Lesser Goldfinch Photo Series and Garden
Tuesday 1 August 2023

There are a few wildflowers (aka weeds) growing in the front garden square and I'm always delighted when I come in and see a group of Lesser Goldfinches chowing down on the goodness!

Lesser Goldfinch hanging sideways on a weed, beak at the seed head

Quit poking me in the eye!

Lesser Goldfinch hanging from a weed, one eye closed

Lesser Goldfinch hanging sideways from a weed, beak full of seeds

Okay, let's maneuver around here...

Lesser Goldfinch flutting on a twig

Num, num, num!

Lesser Goldfinch eating seeds


Lesser Goldfinch sprawled on a bent twig

Hey, it's not as easy as it looks, you know!

Lesser Goldfinch getting balance on a twig

Sunflower blooms and blue sky

The Lettuces are making flowers!

Single lettuce bloom

several yellow zuccini on the vine

The Starflower of my heart!

Borage bloom on a sweet potato leaf

Haha! That's a fallen Borage bloom on a Sweet Potato leaf, with a Borage leaf kind of getting in the way of the heart shape.

Today's box from Partner's Mom's estate included some framed art... I like this one!

Dried flower art

It's the size of a bookmark. and honestly... I would have gotten it sealed somehow and used it as a bookmark, instead of framing it. :)

Wednesday 2 August 2023

This is Bittersweet Nightshade. It's not deadly. :) But will make you sick. The flowers are small but pretty and the leaves are interesting too.

Bittersweet Nightshade blooms and leaf

Lesser Goldfinch standing on a bean vine

The second Lemon Cucumber plant in the 2nd Cucumber Empire, has officially died. Good thing I planted so many.

Harvested: 5 Lemon Cucumbers, some SunGolds and a yellow zucchini

Striped German still coming along.

Tomato ripening on the vine

Several sunflower blooms and the blue sky

Bumblebee hanging from a borage bloom

The Early Girl tomato plant and the Spaghetti Squash are living happily together.

Green tomatoes on the vine and a Spaghetti Squash fruit under the plant


Crow in a tree

and Falkor's Companion!

Crow standing on the ground

Trump faces four charges over efforts to overturn 2020 election The indictment, filed in federal district court in Washington, charges Trump with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, one count of conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights.

Well. It's not quite sedition... but we're getting there!

And here's the pretty things in the box I opened today...


There is so much embroidery, I'm wondering if Partner's Mom made some of it!

Garden and Flowers
Thursday 3 August 2023

Our one, big and happy volunteer Sunflower is doing it's thing!

Sunflower blooms and blue sky

Spaghetti Squash on the vine held by hand for size comparison

The new Slicer Cucumber plant in the 2nd Cucumber Empire... next to one of the withered Lemon Cucumber plants I killed with lack of water.

garden plants

I'm checking out my neighbor's plots, and look at this thing! I guess it's a type of Amaranth, but I've never seen this fan type of top bloom!

Bright pink amaranth bloom

Ah! The Internets say it's Plumed Cockscomb, Celosia argentea. It's a member of the amaranth family, from India and Nepal and known for it's very bright colours.

Here's a web page with the best photos... A Close-up View of the Cockscomb

Red Snap Dragons and Orange Salvia blooms

Snap Dragons always make me want to squeeze their mouth open.

Pink Snap Dragons

And a sunflower in the good neighbor's plot...

Sunflower and blue sky

It cracks me up when I happen to catch a bee flying by... For some reason, the bee always looks fake! Like a kid's drawing stuck on there! *laughs*

When I opened a box today from Partner's Mom's apartment... there was a broken dish.

open box with bubble and packing peanuts and an orange broken dish

These boxes are not packed well at all, and I am really disappointed in their packing job every time I open a new box! But this is the first broken thing, so far.

Hendricks Park and a Chipmunk!
Friday 4 August 2023

Time for me to take a break from the garden! The Rhododendron Garden at Hendrick's Park is lovely all year round, even after most of the Rhodies are done.

Sweet Amber blossoms and berries

Bench along the path

Blue and pink Hydrangea blooms

Oh, nice! Volunteers had cleared the invasives out from a decent section of the forest floor, earlier this year... and now they've planted some happy native shrubs!

