Currently... Tue, 31 Aug 2021|
New blog posts go down to:
∞ Tue 29 June Porch Project cont
There isn't anything that needs to be read in order,
so feel free to read down from here (rather than up from 29 June)!
Pay no mind to the covid posts... they are just there for
historical purposes. Eventually, I'll add photos to them.
And pay no mind to the unfinished and unstarted posts! :)
Monday 30 August 2021... A Car|
We rented a car from Enterprise for our Utah roadtrip.
I was expecting a four-door sedan with a big trunk,
but the rental car they gave me was a small SUV, a
The extra space behind the back seats,
was just barely big enough for our luggage
and fun stuff. The cooler and Dawn the Guinea Pig's
travel box took up the entire back seats. (Granted, the
travel box was pretty spacious!)
That all worked out, but the seats weren't very comfortable.
The drivers seat didn't have lumbar support, it may have
been broken. It wasn't terrible, but it kept my back
kinked up a little, as I drove.
There were five of us in Utah, including three men, and I
felt bad for my Mom... being the smallest,
she had to sit in the middle of the
back seat. The seatbelt latches on either side couldn't be
moved and they were too close together.
So you had to scoot your butt way forward to avoid sitting
on them, and that was uncomfortable and probably unsafe.
Other than that,
the car was fine, and it got us to where we were going,
including up and down steep and curvy hills. But not a
car I would buy.
I returned the car on Saturday... And I was immediately
It's been a couple years since I've owned a car. and I
Sunday 29 August 2021... New Goals!|
Okay! Starting to come alive!
I think a holiday is a good disruption of established
routines. My regular schedule was great,
but as I mentioned during my
Porch Room Project,
there is no set time for tidying or cleaning.
Which really should be happening!
And, there was no set time for blogging.
Which I really want to be happening!
I had gotten a couple books over the summer, which I started
reading but didn't finish.
Your Habitat: You're Better Than Your Mess
by Rachel Hoffman
at the Speed of Life: Winning Your Never-Ending Battle with Stuff
by Dana K. White
Both books resonated with me and the first one actually
got me to clean a surface. Yeah, it was a single surface,
but still! :)
I should mention that Marie Kondo is just not my thing...
it's just too much.
I have done Stephanie Bennett Vogt's
in the past, including one of her year-long classes.
And I'm more of a "slow drip" and "pick up one
thing... even if it's just a paper clip" type person!!
I will def be applying that philosophy in my new efforts!
So anyway. My goals are to do at least 20mins of chores
every day. And One and a Half blog posts every day, and
maybe do some back-end work with the Utah trip.
Saturday 28 August 2021... Day of Exhaustion|
Yeah, ugh. Yesterday's drive home from Utah
just wiped me out. I slept
hard last night, but I just can't get my brain to turn on
today. And my patience is completely used up.
I did manage to get the rental car returned with partner's
help. And then I crashed back into my bed!
The house plants survived a week on their own. I usually
water the Peace Lily more than once a week, and so I had it
on a dripper... And it was so happy with the constant water
it made a flower while we were gone!
The recently potted Polka Dot Begonia had started making
leaves a couple weeks ago, and that's looking really good
And one of the African Violet leaves that I'm trying to clone,
started growing!! This makes me happy!
Thursday 12 August 2021... The latest heat wave|
My new favorite pastimes are standing in front of the
fan and drinking ice water.
Today's high temperature is
102° (39°C) but because it didn't cool down last
night, the apartment is miserable... 90° upstairs, and
poor Dawn the guinea pig has to deal with 82° in the
And, yeah. I think this is the third heat wave... but really.
when you only have one day of relief in between heat waves?
Maybe it's just all one heat wave. And I hate it.
Just get an air conditioner (and quit complaining!)
you say? But I say, this is just going to make climate
change worse!! I refuse! I opt out!
Wed 11 August 2021... covid numbers|
Yeah, so I was wondering if my state or city was going to DO
anything about these numbers... or just let the medical
people and unvaccinated suffer. Hello? how bad does
it need to get before we take action?
There's action today, according to the newspaper... We are
going back to masking mandates on Friday.
Wed 4 August 2021... covid numbers|
Well. delta variant is really making a mess of things.
Cases are up, hospitalizations are up, deaths are up.
And breakthru infections for people who've been vaccinated.
Thanks for all that, anti-vax Republicans.
I read today that if you have the alpha variant, you will
probably infect two other unvaccinated people. But if you
have the delta variant, you will infect 5 other people.
There were 606,806 new covid cases in the US this week,
a huge jump from the 255,000 last week, which was a jump
from the 134,000 the week before, and the 85,000 and the
68,000 at the end of June.
86,687 new cases on
average every day. (ha, an every day total that's so
similar to the Entire WEEK total, just a few weeks ago!)
365 people died every day on avg.
In my town, active cases have shot up to 572 and 30 people
hospitalized. Before vaccinations started in earnest, the
worse we had was 526 active cases on 17 Dec 2020, and on
that day we had 47 people hospitalized.
The local hospitals are restricting visitors, again.
And I'm taking a good look at the local numbers for
active covid cases. Throughout this mess, we've had
awesome, daily reports for cases, hospitalizations,
ongoing active cases and deaths!
But mid-May, they started not reporting the sunday numbers.
And then the entire Memorial Day weekend. hey. fair enough!
But the next weekend, they also took three days off. And the next.
After that it was random days of not reporting during the
week, and still not reporting the three days of the weekends.
This is shoddy. and shitty. I really want better.
Becomes Largest US City To Require Proof Of Vaccination For Indoor Activities
Sunday 1 August 2021... Raccoon, dinner and dessert|
I saw a single Raccoon at the creek today... s/he was
eating a crawdad. Which kind of amazed me, I didn't
realize crawdads lived in our little creek!
When I glanced at one of the photos, pretty blurry, I was all,
"oh, funny Raccoon! You've got a bit of grass on your face!"
But when I saw better photos, I realized that was not grass...
that was a Dragonfly Nymph!!!
Poor, poor baby dragonfly is fixin' to be a light
dessert after the meal of that poor, poor crawdad. :|
Sat 31 July 2021... Happy Herons|
Out at the river today, and excited to see a Green Heron.
They are shy, and their camouflage is incredible, so I'm
always glad to get their portrait!
So that's a normal position for a Green Heron.
All of a sudden...
Holy! Where did all that neck come from??! That's crazy!
And here's a pretty pic of a Great Blue Heron in the flowers...
Friday 30 July 2021... Bug Excitement!|
So I'm on my 4 mile walk and there's this orange dragonfly,
flopping about at the edge of the sidewalk.
I look and see the dragonfly has caught a European Honey Bee,
who must be fighting back! The dragonfly is much bigger than
the bee, tho, so I'm pretty sure about the outcome...
But then suddenly, it's over. The dragonfly sits for a
second and then flies away. Wait! What just happened??!
Did I not notice that the bee got away? Or was the bee
eatten up in just a couple bites? oh Nature, why can't
you let me see the end of the story! *laughs*
And this is my lunch! That's the third Lemon Cucumber I've
gotten from our garden plot!!! LOVE!
And yes, I'm having a store-bought cucumber on homemade
bread... it's the black olives and the dollop of
that really makes this sandwich amazing.
(Yumm! Sauce is a form of Goddess Dressing, but of course,
And this is my front Lemon Cucumber patch, where that
beautiful Lemon Cuc came from...
You can see, it's just getting started! Look at all those
little yellow blossoms!!!
This year I have 10 Lemon Cucumber plants. This patch is
four plants and it's grown quite a bit bigger than the
back patch which has 6 plants. My goal is to have more
Lemon Cucumbers than I can eat... which I'm pretty sure is
Wed 28 July 2021... covid numbers|
There were 395,979 new cases of covid in the US in the last week,
averaging 56,568 cases every day.
239 people died every day, on average.
Active cases in my town have climbed to 309 today.
And three people have died in the past week.
I'm glad that the CDC has updated their Masking Recommendations
for the Delta variant... even fully vaxd people should
wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of high
Areas of high transmission
doesn't include the entire United States...
just most of it!
And I'll be thrilled to see more vaccine requirements!
A pretty picture of invasive plants! :)
The purplish blue in focus is Chicory,
a happy plant from Europe and north Africa.
The roots can be roasted and ground and used
like coffee (minus the caffeine) or as a food additive.
The white flowers are Queen Anne Lace, another happy invasive,
from temperate Europe and southwest Asia. This is a member
of the carrot family and the tap root can be eaten like carrots.
Careful tho! this one has look-alikes which are toxic and
will kill you if you eat them! Queen Anne Lace roots smell
like carrots. If it smells like licorice, that's the toxic
Never, never eat stuff in the wild if you're not 100% sure
what it is!! Seriously, 100% with major research and a
naturalist who has helped you! NOT 90% sure!
If you even have a single question, "wait. is this thing normal?"
Do not eat that thing!
You must be 100% sure! Nothing less!
This is my public service announcement!! *laughs*
The pinkish purple is Sweet Pea... a toxic invasive from
Sicily and southern Italy. A very pretty scent, that many
people love! But toxic for eating, every which way!
um. Hang on! White Crowned Sparrows at the Community Garden?
What in the world???!
White Crowned Sparrows are winter visitors here. In other
words, they do nesting season up north, in Canada,
then come down for
some better winter weather. Since when is the end of
July past the nesting season?!
They must have had a major, tragic nest failure to be down
in their winter area in July! Or something else? What's
Hmmm... Studying the map. All About Birds:
White Crowned Sparrow, Range Map
Maybe. You see that thin strip of purple "Year-Round" that
hugs the Pacific Coast? Maybe the sparrows are expanding
their year-round range further inland. Eugene is about
60miles from the coast. Not that far, for a little bird!
Will have to pay attention to the local sightings for this
beautiful little bird!!
Wed 21 July 2021... covid numbers|
There were 255,033 new cases of covid in the US in the last week,
averaging 36,433 every day.
The delta variant is now over 80% of new cases.
232 people died of covid every day.
Active cases of covid are at 117 today in my town.
Which can't really be referred to as "creeping up" since
that's almost double of last weeks active cases (61).
Friday 16 July 2021... ARG! + cuteness!|
Lately I've just been meh.
I seem to have lost my enthusiasm.
I'm not really excited about
my mailing projects. I've not been doing my daily drawing
practice. I've gotten behind on sorting photos and the
mail log. and I really,
really can't be bothered to do any chores or housework.
And you can see I've not updated this blog at all... a few
weeks ago, I thought by having a project, I'd want to type
here more often. And the blogging lasted precisely one day:
Porch Room Project! And the actual
Project didn't last much beyond that. sighs.
Unfortunately, I don't really have a plan besides "Get
It Together!" :)
hm... The same two I saw the other day? No, I don't think so.
But definitely siblings... Not quite grown up and turns
out there were a couple more in the bushes on the bank!
There was a wrestling match, and general happy
and well adjusted kid raccoon goings-on! So fun to watch!
and then... oh wait!
There's a fifth raccoon!! Is it Mum or another sibling?
Dang it, I can't tell. And then they're gone, slipped away
under the shrubbery.
Wed 14 July 2021... covid numbers|
There were 134,558 new cases of covid in the US in the last week,
averaging 19,227 every day.
236 people died every day on average...
Yep, Delta variant is starting to kill more people.
(The average last week was down to 132 people dead every day.)
And the only people dying of covid anymore, are the
In my town, Delta variant has officially arrived, there
were two cases recently detected.
Which is unfortunate. Because we have gotten all the
way down to 43 active cases last Saturday.
We are now at 61 active cases. How high
will Delta push our active cases, and for how long?
There are 54.8% people fully vaxd in Oregon and
48.1% of the total population fully vaxd in the US.
Wed 7 July 2021... covid numbers|
There were 85,084 new cases of covid in the US in the past week,
averaging 12,155 every day.
The Delta variant is now the dominate strain of covid in
the US and it's pushing the numbers back up... for new cases
and hospitalizations. The Delta variant arrived in the US
in March of this year, and was about 20% of new cases on
22 June, and is now well over 50%.
132 people died of covid on average every day in the US...
But assume this will be back on the upswing with Delta.
Because of the holiday, the local covid website hasn't
been updated. But we were still swirling around about
80 active cases of covid here in town.
Oregon has 54.3% of total population fully vaxd and
the USA has 47.5% fully vaxd.
Wed 30 June 2021... Covid and Porch Project 3|
There were 68,642 new cases of covid in the US in the past week,
averaging 9,806 every day. 242 people died of covid, on
average, every day.
Active covid cases in my town have been swirling around
And the governor of Oregon
has lifted covid restrictions today!
We aren't quite at 70% of the adult & over 16 vaccinated,
but we are so extremely close... 69.9%!
So, restaurants and businesses can be at full capacity,
and businesses can make their own decisions about masking.
I think you still
have to mask up in federal buildings... like the Post Office
still has their Mask signs up. Also masks on public
52.6% of the total population of Oregon is fully
vaxd, and 46.4% of the USA is.
Today I cut up and re-potted a Golden Pothos, along with
a lovely Polka Dot Begonia. I think they have similar
water needs, so they should be fine in the same pot.
Tues 29 June 2021... Porch Room Project Cont|
So! Today I fixed up the African violets.
I dumped the dead pots... ugh, yeah,
more than one that I managed
to kill. Pretty remarkable, since all you have to do to
keep African Violets alive is not over-water them! I don't
know what killed them off, but I'm really bummed because
one had such lovely flowers... white with purple edges.
I got cuttings from the last remaining living plant,
played with rooting gel -- probably not necessary, since
African Violets like to clone themselves at the drop of a
leaf (haha! you see what I did there?! ;)
-- and potted them up.
(Yep, you see one more dead one in the middle
Today's project, like yesterday, took about 40 minutes...
so it's not digging too much into my scheduled happy time.
And, yep, there are sunflowers blooming at the
Mon 28 June 2021... Porch Room Project|
So. I've been living my best life for a while now. But
my best life includes certain things like avoiding chores
and any stuff I don't feel like doing.
And it's starting to make me feel lazy! ha!
So I gave myself a project this week. What we call our
porch room is probably technically called a breakfast nook.
It's just the space on the other side of the kitchen, and
it also includes the sliding glass door out to the back
I have all of my house plants here. They are neglected and
have been slowly dying out. So it's probably time to fix
this. Not to mention the glass and floor are a dirty
disaster, from water splashing dirt and other day-to-day
accidents. And there's cobwebs.
Yes, it's pretty pathetic and if I could afford a maid
or a cleaning service, that would
definitely be money well spent!
So! Today I started with the Spider Plant. There is just
one struggling mama plant, and a bunch of babies hanging
off her. oh, hey! They are called spiderettes!
I dumped all the dirt... whoa! the roots!
