January 2022

Review and Revise
Saturday 1 January 2022

Happy New Year!

Well. Another year of world-wide Covid. And Another year of being a jobless bum!

Lots of photos taken, lots of postcards sent. A crappy gardening year. An awesome road trip to Utah. But I seem to have lost some of my other hobbies.

Walking in 2021
At the end of 2020, I had dusted off my bicycle and was going out to several parks in west Eugene. One day in January, I got caught in a rain shower, and when I stopped under a bridge, I slid in the mud and fell and broke my hand.

That put a damper on a lot of things at the beginning of the year.

But other than that, I walked most every day, rain or shine or whatever!

I walk mostly for the photo opportunities. But I'm happy to get good exercise as well!

Photography in 2021
There was a lot of photography in 2021. I'm unable to get a count right now, like I usually do. But once I move into my new computer I'll get on that.

So, for future reference...

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 2021... xxx pics, avg xxx/month

Mailing and Postcards in 2021
in 2018... averaged 104 bits of mail every month
in 2019... averaged 76 bits of mail every month
in 2020... averaged 126 bits of mail every month.
in 2021... 1390 total, averaging 116 mailings every month

I did not exchange much mail for LetterMo last February, I'm just so disappointed with that useless website. I wish they would do something about it!

I was not able to keep up with the monthly postcard exchange that I host on Goodreads. I didn't send out postcards in August and October. Just a little burned out.

I sent 36 postcards at PostCrossing in 2021, bringing my total there to 449. I hosted 51 swaps at Swap-Bot and participated in a total of 101 swaps!

I only sent 10 Urgent Action cases in 2021 for Amnesty International. But I did send protest letters to all ten of the Write For Rights cases, Plus one card of encouragement.

I also sent happy postcards of encouragement to independent Abortion Providers. There are just over 100 clinics in the United States (not including Planned Parenthood), and this is the 2nd year I've done this!

I've really fallen in love with the Epson SuperTank printer that I bought in 2019. I only have to buy inks a couple times a year! When I was buying cartridges, I'd be buying a pack of colours every month. It is SO much nicer to not have to think about ink all the time!! And SO much nicer to not have all that plastic trash!!

Community Garden 2021
Worst year yet... had trouble growing zucs, toms, and well, pretty much everything. I didn't eat any Spaghetti Squash even tho I planted 8 plants. The Cauliflowers were small but at least I got to eat a couple. Beets are small, as well.

I suck as a gardener, obviously. But hope springs eternal and we'll be keeping the garden plot for another year.

Writing and Drawing
There's lots of blog posts here. I'm not going to count them because I'm actually still adding photos to random posts!

The daily drawing practice ended in August, unfortunately. I'd like to get back to it!

Great Blue Heron

The New Year... 2022
Some stuff needs to happen this year. Unfortunately, if I start listing it -- I need a new job, gotta get a car, be nice to lose some weight, set up the new desktop computer, etc, etc -- I get overwhelmed, want to slam the door shut, lock it, crawl under the covers, and sleep for 26 hours straight!


So. Let's focus on some stuff that I actually Want to make happen...

Get back to daily posts here at S8.
      Also, catch up with old posts, and do some archiving!

Get back to writing book reviews at GR.

Ugh: Space Clearing, decluttering, cleaning.

Let's move forward!

Red Shoulder Hawk standing on a branch with blue sky

Some Sunshine
Sunday 2 January 2022

Eastern Fox Squirrel

a bit of blue sky over the bike path

The Red Shoulder Hawk from yesterday seems to like sitting in this area. This tree is a bit farther from the path, so our new friend is blurry. I think it works as a decent landscape pic tho with those beautiful layers of Douglas Firs in the background!

Red Shoulder Hawk

The trees are coming alive already...

Unknown tree catkins

And that darned Kingfisher continues to mess with me. One or the other of the pair fly up and down the creek every winter, I suppose they are checking out nesting sites. But as soon as they see me, they play a game of cat and mouse by hiding or flying a circle around me or generally being jerks about letting me take their portrait.