Forest floor

Unfortunately, Himalayan Blackberries have already taken over the places not maintained. We've also got invasive English Ivy and English Holly.

A blurry Towhee... He could have had a beautiful portrait, but nooooo.

Towhee under a fern

Here's the star of the show.

Chipmunk standing on a branch

She had been yelling her alarm call, and I heard her from way down the path!

Chipmunk standing on a branch, yelling

Chipmunk standing on a branch

Wow. These Oak Apples, look at all of them! The Gall Wasps must be having a hay day! Good for them! Yay Bugs!

Oak Galls on tree branches

And some Ocean Spray... a pretty and native shrub.

Ocean Spray plumes coming down

And in horrifying Climate Chaos news... it's 100° in Chile and Argentina. It's WINTER there right now!

South America hit by brutal unseasonal heatwave

Some places are breaking all-time hottest records... High temperature records that happened in the summer!

Damn. I just can't wrap my head around it!

Saturday 5 August 2023

I was just coming up to the bike path curve and far behind me was a whistle. I turned around to see what was going on, but there's just a guy on a bike.

As he passes me, he says, Just letting them know I'm coming! and he tosses out some peanuts in the shell for the Scrub Jay who just flew in!

Ha! Awesome! This guy has totally made my day! He finds his next customer, another Scrub Jay, before riding out of sight. :)

At the garden, oh my gosh, major surprise! Sugar Snap Peas! ha!

Sugar Snap Peas on the vine

I had sown some extra Snap Peas on 15 June, as an experiment. Peas are a cool season crop and I didn't expect anything to come from it... but here we are!

todays harvest

The first Butternut fruit seems like it's going to stay really small. But, here's the second one, growing on the vine!

Butternut growing on the vine

I love my yellow zucchini plant!

Zucchini squashes growing on the plant

The soybeans continue to grow. The plants are about half way up my thigh now, a bit over two feet.

Soybean plants

Sunday 6 August 2023

Temperatures this past week have been in the low 90s and upper 80s... and that looks to continue for the next week. Hot but not too bad! Normal for this time of year is 86°F (30°C).

The Striped German tomatoes are still ripening up! But I noticed a while ago that the plant quit making flowers. That's kind of a bummer, since there's only a handful of tomatoes on the plant. I guess it's not a huge producer.

Tomatoes ripening on the vine

I tell you what is a huge producer... the Early Girl! All the tomatoes are still green, but there's a lot of them!! and there's flowers to make more!

Green tomatoes on the vine

Oh Yeah!!!

harvested Lemon Cucumbers

This is the Second Coming at the Second Cucumber Empire!

Cucumber Blossoms

Bahaha! It's the more recently sown Slicer Cucumber plant, starting to bloom. There's also a couple Crookneck plants in there. Never mind that deceased Lemon Cucumber plant.


Our one, big volunteer Sunflower is so beautiful! I just love it!

Sunflower blooms

And, on the walk home...

Eight Spot Skimmer dragonfly standing on a blade of grass

Garden and a Hummer
Monday 7 August 2023

Oh, funny Scrappy! You've got a bit of botanical on your head!

Eastern Fox Squirrel standing on the sidewalk

And... uhhhh! Wait a minute! Scrappy had a torn ear!

But this one gimps along with his tail out to the right as well. Tho maybe not as bad as Scrappy. I wonder if there's actually a whole litter of gimping neurological squirrels.

I walk an extra mile today, past the garden so I can look at different things. Going to the garden most every day just gets so tiresome and boring.

Red Maples leaves turned red, surrounded by green leaves

But I get back to the garden to water.

Sunflower blooms

And gather.

harvested veggies

Oh, an Anna Hummingbird! and she's so pathetically skinny, she must be a juvenile. You got to put some weight on, girl!!

female Anna Hummingbird standing on a wire trellis

Yes! Fill up that tummy! These are the bean blooms in the garden plot behind ours.

Anna Hummingbird hovering at a orange bean bloom

Anna Hummingbird hovering at a bean bloom

Anna Hummingbird hovering behind some bean blooms

Anna Hummingbird hovering at bean blooms

Anna Hummingbird hovering at bean blooms

So Cool!