Anyway. Some new dirt, the babies cut away and planted all
around. And we've got a nice new pot... of grass-looking
*laughs* Well, the new dirt will rejuvenate everybody
and it'll be a pretty hanging plant soon!
about spider plant stolons
This page says it's
very unusual for a spider plant
to flower and even more unusual for them to produce fruit.
That's funny... My Spider Plant used to flower all the time,
and it made tons of seeds. The seeds are kind of annoying
too, because they would get everywhere!
Well, anyway. Look who I found at the creek today!
It's been years since I've seen Raccoons at the creek, so
happy to welcome them back into the area!!
Mon 24 May 2021... random|
The camera can't keep up, but
I always try to take pics of the Turkey Vultures as they
glide past me in the sky!
Someone is offering some more freebies at the Community
Garden picnic table!
These are baby tomato plants,
I nabbed one that had a tag that said Orange Plum! Sounds
wonderful!! But I def have an excess of tomato plants now...
2 Sun Golds, 6 Brandywines, 1 heirloom Roma, 2 Aubrey Pinks,
and this new one. I am very excited about tomatoes this year!
On the walk home... a new bird!!
Yep, it's a crappy blurry pic. But I think this bird is
a Western Wood Pewee. What a name, huh?!
Sun 23 May 2021... Western Bluebirds|
Last year, someone set up Bluebird nesting boxes at the
Community Garden. A pair set up shop in one of them and
I was thrilled to see them coming and going, feeding their
babies. I didn't get to see the kids fledge, but the
parents did bring their kids back around, and I got pics
of the juveniles.
No one is using the nest boxes this year. A pair of
Violet Green Swallows had started organizing a nest, but
then the humans started showing up to garden. And the
Swallows changed their mind and went elsewhere.
But the Bluebirds are still coming and going at the
Community Garden! They must have a nest close by and use
the garden as a resting point...
Ha! I believe this is one family. The Mom on the left,
Dad in the middle, and the chubby one on the right is the
Crows do this... last year's child might help bring
up their siblings! Since Bluebirds are sexually dimorphic,
we can tell that the nest helper is always a male.
Which makes me wonder if the Crow's helper is male, too!
I think the green caterpillar the helper is holding is a
Cabbage White. These butterfies are fluttering all over
the place, I saw the first one back at the beginning of March!
Sat 22 May 2021... Countries and Creatures|
From the Postcrossing
Endangered national wildlife. Oh my gosh, this is a
Beautiful collection of art!!! Monaco has a seahorse, tho,
and my vote would go there.
Speaking of random tiny countries...
Monaco is a micro-state country
surrounded by France on the Mediterranean Sea, near Italy!
Last year, I decided to memorize all the countries in the
I tend to review the list when I can't sleep at night. There
are around 180 countries (hmm... I've never counted!) so it
does take a while.
But it's not the best activity for
sleepy time because it takes a lot of brain power. I
really have to be *awake* to do the whole list.
Anyway. I've gotten bored with just the countries of the
world! So I've decided to start memorizing all the
capitals of the countries of the world!!
*grins* Ottawa and Washington DC and Mexico City!
But okay! This is a much more difficult project. Because I
have never heard of the capital of Honduras,
Tegucigalpa... and I def don't know how to pronounce it!!
Western European countries will be easier... because we
all know London and Paris and Madrid. But I am really
looking forward to more long and complicated capital names!
Dawn the guinea pig has been munching on the first crops
from the garden since
There are only a couple Dandelion plants in my plot, so
this is a treat she gets once or twice a week.
Tho the sap makes it pretty bitter,
all parts of dandelions are quite nutritious!
Vitamins A, C, and K along with antioxidants and some minerals.
Now, check out this creature I found on the bike path!
Wow! Just nonchalantly cleaning their antenna, in the
middle of the bike path. Maybe not the place for that,
With those orange bits, I thought I'd be able to identify
their species without any trouble. But I couldn't find
them at all. bummer!
Fri, 11 Jun 2021
Yay! A friend identified this beetle for me! Thank you
He or she is a Flower Longhorn!!
Fri 21 May 2021... Happy Garden Time|
Mowing the grassy pathways at the Community Garden is a
volunteer job... and it's a huge job because the Garden
is so big. The path goes all the way around the Garden
and then there are two main aisles going thru the center,
and then a couple of shorter aisles on the west side.
Our Garden plot is on the 2nd aisle, and that one rarely
gets mowed. Since it's a volunteer thing, I can't really
complain... if I want it done I should do it myself, right?
heh, except the grass is about three feet high, now.
Well. It was three feet high... Some wonderful and
awesome person weed wacked the grass in front of our plot!!
Oh lovely person, I thank you a million times!!
Calendula. The blossom petals add a spicey taste to salad
and are used to add colour to other foods.
But it's non-native,
coming from southwest Asia and the Mediterranean.
But very pretty!
*Laughs* This fellow was quite trusting, he stood on a
tomato cage while I watered right next to him!
Thurs 20 May 2021... River Walk|
Getting desperate to walk any place else other than to the
Community Garden every day...
Yes, I am happy to transplant new veges every couple of
days. But since the rain quit months ago, I've got to go
out and water those baby plants every day to keep them alive.
The Community Garden is one mile away, so it doesn't really
make sense to drive there all the time. So I'm walking.
But I need to look at something else!
Down at the river, I'm seeing a phenomenon with the ducklings
and goslings that I also see at the creek near my home.
Very small families, not very many older babies.
Last year there were goslings all over the place. Hundreds,
of all different ages.
This year? um... I think there's
a couple families, waaay over there.
And the Mallard families are small at the river, too.
Weird and interesting! Are the families small or nonexistent
because of the lack of rain this spring? Or is it because
there were so many babies last year, they just need to take
a break? A combination? Something else?
A Mama Mallard and her blond baby.
Aw, I just love this photo. The duckling, an only child,
is not the usual colour and I wonder what they will look
like as an adult.
Wed 19 May 2021... covid numbers|
There were 227,673 new cases of covid in the past week,
averaging 32,525 every day... that's over 5,000 less than
last week, EVERY DAY!!! 598 people died every day.
The active cases in my town have come down steadily
from 251 last wednesday to 189 today. It looks like
a good trend!
Also, 40.66% of the people in my county are fully vaccinated!
Oregon has 39.3% and the USA has 37.3% fully vaxd.
The Wild Roses are blooming and the cherries are ripening!
And the sky is being beautiful.
Sunday 16 May 2021... Vax Reaction|
I woke up this morning feeling fine, and I went for a 3mile
walk without trouble.
But a headache snuck up on me in the afternoon, with some
major brain fog. Ugh. And then my shoulders and neck got
achy and sore. ha, I couldn't turn my head properly for
a few hours!
But by the time I went to bed, I felt better! (And Monday
morning, I got up feeling fine!)
haha... he looks so regal up there on the roof top!
But when you think about
it, ducks are down in the water, never in the trees... they
are in the lowest places. So it must feel very strange to
stand on top of a building and look down at the world!! :)
Sat 15 May 2021... Vax Time!!|
Yipee! I got my second vaccination shot today and I am
on my way to being immunized!!
:) After you get your shot at a drive thru mass vax clinic,
you need to wait in the parking lot for 15min to make sure
you don't have a bad reaction. They write down the time you
can leave on the car's window. The times on the left are
mine and the heart time on the right is my partner's first
shot... he'll be up for his 2nd next week!
This clinic was similar to my first one, except it seemed
like they had more volunteers and they were jamming thru
cars faster! I drove in at 10:14am and went straight to
the head of the line in my lane. haha, the other lane had
six or seven cars in it!
I didn't have an appointment, and they directed me off to
the side where some people would help me start the digital
paperwork. They then directed me to the tents and I had just
enough time to fill out my paper paperwork.
They only had 8 drive-thrus, rather than the 12 they had the
last time I was there. But they were doing two cars at
a time at each tent, so it was actually going much faster!
The first tent got the medical portion of my paperwork filled
out and my vax card updated! And then at the 2nd tent, the
doctor got my paperwork and talked to me and gave me the shot.
I had turned away from the shot the first time. But this
time I made sure I watched!
I got my time written, but had to wait a couple minutes
before driving out to the parking lot...
the car in front of me had a couple people being vaccinated.
Haha... Car pooling to the vax clinic! How awesome is that?!
Everyone I talked to was Super nice and so happy when they
learned I was there for my 2nd shot! *laughs* It just gave
me a very good feeling and I was happy too!
Wed 12 May 2021... covid numbers|
There were 264,714 new cases of covid in the past week,
averaging 37,816 every day... still coming down, thank
goodness. 632 people died every day.
Eugene remains in the High Risk category and we are still
swirling between 250 and 300 active cases. Unfortunately,
our test positivity rate looks like it's rising... we are
now at 5.4% where we had been holding pretty steady at 2-3%
since the end of January. sighs.
But a good thing: we are a bit above the national average
for getting people vaccinated! The national rate is 35.1%
and our county is 38.9% fully vaxd!
Wed 5 May 2021... Covid numbers|
The United States added 310,532 new cases of covid in the
past week, averaging 44,362 every day. 720 people died
every day. Good to see both of those daily averages coming
My town is still swirling between 325 and 350 active covid
cases. Not coming down yet, even tho we're pretending to
do lockdown again. I say pretending, because we're
supposedly in Extreme Risk and there's no indoor dining,
but there are restaurants that are ignoring the rules and
there have been some college parties.
The photo of one of
the college parties... is just claustrophobic. And of course,
not a mask in sight.
Despite all this mess, Eugene is downgrading from Extreme
Risk -- No indoor dining, but we were only there for one week --
back down to High Risk -- indoor dining at 25% capacity
and indoor entertainment at 10%.
Wed 28 April 2021... covid complaintings|
Eugene is moving to Extreme Risk,
after being in the High Risk category for just a week!
Indoor dining from 25% in the High Risk, down to
absolutely prohibited in the Extreme Risk!
And I'm horrified to report that
Oregon now ranks first among the 50 states...
on a New York Times analysis of
where cases are increasing the fastest.
Remember when we were 48th or 47th, ALL LAST YEAR??!
What the heck just happened, people? People???!
So. There were 408,046 new covid cases last week, averaging
58,292 new every day. Again, still coming down from last
weeks average of 63,600 per day!! 814 people died of covid
every day, a bit higher than last week's 684.
Eugene hit a high of 373 active cases on Sunday 25 April,
and now we are swirling around 325 again.
That's something, I
guess, if that number continues to come down.
And another point of hope... The county had a couple of
incredible vaccination days! Over the weekend, they added
5,326 and 7,294 people fully vaccinated!! An ordinary
weekend is around 1,500 people. So, this is an awesome
thing and we are currently above the national rate...
USA is at 29.1% fully vaxd, and my county is at 31.1%!
Sat 24 April 2021... Awesome Awesome Day|
Haha, I never take photos of myself... but today is such a
proud day!! Covid vaccination has begun!!
I arrived at the mass vax clinic at 11:07 for my 11:15
appointment. There were two lanes of cars queued up and
we moved forward several car lengths every 10 to 20 seconds.
It didn't take long to get to the head of the line.
I showed my confirmation email that I had printed out,
and they typed the number into a tablet. I got
a clipboard and pen and paperwork and then got directed
to one of 12 vax stations. There were three cars in front
of me, I think. I filled out the front and back of the
paperwork, sat for maybe 1 more minute and then got to
the first tent.
They checked my paperwork and fixed it (oops! I missed
a line!), answered questions and filled out my new vaccination
card. And told me do NOT lose this! :)
The next tent had been empty for a minute or so, they were
waiting for me. I drove in, turned in my paperwork. They
quadruple checked who I was. (Verbally. I never had to
show my ID.)
I got my vaccination at 11:29am... 22 minutes after I showed
The shot itself was almost nothing.
That didn't hurt at
all! I said,
Did you even do anything??
The lady laughed.
Yeah, the needle is really small, she
And check this out! She showed me the syringe.
needle retracts into the syringe when you're done! huh!
She told me to go wait in the parking lot for 15 minutes
to make sure everything was okay. If I had trouble, I was
to honk the horn and open the car door, and there were people
going thru who would help me. She wrote the time I could
leave on the back seat window, 11:44.
And I was driving out at 11:45am. 38 minutes after I'd
Wed 21 April 2021... covid numbers|
I'm so, so, so, VERY Excited!! I managed to get a covid
vaccine appointment for this weekend!! Yipee!!! It was
just a fluke that I happened to be online right as they
opened up the appointment schedule. Incredibly lucky!
and I can't wait to do my civic duty!!
I'm just thrilled to pieces!
Now for this week's covid numbers...
There were 445,788 new covid cases in the US this week,
averaging 63,684 every day. 684 people died every day.
Both these averages are down from last week: 70,600 and 982!
In fact, it has been long ages since we've seen daily
deaths under 700 people per day...
According to The
Covid Tracking Project
that hasn't happened since 16 November 2020, and even then
the daily death count was swirling around randomly between
500 and 1,500 people dying every day.
Locally, it's a different story, unfortunately.
We are now well over 300 active cases.
And we are falling behind with getting people vaccinated!
Arg! The national rate is 26.0% fully vaccinated, and our
county is at 24.65%. We aren't that far behind, true. But
seeing that, just makes my heart sink.
And because we've had so many cases, our town will be moving
from the Low Risk catagory, back up to High Risk on friday.
Indoor dining and recreation is going from 75% back down
to 25% capacity. Blah, blah, blah.
Wed 14 April 2021... Covid Numbers|
There were 494,198 new covid cases in the US this past
week... and 70,600 on average every day. Significantly
higher than last week, which was 64,500 daily. sighs.
982 people died every day, also higher than last week,
which was 796.
Covid cases in my town continue their slow rise, since
we opened most everything up. We are now swirling just
under 250 active covid cases.
Our vax website finally came back online, and it was good
to see that our county has been keeping pace with the
national vaccinations... The USA is at 22.7% fully vaxd and
Lane county is at 22.4%
Mon 12 April 2021... Community Garden Score!|
There were freebie vege starts on the picnic table at the
front of the Community Garden today!
Vege Starts! Yay, exciting! Good size and healthy looking.
Cabbage? um, no thanks. Collards? yuck!
Cauliflower? Oh my gosh, how many can I have??!
*laughs* I took two trays with 6 plants each. Which
did put a dent in the freebie stock. But it was monday,
and I wasn't sure that very many people would see them
since the weekend had passed.
So, we have 12 wonderful Cauliflowers happily growing
in our plot!!
I love cauliflower... but to buy this many plants from
Saturday Market would cost a pretty penny!
Last year I had
tried planting cauliflower seeds directly into the garden.