But this time I got proof of her existence!

a very blurry Belted Kingfisher

They usually settle down behind a thick layer of bushes and shrubbery, so all I can see is their bright white neck band. This time she was just too far away, and flew off before I could get the camera better situated.

Her partner was still laughing at me, in the distance!

And Then It Rained
Monday 3 January 2022

And rained and rained.

The bike path under all the bridges is flooded.

flooded bike path

That hand railing is about 5 foot tall...

close up of flooded bike path

La Nina has brought the extra rain this winter. We are smack dab in the middle of that green wetter area...

Map of North America with La Nina wintertime jet stream indicated in blue

Bird Watchers Digest
Tuesday 4 January 2022

oh no.

Bird Watcher's Digest is closing its doors effective immediately.

This is so depressing, I cry.

This was such a great little magazine, I really loved it. I can't believe it's suddenly gone.

Julie Zickefoose's eulogy for the mag...

To Bird Watcher's Digest: 1978-2021, the Best Little Bird Magazine Ever

I first discovered Julie Zickefoose through her book, The Bluebird Effect: Uncommon Bonds with Common Birds. I read that at the end of 2016...

My Book Review of The Bluebird Effect on GR

It's a beautiful book and I was thrilled to find out she wrote regularly for Bird Watcher's Digest, and their subsidiary publication Watching Backyard Birds. I subscribed to both, and found Julie Zick's blog as well.

My subscriptions have lapsed in the past year or so. I wasn't too worried about it... once I got some money together, I'd just buy up the editions I missed or get them online.

Sighs. So crying sad.

African Violet blooming

The African Violet is blooming!

At the top of the pic is the back of a Polka Dot Begonia leaf. and in the background, which you can't see very well, is a Chinese Evergreen.

I love my house plants! It gives me comfort to sit with them.

Our Little Free Pantry has seen better days!

Little Free Pantry, full of food, missing a roof.

That white thing on the ground is the roof of the Pantry! We had a wind advisory on Sunday night, maybe the wind ripped it off.

Well. At least it's still full of food! But still with the 100% rain... I hope it doesn't leak too much without it's roof!

Covid and Squirrel
Wednesday 5 January 2022

Well over 3million new covid cases this week thanks to the omicron variant. 3,726,136 in all and averaging 532,305 every day. 1,247 people died every day.

Oregon is breaking all kinds of records for highest single-day new case count... The old record stood at 3,207 on 27 Aug 2021. Unfortunately, due to the holiday, the Oregon covid website wasn't being updated, so there's no telling what the daily counts were over the long weekend. But there were 4,522 new cases reported today.

And Oregon had an average of 2,776 new cases every day this past week (up from 1,136 of last week). 11 people died of covid on average every day... holding steady from the 10 that were dying every day last week.

Active cases in my town shot up from 596 to 1,699 this week, with 57 hospitalized. 77.2% hospitalized are not vax'd. Just three people died of covid this past week.

Well, that's kind of a disdainful look...

Eastern Fox Squirrel

Oh, wait! What's wrong with your face, Little One??

It's more clear in this pic:

Eastern Fox Squirrel missing fur on his nose and face

Do squirrels get mange? ugh! Poor baby!

Thursday 6 January 2022

The Squirrels are watching us...

Eastern Fox Squirrel

And they are very disappointed in what they see.

Our democracy is coming apart at the seams...

How the U.S. became a 'backsliding democracy,' according to a European think tank

In First, US Labeled 'Backsliding' Democracy as Global Authoritarianism Grows

It's not just the Insurrection at the Capitol last year, or Trump's stupid Big Lie when that was the safest election ever.

It's not just that Trump packed the Supreme Court and the lower courts with hateful judges who are taking our rights away and making illogical decisions.

It's not just that Congress can't get anything done... and could only half impeach a rotten president. Twice!

It's not just the voter restrictions and the gerrymandering.

It's not just the racism, and the rampant white supremacy.

It's all of this and more.

And I'll be fighting it.

And the Squirrels are with me!