The bindweed blooms are usually white, and I rather like the pink ones!

pink bindweed blooms

Falkor! You've got something on your face as well!

Crow standing on the ground

Faiz Part 2, announcing his presence with Moos! I should probably give him a real name since he seems to be sticking around!

Bull Frog floating in the creek

Oh yeah... This is what makes my summer!

container full of Lemon Cucumbers

Rose Garden and East at the River
Tuesday 8 August 2023




oohh! I can't get enough of the Silver Lining roses this morning! They have such a unique colour!



Aw, this must be the same family of four kids and Mama Turkey that I saw a couple weeks ago!

Young wild turkey, walking in the grass

There have been people sitting under the Art Pavilion, every time I walk by this summer. It's such a nice place to hang out. But that means I'm not taking photos of it... Here's a view from the boardwalk, with the bushes covering up the humans. haha, it's just not the same!

Downtown Riverfront Art Pavilion

Woodland Skipper butterfly standing on a leaf

A Woodland Skipper butterfly! Their faces are just so cute!

Woodland Skipper butterfly standing on a leaf

I'm at Autzen Walking Bridge, my occasional turning point. Have I shown you this beautiful graffiti before?

Cute Dragon graffiti on bridge support, water and rocks beneath

Oh, a gathering of Crows! I wonder what the meeting is about!

several crows standing on rocks in the river

I always pause when I'm crossing over the river. I listen to the water rushing by and delight in the cooling breeze coming from downstream.

But the photos of the river from above are just a little bit odd...

looking down at the river, rocks and grasses

looking down at the river, rocks and grasses

Back at home, I'm still looking thru boxes from Partner's Mom's apartment. I'm excited to find this... I will definitely use the address labels. The xmas stationery is bigger than I usually use, but maybe I can do something with it, too.

packages of stationery and labels

But then I get to thinking about it. The transparency sheets are possibly from the days when she was teaching. Altho I've also learned that she gave historical talks for the group she was involved with, Daughters of the Revolution.

So, these things are probably more than a few years old. And when I look for a year on the packages... heh. The back of the labels box has advertising for some other products. Including labels for 3½ inch floppy disks!!!


Wednesday 9 August 2023

haha! You can't see it in this pic, but both these Crows are fledglings with a bit of gape still. And the one on the left has landed on a twig that cannot support her weight!

two crows

She flaps there for like 20 seconds trying to make it work. And her sibling on the right is all nonchalant... but on the inside I bet she's laughing!

At the garden, there's a group munching on the wildflowers growing out of the Sugar Snap Pea patch!

Lesser Goldfinches on twigs of nipplewort

Lesser Goldfinch with legs split between two twigs

Three Lesser Goldfinches eating nipplewort blooms


The second Butternut is still growing on the vine.

butternut on the ving

The first one is very small, but it's starting to ripen. And yeah, that's some SunGold trying to invade on the Butternut's space!

butternut on the vine

Tomatillo blooms

You know what's weird? The plural of Tomato is Tomatoes but the plural Tomatillos doesn't have an E.

The big volunteer Sunflower is keeping the bees happy.

Sunflower blooms

Which makes me happy as well.

Sunflower blooms

Sunflower blooms

On the way home, I get to see Falkor!

Crow standing in the grass

More Garden
Thursday 10 August 2023

Here's a bad pic of the female Anna Hummingbird who buzzed me when I walked up to the garden plot.

female Anna Hummingbird standing on a wire trellis

She's just messing with me, today!

blurry hummingbird behind comfrey leaves

Yay! The First Lemon Cucumber Empire is not droopy for the first time since I screwed up and didn't water enough! Yesterday I just dumped water on it, for a 400 count, so I guess that's what it needs.


On the left of the above pic is the big Comfrey and the stunted Wax Bean patch. On the right is the Spaghetti Squash, coming to the end of it's natural life. I am looking forward to eating those!