Um. Why did I do that? Seeds don't grow in our garden
plot. I wasted an entire packet of seeds. Nothing even
tried to come up and grow!
bah. Also in the past,
I've bought a started cauliflower or two
at Saturday Market. But when there's only one
cauliflower in the whole garden... it's hard to cut it down
I have not tried starting cauliflower on my own, at home.
The tiny townhouse means there is not much room for such
things. Peas do okay. And this year I am experimenting
with wax beans. But anything that comes up tiny... like
beets or tomatoes... has trouble. There's just not enough
light for the little guys, and they just start leaning
towards the sun and then they don't really grow anymore.
So, yeah, I'm a terrible gardener. That's okay... I'm
mostly just there for the photo opportunities! But I do
hope, hope, hope to eat some vegetables, as well!
Wed 7 April 2021... covid complainings|
There were 451,661 new cases of covid in the US this past
week, 64,523 on average every day.
796 people died of covid, on average, every day.
Local covid cases are now swirling around 200 (up from last
week's 100). I'm really wondering when we will shut stuff
down again. What does it take?
On top of that, I am very ashamed to report that Oregon
ranked 36th among the states where coronavirus was spreading
the fastest on a per-person basis.
ALL last year we were between 49th and 46th of the
fastest spreading. And look how we've ruined that, just at
the last minute.
Oregon has 19.2% of our population fully vaccinated, which
is right at the national rate of 19%.
My county vax website has been down for a week now...
I'm not sure what to think of that.
Sun 4 April 2021... Wow, a nest!|
Walking out to the garden today, I found a pair of
Bushtits building a nest just a few feet from the bike
and dang! this is a terrible spot for a nest! It's too
close to the bike path, there's a road right there, and
the bush it's buried in is completely bare. The exposure
to humans is not ideal.
I watched them come and go for a while. They didn't seem
concerned about the situation at all! *laughs* first time
parents, probably! :)
This is the male. They look exactly alike except the
male has dark eyes and the female has pale eyes.
Except for nesting, Bushtits travel in flocks, so I
usually find a small bunch of them, flitting and
bouncing quickly thru the bushes.
And here's the female. She's looking at the entrance
into the nest, on the other side.
The nest is maybe 8 inches tall, including that
top bit and 3ish inches diameter.
It is really cool when they go down into it because
you can see them squirming around down at the bottom.
Trying to get the interior decorating just right!
For most birds, only one sits on the nest at a time.
But both Bushtits will spend the night in the nest!
Also, they sometimes have a helper, usually an adult male.
With crows, sometimes last year's child will help bring
up their siblings... I couldn't find any info if the
Bushtit help is related or just some random guy they
Sat 3 April 2021... Planting at the Garden|
The year's first Saturday Market! And I'm heading to
the Farmers Market for some vege starts...
The beets are tiny, but I get three trays of them
anyway. The lettuce looks good! And, even tho I've
started some Sugar Snap Peas at home, I buy one more.
Yeah, I don't even know what kind of lettuces I got.
I'll just call them Leaf Lettuce. Green Leaf Lettuce.
Pink Leaf Lettuce.
Fri 2 April 2021... umm... a chicken!|
On the way back home yesterday, aw, I caught sight of
An escapee! And definitely nervous and wondering,
"oh great. Now what do I do?"
And just something pretty that caught my eye...
Thurs 1 April 2021... New Park to Walk|
I had gone by this grassy area a few times when I was
riding my bike earlier this year. There was a wet prairie
pond and a few ducks and even some kind of sand piper-type,
and I wondered if there was a park there.
Eventually I looked it up, and sure enough, beyond the
ponds, there was a city park,
Stewart Pond, with a Frisbee Golf course
and some paths thru a tiny forest. That's where I was
Just minor trouble... the head of the trail is over 2 miles
away. Just getting there is a walk in itself!!
The first part of the trail lead thru the prairie, a
good place for hawks! Sure enough, a hawk flew by and I
had to back track because they landed in a tree and I needed
to know what species. ha!
A couple of bad pics is all I really needed...
Oh cool! I think it's a Red Tailed Hawk, light morph.
After all those Red Shouldered Hawks, it's good to see
I walked down to the forest and was delighted with all the
bird songs here! And is this Stewart "Pond"?
Laughs! More like a Wet Prairie puddle! Will probably
disappear in a couple days unless we get rain. How funny
to name a park as a pond which is only there half the year!
(oh. Actually I had walked by the pond named Stewart,
on the way in... it had already dried up into it's dry
Wed 31 March 2021... covid numbers|
Another tragic milestone...
Yesterday the United States hit 550,000 dead, according to the
Hopkins site. (The
hit that number ten days ago on 21 March.)
There were 458,587 new cases of covid in the US this past
week... averaging 65,512 every day.
996 people died every day.
Numbers coming down, and having less than a thousand people
die every day is ... better? But still! A
Thousand people are dying every day!
Active covid cases in my town have been swirling around
100. Yep, it didn't take long to ruin our numbers... we
had fallen to 58 active cases two weeks ago, and then we
opened most everything up, and look what happened: active
cases shot right back up. sighs.
And while we do have 16.47% of our local population fully
vaccinated (slightly better than the national average,
which is 15.5% of the population)...
The actual daily vaccinations have plateaued for the past
month or so.
Wed 24 March 2021... covid numbers|
Just 379,501 new cases of covid in the US this past week...
an average of 54,214 every day. 1,020 people died every day.
Yes, the numbers are coming down. And vaccinations are
going up. My town is right with the national average of
13.7% of population fully vaccinated.
The next question is, will we be able to avoid
one last surge?
In my town, active covid cases have been creeping up...
last wednesday we had 53 and now we have 73.
But, yesterday in the newspaper
New COVID-19 cases plummet
in Oregon. And today they announced our county would
be expanding re-opening and moving from Moderate Risk down
to Lower Risk. Restaurants and indoor entertainment will
be 50% capacity.
Well and good? or are we just setting up that last surge?
Or will the happy maskers continue avoiding risky situations?
I guess we'll find out soon enough.
Wow, the colour...
Tues 23 March 2021... Bird Bounce|
I often complain that the little birds bounce around too
quickly, and the focus on the camera can't keep up.
That is just the nature of some birds.
I am absolutely sure that some birds are just messing with
Like this Spotted Towhee. He sees me... and it's GAME ON!
Sun 21 March 2021... Just Ducky!|
A pair of Green Winged Teals...
They are just here for the winter. I wonder when they'll
be moving on.
Now here's somebody new!!
This is a Ring Necked Duck. And what a stupid name... you
can barely see that chestnut collar. Why not name them
for that pretty outlined bill?!
Here's the female.
map at AllAboutBirds says Ring Necks are winter visitors
here... but we are very close to a little bubble where
Year-round (Scarce). So it'll be interesting to see
if this pair sticks around!
Sat 20 March 2021... Mixed Up Manky Mallards|
Just like dogs and horses, Mallards have been domesticated
and have several interesting colour breeds. This one, with
a white bib, is called Duclair.
Because there's such a wide variety of breeds,
and they tend to escape into the wild on a regular basis,
to them collectively as Manky.
Manky is a British word which means
filthy and worthless...
Yeah, nice, huh? Humans create them and then disparage
and insult them. sighs. What is wrong with people??
So, I'm going to say Manky actually means something
more along the lines of
Here's the website where I got some of my info. It's
a great page with lots of pics, and the blog there looks
to be interesting as well...
or Manky Mallards at 10,000 birds
Now, this one...
A different breed? or something else entirely?
With a black head and the reddish along the
body, but with the signature Mallard feather curl
on his tail... ??? Who Knows!!
Only the duck knows his parents!
Fri 19 March 2021... Birds|
Aww! Poor baby. Their foot is messed up...
Why do I keep running into creatures who are hurt?
I wish I could wave a magic wand and make them better!
I keep wondering if this will be my last sighting of a
Red Shouldered Hawk, for the year. I just assumed that
they would migrate out of here. But it turns out the
Pacific Coast Red Shoulders do not migrate at all!
But, they have expanded their range... the
map on AllAboutBirds
shows Red Shoulders in southern Oregon. But Eugene is in
the middle of the state. And since I've been seeing
Red Shoulders on a regular basis since this past winter,
they have def moved in.
You know, climate change is bad. And shifting populations
aren't always a good thing, either. I've not seen a single
Cooper Hawk in the time I've been seeing the Red Shoulders,
even tho Coopers are here year round. Maybe just a
coincidence... but I want to see diversity!
Not a bird. Just pretty colours!
Thurs 18 March 2021... First Garden Treats!|
At the end of the season, last year, I was forking up the
weeds in the garden plot. Technically, I was also putting
down some clover seeds for a cover crop... but they never
grew. yep, my prowess as a gardener is making sure stuff
doesn't live! haha!
Anyway. As I was forking, I found some of
the crocus bulbs in the
front of the plot. I put them in a ziplock, thinking I'd
replant them once I got the area done.
But the rain started! And there was an 8foot section at
the front where I keep my flowers -- Columbine and Oregon
Sunshine along with the Crocuses -- that I never finished.
And I forgot about the bag of bulbs!
But then I found them... and there had been enough moisture
in the zipped up bag that they were growing. And a couple
even made flowers in there!!
So, yesterday, I took the bag to the garden and I put those
poor, neglected Crocuses back in the ground. I hope they
And while I was there, I picked a couple dandelion blooms
for a certain white furry person...
"You got something for me??!"
Wed 17 March 2021... covid numbers|
The US added 386,053 new cases of covid in the past week,
averaging 55,150 every day. 1,283 people died of covid
Glad to see both those numbers continue to come down!
Active cases in my town have steadily come down from the
90 of last wednesday, to 53 active cases today!
*laugh* Yep. That's a squirrel. Up in a tree.
Eating a corn chip.
Tues 16 March 2021... lovely colours|
oh little bird! If you could just sit there for a couple
seconds, this could be an amazing photo! Please?
... *Laughs* Are you kidding me??! ...
Okay... That's more like it... Thank You!!
Sun 14 Mar 2021... More pics from the River|
Some pretty Red Flowering Current, by the Willamette River.
And the usual spot where I love to listen to the water...
I met a California Ground Squirrel
(link doesn't work!)
at the river last year. An intrepid explorer into the city.
And apparently s/he decided to stay...
*laughs* A Ground Squirrel up in a tree? yep!
Sat 13 March 2021... Invasive Turtles|
Invasive is bad, but turtles are so awesome!
A warm day at the Delta Ponds and most of the available
logs are covered with turtles!
Unfortunately most of them are the very invasive
Red Eared Sliders...
These are pet store turtles who have been abandoned in
the wild. It doesn't take long and they will over populate
the pond... First pushing out our native species -- Western
Pond Turtles and Western Painted Turtles -- and then
becoming so numerous that there's not enough food to go
around for anybody.
It's sad. Sad for the wild places and sad because people
don't take care of their pets.
But, the turtles on the log in the top photo? The turtle
on the right is obviously a Pond Turtle --
no markings on the head or tail. But I looked a little bit
more carefully. hm! I think the turtle on the left AND
the third turtle with her hands on the big one -- I think
they are both Western Pond Turtles as well.
Unfortunately, three Western Pond Turtles, does not a
Fri 12 March 2021... birds|
Singing Song Sparrow and some Willow Tree catkins...
And, oh! I don't get to take portraits of Juncos very
And then there's my friend, the Red Shouldered Hawk.
I've been seeing them so regularly,
I start to worry if I don't see them for a few days! :)
Thurs 11 March 2021... Botanicals!|
A hike up Hidden Trail yesterday revealed some lovely
plants! The Red Flowering Currant is um flowering! :)
This is an important native in our area, which provides food
for all kinds of wildlife! Birds, Bugs, and the Furry Ones.
And the Fawn Lilies have come up... not long and they'll
Wed 10 March 2021... Covid|
The US added less than ½ a million covid cases again
this past week! We averaged 58,271 new cases every day.
1,633 people died of covid every day.
And Texas, which opened up completely and dropped all
mask mandates last week, is killing about 270 people
with covid every day.
COVID Tracking Project has come to an end.
That was where I was gathering my state data from:
covid cases, deaths, and current hospitalizations for
I am bummed that they had to quit. It was nice to have all
the information organized on one page!
I'm now using the
Map but they don't have numbers for current hospitalizations.
And I am not sure how long this page will last.
And unfortunately, I found a huge discrepancy in the numbers
between the old Tracking Project and the NPR map...
The number dead in New York was 39,029 on the last day of
Tracking, and it was 48,401 on NPR.
There are minor variations in the numbers for other states
that I've been tracking, but nothing else like the New York
Active covid cases in my town have been under 100 for the
past two days! And we will be coming down from High Risk --
down from Extreme Risk just a couple weeks ago --
and will be going to Moderate on Friday.
Masks and social distancing will continue, of course. But,
indoor eating is allowed at 50% capacity.
We have 9.46% of the county fully vaccinated, which is
right at the national average of 9.4%!
the White House Got 2 Pharma Rivals To Work Together On COVID-19 Vaccine
This gives me so much hope, you don't even know!!
Companies working together? Speeding up the vaccination
schedule in the US??! Every adult by end of May -- bumped
up from end of July! Awesome!
Kudos to Johnson & Johnson and Merck and the Defense Production
Act, finally invoked by President Biden (pres#45: F* You for
What a sweet face! I just love my wild turkey neighbors!
Tues 9 March 2021... bath time|
*Laughs* I seem to have a surfeit of crappy pictures,
but I do love sharing them anyway!
A group of Pine Siskins was happily using this tiny rill
for bath time!
Oh my gosh, they are cute...
And then they wondered how many Pine Siskins can fit
into one frame...
Six Pine Siskins and a blur! :)
Mon 8 March 2021... pic|
This is a terrible photo of a Lesser Goldfinch...
But the overall picture makes me happy.
Just look at all those wonderful colours!!
I think this is a blooming Red Maple.
Sun 7 March 2021... Stupid People|
And today I took a walk down by the river. But instead
of going to the wildlife area, I decided to hike up Skinner
Butte. First, I go past the Rose Garden... where the only
thing blooming is the Rhododendron bushes around the border
of the park...
Then across the street and up the hill! Oh sheesh, there's
a lot of people! It's sunday and the weather is nice, so it's
to be expected, even on the less popular trails.
And this trail is narrow. Very narrow. Every time I see
a human coming the other way, I mask up. And so do they!
It's 100% masking and I'm so proud of everyone!
For all the humans, there were still a few
birds bouncing around...
GAH! Yep, this is the evil Ruby Crowned Kinglet,
And those little white flowers were on shrubs all over the
They are Osoberry blooms! An important native in our area,
the small "plums" are food for many birds and animals.
Not to mention the very early nectar...
I saw an Anna Hummingbird visiting the flowers!!
And the first Trilliums...