It's so nice to see the clouds break up after so much rain...


clouds breaking up with some blue sky

Friday 7 January 2022

Just some pretty colours...

Some kind of oak leaves, some kind of red berries in the background

Not Canada Geese...

Cackling Geese

Those are Cackling Geese. This isn't one of their usual winter stops. Our Cackling Geese are the smallest and darkest of the subspecies, minima.

And a sweet crow, giving me a look...

American Crow


not much
Saturday 8 January 2022

I went out walking today, but didn't take many photos. eh, sometimes it happens that way.

But here's a Pansy at the Community Garden.


I never remember what the difference is between Pansies and Violets...

Differences Between Pansies & Violets Pansies have four petals that point upward and one that points downward; violets have three petals that point upward and two that point downward.

New Graffiti Artist
Sunday 9 January 2022

A foggy and chilly morning, still just 34°F when I left for my walk at 10:30am.

foggy, with trees in the distance

dew on a spider web, creek in the background

Introducing new graffiti artist E.t., with an elephant with butterfly ears!

Graffiti by ET, elephant with butterfly ears

And on the other side of the bridge, a dragon.

Graffiti by ET, blue, fire-breating dragon

I think E.t. needs a bit of practice -- and to slow down and look -- and it won't be long before they are making really good art. For instance, just some simple changes to the heavy black outline around that elephant, would make it look a lot better.

Just... here. Just give me the can of black, and I'll fix it!

*laughs* just kidding!

Suspish mostly just leaves her cute modified angler fish. But sometimes she does her name all fancy.

Graffiti, Suspish name and fish

And then even fancier.

Graffiti, Suspish name with mountains

*laughs* Isn't it lovely!

(well, except the upside-down moon. But that always drives me crazy, so never mind! :)

Monday 10 January 2022

A Golden Crowned Sparrow.

Golden Crowned Sparrow

Oh, hey! I really love the colours in this pic of Lenten Roses. Also, can you believe the Lenten Roses are blooming already!

Lenten Roses

There was an article in the local newspaper today about the tree canopy cover in Eugene. (Sorry, I can't link it. The newspaper website has a paywall.)

It's kinda shocking and annoying to learn that Eugene only has 22% tree canopy in the city, when the national average is 27%. What the heck??

If there's one thing that western Oregon has, it's trees! So why don't we have trees in the city? WHY?

It's nice to know that the city is aiming towards 30% tree canopy.

But it's a little bit late in the Climate Change game... happy baby trees should have been planted years ago! Now, baby trees have to fight for life thru drought and heat domes.


Hooded Mergansers
Tuesday 11 January 2022

There's a handful of Hooded Mergansers who stay at the creek during the winter every year. I always have trouble getting their pics, tho.

They are shy. And as soon as they see me, they power paddle to get behind the shrubbery!

So most of my photos are pretty blurry. But these two females were pretty calm and I was able to get slightly better than usual pics.

Female Hooded Merganser

Two Female Hooded Mergansers

Covid and Stewart Park
Wednesday 12 January 2022

We are up to 5million new covid cases this week, omicron variant still doing it's thing. 5,081,232 all together which averages to 725,890 new cases every day. 1,632 people died every day.

Oregon continues to smash thru records. Remember when I said the single-day new case count high was 3,207. Well, this week our average was 7,250 new cases. Every. Single. Day. ... lordy. 15 people died of covid every day.

And of course, my town reflects the crazy numbers as well. We've got 2,744 active cases right now... the highest active count from the last round was 1,222 reported on 21 Aug 2021.

There are 85 people hospitalized here in town. Even will all those people in the hospital, just three people died in the past week.

I've had stuff on my mind the last week or so. And since my brain is preoccupied, when I go out for my walk, my auto-pilot heads me in the same direction every day. East, towards the Community Garden.

It's a nice walk. There's green space. The bike path is close to the creek for much of the way. There's a little loop at the end of the bike path. And the entire walk is 3.75 miles, a good distance!

But doing that walk over and over, every single day? heh.