Lemon Cucumber blooms

Oops! That Early Girl was an accident... I brushed by the plant with the hose and a tomato just fell off. That's okay, it's got a bit of colour on it. If I leave it with the SunGolds, out on the counter, it will probably ripen up!


Lettuce blooms

Tomatoes ripening on the vine

Sunflower with lots of blooms

The living and the dead at the Second Cucumber Empire.

Cucumber plant

The volunteer Tomatillos are just so photogenic!

Tomatillo blooms

Cosmos blooms with sunflowers in the background

I open up another box from Partner's Mom's estate...

Broken plates in a box

Ugh, ugh! I am so mad at the people who boxed this up. Every single plate here is broken. ugh. Such a bummer, these beautiful plates.

And then Partner was supposed to come home tonight. But there was a storm, which delayed his flight out of Florida and he missed his connecting flight. sighs. He's been gone a month and I'm eager to get him home.

Barn Swallow Nest Part 2
Friday 11 August 2023

I'm picking up Partner at the airport today, and I have to re-arrange my schedule a little bit since he'll be landing when I am usually walking home from the Community Garden.

So I head out to the garden to water very early.

And you'd think that getting out earlier in the summer would be nicer. It is a few degrees cooler, I suppose... but the humidity is so high that it's just uncomfortable.

So I'm approaching the bridge just before the Community Garden and I hear chattering and see a Barn Swallow zipping out from under the bridge. huh. I wonder what he's so mad about?

I stop and look up at where the Barn Swallows were nesting last month...

Barn Swallow sitting in a nest

Oh my gosh! Are you kidding me?? *laughs*

I guess three children weren't enough for them and they are going to have another go! But August is so Late in the season! Don't you want to migrate soon???

They are using the other nest up there, and it's a bit further away. So the photos aren't going to be great, even once the sun gets past all the trees that are blocking it right now. But it's still terribly exciting!


Once I get to the garden, ack, those little midge bugs are active in the humidity. The ones that like to fly into your face.

Oh my gosh, annoying. I ask them nicely, Please don't run into my face! And I think that one listens to me and gets what I'm saying. But she doesn't tell any of her friends about my request... and they each fly right into my face. sheesh.

Harvested veggies

One of the SunGolds sprawling into Butternut territory!

Tomato blooms and a green fruit, surrounded by squash leaves

Hello my little pollinator friend!

Yellow Jacket standing on a leaf

And I check out the nest again on the way home. A bit more sun, now, but still with the crappy pics. oh well.

Barn Swallow sitting in a nest

Rose Garden and Walk East for Pride Celebration!
Saturday 12 August 2023

Pink Roses

Today my favorite roses are these lovely Painted Porcelains!

Pink Roses

But I'm a sucker for a lot of other roses, too.

Pink roses

Yellow roses

Yay Pride!

Heron sculpture, decorated with a Pride Flag

Since Eugene is a college town, graduations are the main event in June, Pride Month. So we go all out in August!

Pride Celebration is across the river at Alton Baker Park. They are already jamming over there with some dance music!

I can also hear the drums at the Pride March, behind me. They started marching from Saturday Market and the Park Blocks in downtown. It's about a mile and a half to get over to Alton Baker, where the fun continues!


I love that pic and I made it into a postcard! It's been favorited at Postcrossing by the receiver!

Postcrossing: US-9683317, USA to Japan

Awesome! (Just let me know if YOU would like a postcard!)

And there are three Osprey fledglings at the abandoned Downtown Riverfront Park platform nest!

Three Ospreys standing in a platform nest

Ha! Too funny, the parents must LOVE this nest!

This spring, our intrepid Osprey parents arrived from Mexico. They started re-building their nest, but there has been construction in the lot right underneath them. And then there was a stupid drone. And the pair eventually abandoned the nest, apparently before eggs were laid.

I don't know where they went. But they had three kids, and when the kids started flying, they all came here for meals!

There's still some construction going on. I'm not exactly sure what they are making. I thought it was a parking lot, but there's shaped drive ways and sidewalks going thru, so I don't know.

Well. I'm just glad to see the kids here... That means the parents will return here next year! It's awesome because you can stand right underneath the nest, you can get so close and it doesn't bother them at all. Unless you have an effing drone. *grr*

But these fledglings are still babies. Napping! *laughs*

Two Osprey fledglings, standing in a platform nest with their eyes closed

They just look so funny with their eyes closed!

