This planet we call home is rather beautiful!
I haven’t been walking regularly…although I just walked about 4 miles to visit a friend across town…so much for my resolution to walk.
The California Quail families are still visiting the backyard.
The BIG news is that the other day while sitting outside with six kids playing nearby a Green-tailed Towhee came to visit my yard! This species is not known to be an urban bird. It likes manzanita bushes and higher elevations. And it’s rather skittish around people. So…the fact that it was in MY YARD was pretty amazing. Unfortunately I did not get a photo and it soon realized that there were people rather close and flew away.
I finally managed to pay my water bill, fill my car with gas, buy a few groceries, AND buy toilet paper. (I had been thinking I would stand on the street corner with a sign saying “I have a job. I’ve paid the rent. I NEED toilet paper. PLEASE help!” Fortunately I didn’t have to resort to such drastic means…grin.)
Life is good!
In fact, I’ve got two families with babies in my backyard as of today. One pair of California Quail has 8 little ones while the other pair only has two. Seeing them for the first time this morning made me get out there and fill their drinking water dish and spread some millet for them to eat. They drank and ate this evening while I was cooking dinner…I almost burned my food taking photos of them eating theirs!
I visited Cape Disappointment while on vacation…and I was NOT disappointed. It had a great museum dedicated to the Lewis and Clark expedition with the Corps of Discovery. It was rather windy and rainy so there wasn’t any standing outside taking photos of the great view…I really couldn’t see it (the river and ocean view).
However, despite the rain and the wind I had to take a photo of this sign when I saw it. I wanted to remember it. I decided to make it my motto for the following year (my birthday was the following day…time for new resolutions). It was time to make walking a regular habit…and I vowed I would do so after vacation. (I was already doing quite a bit of walking on vacation…so that wasn’t an issue.)
Well…I’ve been home for a full week…with an extremely busy schedule…and I haven’t been walking. Until today! Today…finally…I went hiking with a friend. We hiked up to and down to some waterfalls. We hiked to a lake hidden off the road in a lava flow. We walked a bit while we led a bird walk for kids…although at the kids’ pace it really wasn’t much walking.
And not only did we walk…we also enjoyed wildflowers, and a snake, and spider webs, and a few species of birds, and a lava tube cave, and the list goes on and on.
Now…to decide where and when to walk tomorrow.
Vacation is over! Sunday was a day to rest and take it easy…and I needed that because it sure got busy fast.
I’ve been working all day, every day, since Monday. Monday evening I had a planning meeting with the local Audubon Society that lasted until almost 10:00 PM. Tuesday I had a volunteer appreciation pot luck dinner to go to. Tonight I had a power point presentation to give at a local assisted living home (as an Audubon education volunteer)…which meant I also had to create a power point presentation before tonight (check back over my schedule for this week)!
The good news…all of the above have been accomplished! And…the presentation went very well.
(the following photos are some of the favorites from the presentation)
I had read about the birding at Mima Mounds. Admittedly I was rather curious about the “mounds” and had no idea what they were. Walking along the path, out of the woods…and there they were…rolling mounds in all directions! I was momentarily stunned by them.
I could try to explain them but would not do it justice…and knowing that I photographed the explanations on the information kiosk.
Even though the midday lighting made it difficult to capture the beauty I tried to show the flowers outlining the crest of each small mound…even as I wondered what it must look like at sunrise or sunset.
Early non-native visitors found them fascinating also.
Why have I never heard of these “mounds” before?
After scanning all the different explanations I decided to go with the pocket gopher one…what can I say…I’m a believer in the animals.
The mounds were covered with prairie grasses and flowers past their prime…and still the beauty was breathtaking. Now I long to see it when the wildflowers are at their peak blooming season.
Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do…
My time spent wandering amidst this amazing landscape was marred only by the constant gunfire that was coming from a nearby shooting range…it seemed really incongruent.
The mounds were bordered by forests, distant mountains, and urban sprawl…I’m so grateful this area was set aside. It is also being studied by students and scientists.
A hint of the color and beauty that apparently floods the area in spring time…
There were instructions on how to cook the Blue Camas…and a warning to keep the Death Camas out of the area.
Let me know if anyone wants to try this recipe…and be sure to note which color flower to use to make your tea if you want to have a boy or a girl.
What a magical place…
On the sunny, warm day I was there the grasses and other plants filled the area with the scent of summer time fields…
This visit was definitely a highlight of my vacation!
Today was my last day on the road. I’m safe at home ready to sleep in a real bed rather than a sleeping bag.
It was a great day! I spotted Humpback Whales far in the distance. There were Harbor Seals in the water and sunning on rocks. I enjoyed seeing birds unique to an ocean habitat.
But there is also great beauty in the very common and everyday sights.