So I went to the top of the hill and then I came back down
and I was happy with all the birds and botanicals!
I skipped the trail head that I came in on, and kept walking
at the base of the butte and the edge of the forest.
Which meant I could walk along the river for a bit further,
on the way back, too.
There was a couple with a cute dog at the trail head where
I was going to get off and go across the street to the river.
A black Cocker Spaniel, I love cockers!!
I put my mask on ... but they did not.
I wasn't worried about it, they
were obviously just starting out, and maybe hadn't noticed
me in time.
With my mask on, the lady probably didn't
see me grinning big at her dog,
but I did give her a nod and a Good Morning. The guy had paused
a few paces behind, and he was looking down at his phone,
so I didn't bother him. I walked a few more strides,
The lady started cussing me out about me wearing a mask.
F word like there's no tomorrow. Something about she has
to breathe my f-ing air over here where I hadn't masked up
yet. ??? Yeah, completely contradictory, since she wasn't
wearing a mask, at all!!
And, as I mentioned, loads of people around. She was making
a big scene, and apparently had no idea of how ridiculous
Lordy. I didn't feel threatened, since stupid lady was
well behind me and I was way more fit than she was!
And I didn't respond... I looked back once
and then I kept walking. I didn't know what to say, and
it's probably best I said nothing! I wondered if she was
going to shout at everyone she encountered on the trail.
And the walk back was ruined because I had to think about
the stupid people in the world. The anti-maskers. The
anti-vaxxers. The trump worshipers and their golden idol.
I stopped and took in the Willamette River, but all that
water flowing past couldn't heal me.
I need to know how we can bring
these people back to the light!
Song Sparrow says, "I don't know, either!"
Sat 6 March 2021... Nuthatch|
Hiking at hilly Hendrick's the other day!
This is a White Breasted Nuthatch, in the classic Nuthatch
pose. :) They go up and down the tree trunk upside-down!
This is a female... the males have black on their heads,
and are more blue, rather than grey.
This species is common across most of the US. In addition
to finding bugs in tree bark, they also visit bird feeders
for suet and seeds.
Thurs 4 March 2021... Hawk, Again|
I was on the last leg of my walk home, the other day, when
a hawk flew by me! I noted where she landed in the Lookout
Tree. And then I had to walk fast, to get past a bunch of
trees in the creek that were blocking my view.
When I finally saw her, it was obvious she was eating
somebody. No messing around or playing with her food this
time! I took pics from several different angles and was
eager to zoom in on the computer to see if I could tell
what she was eating.
She's eating a Garter Snake!
What the heck?
Is Snake the only thing on the menu when the sun is shining??
Or is this the favorite meal for this particular
Red Shouldered Hawk?
Either way, it's crazy that I've witnessed two separate
hawk dinners and they are both snake.
Wed 3 March 2021... Covid|
Less than ½ a million new cases of covid Again this week,
here in the USA. Yay masks!
The US averaged 65,666 new cases every day.
and 1,980 people died every day.
Active cases in my town are swirling around 180 to 160
people sick with covid...
A far cry from when we were swirling around 400 active
cases in November and December.
and had our high of 526 on 17 Dec.
The local newspaper reports that 5.91% people are fully
vaccinated in my county, on sunday. As of yesterday
we are at 6.13%. We are a bit under the
which is 7.9% of population with both doses.
So that's disappointing!
We have been vaccinating since 21 Dec.
and Mississippi To Lift COVID-19 Mask Mandates And Business Capacity Limits
We must now do more to restore livelihoods and normalcy
for Texans by opening Texas 100 percent. Make no mistake,
COVID-19 has not disappeared, but it is clear from the
recoveries, vaccinations, reduced hospitalizations,
and safe practices that Texans are using that state mandates
are no longer needed.
Huh. No longer needed.
I guess the 1,625 people who died of covid in Texas
in the past week... don't matter?
That's 232 people every day.
I just cannot understand. What is wrong with people??!
Tues 2 March 2021... Spring|
The focus is bad on this pic, but I still love it.
Little bird standing next to a budding Willow branch...
White Crowned Sparrows are winter visitors here.
But where the Golden Crowned Sparrows are wonderfully
human-friendly, the White Crowns are a lot more shy.
I'm glad I got a half decent pic before they fly home!
Mon 1 March 2021... Migrating Birds|
Our Turkey Vultures fly south for the winter, and it's
always nice to see them return! There were four, flying
high, high above the Delta Ponds this past weekend.
Tree Swallows also go south for winter, but I was
surprised to see a group zipping above the ponds... it
seems terribly early for these little bug eaters.
But I got my local Audubon newsletter, over the weekend.
has a list of all the current bird sightings along with
where they've been seen. and it says there have been small
numbers of Tree Swallows at the Delta Ponds since January!
Maybe just our super mild winter. Or maybe they are
starting to move their winter range to the north. It's not
too far... they are seen year round probably less than
100 miles south of the Oregon border.
But the field notes also mentioned that Barn Swallows
have also been seen. And they usually spend the winter
in south Mexico and down into South America... way, far away!
Sun 28 Feb 2021... Botanical|
Oregon Grapes are starting to bloom...
These flowers will turn into small, waxy-blue berries.
They are edible, ie not poisonous, but very tart and
mostly pit. I've never had Oregon Grape jelly, but
apparently it's pretty good.
Sat 27 Feb 2021... River Meeting|
I met someone at the river today...
Yikes! Poor, poor fellow! He's got no tail.
What happened?! Did the feathers get ripped out by a
predator in a very narrow escape? *cringe* probably was
Very painful. or was it
disease or malnutrition when the
feathers were growing? Something else?
He probably doesn't steer well when flying.
And another major problem...
He won't be growing the tail feathers back any time soon.
Probably not until Autumn, if he makes it that far.
Birds molt and replace their feathers on a strict schedule.
It takes a lot of energy to make new feathers, so it
happens before or after the breeding and migration seasons.
Fortunately, he doesn't particularly need his tail in
order to get food... Towhees eat on the ground, they
toss the leaf litter to get at bugs underneath.
They also show up at bird feeders.
So this guy is good for food!
And he was singing his trilling song as I was taking
his portrait... So he apparently has high hopes for
himself during the breeding season! :)
side note. My awareness of bird molts comes from
Jemima: Life and Love with a Hard-Luck Jay.
A beautiful book of art with an amazing story...
And relevant here:
Jemima lost her primary flight feathers.
She survived and lived to tell the tale!!
I only hope for the same for my Towhee friend.
Friday 26 February 2021... Floating along in my Rut|
UGH. I'm in a rut.
I'm doing all my favorite things... I'm drinking coffee :),
I'm going out walking every day, I'm being good about sorting
my photos, I'm reading good books, I'm sending out mail
every day, and I'm colouring a tiny drawing most days!
But I feel like I've been floating along, avoiding all the
small annoyances of life.
A good bit of this is because it is physically difficult
for me to do things with my messed up right hand. But I ditched
the wrap protecting my broken finger last weekend, since it
had been 6weeks. I'm doing exercises, and it is healing
tho I still can't curl the fingers to make a fist. But
we're getting there.
Another bit of the rut is stupid writer's block. I am
actively avoiding all kinds of writing opportunities.
And another bit is the rain. I like to walk in different
places. But if it's raining, it's pointless to drive to a
walk... There's not much wildlife out to take photos of,
and raindrops on the lens isn't really ideal!
So I keep to the neighborhood when it's raining. It's not
Always raining. But it's fixin' to rain. Or it just stopped
raining but we're not sure it's actually quit. or it's
misting. or it's 50% rain after 10am, or 40% or 60%, and
it's probably just going to rain anyway!
So I've been walking thru the neighborhoods very often and
I'm a little bit bored of it. Even tho I usually find
something interesting to take pictures of. And the exercise
is good. still. just a little bit bored.
So. What to do?
I think I just need to write!
Well. And maybe do some chores and Space Clearing.
Because I've been avoiding tidying up as well,
and the piles are interfering with my life!
Wed 24 Feb 2021... covid|
Less than ½ a million new cases of covid this week,
here in the US! But we hit ½ a million dead, on Monday
We averaged 67,740 new cases every day.
2,201 people died every day.
Active cases in my town have been swirling around
190 to 160.
Wed 17 Feb 2021... covid|
Over 1.5million new cases added this week in the US,
averaging 224,406 every day.
2,800 people died every day of covid.
And, AGAIN, over 5,000 dead in a single day.
Tracking Project says
5,427 people died of covid last friday, the 12th of Feb.
Active cases in my town are around 250 to 230
people sick with covid.
Wed 10 Feb 2021... covid|
Less than 775,000 new cases added in the US this week!
We averaged 110,432 new covid cases every day.
3,043 people died every day.
We had over 5,000 people die of covid last friday...
According to the
Tracking Project 5,212 people died on 4 Feb.
The active cases in my town are wobbling from 350 down
to 270 today.
Sat 6 Feb 2021... Too Quick|
Jeez, these little birds annoy me...
This is a Ruby Crowned Kinglet.
(Their crown is hidden!) They are common here in
the winter. They've migrated down from Canada and Alaska,
or they've moved down from the mountains.
They annoy me because, just like Chickadees, they bounce
around way too quickly. They don't give the camera enough
time to focus and most of the time I'm taking a pic of an
empty branch! ha!
They are def cute... but sheesh, maybe switch to decaf?
Thurs 4 Feb 2021... Red in Tooth and Claw|
Or rather, Nature: Red in Beak and Talon. oh, circle of life.
I saw a Red Shouldered Hawk in a tree on my walk home...
they were giving a hard stare at the ground. Then they
gave me a stern glance, telling me to stay put...
And then they swooped to the ground and obviously got
somebody! Whoa, maybe 25 feet, right in front of me!
They flew back up to the tree, with a mouse-sized
somebody in their talons!
But as I was looking, I could see a tail hanging down.
And that tail looked a lot longer than a mouse's tail. huh?
I had only seen a silhouette as they flew back to the tree, but
it didn't seem massive enough to be a rat with that length of
a tail. so, what the heck?
When I got home, zooming in on the photos...
Oh my gosh! A snake!
Poor little Garter Snake. And obviously still alive in
this pic. ugh.
Yeah, everybody has to eat, even the carnivores.
But I do feel bad for the prey when I have to watch them die.
Dear Snakes: Please stay tucked away in February, no matter
how bright and warm the sun looks! It's just not going to
Wed 3 Feb 2021... rant|
Some flowers for Piper.
Less than 1 million people caught covid this past week in
the USA! There were an average of
142,066 new cases every day and
3,185 people died every day.
In my town, a person died of covid yesterday, but that was
the only death since 22 Jan. Active cases are coming
down from 300, randomly swirling around 280.
So it seems like things continue to improve in covid land.
Fri 29 Jan 2021... sky|
Dang, look at that sky!
ha! It's the rainy season here... almost constant
grey skies and probably sprinkling. So a bit of blue
when we look up is cause for celebration!
Thurs 28 Jan 2021... Feb LetterMo?|
February's Month of Letters
is coming up quickly... and I have zero enthusiasm. :/
A little bit is that the LetterMo web site has almost
no functionality. You can't record your outgoing mail
anymore and you can't post pictures, except publicly
on the forums. You can't DM anyone
on the site. And it looks like Friending on the site is
even an issue this year. I'm sure that most of the action
happens on their private facebook page, but I'm anti-facebook!
And then the other part is my stupid broken hand.
Writing is awkward and uncomfortable... And I still have
over a week before I can take the wrap off and start
gentle exercises. and I'm not sure that the way I write
will be classified as
All that being said... I'm still sending out mail every day!
And I'll continue to send mail out every day. And I might
even send mail to LetterMo friends. I'm just not that
keen on actually participating in LetterMo.
Wed 27 Jan 2021... Covid|
Global Covid cases hit 100 million today... and the USA
has 25.34% of those cases, despite only having 4.22% of
the world population.
The USA added 1.2 million covid cases during the past week,
averaging 171,284 new cases every day.
3,441 people died of covid every day.
I've seen a couple of articles say that we've passed the
peak of the current outbreak in the USA. And it does seem
to be true, cases and hospitalizations are come down across
the country! Yay Masks!
Lots of big coronavirus! haha.
I'm not sure what this tree is... these fruits are not
like the normal Sweet Gum trees that we have around here.
Sun 24 Jan 2021... Rosalie Edge|
The book I'm currently reading is
Hawk of Mercy: The Activist Who Saved Nature from the Conservationists
A very slow beginning, but I'm almost 40% in, now and oh my
gosh. There is a bit of a history about an early version of
the Audubon Society, then called the National Association
of Audubon Societies... and dang, they were seriously
corrupt and evil!
I am glad that Rosalie Edge will step in and save the day.
In the meantime, I'm so interested, I'm doing a bit of
research online about it...
Nature Lover's Book Club
WHAT?! This is Awesome! How did I miss this? How have I
lived without this? I've not paged thru the entire website
yet, but along with
Edge featured in Sept 2020, I've also recently read
Buzz, Sting, Bite:
Why We Need Insects featured in March 2020.
I recognize only about ½ the titles listed there, and
I am so eager to go thru and read many!!
Wed 20 Jan 2021... Covid Rant|
According to the Johns Hopkins
dashboard, covid has killed over 400,000 people in the USA.
The US can claim 19.5% of the world's deaths by covid, even
tho we only have 4.2% of the world population.
The US added 1.46 million cases of covid in the past week,
averaging 208,939 new cases every day.
3,114 people died every day.
And it looks like total deaths in Texas (32,394)
will be over taking the total deaths in New York (33,224)
before too long.
(California over took NY on Jan 16th,
but I don't have family there,
so I'm not watching their numbers as closely.)
311 people die of covid in Texas every day.
And in my town, active covid cases are still swirling
around 350 to 400. And there have been some blunders?
bungles? with distributing vaccines within Oregon... last
week Lane County Public Health got 100 doses, when they
were expecting over a thousand, right when
they were trying to do a mass vaccination clinic.
ha, the local hospitals shared, and so all was not lost:
1,670 medical people were vaccinated in two days!
And then, even worse, so much worse...
After the federal government promised to release a
stockpile of vaccine doses to states, [Oregon] Gov. Kate Brown
announced early last week that seniors and school
employees would start getting vaccines Jan 23.
However, a few days later, Brown and other governors
found out that federal stockpile did not actually exist.
Did not actually exist. AND AND AND! Someone PROMISED
to send out from the nonexistent stockpile. WTH?
The Biden administration is taking over from that
twice impeached monster,
today. It will take a while to get things turned around.
And they have many many other things to fix.
But I have hopes.
Some happy things...
Leaders Express Hope As Biden And Harris Are Sworn In
The United States is back. Yay! And the image from
China has been deleted, but I laughed when I saw it.