Two Osprey fledglings, standing in a plotform nest with their eyes closed

Two Osprey fledglings standing in a platform next

Moving on...

Rock painted with a starfish and swirls!

River rocks under shallow water

Ha! She's eating a plum! We have lots of wild fruit trees!

Squirrel in a tree, holding a half eaten plum

And then I get to Alton Baker park and I wander around, looking at the vendors and all the colourful costumes. I wish I had something fun to wear! But I don't stop to buy anything.

Pride flags displayed

I happened to be near the main stage when they kicked things off! I stayed and listened to several of the speakers.

I was really happy that they began with a land acknowledgement... the Kalapuya people lived here, and they listed all the tribes, so many!

Eventually I wandered off and walked back to the Rose Garden. Today's walk made me happy!

Sunday 13 August 2023

While I was at Pride yesterday, parts of the garden died.

The two Lemon Cucumber plants, that I had so recently finally perked up with enough watering, are dead. Quite dead, no coming back. So the First Lemon Cucumber Empire is down to four plants now and I'm bummed about that.

And then, looking around, I saw that the big Patty Pan in the front had flopped over as well. What the heck? This is completely unexpected! Did it not have enough water? It's in the middle of the Garden Square and I do not even understand why it would keel over. SIGHS.

So. This is all a big bummer. But I would not change yesterday for anything.

California Poppy



Well. The rest of the garden continues on. But we've got a heat advisory going on, so that will probably slow stuff down.

102°F today. 39°C. bleh.


Three Spaghetti Squashes on the vine

Some Bittersweet Nightshade, next to the bike path. And check out those fun leaf shadows!

Bittersweet Nightshade berries, surrounded by leaves

Poisonous and pretty.

Bittersweet nightshade berries and flowers

Ugh, it is going to be so hot up there this week. Will they survive?

Barn Swallow sitting in a nest

Third sighting of this Bull Frog, and def time to give him a name, besides Faiz Part 2. *laughs*

Bull Frog floating in water

How about Bertram? He was Beatrix Potter's younger brother.

But now I have to admit... I just assume Faiz and Bertram are males. Ha. And now I'm looking it up!

Okay. Yep! Male Bull Frogs have tympanic membranes that are twice the size of their eyes. Female's eardrums are about the same size as their eye. Males have yellow throats, females are white. And males are vocal, whereas the females don't have much to say.

No doubt about it. Both Faiz and Bertram are males.

Today, A Hot One
Monday 14 August 2023

It's 103°F today and we broke the old record of 101° set in 2010.

Doing okay up there, Mama?

Barn Swallow sitting in a nest

She's sitting with her wings spread a little bit... which means we have babies instead of eggs!! Oh, but I'm so worried about the heat advisory they've got to deal with all this week.

And we have some wildfire haze going on today.

The Bedrock Fire is about 20miles away to the east, north of Oakridge, it started on 22 July. It is 19297 Acres and 20% contained with 997 personnel working it.

The red sun, shining thru the wildfire smog brings out the first blush of ripening on the Early Girls!

Green tomatoes on the vine

There's a cute little... I don't know, what is this? But it's a pretty little wildflower, growing at the edge of the Second Cucumber Empire.


Which, of course, isn't a Cucumber Empire anymore, since I've killed the three Lemon Cucumber plants. Now the area is filled with volunteer Tomatillos, and a seed sown Slicer Cucumber and a couple Crooknecks.


And the poor Patty Pan in the Garden Square, that I killed over the weekend.


Sighs. But Look! Here's some stuff to cheer me up!

Happy Bumblebee hanging from a Borage bloom

Happy European Honey Bee hanging from a Borage bloom

As I'm leaving, I realize I've not looked in at the Community Garden's new flower bed... and Wow!

flower bed

There's an explosion of colour! I like it!

flower bed

Hi Bertram!