It's not so much that I get bored... it's more that I just don't LOOK.

So today I walk in the opposite direction! Stewart Park is a bit over a mile away and is a lovely Wet Prairie, the ponds currently hosting some wintering ducks, geese, and shorebirds like sandpipers and such!

These are Cackling Geese, the smaller cousins of Canada Geese.

Two Cackling Geese

You see how short their beaks are? That's the major major give-away for Cackling Geese.

There is a pretty big flock of them wintering here, and I've seen them hanging out in a variety of fields... School grounds, behind the Events Center, and now out on the wet prairie by Stewart Pond!

There's also a little forest, where I've caught a few birds I don't usually get to see. Here's a Black Phoebe.

Black Phoebe

Black Phoebes are a little bit north of their usual range, here. But that's to be expected with climate change.

Thursday 13 January 2022

Always good to see Blazey at his spot on the bike path!

Blazey the Bike Path Ambassador Cat

Eastern Fox Squirrel on a painted wood fence

And someone -- our little friend the hummingbird -- decided to get artsy with their portrait...

Silhoutte of an Anna Hummingbird with sparse sticks and leaves

Haha, everybody is facing left today! :)

Community Garden... and a surprise
Friday 14 January 2022

I thought the snow at the end of December had finished off the Calendulas at the garden... but some have recovered!

A bright orange Calendula

The sun is in the wrong spot, so this guy's red-violet face is showing black instead. But what a sweet song he sings at me!

Anna Hummingbird, singing

uh. What The ??

a duck egg on the bike path

Did someone just lay an egg on the bike path?!

a brown egg on the bike path

ha! Well, that's one way to do it if you're not ready to be a mom! And seriously! It's mid-January. No ducks are thinking about making a nest in freaking January! It's winter!

I do feel bad about this girl's overactive reproductive system.

I resisted the urge to see if the egg was still warm.

Because if it was warm... there was nothing to keep me from just carefully picking it up and bringing it home! I don't have an incubator or anything. And how would I care for a baby duck, anyway!

*laughs* It is fun imagining, tho!! Dream of a duckling!

Shooting in Eugene
Saturday 15 January 2022

There was a mass shooting downtown last night. Six people wounded, one of them went directly into surgery and is in critical condition. The bad guy ran away and was not captured.

NPR: 6 people have been injured in a mass shooting in Oregon

Eugene-OR.gov Wow Hall Shooting

So. I was upset this morning. I don't know what is happening with my town. This is not my Eugene.

A trip out to the river... Nature can fix me.

Looking over the river

A juvenile Bald Eagle.

Juvenile Bald Eagle in a tree

Funny thing is, I knew this was a juvenile even before I was sure of his species!

I was too far away and his back was to me. All I could tell was that he was dark and big, I wondered if he was a Turkey Vulture!

I could see he was hunched over, playing with something at his feet? or maybe eating something? Not sure. And then he dropped it!

It fell, fell out of his tree and hit the ground with a thud. And that was the moment that I knew this was a kid!

(And I don't know what he dropped, I couldn't get close enough to see it.) (And he didn't fly down to retrieve the thing either.) (Goofy kid!) :)

Oregon Grape, leaves and small blooms

An artsy Oregon Grape. And, yep, these bushes are starting to bloom here and there!

The Long Lost Cooper Hawk
Sunday 16 January 2022

Sometime I wish my crappy photos were less crappy! Some cute but blurry Golden Crowned Sparrows in a cool looking but unidentified bush. *laughs*

Two Golden Crowned Sparrows in a bush

A Cooper Hawk! Wow, it's been ages and ages since I've seen one! I hope s/he finds this area an appropriate place to live because I'd love to see them again.

Juvenile Cooper Hawk up in a tree

This is a juvenile, you can tell by the three white dots on their shoulder.

It's weird to see how small Cooper Hawks are -- about the size of a crow -- when all I've seen lately is Red Shoulder Hawks -- quite a bit larger!

Well, well, well... this is a surprise...