Good Riddance, Donald Trump!
D.C., A Traditional South Indian Welcome Awaits Joe Biden And Kamala Harris
Oh my gosh, this is awesome!
Day More, of President Trump - Les MisÚrables parody
I am such a sucker for anything Les Mis.... but this is
really, actually beautiful! :)
Fri 1 Jan 2021... Review and Revise|
Happy New Year!
Oh where to begin.
Through 2020, I extended my temporary retirement and
I'm still a jobless bum from being laid off in 2019.
There was covid in the world and more covid in the US.
But with all the time I had,
I accomplished a few things.
Walking in 2020
I figure I walked about 1,000 miles! *laughs* that's a
guess-timate, but a realistic one... Walking most every
day between 2 and 5.5miles, usually more than 2.
I discovered the Hidden Trail last January
and added it to my limited
walking places. Besides the neighborhood and the nearby
bike path, I've walked most of the Ruth Bascom Riverbank
trail and all of the Ridgeline at Hendrick's Park.
I blew out my knee in Aug, and I got tendonitis in my heel
in Dec. And so the bike got dusted off and I happily
headed west to the end of the bike trail. Along the way
is a tiny park, Tsanchiifin Walk, with a few new birds!
Photography in 2020
in 2018... 11,570 pics, avg 964/month
in 2019... 15,124 pics, avg 1,260/month
in 2020... xxx pics, avg xxx/month
In the past I've been extremely bad about going thru my
photos to pull out the good ones (or the interesting
ones!) for the web site and the
great ones for printing. But thru much of 2020, I've
been sitting down and sifting thru the days photos. It's
pretty tedious, and I don't particularly enjoy the process.
but it's nice to have pics ready to go for a blog entry.
Mailing and Postcards in 2020
in 2018... averaged 104 bits of mail every month
in 2019... averaged 76 bits of mail every month
in 2020... I sent out xxx total and averaged xx bits of mail every month.
I kept up with the monthly postcard exchange that I host
at GoodReads. I sent 43 PostCrossing pcs. I joined 101
swaps at Swap-Bot and hosted 50 TGIF swaps and 2 Photo and
a Note swaps. I completed another round of the postcard
project I started in 2019... I might chat about that another
The Epson SuperTank Printer
that I got in 2019 is still printing.
And I'm much happier with it, now that I've figured out
how to deal with it's issues.
Community Garden 2020
I guess I continue to be a terrible gardener...
Because of covid, I tried planting seeds last spring.
That has NEVER worked, but I had such hope! A couple
Sugar Snap Peas came up, but nothing else did. sighs.
Also, I couldn't even get the zucchini, or ANY summer squash
to do their usual excessive thing. sighs some more.
But I did have lots of Lemon Cucumbers for a while, so that
made everything good! :)
Experimented with a couple different types of tomatoes...
The Santiam set a ton of fruit, very early, which then
ripened all at the same time. It was good, but too much,
all at once and eventually I got tired of it. And the
Garden Peach Tomato... yuck. heh.
Brandywines are my all time favorite, and I actually grew
my own from seeds in pots! They did well in the garden,
after a long time under row covers... but
I started them too late and not all the fruits ripened before
a couple chilly nights. Will need to time that better, this
Writing and Drawing in 2020
I wrote at the blog a good deal more than I usually do!
Yay! But I quickly get frustrated with
block, and I wish I could be more consistent with
I have continued with almost daily ATC sketches and I've
filled up a 3 ring binder with 9-pocket sheets! Can't
really say that I've improved, tho, *laughs*! But it is
nice to look thru my pages.
I accomplished most of my intentions in 2020...
I'm better about keeping up with my Mail Log,
I blogged more, I kept up with drawing and of
course, I made and sent mail most every day!
The one thing I didn't manage: keeping up with
my GoodReads book reviews. I only posted 19 of
the more than 50 books that I read. Which is
better than the 7 books I posted in 2019.
But I really need to have all my books listed there!
So... 2021 intentions: GR book reviews!
Keep writing at the web site! Keep drawing!
Keep up with the Mail Log!
And keep going thru the photos!
My one major resolution for 2021 is to get more tidy.
I am still thinking about how to implement this, tho,
so I will talk about that later!
Thurs 31 Dec 2020... End of the Year!|
Today's forecast said it was going to be warm enough for
a bike ride, and just a tiny chance of rain. So I was
thinking a ride out to Tsan to see the birds there would
be a wonderful close to the year.
haha! It started misting right before I got out the door!
And it continued misting or sprinkling
for most of my ride. Not exactly
fun, not being able to see because the eye glasses are
beaded up with wet.
*laughs* oh well. I tried to get good exercise, but it's
been a while since I've been out on the bike. hard going!
and I finally decided to bump it down a gear to make it
a little easier. I know: such a wimp! :)
But I did stop at the Tsanchiifin Walk... oh weird, someone
had dumped a little pile of bird food at the viewing area
path. Golden Crowned Sparrows and a pair of Towhees were
Wed 30 Dec 2020... covid rant|
The US racked up 1.2 million cases of covid in the last
week, averaging 183,449 new cases every day.
(Not as much testing during the holidays means cases
2,215 people died every day.
Florida hit 6,000 people currently hospitalized today,
and still climbing. 95 people die in Florida every day.
Texas has 11,775 people hospitalize and 165 people die
there every day.
Of course California takes the cake with 21,240 current
hospitalizations. 229 people die every day.
They don't have enough nurses, and are beginning to
And still nothing from the federal government... that
impeached monster is moping on the golf course.
(haha, remember the stupid old days when monster was
annoyed that Obama golfed ...
Trump Golf Count.
But in better news, the active case count might finally be
coming down in my town!! This wave of covid hit 200 active
cases after the 2nd week of Nov, peaked on 25 Nov with
473 and peaked again on 17 Dec with 526. We're now down
to 250 active cases... but I'll assume it's a temporary
lull before it gets really bad from Christmas travel and
Individualism: Pandemic Politics Driving Health Care Workers From Small Towns
Yeah, good job people. Let's harass and threaten
our health care workers and then be surprised when they quit
and you've got no one to take care of the entire community.
Which reminds me... our local newspaper had an article about
pandemic fatigue and our amazing health care workers...
And it included addresses to our local hospitals where
your can send happy cards of support and encouragement!
How cool is that?! Beginning the postcard proliferation! :D
Thurs 24 Dec 2020... Merry Christmas Eve!|
Been a while since I've had a wildlife photo to show...
I tried another walk today, even tho I've still got a
tendonitis ache in my heel. I'm still pretty slow, I
can't take a full stride yet.
Wed 23 Dec 2020... covid rant|
The USA added over 1.6 million cases of covid this week,
with an average of 239,711 new cases every day.
2,905 people died every day.
And still the federal government does nothing... because
that impeached monster is still -- Still! -- trying to
overturn the election that he lost.
Seditious is a good word, and hopefully someone
will follow up with that.
Texas hit 10,000 hospitalizations yesterday. 209 people
are dying there every day.
New York hald the record for most hospitalizations...
18,825 on 13 April. Bad times. but now California
has broken that record, beginning yesterday, and
continuing to add 100s more people to the hospital every day.
Active cases in my town hit a new high of 526 on 17 Dec.
It's come down since then, but still hovering in the 400s.
Oh, and this...
From U.K. Shut Down As Nations Assess Threat Of New Coronavirus Strain
U.K. officials warn the new variant of the virus could
be as high as 70% more contagious than the various strains
already circulating. However, there's no evidence so
far suggesting the new variant is more deadly.
Um. Yeah. There's this thing called Math. Here's how it
works. 70% more people getting covid, means more people
are going to die of covid.
Tues 22 Dec 2020... Little Free Pantry update|
The tendonitis is letting up a little bit... instead of
the shooting pain, there's just an ache. So I decided to
experiment with a walk today.
Our Little Free Pantry is about a block away and I check
on it every time I walk that way. There's usually some
kind of bread, a couple cans of stuff, potatoes, fruit
like oranges and apples (grapes and dried fruit today!),
pasta, dried beans.
(not sure what's in today's tupperware!)
The things in there that warm my heart...
Dog food that has been packaged in zip locks.
And wrapped servings of homemade cookies, or made up
So far, I've not met anyone else who fills the Pantry.
I dropped off another package of menstrual pads, today.
I'm never sure if I should open the package, to make the
individual pads available, or keep it sealed. Either way,
they are gone in 24 hours, so I know someone is appreciative!
And by the way, Scotland is awesome!
first in world to make period products free
<sing song> Awe-Some!!!
fri 18 dec 2020... Tendonitis, arg|
Yep, Wednesday night I started feeling tendonitis pain
in my left heel. fah.
I've never had tendonitis in my heel before, but even with
that first little twinge, I recognized it and
knew I would not be able to
walk. So I knew I'd need a plan to help me get thru the
usual 2hours I spend walking every day for the next...
few days? week? more? who knows.
That's kind of the thing. Tendonitis is one of those
things where medical science has little to say.
You can take drugs, or you can avoid drugs.
You can do physical therapy, or not.
You can ice it, heat pad it, both, or neither.
And the tendonitis either goes away or it doesn't. There
is no real treatment, except
rest. And, let's get
real here. You want to avoid those spikes of pain at ALL
costs! No doctor type has to tell you that.
So anyway. No walking means I've got an extra 2 hours
every day. And without the exercise, it's really important
to do something ... meaningful and happy.
I decided to dust off my CSS skills and work on some
back-end stuff here at the web site.
Last year I had taken a couple HTML and CSS classes, with
the goal of cleaning up my web site and upgrading from
HTML Transitional to HTML 5. I learned good stuff, and
I finished my classes. But then I didn't actually work
on the web site.
Yesterday, I re-familiarized myself with the codes. And
put the finishing touches on an archive template that I
had started last year, with my class.
I had trouble figuring out how
to place images, those darn floats. But it turned out I
was screwing up the requirements for the Width attribute!
ha, a simple thing I was ignorant of! Being sloppy was
okay in HTML Transitional, not so much in HTML 5!
And today, I started clearing out some of the entries on
this main page. It took a while, for a relatively small
chunk I tackled... There's the physical
cut and paste, and then all those random Transitional
codes to repair!
And again, I am learning good stuff! This project def
keeps me occupied for a couple hours at a time. And
there's plenty to do...
Once I get all the super old journal entries moved to
the archives, in theory I'll be able to clean up this
front page: Moving to HTML 5 and giving it a new design!
I don't know how many millions of years I've had this
sunflower thing. But it would be nice to move on!
A new design is, of course, a lot more involved than just
archiving stuff. So, we'll see what happens...
(and if you scroll to the bottom of this page, you can
see the changes!!)
Wed 16 Dec 2020... Wednesday Rant|
The US added almost 1.5 million new covid cases this
week and averaged 210,374 new cases every day.
2,402 people died every day. And we hit 300,000 total
deaths yesterday, according to the
Florida hit 4,000 hospitalizations at the end of Nov,
has now hit 5,000 hospitalizations. And just over 100
people die in Florida every day.
Is What Happens When Government Does Nothing
oh poor, stupid Iowa. The hospitalizations there have
been coming down... but case count and deaths are starting
to look more like Colorado, a state with almost twice the
population of Iowa.
And the covid in my town has just been hovering around 450
active cases, altho we did hit a high of 500 last Thursday.
We have 55 people hospitalized, which is a current record
Okay, this is kind of funny. My order has been on a
Merry Go Round for a week, coming and going from the
Kansas City Distribution Center! making me laugh!
Except... I kinda need my stuff!
tues 15 dec 2020... Mink!|
Walking along the creek, I saw this mink swim
across to my side! She or he was nosing around so quickly,
I knew the camera didn't have a chance. ha, I just pointed
down and clicked as fast as I could, hoping for the best.
Of course the
best obviously did not happen, laughs,
but that's okay!
Mon 14 Dec 2020... GRRR!|
∞ <Not a link> Is There a Doctor in the White House? Not if You Need an M.D.
Jill Biden should think about dropping the honorific, which feels fraudulent, even comic.
by Joseph Epstein (nope, not dignifying this with a link)
I am fuming over this. Dr Biden has two masters and a
doctorate in education, EdD.
Sexist jerk, JE has a Bachelor of Arts.
Because he's a white man in a position of authority,
he occasionally gets called
And he apparently can't be bothered to correct the mistake,
instead he revels in it.
But Dr Biden shouldn't claim the Dr title for the doctorate
that she actually earned ... because
it sounds and
Just a comparison... A Bachelor of Arts takes 4 years of
collage. After that, it takes 1.5 to 2 years to get a
Masters. (A Masters. as in, ONE Masters Degree.)
and then it takes another 3 years to get a
Doctorate in Education.
And yes. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Bigots
can have an opinion. Racists can have an opinion. Sexist
jerks can have an opinion.
But bigots should not have a platform to spew their opinions.
This should never have been published! And it def should
not have been defended by the responsible editor. (Yeah,
another article I will not dignify with a URL.) (But Wall
Street Journal? You Suck!)
The editor says:
where Mr. Epstein taught for many years, did its part
by denouncing him in a statement and appearing to purge
his emeritus listing from its website.
This is how cancel culture works.
Um. Yeah. Do I have to tell you? Misogyny is NOT a
culture. It's a blight on civilization.
Sun 6 Dec 2020... Heron Yoga|
Okay. This is pretty awesome. I was walking at the
river today, and on the way back to the car, I realized
I hadn't taken pics of any herons, for whatever reason.
So, here's a heron, in the last side pond. And I decide
to take a moment to breathe.
And the Heron decides to breathe with me and
do some stretching exercises!
We start with the left wing and leg...
and then our neck...
and then the other wing and leg...
I am so pleased to be invited to the Heron Yoga session!!
Sat 5 Dec 2020... Another Misidentification|
So. funny story. (um?)
Remember how I mis-identified the
hawk to the mail man
the other day?
Yeah. Well, I did it again!
I saw the flash of yellow, and made my assumptions.
And a person walking on the bike path behind me, asks
what's up. And I'm all, "Oh, I'm just looking at some
And, again, at home, I'm looking at the photos on the
computer. And again, "What the Heck is This??!"
Nobody I know has stripes like that! So I def have to go
And the flower head that they apparently love to snack
on is Teasle, invasive from Europe and Asia. But very
pretty and useful when it's not taking over everything!
Thurs 3 Dec 2020... Heron Hunter|
Walking along the creek today, and found a heron.
For some reason, I pulled out the camera, even tho
it was a terrible angle, looking almost straight down.
And just as I was getting a couple pics... the hunter
They caught a minnow! how cool is that?!
Wed 2 Dec 2020... Wednesday Rant|
Again, well over 1 million new covid cases added this week, at
168,808 new cases every day on average.
and 1,476 people died every day.
