Here's an idea: on this Valentine’s Day three-day weekend, take the time to fall in love with nature. Put down the remote and go outside to watch a majestic bald eagle (or two or twenty) at one of America’s most amazing national wildlife refuges—Klamath Basin Refuges (Tulelake, California, 530/667-2231).
Or check out one of the national wildlife refuges or fish hatcheries nearby (there's one that's about an hour's drive from most major metropolitan areas). This month, the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s “Let’s go Outside” website contains electronic Valentines, in both English and Spanish, featuring bald eagles, red foxes and even turtles, to send to friends and family.
Among the dozen or so national wildlife refuges where bald eagles are common, one of the bbest is Klamath Basin Refuges (Tulelake, California, 530-667-2231, , which hosts the largest wintering concentration in the lower 48 states. In February, the refuge plays host to the nation’s oldest birding festival: the Bald Eagle Conference. I've grown to love this festival, where guides can take you out to bald eagle roosting sites at the crack of dawn, and you watch awestruck as dozens of bald eagles stream overhead. The Klamath Basin hosts thousands of overwintering geese and ducks, too, and the self-guided auto tour route offers easy viewing from the comfort of your traveling duck blind (your car).
Details: On the website, you'll find fact sheets about wildlife species, including bald eagles, moose, sea turtles, and cardinals; tips on how youngsters and their families can start observing wildlife; links to maps and a special events calendar that can help families find places to go and see nature up close. To reach Klamath Basin Refuges in Tulelake, California, click or call 530/667-2231. Make a weekend getaway of it; for lodging and dining ideas, click here to go to the Klamath Falls, Oregon, tourism website.