A female Belted Kingfisher stands on a branch

Little Mrs Belted Kingfisher decided to let me take a photo. Not a great photo, of course. But still, it was terribly kind of her to take a moment with me... instead of teasing me! :)

Monday 17 January 2022

hmm. A Beaver, probably.

Wood chips next to a chewed tree

Two trees down.

Two Beaver chewed trees have fallen down

heh, I wonder if those tree people who are trying to get Eugene's Canopy Cover from 22% to 30% are annoyed that a beaver has chopped down two trees pointlessly! That first tree is probably not going to live, either.

Not to mention all the other tooth marks along the creek!!

Me? Dead trees do make me sad. But a Beaver's got to chew!

I would assume this is a young beaver, venturing out into the world. He doesn't know what he's doing, and doesn't know where he's going. And he's trying to figure it out and experiment, along the way!

Blazey, the bike path ambassador.

Blazey the bike path ambassador

group of male and female teals in the water

First sighting of teals, winter visitors at the creek. (it's a crappy pic!)

Hooded Mergansers
Tuesday 18 January 2022


Two female looking Hooded Mergansers in the water

AllAboutBirds mentions that Nonbreeding male Hooded Mergansers have yellow eyes and a cinnamon brown crest. And I'm wondering if the Hooded Merganser on the right is a male.

His eyes aren't yellow, but they are def lighter than the female's. And his crest is def more colourful, as are the feathers on the rest of his body.

I also wonder what nonbreeding male actually means. Because there are males with the usual black and white hooded plumage at this time of year.

I think it actually means that this is his first year. He was born last summer and he still has his immature feathers. So he's really just a juvenile. And Nonbreeding male technically refers to all the males in the winter-time! :)

Covid and Masks
Wednesday 19 January 2022

Just under 5million new cases this week in the US... maybe we've hit the peak. 4,906,684 total, which averages to 700,955 every day. 1,854 people died every day. That number has been steadily coming up since the beginning of the year: It was 1,632 last week, and 1,247 the week before.

Oregon is reporting 7,888 new cases every day. 11 people died every.

There are 3,113 active covid cases in my town, and 53 people are hospitalized. Four people have died this past week.

Apparently this article that I read yesterday...

Gorsuch didn't mask despite Sotomayor's COVID worries, leading her to telework

... About Justice Neil Gorsuch refusing to wear a mask in chambers, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor calling in from her office because she doesn't want to sit next to the germ-spewing asshole.
... Apparently, that article really pissed me off.

postcard to Neil Gorsuch (text below)

Translation: Dear Justice Gorsuch, Put on a damn mask you stupid jerk! You know what being maskless in a room full of masked up people says? It says you're a Trump Republican. You probably believe conspiracy theories. You can't be trusted as a judge and I demand you resign! Sincerely, rift

Not very polite, huh? Well, I'm sick of these maskless morons! And I hope I get his attention.

Follow-up, 20 January...

NPR reporting on Supreme Court mask controversy merits clarification

Justices are trying to retain their dignity. But the dignity is in shreds because of the majority's decisions. Maskless morons just add to the dumpster fire.

Dang it...

Blurry photo of a Towhee

*laughs* Maybe I should just call this place the Blurry Bird Blog!

Kind of has a ring to it, actually! :D

White Crown Sparrows
Thursday 20 January 2022

Yesterday's rainy day Sparrow...

White Crowned Sparrow in the rain

And today's Sparrow with a bit of sunshine...

White Crowned Sparrow

Foggy Day
Friday 21 January 2022

Foggy, dark and cold day at the bike path.

creek, trees, bike path in the fog

crow on a tree in the distance

Definitely a good day for peanuts in the shell...

Scrub Jay deep in twigs with a peanut

Blurry Birds at the River
Saturday 22 January 2022

A beautiful and dreary day at the river...

Looking up the Willamette River

But a cloudy day means the camera has trouble. So let me introduce you to a few blurry birds!

This little shore bird was bouncing around and making me happy...

Little Shorebird near the river

Shorebirds are quite impossible to identify unless you spend some serious time with them. I would love to see more of them!! But I only see a couple in the winter, so I have no chance.