Oregon has been in a "freeze" shut down for the past two
weeks, and today we are transitioning to a county by county
shut down based on risk levels.
My town, Eugene is still in the midst of a covid breakout
that started at the end of Sept, so we will continue in the
Extreme risk level... Outdoor entertainment will
open up a little bit, but stores go from 75% occupancy down
to 50%. Socializing remains capped at 6 people from 2
households. It goes without saying:
Masks are mandated everywhere.
Several businesses have been fined for not
following the rules!
The outbreak in Eugene, which topped on 8 Oct with 288
active cases, and then again on 25 Nov with 473 active
cases. Today our active cases have come down to 217...
however we have a record number of hospitalizations, 39.
I wonder if they've expanded the covid wing at the hospital.
And I'm shocked to see the testing positivity rate in
Oregon is 40%. What the heck? This is terrible. What will
it take to get some extra testing in here?!
Texas hit 9,000 hospitalized today. The daily deaths there
are extremely variable -- in the past week it's gone from
22 on one day to 170 the next -- so it's difficult to see
what's going on, except the big numbers are def getting
bigger. And obviously it'll be
easier to die with the hospitals full.
Florida looks ready to hit a million cases here, very
soon. They've got over 4,200 hospitalized and that number
has been steadily rising for a long time.
And back to Oregon... this is utterly shameful:
Oregon nurse bragged on TikTok about not wearing a mask outside of work. Shes now on administrative leave.
Salem Health has the highest employee-related [covid] count of any hospital in the state.
And this lady was contributing.
Found this next to the trail, yesterday! *happy!*
Mon 30 Nov 2020... Hawks are Hard|
So I was staring up at this beautiful hawk... and trying
to figure out what was up with the tail, because from my
angle, it seemed to be missing...
Everything's perfectly fine!
There was just a stick behind her/him, and they were
resting their tail feathers up on that!
The mail man was walking on the bike path behind me.
Well! he says.
What do we have here?
A Cooper Hawk! I replied.
Wow. That's cool. Yes, it is!
Except, no. No, it's not!
At home, I was going thru the photos, and I zoomed in
and saw the colour of the head...
oh shoot. That is def not a Cooper Hawk!
Cooper Hawks have a dark grey hood over their head. And
this one has a stripy brown and red head.
Ah ha. Red Shouldered Hawk, just beyond the very northern
edge of their accepted range!
But dang it! Hawks are so difficult to figure out, even
when you think you know what you're doing!!
Sunday 29 Nov 2020... one more|
Golden Crowned Sparrows are another winter visitor in our
Every single year, I am surprised at how human friendly
these sparrows are. I can get within 4 or 5 feet, and
they give me one "over the shoulder" glance like this...
and then they pay me no mind! :D
Sat 28 Nov 2020... Happy Migrations|
A trip out to the river today, and I was glad to see some
of our winter visitors. There are lots of birds who
migrate down from Canada and Alaska, to spend the winter
in our ponds...
Today I saw Cormorants, Hooded Mergansers, Green Wing Teals...
And some American Wigeons:
I just love the squiggles that the feathers make... so artsy! :)
I tried to stand in the approximate same place to get
this pic of my favorite spot on the river. I should
collect these pics into a single post so you can see the
seasons and the weather! :)
Friday 27 Nov 2020... Show Off!|
These two Northern Flickers were on the other side of
the creek, so I wasn't really sure what was going on
at the time. But they were talking to each other, and
Looking at the photos, I realized they were two males
(they both have a red mustache, which females lack) ...
They are showing off to each other! It's just practice,
at this time of year. But..
May the fittest for survival, win! :)
Wed 25 Nov 2020... Wednesday Rant|
Sighs. The US added more than 1.2 million cases in the
177,541 new cases on average every day, here in the US.
and 1,646 people dying every day.
Oregon has been in
freeze for a week now, but today we
have over 500 people hospitalized for the first time,
and a record 21 people died yesterday.
Eugene has broken records for active covid cases on
last wed (307), thurs (375), friday (420), saturday (450),
sunday (456), monday (469), and we skipped tuesday because
it was the same, and today with 473 active cases.
Wed 18 Nov 2020... It's Wednesday and we're doomed|
Well, the US hit 11 million covid cases this past weekend.
And it seems like just a couple days ago we hit 10 million.
oh. yeah. That's 'cause it was...
Hits 11 Million Coronavirus Cases, Adding 1 Million In A Week
And Texas hit 1 million cases on the 13th. That's Friday
the 13th. And California followed suit on the 14th.
New York has the most deaths of all the states, with
26,189. A lot of people died in the first wave this
spring because the hospitals were full -- 18,825 people
hospitalized in New York on 13 April 2020 -- and they didn't
have treatment options yet. But it looks like Texas
wants to challenge all this... 7,841 currently hospitalized
and 19,696 people dead.
Poor, stupid Iowa has a 51% positivity rate and they hit
1,000 people currently hospitalized a week ago, on the 10th.
And 1,500 currently hospitalized today.
And they are Finally doing
something about it...
Governor Reverses Course, Issues Mask Mandate As COVID-19 Cases Rise
Oregon ranked No. 45 among the states where coronavirus
was spreading the fastest. But the state has 13.7%
positivity rate and increasing hospitalizations:
445 currently hospitalized, 100 more than last week.
And we are doing something about it! You know,
something a bit more serious than a mask madate,
which we've had in place for a while now.
We've gone back to a partial shut down starting today!
Social gatherings are capped at 6 and limited to two
households. Restaurants are take-out only. Indoor and
outdoor entertainment and recreational facilities
(gyms and more) must close. Etc, Etc. There's a good
list, and there's a fine or arrest for those who aren't
And the little outbreak in my own town continues on it's
merry way. Active cases broke the old record of 288
on Sunday the 15th with 306 active
cases. And again today with 307 active cases.
We'll see how long it takes for the shut down to have
The 7-day average for the US...
159,691 new cases every day
and 1,291 people died every day last week.
The current record stands at 187,957 new cases on 13 Nov,
according to WoM.
Or on the Covid Tracking
site, it was 171,376 new cases.
A few states are returning to partial shut downs, but
there's no reason why we won't be breaking all the records
a few more times!
Sat 14 Nov 2020... Autumn Baby|
After the rain and wind of Thursday night, I woke up and
the trees outside my window were denuded. Poor naked trees.
All the leaves were down in the parking lot.
You know, autumn is my favorite season... But I'm missing
the summer already. The tomatoes from the garden are long
gone and the house is all closed up and it's too chilly for
an early morning walk.
But then I came home from my late-morning walk... and found
a baby squirrel lookin' at me!
*laughs* okay, Not a baby... a
Youngster, and out
on her own. But how cute can you be?
Fri 13 Nov 2020... Steller Jay|
Nothing scary today for Friday the 13th! oh well. :)
Steller Jays are our other blue-coloured jay,
here in western Oregon.
Scrub Jays: blue and white...
are a common theme on my postcards, tho I
don't post pics here very often for some reason.
But the Stellers? They are so beautiful with their black
fading down to blue, with a few decorated bits on their
And they are shy and bouncy. So the few times I do get
to see them... they jump too fast for the camera to focus.
*laughs* What a cheeky look! Ima gettin the side eye!
of course, that look could only come from a teenager! :)
You can tell this is a young one because they've still
got a little bit of gape left at the corner of their mouth.
I fell in love immediately. And then they flew away.
Thurs 12 Nov 2020... Garden|
There's a 100% chance of rain, starting tonight and going
thru tomorrow! So I wanted to get another patch of the
garden forked and weeded and seeded with cover crop.
Yes, I'm still working on that. (Started 20 Sept!)
Did I mention our garden plot is 600sqft? Maybe next year
I'll rent a tiller or something!!
Anyway. There's little baby clovers coming up in patches
here and there. There was also a patch of Nasturtium
seedlings, but they died off on the first cold night. It's
not quite cold enough to kill off the Borage seedlings, yet.
There's also some Love-in-a-Mist seedlings coming up, I
think. Not sure what they will do in the cold.
There's another plant coming up in droves that I feel like
I should recognize...
I just couldn't place the leaves at all. But today I
oh, haha! There's no mistaking that wonderfully velvet
softness! Dead Nettle!
Purple Dead Nettle is an invasive from Europe, but they are
easily chopped down and I don't think they present much of
a problem in gardens. And, since it can survive cool
temperatures, it can act as a cover crop! Yay!
It's quite pretty, I think, with it's greens and purples
and it's little purplish-pink flowers.
And if you ever get a chance to run your
hand thru a patch of Dead Nettle...
Oh, it's totally luxurious! :)
Wed 11 Nov 2020... It's Wednesday|
Hospitals are filling up across the country and
reports records set for new cases of covid on...
∞ Thursday 5 Nov with 123,952
∞ Friday 6 Nov with 132,836
∞ Tues 10 Nov with 144,807
We are adding 123,371 new cases every day on average.
1,018 people died every day.
The covid outbreak in my town is getting worse again.
After dropping to 126 active cases last Thursday,
we've been climing again. Today there are 251 active
Our record is 288 active cases, I suppose that will
be broken soon.
My brain is producing some serious snark when I am out
and see people without masks. It's starting to affect
my well-being, so I need to think nicer thoughts. After
all, if you're too stupid to believe in science (or apply
that science)... well, that's karma that'll
catch up with you eventually.
And that's sad. So my brain shouldn't be so harsh.
There should be some pity. And that's it.
Obscure To Sold Out: The Story Of Four Seasons Total
Landscaping In Just 4 Days
Apparently Four Seasons has an amazing marketing team!!
Ways To Get Your Point Across While Wearing a Mask
And Gold Star Families Granted Lifetime Passes To National Parks
What?! This is awesome! Great idea!
Sun 8 Nov 2020... Political Mail|
My anxiety about the election kept me from forming
coherent thoughts. (laughs) But, now I'm back at it.
I couldn't find an office address for Joe Biden, and
I couldn't get his exact home address. So I put down
what I knew and I'll trust that the US Postal Service
will get my note to where it needs to go.
Because USPS is AWESOME!
Dear Mr Biden,
I know you're going to be busy once you get to the White
House ;) But here's something you don't need to do...
Please do NOT pardon Donald Trump. I'm sure he'll try
to pardon himself - Don't let that happen either. That
guy needs to face the music for all the evil he's done.
Thanks and Happy Day,
Wed 4 Nov 2020... Rant and something cool|
So, as predicted a new record was set for new daily cases.
Saturday 31 Oct we had 101,461 new cases in the US,
according to WOM.
and the next record day... coming soon.
87,492 new cases added every day on average in the US.
874 people died every day on average.
New cases exploding, hospitals filling up, and the death
toll will continue to rise again.
Still coming down from our covid outbreak here in town, but
it's a very slow process... 8 Oct was our highest count,
with 288 active cases. Right now, we've got
142 active cases with 18 hospitalized.
And the results of the election are still pending, but
it looks like Biden will probably win. But why is it
so close? Why are people so loyal to that impeached
monster? I just cannot understand.
Haha, this Cooper Hawk has a close audience!
(11.30 oops! I think this is a Red Shouldered Hawk! ha.
see my 30 Nov, Hawks are Hard entry!)
Crows mob hawks, but the crows aren't so worried about it
right now since they don't have nestlings to protect.
But they are keeping an eye on the situation.
Funny how close they are. But great for size comparison!!
Tues 3 Nov 2020... vote.|
Today is the day. And
I've got some major anxiety about this evening.
AND the next couple of months, because that lame duck
So I went out to the river for a good walk. :)
Sat 31 Oct 2020... Thank You|
Please DONT Say Youre Welcome! Better responses to THANK YOU
The other month, I happened to run into the generous human
who was re-filling their sidewalk food pantry. I gave them
a very enthusiastic
Thank you for doing this!
And they replied,
I'd not heard that response to thank you before, and I
really liked it. It acknowledged that they weren't doing
this for me, even tho I was the one thanking them. And
it implied that their action was inevitable!
Fri 30 Oct 2020... Garden|
I've been going to the garden every day this week to water.
We've not had any rain, and I'm trying to give my little
clover seeds the best start on life... I think they turn the
water off on 1 nov.
The lack of rain is distressing
because our rainy season starts in October.
And we've had nothing but dew and high humidity. Which is
something, but not really... the dry cracks in the dirt that
I don't water are about 2inches wide!
That damn cat is still hanging out at the Garden,
scaring the birds away, and I am
very annoyed at his human family for letting him out.
I like to listen to the Goldfinches twitter while I fork,
and it makes me sad when they aren't around.
Wednesday 28 Oct 2020... Its Wednesday|
Looks like TX and CA are competing to get the first
1 million covid cases. sighs.
So, yep. Covid cases still rising, rising in the US.
says we got a new record of 81,422 new cases in a day
last friday, 23 Oct. (The old high of 79,024 happened
All the websites have different numbers, of course,
but I think they all hit a high within a day or so.
more than 83,000 new cases, they got their
numbers from the Johns Hopkins site.
And these numbers aren't leveling off, they continue to
rise. So will be hitting new records for the next, what?
There are 74,299 new cases added every day, on average, in the US.
844 people died on average every day in the US.
My town is slowly coming down from its outbreak... we had
almost 300 active cases on 8 Oct, and now we're down to 175.
Tues 27 Oct 2020... All the Countries in the World|
Last night, I pulled out my atlas to do some reviewing.
You remember I've made it my quest to memorize all the
countries in the world.
I'm almost done... I'm currently
committing the South Pacific Islands to memory.
Several of those I had to look up pronunciation,
so I'm taking my time to learn them correctly!
But, not all of the islands are actual countries,
so it's a little bit easier than it looks, at first glance.
And then I need to go back and catch all
the island countries in the Caribbean.
And then I'm done!
Anyway, back to my atlas review.
I thought I was mixing up Sierra Leone, in West
Africa and Sri Lanka off the coast of India. But I had
I was def mixing up a couple countries in Eastern Europe,
tho... Belarus is in the north, and Bulgaria is in the south.
Yeah, one of my memory tricks is to think about groups of
countries by their first letter. GINS is a good one:
Greenland (okay not a country!), Iceland, Norway, Sweden,
and then Finland and Russia are easy to tack on to the end!
So you can see how I might confuse the SLs of Sierra Leone
and Sri Lanka. And the B countries in eastern Europe!
But I think I got it, now! :)
195 countries in the world
Very close to having all those in my head!
Friday 23 Oct 2020... Garden|
This one has been stalking in the Community Garden,
this past week...
He is very beautiful, and there's def some mice to catch
in the Garden. But the birds have been avoiding the place
because of him.
We had our first below freezing night on Wednesday, and
the Nasturtium and remaining summer squashes promptly died.
