looked like a grouse at the side of the road.

“I’ll zoom it and take a picture. Then I might be able to see what it is…. It’s probably just a stick.”

Through the truck window the blurry photo really looked like a grouse, but the … thing … hadn’t moved an inch in the two minutes we had been sitting there in the truck.

“Just wait,” I said. “I know it’s just a log or something, but I want to go over to it and take a picture of the stick that fooled me.”

I got out of the truck. It still didn’t move. With my camera ready, I was about to snap a picture of the stick, when it flew away.

But sticks never fly away with tail feathers spread out in a glorious rusty brown colour. It was a ruffed grouse.

At home I put the picture in my photoshop app and lightened the dark shape. Now, even in the fuzzy picture, I could see the rusty colour and other features like an eye and a beak and a tuft of a topknot.

He was very good at hiding in the twisted roots of a fallen giant tree nearby. Although I looked for him, I didn’t see him again. Just lots of sticks and rocks.

Author: wordsfromanneli

Writing, travel, photography, nature, more writing....

28 thoughts on “The Flying Stick

  1. That valley is beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a gorgeous area to set up camp.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Grouse! You swept me back to my childhood!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The lake looks so inviting for a swim. Is the water cold? I love the picture of this grouse. Beautiful nature, oh, I am so homesick.


    • It was really good for swimming. We found a private spot where the river flows out of the lake. Not a soul around. We had a refreshing swim (not too cold at all, except at first when you eased in). Once we were in, it was so nice.


  5. What gorgeous views! I envy you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Such a lovely spot to camp. Glad you got that photo of the not-a-stick. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Such a beautiful spot to park the trailer. I think I’d stay as long as I possibly could! What a bonus to see the grouse!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The ability of animals and birds to hide is stunning. Saw so many examples of that on safari and it amazed me every time.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. That’s a beautiful place!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I thought of you hiking up there, how hot it got for walking, and how you’d need to have some sort of deterrent with you. The camp host told us they’d had a big problem with wolves over the past couple of years. The bears run away, but the cougars are more opportunistic and there are a lot on the island. Still, you’d find beautiful things to photograph.


  10. Nature has its ways. When I was teaching an elementary school class, I did a unit on camouflage. I think I learned more than the kids did, which was usually the case! Your grouse was an expert!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s funny. I found that too. When we teach we have to do research on the topic so we know everything that might possibly come up and so we do end up learning more than we expect. Very satisfying.


  11. Fabulous location!

    And grouse – it’s amazing how still (and camouflaged) they can be.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s their best defense next to flying up into a tree. This one was so still for so long, I was sure it was just a jagged bit of wood, even as I got out of the truck to take a picture of a stick. I thought I’d do a post to show how much this stick looked like a grouse, and then the subject flew away and the story changed.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. So he was playing possum??????? hahaha

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Often I mistake a rock or branch for something else. It’s always fun when it turns out to be so much more😊

    Liked by 1 person

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