This might be a nonbreeding Spotted Sandpiper with no spots. But probably not, there's dozens of other shore birds with oh-so different winter plumage!

A Greater... or a Lesser... Scaup?!

Female Greater or Lesser Scaup

Ha! I don't know. Greaters have a rounded head, and this one looks pretty round. Lessers have a little peak at the back of their head, no peak here.

But Lesser Scaups are much more common around here... the local Audubon Christmas Count had 66 Lesser Scaups and only 1 Greater Scaup.

One! Do you think I just happened to find the single one?! *laughs!*

Greater or Lesser Scaup? Here Are the Biggest Differences Between the Two

And today's final Blurry Bird... Which I actually Can identify! A Kinglet!

Blurry Ruby Crowned Kinglet

Okay, more blurry than usual. But he was def showing off for me!

He's a Ruby Crowned Kinglet... and they ordinarily hide their crown. But his was coming out as he bounced around in his tree!

I wish I could get better pics of this species, because they are so cute and tiny! But there's just too much bouncing, even in good light the camera can't focus quick enough. And then, too, I have to look up to see where they've bounced to!

There is a drive-thru covid testing spot at the back of the mall, which I walk past on the way to the Delta Ponds wildlife area.

Before omicron, there would be six or eight cars lined up when they opened in the morning.

Today there were 22 cars at 10:45am... and when I came back there were cars lined up around the corner and thru the mall parking lot. I counted 31 cars at 11:45.

pics of the day
Sunday 23 January 2022

Always nice to be greeted by wildlife, right outside the door!

Eastern Fox Squirrel, eating a peanut

Just some pretty flowers coming out. These might be daphnes, but I'm bad about identifying trees and bushes!

Small flowers of a Daphne bush

Great Blue Heron

Song Sparrow

pics of the day
Monday 24 January 2022

Nice to see such a vivid colour on a dreary day! Might be Flowering Quince.

Bright pink Flowering Quince

bare oak tree in the fog

And then the fog and clouds broke up and the sun came out!

Haha, someone needs to fix their hair-do!

Great Blue Heron

A blurry pic of a Downy Woodpecker. He's looking for bugs, I suppose.

Downy Woodpecker looking for bugs

Ha! A funny angle for the American Robin... but I like the colours in this pic!

American Robin

Hidden Trail
Tuesday 25 January 2022

a little waterfall along hidden trail

Sometimes it makes me sad to walk up this hiking trail. It really really needs some energetic volunteers to take care of the forest.

Not only does it have the ubiquitous English Ivy and extensive Himalayan Blackberry... there's also some very established English Holly. You can see the trunk of this bush at the top of the pic...

English Holly

The base is a good five or six inches diameter! It'll be very difficult to remove. If anyone ever bothers.

It's pretty, I guess. But ugh. I wish it weren't in my little forest!

English Holly and berries

haha... found this in someone's yard...

Broken chair

Don't sit there! :) The logs with the Turkey Tail are pretty cool tho!!

Day of Ducks
Wednesday 26 January 2022

Meat Loaf, 74, Rock Star, unvaxxed, dead from COVID.
If I die, I die. sighs.

The US had 4.6million new cases of covid this week... we are definitely coming down from the 5million we had two weeks ago!

A total of 4,605,333 new cases averages to 657,904 every day. Unfortunately there are 2,506 people dying every day of covid, a big jump from last weeks 1,854. How bad will it get?

Oregon has dropped slightly with new cases as well: 6,537 every day, rather than 7,888 of last week. 15 people died every day.

About the same in my town, 3,180 active covid cases, 63 people hospitalized. Four people died of covid this week.

Well, he was thinking about napping...

Northern Shoveler, head tucked down

Ahh, there's your face! Thank you Mr. Northern Shoveler!

Northern Shoveler

Northern Shovelers are winter visitors in our area... but I don't think I've ever seen one at our little creek! This one was just hanging out with the Mallards!

Wow, look at the size difference... a Mallard and a little Green Wing Teal.

