Animals

Happy Humpy Day!

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It’s hump day again and this week it strikes me as very unfair that camels get all the attention on Wednesdays. Why do we give all the glory to camels when we have a humpbacked creature right here in our rivers?

Sunday, Don and I took Smarty to the Sultan Osprey Park. While we didn’t see any osprey, we saw lots of pink, or humpback, salmon. The river was absolutely full of these humpbacked fish trying to fight their way upstream.

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Those aren’t rocks in the river, they’re humpies!

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And the riverbank was full of dead ones. As you can imagine, it didn’t smell so great by the river’s edge.

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After taking a few photos of the humpies, I can actually see why there are more camel photos on hump day. Humpies are not very photogenic.

And neither was the town of Sultan, at least not any of the places we went. I was hoping to find some good mountain viewpoints but only saw the mountains peeking out of scenes like this:

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The Osprey Park, although lacking in photo subjects and osprey, was very pretty and peaceful. We walked along the outer loop trail, which is probably about a mile long and passes by a pond with ducks and several points along the river.

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The forest was so beautiful with the sunlight streaming down through the leaves. Being out there in the fresh air and the quiet, with only the sounds of the river rushing along the rocks and the leaves dancing in the breeze made me very homesick. I grew up on the banks of the Skagit River and I spent most of my free time wandering along the river bank, up and down a nearby creek, or just trailblazing through the woods. I really miss being able to wander for miles and miles without seeing another person.

The part of the Skagit I grew up on was really deep and cloudy-green so I never saw fish like we saw on Sunday. I was amazed by how many there were. Hundreds, in just a small area. And to think they’ve been travelling for months already. They must be so tired!  It’s probably a good thing I didn’t live along a smaller river like the Sultan. I would have spent all my free time out in the river trying to help the humpies up the rapids. Watching them swim up and then get swept back made me want to wade out there to give them a boost!

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17 thoughts on “Happy Humpy Day!

  1. I would have felt the same way about giving them a boost, but nature has to take its course. Such a peaceful scene in the last photo. Beautiful!

    1. Thank you! Getting out into nature reminds me of what a beautiful place the Pacific Northwest really is. It’s easy to forget when looking at traffic and buildings.

  2. Love that last photo, it shows what a beautiful day it was.

    A good spot to get pictures of the river and mountains is from on the bridge into Index just a little further up the road. My friend and I have stopped there on our past Leavenworth road trips. There’s a pedestrian walk on the bridge so you’re safe from traffic. (What little there is.)

    1. Good to know! I’m hoping to drag my husband to Leavenworth sometime in the next few weeks so I’ll be sure to stop in Index. It’s a place that intrigues me anyway. It’s so small, so far away from everything and almost creepy in some way.

    1. It was a lovely day. I wish I could have gotten photos that really captured how lovely it was. It was the perfect temperature and it smelled like fallen leaves…well, except for by the river where the dead salmon were. 🙂

  3. Well, this was a learning moment for me. I’ve heard of humpback whales, but not humpack salmon before! Poor guys killing themselves to swim upstream… no wonder the camels have the spotlight.

    1. Well, don’t feel bad. I grew up next door to where the humpies swim and have heard terms like “the humpies are running” my whole life but, until now, I wasn’t curious enough about it to learn what it really meant. What really amazes me is that the humpies only run on odd numbered years. Weird, huh? Humans would have screwed that up a long time ago!

        1. I just had to educate myself on the swallows of Capistrano! That’s another phenomenon I have always heard references to but never bothered to look up. Or, if I did know about it I’d forgotten. Always possible with my unreliable memory.

          I know, the nickname “humpies” brings out the inner Beavis or Butthead in those of us with a dirty-minded, juvenile side to our personalities!

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