Hopefully the Nasturtium didn't crowd out my baby clovers
too bad... I need those clovers to live!
The tomato plants are mostly dead now, as well. But look
how lovely these last few Brandywines look!
I had 4 different tomato plants this year... two that I
always love: Sungolds and Brandywines. And two new ones:
Garden Peach and Santiam.
The Garden Peach was... okay. but the "delicate" flavor
bored me quickly and I stopped eating it after the first
couple batches. Insipid is a word to use with this one.
The Santiam, on the other hand... set a ton of fruits when
it was still chilly in the spring! That was exciting to
see and I looked forward to them ripening. And I loved,
loved them at the beginning. But, I did get tired of eating
them, at some point.
There was a break before the Brandywine
tomatoes started ripening. The Brandywines are my favorite,
and I wondered if I would get sick of them like the others.
But I did not get tired of
eating those Brandywines, once they started happening.
In fact, I could eat more, and I miss them even tho I've
got a couple ripening in the kitchen!
Wed 21 Oct 2020... usual covid rant|
736 people died every day this past week, in the US.
And we are adding 60,016 new cases every day... that
number is still jumping up from last week's 51,761 new cases.
The covid outbreak in my town has plateaued, and is
not getting better. We currently have 209 active cases
and a couple more people have died, bringing our total
to 26. On monday we had a high of 19 people hospitalized.
I am watching the numbers for several states, and they've
all been going up... more cases, more hospitalizations.
And what are we doing about it? As far as I can tell:
Even in my town, after hitting a high of almost
300 infectuous people on 8 October, then
hovering around 220 active cases for a couple weeks since
then... nothing. We've been put on a "Watch List" by the
governor, and they tell us to wear our stupid masks. But
no actual action has taken place to do anything about the
says the US hit a high on 24 July, with 78,971 new cases.
It looks like we are trying to break that record.
Propublica published an article about how the CDC has
the Fall of the CDC
It's long and it's depressing.
and it just makes me cry for the USA.
It is despicable that this happened!
Of course, that impeached monster has corrupted every
agency of government... from Betsy DeVos destroying public
schools as Secretary of Education to Louis DeJoy destroying
the Postal Service. And soon the Supreme Court will be
added to the list.
Oregon Junco at the community garden.
Mon 19 Oct 2020... Urban Wildlife|
Walking home from the garden today...
A Mom with three children. Not the most flattering pic...
Mom's got her tongue out, and poor human is messing up my
shot. ha. But it's the only pic I got with all four of
I immediately wondered if Mom had adopted one of the kids.
Because 3 seems like a lot to carry to term with crappy
Sun 18 Oct 2020... River|
Walking out by the river today...
This is one of my favorite places to stop and listen to
the river. The water is tripping over some rocks, and
it just sounds so lovely.
I took a pic here, last month as well. The little oak
tree in the front was a bit more green back then. :)
Thurs 24 Sept, River
American Wigeons are winter visitors in our area,
and this was my first sighting of the season.
Fri 16 Oct 2020... pic|
Ha... This one has been greeting me as I walk out
the front door, this week. Not every day,
but it's so surprising when she's there!
We are about three feet apart in this pic.
I've encountered her so often, I decided to name her.
courteous goodwill or as the verb
do honor or credit to (someone or something) by one's presence
I am def honored by her presence! :)
Wed 14 Oct 2020... the usual|
51,761 new cases of covid added every day in the US
this past week.
738 people died of covid every day
The new daily cases have sky rocketted this week...
|9 Sept||36,808 new cases every day
|16 Sept ||39,309 new
|23 Sept||42,923 new
|30 Sept||43,845 new
|7 Oct||44,822 new
|14 Oct||51,761 new
And maybe this time the covid breakout in my town has
leveled off? We had a high last Thurs 8 Oct
with 288 active cases and 15 people hospitalized.
Today we're at 210 infectious people, and it's been
steadily dropping. But there are 14 people hospitalized.
Our testing postitivity is down from last weeks 8.6%...
now at 7.6%. Still higher than the state of Oregon at 5.9%.
a pair of sweet Lesser Goldfinches! awww!
(yep, that guy on the left might be familiar if you're
on my postcard list!!)
Sun 11 Oct 2020... Spelling|
It is not generally known that I am a bad speller, but
I don't try to hide it. Since I'm a reader, I know when
I've mis-spelled something. Between the spell-check and
the dictionary I keep next to my bed, I can usually get
Spelling has always been a problem for me. Some of my
not-so-fondest memories from childhood are of me
struggling with this problem... I must have been 7 or 8
years old? Studying for spelling tests with my Mom,
and then getting so many words wrong, despite all the
I am frustrated with myself, even now, 40 years later!
There are words that I consistently mis-spell...
Like consistently!! *laughs* I spell it with an
ANT instead of an ENT. Also label usually comes
out first as lable, I have to look it up every.
single. god. damned. time. (yep, even this time!)
Another good one is
accidentally. I pronounce
it without the Tally, it's accidently and that's not a
word and it's never going to be a word, despite all the
stupid people spelling it that way on the internets.
But, yeah, I still think it should be a word!
∞ Accidently or Accidentally
Oh, wow! this looks like an awesome website... just look
at all those Confusing Words in the right sidebar!
Nice! A good rabbit hole to fall down!
Wed 7 Oct 2020... the rant|
is the word of the day when it
comes to that impeached monster getting covid. He spent
three days in hospital, where the doctors apparently threw
every experimental treatment at him...
And then that piece of shit says
Don't be afraid of Covid.
Don't let it dominate your life.
(I am angry beyond words about this.)
44,822 new cases of covid added every day this past week...
still steadily going up, up, up.
698 people have died every day of covid this past week.
And the covid problem in my town hasn't gotten any better...
We currently have 262 active cases, a new high. But we
a new high every couple of days. And our Test
Positivity rate is up to 8.6%, horrible!
Can See Clearly Now, Singer Johnny Nash Has Died At 80
Aww. :( this is another Rain song that I love and know most
of the words to. There's a video embedded on the NPR page,
if you care to listen. RIP Mr. Nash.
Thurs 1 oct 2020... Draw!|
to Start Drawing
This Pocket Worthy article caught my attention, the
other day! But I don't really follow any of the tips,
except the "Start Small" one.
I have been drawing ATC or baseball card size, for about
a year. I'm keeping the drawings in 9-pocket pages.
My first three-ring binder is mostly full, with 30 pages!
Yep, I draw humans sometimes. I'm not very good, obviously.
But I think I'm getting better. or at least most
of the drawings aren't hideous. heh.
And the Grosbeak was giving me trouble... I just can't get
that big beak right!
Anyway. I usually draw from photos, sometimes my own,
sometimes pics out of calendars, magazines, newspaper.
I probably should branch out and
Draw from life
every once in a while, like the article says.
Wed 30 Sept 2020... the usual rant|
The Johns Hopkins website shows that the world hit 1 million
deaths from covid yesterday. sighs.
Here in the US, we've been adding 43,845 cases every day,
and 775 people are dying every day.
And it looks as tho our little problem with covid here in
town has topped off. Monday we had 202 active cases and
it's fallen to 179 today.
Unfortunately, the test positivity rate has jumped from
1 and 2% that we had thru the end of August,
to 7.1%... this is bad! and
This is the first time that
our percent positivity has been greater than the state
[Oregon], which is at 6.3%
And we've had steady containment on the Holiday Farm Fire...
they've got it 65% contained, and report only 6 minor
I can't remember if I've mentioned, but they did find
all of the 250 people who were unaccounted for. Just
one person died in the fire. Which amazes me, since the
fire blew up so incredibly quickly the first night, which
was Monday 7 Sept 8:20pm.
As far as I know, they don't know the cause of this fire
yet. But I would assume that it was downed power lines,
from the terrible wind storm that happened at the time.
It is standing at 173,094 Acres and has destroyed
over 700 buildings, including around 430 homes.
Mon 28 Sept 2020... Shoes, ha.|
Let me just say, I hate buying new shoes. I like my old
shoes. I don't want to get used to new shoes. I don't
want to spend 60$ on new shoes. I don't want to lace up
Unfortunately, with the amount of walking I do... well,
the comfortable old shoes eventually fall apart. sighs.
These were sooo comfortable! Yeah, they had holes in the
bottoms. Walk thru a puddle and my socks were wet. I didn't
even care! Yeah, dirt got in thru the holes in the sides.
Still didn't even care!
But last monday, the right heel lost it's attachment. It
dragged all the way home. Okay. That's one insult too far.
It's time to retire these.
I pulled out another old pair of shoes while I looked to
order a new pair. These were not so comfortable.
A bit tight, and they gave me a blister on my toe.
And I didn't realize how close to falling apart...
Yesterday, as I was leaving the garden, the tread fell
off the left shoe.
*laughs* Well, this is ridiculous! I had to walk on my
tippy toes in order to keep the inner lining in place!
Thurs 24 Sept 2020... Out!|
After working very hard at the Community Garden plot for
three days, trying to break up the concrete which is the
dirt... there was actual sweat involved and a pulled muscle
and everything! After all that, it rained on the tiny
section of cover crop seeds and I rewarded myself with a
trip out to the river.
I was actually giddy that I was walking in a beautiful
setting, and not forking myself to frustration!!
Unfortunately I didn't really get any good photos.
Sometimes it happens like that, just
gotta go out again another day! No problem, that! :)
There were Red Wing Blackbirds bouncing around all over
and a favorite place to stop and listen to the river!
Wed 23 Sept 2020... the rant|
Deaths in the US have gone down, but cases have gone up...
731 people died every day, and we've been adding
42,923 new cases every day.
Hopkins Covid Dashboard reports 200,000 dead in the
US, as of this morning.
Serious issues in my town... our active case count is 125,
we've been bouncing up steadily with no end in sight.
Newspaper says small gatherings are to blame and there
are now three assisted living facilities involved.
We hit 1,000 total cases yesterday.
White Crowned Sparrows are winter visitors in our area...
and this is the first sighting of one this season!
Mon 21 Sept 2020... Garden Work|
The food coming from the garden is def starting to slow
down. The Cucumbers gave up the ghost ages ago. A couple
of tomato plants died in the cool and smoky weather.
Still some Brandywines ripening, tho. And a couple of
Crooknecks are still on the vine, and some tiny Patty Pans,
I've got my cover crop seeds, and a promise of rain on
wednesday night... Let's see how much of the garden I can
clear, till and seed!
I started in the back corner, where I know the dirt needs
some serious help. Letting the cover crop grow the longest
there, will do it good!
I cleared the weeds with no trouble. Grass goes to the
community compost, as does the bind weed and the other
creeping vine that makes a
bajillion seeds that I've not identified yet.
And borage stays since it will break
down quickly and return nutrients to the dirt.
But when I tried to
fork the soil... haha, it was like concrete! Even tho
we had gotten good rain before the weekend, the dirt
was hard as a brick. sighs. But this is exactly
what I meant: this dirt needs Help!
Well, I finished and seeded a tiny 2 square feet and then
had to call it quits for the day! *laughs*
It's a start. I don't remember how long it took me to
complete the cover crop last year... 3weeks? a month?
I'll have to look it up!
Sat 19 Sept 2020... rip RBG|
I was shocked and devastated to hear of the death of
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, last night.
Our world has lost an amazing woman. And the US has lost
a significant power for good.
I am terrified about her replacement in the court.
Thurs 17 Sept 2020... Maybe...|
There's a 100% chance of rain tonight. So this might be
the last of the wildfire smog photography.
When I headed out this morning, the visibility was so much
better and the air quality was at 260. Still "Very
Unhealthy" but not "Hazardous"!
I was happy to see a little group of Bushtits. They are
too bouncy for my camera... I can't focus before they are
several branches away!
But then a little breeze kicked up. And suddenly the air
is smoky and yucky again. Probably up in the 400 range
The smoggy tree near the center of the photo is my
A White Oak, almost 2 miles from home, at the
end of the bike path, going east.
One of it's branches swoops down and is
horizontal right at a good writing desk level. :)
Yep, I've been known to pull out my little "Idea Journal"
that I carry in my jacket, to write there for a few!
Wed 16 Sept 2020... the usual wednesday rant|
6,735,588 USA cases of covid,
adding 39,309 new cases every day.
199,561 people have died,
913 every day this past week.
(Numbers are from the
and are slightly higher than the numbers from the
Johns Hopkins site,
which were 6,609,770 USA cases and 195,962 USA dead.)
And my town has a bit of a problem... we've got 65 active
cases right now. And 14 people have died, half of whom
have died in the last couple of weeks! Yikes! What the
heck is going on??!
And my state hit 500 dead on Saturday. :(
Official Michael Caputo Admits Warning Of 'Sedition' At CDC, Riots If Trump Wins
So, this guy is obviously not right in the head. Like,
maybe we need some Mental Health time. And maybe we need
to not be in charge of millions of dollars of advertising
money for an agency that needs to be saturated with science!
Okay, this got my goat...
administration has not paid USPS for COVID-19 postcards featuring Trump's name
uh huh. I remember that postcard. In fact, I scanned it
in at the time. The file name I gave it...
Looks like I might need to subscribe to a new magazine...
American Endorses Joe Biden
Back to local news, the Holiday Farm fire, just east of
town is now 6% contained. It covers 166,503 Acres
and we now have a whopping 767 fire fighters!
Aww! Sweet girl at the Community Garden!
:) Plus you don't hardly notice the
wildfire smog in this photo. The air quality was
at 320 when I took this pic!
Tues 15 Sept 2020... Update|
Web site update
It occurred to me that having separate
for the newest blog posts was stupid. *laughs* It was fine
when I was actually catching up with the older posts. But
I quit doing that. And it's dumb to maintain all those
So! This is the place! if I bother with filling in some
older posts, I'll be sure to let you know! :)
I am starting to walk more... further and more often.
Did I tell you? I walked 4.5 miles on Saturday!! Yay!
Since I've gotten used to riding my bike down the bike
path, I really enjoy going out to the Tsanchiifin Walk.
I'm still finding different birds there!
And then I ride the bike a bit further out! The bike
path ends about 5.5 miles away from home... I've not quite
gotten to the end, yet, but got to around 5 miles today!
There's more prairie, and not as many trees. But I can
hear Red Wing Blackbirds singing, so that's something
new and different. :)
Well, let's see... today the air quality is at 330.
Still in the Hazardous category. But still looks better
than it has been.
Mon 14 Sept 2020... still smoggy, but...|
Okay, this is just a fun photo...
I count 12 Goldfinches! I've made this pic a bit bigger than
usual so you can see them all.
(Right-Click for "View Image".
Then hit the back button to return.)