Male Mallard and a male Green Winged Teal

*laughs* Duck, duck, duck...

Male Mallard, male Green Winged Teal, female Mallard

Lead by the woman. As it should be.

Little Free Pantry
Thursday 27 January 2022

I recently found out there's a second Little Free Pantry in the neighborhood! Today I went looking for it...

A Little Free Pantry

It lacks the brilliant art of the one that's closer to home. But it's maintained by the same group, Burrito Brigade, and the neighbors.

This one has about the same stuff in it, tho this one is a bit more full. Maybe because it's further from the bike path?

Inside the Little Free Pantry

(here's the Little Free Pantry that's closer to home, for comparison.)

Inside our Little Free Pantry

I went out to Stewart Pond, to see if I could find a hawk. This is what I get...

A blurry Red Tail Hawk, maybe

*laughs* I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do with that pic. I think I can assume it's a Red Tail Hawk. But it'd be nice to have a better photo!

ha, it's pretty obvious, better photos don't always happen around here!!

American Robin

Friday 28 January 2022

I'm thinking about doing a Books and Reading topic on Fridays.

I have been making an effort to keep up with my book reviews over at Goodreads. It's been years since I've been serious about recording my reading there. And I hope that having a regular day to type about Reading, will help keep me on the

The surprising reason teachers want to get To Kill a Mockingbird out of the classroom

Well. It's not any kind of surprising to those of us who read.


I did not read To Kill a Mockingbird in school. I read it much later, as an adult and I loved it. I've referred to it ever since as the perfect novel.

Yeah. Unfortunately, there's this big problem with the white savior and stereotypical Black people.

Ugh. I knew all this. And the perfect novel... it is NOT!

What it is...

A white author, writing directly to white people, about the white supremacist society we live in.

I apologize for ever praising this book!

But banning this book? Never. It's important to talk about and understand all the different ways racism shows up in our society. And in our favorite books.

A cold day... there's still some frost in the shade where the sun hasn't hit yet.

Frost on an Oak Leaf in the grass

Hey, a Nutria!

Nutria in the grass near the creek

Nutrias are invasive here... after stupid white men killed off most of the otters and beavers, they wanted to kill more animals. So they brought up some Nutrias from South America.

They are big semi-aquatic rodents, about 15 to 20 pounds and usually just under 2 feet long, not including their naked tail.

I didn't think Nutria did much damage as invasive species here, but I've looked it up, and found out that as they eat and over-eat vegetation, they destroy wetlands.

They eat all the plants in a spot, and then erosion happens since there's nothing to keep the mud in place.

And humans get all upset when other animals are able to change their environment, just like we can! ha.

Cool! A Nuthatch!

White Breasted Nuthatch

They are so cute! Here's a crappy pic of the classic Nuthatch pose.

White Breasted Nuthatch

Great Blue Heron up in a tree. But look at all the beautiful fir cones!

Great Blue Heron in a fir tree

Hendricks Park
Saturday 29 January 2022

Sometimes I go out with the camera, and all the birds just fly away. They just don't want their portrait taken today.

A Spotted Towhee hiding in the dark

A Duck and Comm Garden
Sunday 30 January 2022

Someone new at the creek...

male American Wigeon

American Wigeons are winter visitors in our area. I've never seen one at our creek, tho. I hope he sticks around for a while!

I also went into the Community Garden to see how things are going there. Those Calendulas are still hanging on... Really think I should get some for my plot!

Calendula blooms

We've had a week of air stagnation... which means sunny, clear days and cold nights. It's gotten below freezing every night and the patches of Fava cover crop are looking a bit pathetic!

Frost laid the Fava low

Monday January 2022

Oh cool... it's a tree planting party at the creek!

Wheel barrows, shovels, and piles of wood chips

That's nice. We need more trees.

This kinglet Almost sat for a portrait!

Ruby Crowned Kinglet

*laughs* And look! He's showing off... a bit of his Ruby Crown is peeking out. They usually keep it hidden, but we are heading into spring-time!