And I think they are eating the seeds of Basil! I had no
idea it was such a popular meal!! I'm not a huge fan, but
apparently I need to have a good patch of basil next year!! :)
This morning's Air Quality is 475 (Hazardous is 300 to 500),
but it actually looks a lot better than it's been.
Thurs 10 Sept 2020... Smog Photography|
Okay, this Smog Sun didn't turn out
as well as the one the other day with the tree leaves...
But this is a new endeavor, so you have to cut me some slack!
Here's a cute smog squirrel for ya...
Wed 9 Sept 2020... Covid Rant and Local Wildfire|
752 people died every day this week in the US
and we're adding 36,808 new cases of covid daily.
My town has 57 active cases, bringing our total count
Three people died recently, unprecedented, bringing
a total of 10 people who have died.
And the wind storm of Monday night has kicked up a
horrific wildfire, east of town. It's huge and completely
uncontained, so they're evacuating the eastern edge
of town. They don't have enough fire fighters, since
they're spread all across the state, and helping California.
Scary stuff. I live on the western side of town, so I
can't imagine that I'd be in danger. But so many hundreds
of people escaping the fire... :~(
Tues 8 Sept 2020... Update|
There was a good wind storm last night. That was exciting.
And this morning we woke up to a dark red sky and ash
The responsible wildfires aren't new, but the wind direction
is. Up until now, we've been very lucky about avoiding
the wildfire smog. But now we've got it in droves.
I walked 3½ miles today!
I blew out my knee at the beginning of August. After
two weeks of trying to take it easy, it felt better and I
started walking again.
But after a 4 mile hike up the hill, the knee was
inflamed again. Back to square one.
So when the knee started feeling better again last week, I
didn't take the bait! I continued biking and only walking
I started walking a bit over the weekend. Oh, it's nice to
walk without having to think about pain! But I'll try not
to push it. Tomorrow I'll bike, instead of walk, and
hopefully I'll keep the knee in one piece.
Sat 29 Aug 2020... Listening at the Tsan...|
Yep, I biked out to Tsanchiifin Walk yet again today...
hoping to meet some new birds.
Yes! There were some! Strange new song, strange new
bouncing around in the tree. And suddenly flying away,
before the camera can focus. heh. oh well.
maybe next time.
Far away I hear another new bird: "La La La, Chew Chew Chew".
huh, that's interesting! I hope I get to meet them soon!
A Spotted Towhee was calling their rusty door, "creeeeaak".
Several Goldfinches twittering, along with some Chickadees
"dee dee dee"ing.
And this scruffy one...
I knew the species when I was taking the pics, but I'd
forgotten when I was going thru my photos. Separate from
my experience, I couldn't figure out what this bird was!
Female House Finch? hum, doesn't really match up. So, not
female... is juvenile! Ahhh! The stripes on the face are
so faint, that's what tricked me!
A juvenile Song Sparrow. And then I remembered what this
one was saying as I took her/his portrait, "jeep. jeep."
Birds say so much! Sure, it's fun to learn their
spring time songs. But knowing their communication
words is much more important!
Fri 28 Aug 2020... A Frog!!|
Yay! Wildlife success at my new Tsanchiifin Walk, on the
2nd day I've been...
Oh my gosh, so tiny! This Pacific Chorus Frog was
teeny tiny!! Around ½ inch! (Adults are normally
almost 2 inches.)
I can't say she was a
baby because of course baby frogs are actually tadpoles!
But dang. So cute.
Plus she let me walk around so I could have the
sun behind me. So patient and kind! :D
So, she's a girl... you can't see it in this pic, but males
have a dark vocal sac on their throat. My other photos show
that her throat is entirely creamy white.
And it looks like she's starting to change into her autumn
brown colours! Summer frogs are bright green, Winter frogs
are grey and brown.
Thurs 27 Aug 2020... the knee and the bike|
At the beginning of the month, I blew out my knee. I
took it easy and after two weeks, it was cured.
Getting back to my usual walking, I started out slow:
I walked less than a mile, for a couple days. I walked
2 miles, no problem. A couple of 3 mile days.
And then I walked up to the Hidden Trail. It's a four
mile walk and the trail is short but steep. And it killed
So, I'm back where I was. Except now I don't have any
hope: as soon as the knee gets better, I will still have to
take it easy. And for how long should that be? *shrugs*
At some point in this saga, my partner fixed up my bike.
I've been biking to the garden every other day... to water
and bring home veges.
Biking doesn't bother the knee at all! There's no pain,
other than the usual ache,
when I'm riding. And I don't think there's any extra pain
in the afternoon, either.
So I've decided to experiment with a longer bike trip...
Yesterday, I headed out with the bike to a park on the
bike path about 3 miles away.
oh it was good to see different things!
But the park itself, Tsanchiifin Walk, was rather boring.
*laughs* This is to be expected...
The park is a wet prairie, which means it's a shallow pond
in the winter and a grassy prairie in the summer. I much
prefer to walk in forest or along water. And since I am
familiar with those ecosystems, I also know what kind of
wildlife I'll encounter, and their behavior!
I am not familiar with the prairie. I don't know who I
will come across, and I don't know what signals to look
for if someone is nearby!
This is fine. And good. I can learn.
Wed 26 Aug 2020... Covid Rant|
USA has had 5,907,397 covid cases as of this morning,
we've been adding 43,095 new cases every day this week.
181,468 people have died so far,
our current rate is 1,000 people every day.
My town has dropped down to 14 active cases, after hovering
at 35 to 40 for several weeks!
That impeached monster is touting his latest miracle
treatment, and has forced the FDA to push blood plasma.
∞ 97,000 People Got Convalescent Plasma. Who Knows if It Works?
treating 98,000 people with plasma and not
having conclusive data if it worked is problematic,
and we should have a more robust data set before we
give 98,000 people a product Yeah, no studies,
no science. :/
Oh, and the CDC and HHS have also become compromised
∞ Officials change virus testing advice, bewildering experts
Good idea! Let's NOT test people who have been
exposed to covid! Yeah!
??? um. GAH!
Thurs 20 Aug 2020... Little Free Pantry|
The park behind our apartment complex got a Little Free
Pantry installed recently!!
At the beginning of July, I learned that we were getting
a Little Free Pantry. And at first I was excited because
the boxes had some amazing art on them.
But then I discovered that the group who is working to get
these food boxes set up... is Vegan!!
∞ Burrito Brigade
providing nutritious vegan meals to hungry
individuals in Eugene and Springfield, and has
since expanded to Portland.
Yay! This is just all kinds of awesome, all the way around!
Our Little Free Pantry is #23 in Eugene. And our artist
is Wendi Kai...
∞ Moon Maiden Tattoo: Wendi Kai's paintings
Aww! she's arted a vulture!! All her art is beautiful!
Anyway. When I first learned about the Little Free Pantries
back in July, I had just finished re-reading
Data Bias in a World Designed for Men.
There is a ton of info in that book, including the hardship
of not including menstruation products in any services
for the homeless, refugees, people in jail, and kids
in school! You'd be hard pressed to find free products
even in specifically womens' spaces like domestic violence
shelters or Planned Parenthood.
It's crazy! Like crazy-crazy, not just plain crazy!
And when I learned about the Little Free Pantry, I knew
exactly what I wanted to contribute to it! :D
Mon 17 Aug 2020... Political Postcards|
I have been sending weekly postcards to Moscow Mitch
ever since Representative John Lewis died.
I've been requesting that
he get the Voting Rights Advancement Act passed in
John Lewis' name.
He's not responded, or done anything.
so I keep sending postcards to him.
I try... I try my best. To be respectful in my writing.
I do not call him Moscow Mitch. I use cheerful language.
I say please.
But, I must admit, some snark has wiggled into my writing.
After I wrote this week's postcard to MM...
I decided to have some words with the Postmaster General...
Update (Tue, 18 Aug 2020)...
∞ Post Office
Chief Suspends Controversial Changes Until After Election
I assume this is a good thing. But I also assume that guy
is a lying sack of shit... so who knows.
Oh, was that out loud? I'm sorry.
(Updated Thu, 20 Aug 2020)...
There have been several reports of mail sorting machines
being broken down and tossed. Wai! How much money is he
just throwing away? How much efficency is lost without
those machines? why, why, why?!
Thurs 13 Aug 2020... Knee|
So it's been a week and a half since my knee started
I've TRIED to rest it by staying home and not walking...
but it kills my soul. So I've been walking a little, not
every day, and less than a mile.
It is getting better. I'm still taking aspirin and
ibuprofen constantly, but it's easier to get around the
house. And the walking pain is no longer "oh no I'm going
to die." It's more like "well this sucks." heh.
And you'd think, oh, not walking 3 or 4 miles in a day means
I get an extra two hours to do stuff! So what have I been
Yeah, like I said, my soul is dying here!
But, my little walk around the neighborhood today lifted
Wed 12 Aug 2020... Covid and rnd|
The USA has 5,262,241 covid cases as of this morning and
we've been adding about 54,692 new cases every day.
167,028 people have died of covid,
at a rate of 1,064 every day.
And my town is still hovering at 35 active cases,
a level we've been at for a couple weeks now.
∞ Florida Sheriff Orders Deputies And Staff Not To Wear Face Masks
any individual walking in to any one of our lobbies ...
that is wearing a mask will be asked to remove it.
We can debate and argue all day of why and why not,
Woods added. The fact is, the amount of professionals that give the reason why we should, I can find the exact same amount of professionals that say why we shouldn't.
Oh, Florida. There's this thing called Science.
And from the other end of the emotional spectrum...
oh thank goodness. That impeached monster had rolled
back the protections of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act
back in Dec 2017...
Yesterday a judge upheld the intent of the MBTA...
a law which protects more than 1000 species of birds
and has been on the books since 1918!!
∞ Victory! Federal Judge Rules Administration's Bird-Killing Policy is Illegal
The process of suing to get the government to follow the
laws -- or not change laws randomly -- is tedious and time consuming. And why should we
need to?? But the monster has a scorched earth policy...
so I'm sure this scenario will play out again.
Yay, Kamala Harris!
We need more than a victory on Nov. 3; we need a mandate that proves the past few years do not represent who we are or who we aspire to be
Tues 11 Aug 2020... ABCs of the geography project|
A project that I started this year is memorizing all of
the countries of the world and knowing where they are on
a map! I started with Central and South America, then got
Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and now I'm into the rest
It's kinda funny to say, but I love doing this! Sure, it
makes me feel smart. And also, when something happens
in the news, in some random country most Americans have
never heard of, I'm all,
Oh! I know exactly where that is!
*laughs* okay, that might just be me being smug! But,
seriously, having this knowlege really does make me feel
good that my brain is still working!
Another game that I play,
now that I've got over half the world memorized,
is naming countries alphabetically!
The distribution across the alphabet is a little bit
surprising to me.
For instance, there are a bunch of
countries that start with the letter E -- Egypt, El Salvador,
Eritrea, there are 8 altogether. I is another surprising
letter, also with 8 countries.
There are 3 F countries -- Finland, France, Fiji.
And 3 J countries -- Japan, Jamaica, Jordon.
And 3 R countries -- Rawanda, Romania, Russia. This one
seems odd to me, you'd think there'd be more Rs!
There's one Q -- Qatar.
And one O -- Oman. A couple Ys, and a couple Zs.
And there are zero Ws!!
Technically, there's Western Sahara, which is
territory mostly controlled by Morocco. And there's
Wales, but that is part of the UK. (And of course, there
are probably other places like this that I don't know about!)
And, yeah. Since I'm well into Asia, I realize it won't be
long until I run out of countries!! ack!
But there's a bunch of islands in Southeast Asia.
And it turns out I was pretty sloppy when I only memorized
the bigger islands in the Caribbean.
So there's still stuff to keep me busy with this for a
Friday 7 Aug 2020... Sunchoke|
Our left side neighbor, at the Community Garden, has been
a no-show this year. But she did plant a winter cover
crop which has done well. The Fava got nice and tall, went
to seed and is now dying back.
In the back of her plot, I am interested to see some
Jerusalem Artichokes or Sunchoke. I've never grown or
eaten them... so I was excited when I saw one of the tall
plants had fallen over into our plot!
Yep, I took it. There were a couple, small tubers that I
nabbed, and asked google what to do with them.
You can eat them raw or treat them like potatoes with
roasting, steaming or boiling. Many people love them
and after the first frost they will have a sweet nutty flavor.
Also thrilled to learn that this plant, a species of
sunflower, is native to
North America and was cultivated by the Native Americans.
I cooked up the smallest ones with my pasta. Literally,
three bites... I have learned my lesson about trying new
veges! ie Fennel Root, meh. Dandelion Blooms, yuck.
I liked the texture of the Sunchoke, but they didn't have
much of a taste. I guess you have to wait for the frost.
And they don't store well, so I'll have to eat the other
They do store perfectly in the ground tho...
so I'm really interested in growing them in my own plot,
next year. Stealing from my neighbor, wasn't very nice
of me, after all!!
Wed 5 Aug 2020... Doom and Gloom|
The USA has 4,879,399 reported cases of covid,
and we've been adding 60,088 every day.
We're Number One!)
159,582 people have died of Covid in the US,
1105 every day.
My town has 40 active cases today, we've kind of leveled
here for a week or so.
This opinion article kind of struck a chord with me...
Cult of Selfishness Is Killing America By Paul Krugman
What they call
freedom is actually absence of responsibility.
With great freedom, comes great responsibility.
Wear your mask!
Tues 4 Aug 2020... Knee|
I have somehow managed to blow out my right knee.
I don't think I specifically injured it. But when I walked
to the garden, yesterday, it was a bit annoying at the
beginning, tho I was able to ignore it after a half mile
And today, every single step was painful.
Contemplating a life without walking in nature, terrified
me. But even taking a few days off, frustrates me to no
I guess I'll do it... I'm taking aspirin and I'm set up
with cold packs... but, gah!
2018... BLOG POSTS|
(Posted 18 Dec 2020...)
I have managed to move all of the 2018 journal entries
into an archive page. I did not write very much in 2018,
so I decided not to divide them up into months, like I usually do.
The new archive is HTML5, and completely validated!
2018 journal entries
2017... BLOG POSTS|
(Posted 19 Dec 2020...)
I have managed to move all of the 2017 journal entries
into an archive page.
And again, I didn't write very much, so the posts for
the entire year are on one page.
The new archive is HTML5, and completely validated!
2017 journal entries
I am rift vegan!|
I live in the Pacific Northwest of the USA,
with my Significant Other (SO) and
Dawn the Guinea Pig.
I am vegan for ethical and environmental reasons,
my love for animals and nature is
a very important part of my life.
This blog is occasionally about...
∞ Vegan Life
∞ Handmade Postcards
∞ Books, Reading & eBooks
∞ the Paper Journal
∞ Drawing & Art Projects
∞ Randomness :)