Bull Frog floating in the water

a new acorn hanging among white oak leaves

a new acorn hanging among white oak leaves

Another Hot Day
Tuesday 15 August 2023


Yuck! So on top of the terrible heat today... It's 105°F, we broke another record and we are exactly 20°F above normal. We've also got terrible wildfire smog. Air Quality this morning is 364, Hazardous.

In addition to the Bedrock Fire east of us, started Jul22, there's another one to the northeast, Lookout Fire, started Aug5 with lightning.

Smog thru the trees

I'm so sorry, my dear. The heat, the wildfire, it's all humans fault, and I'm sorrry!

Barn Swallow sitting in the nest

The little volunteer sunflower in the Wax Bean patch is starting to pop open! It's about five feet tall now, but it started life as a small plant being decimated by the slugs, who ate _all_ of it's leaves this spring.

Sunflower just starting to open

I harvest the first Striped German tomato today!!


And then I happen to catch a glimpse, and I dig into the Early Girl! Ha! I was tricked by all the green ones on the outside!

Red tomatoes on the vine


When I'm done watering, I go for a wander thru the Community Garden...

Orange Zennia bloom with pink Zennia in the background

Bumblebee in a pink zinnia

Canna Lilies, certainly are big and bold!

Canna plants

Canna bloom surrounded by striped leaves

Amaranth stalk

Cosmos and Bachelor Buttons

Plains Coreopsis and Bachelor Buttons

Cosmos, Bachelor Buttons, Black Eyed Susan

Still with the Hot
Wednesday 16 August 2023

Ugh. Another 105° day and another record broken. The old record was 101°, set in 1977. And the air quality is better today but still 103, Unhealthy.

Sun in a smoggy sky

Oh my gosh. It's Faiz Part 3!

Bull Frog floating in the water surrounded by sticks

This guy's territory is on the other side of the bridge from Bertram's (aka Faiz Part 2).

I love seeing frogs, but it's really a shame that the Bull Frogs are taking over. It's a death sentence for our cute little Pacific Chorus Frogs.


Sunflower bloom


Yep, I dug deep into the Early Girl to pull out the first of it's ripe tomatoes!


This is a Crookneck that I planted as seed in the Second Cucumber Empire. It's a mature plant now, but it's got male flowers only.

Squash plant surrounded by Tomatillo plants

While I'm digging thru that mess to look at the Crooknecks, I also find...

Cucumber growing on the vine

A cucumber! Wow. I had hopes, but wasn't actually expecting anything to come from the seeds I planted so late.

Sorry about the heat, Mama. Supposed to be cooler tomorrow, maybe.

Barn Swallow nesting

White Bindweed Blooms

Barn Swallow Babies!
Thursday 17 August 2023

It's only supposed to be 94° today, after four days of over 100°. But without air conditioning at home it continues to be miserable...

The tiny townhouse hasn't been cooling down at night and this morning the upstairs is still 80° and as soon as I get out of bed... I'm just wiped out! And I don't know if I can face another day of this.

I try not to pay attention to the heat, but once the temperature in the house hits about 85° ... and you're sweating, just sitting there ... ugh.

Oh my gosh... first sighting of our poor little Barn Swallow babies, born into 100° heat.

Two blurry Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

Bummer about the crappy photos. Like I said, this nest is a little further away than the first one. And cloudy mornings make it even darker under the bridge.

Oh well. This is what we've got, and I can't complain too much because baby Barn Swallows are still awesome even when they are blurry!

Blurry Barn Swallow parent standing at the nest with two nestlings

Looks like just two babies for this round. Both parents are in and out, bringing food... we've got to fatten up these children quickly because it's time to migrate!!

One Barn Swallow parent at the nest, the other flying in, in a blur

Barn Swallow parent at the nest

At the garden, I water like crazy, yet again!

And I pick that Slicer Cucumber I saw yesterday, and find another one!


And more on the way, maybe.

Cucumber blossom with a Striped Cucumber Beetle

But when I was digging thru the foliage of the Early Girl... yuck! What the heck??

Blossom End Rot

Blossom End Rot.

The Internets tell me it's caused by the plant not taking up enough calcium... and that happens whenever the plant is stressed out. Mostly not enough water, but also too much water. *laughs* You can't win with this one!

Well. It's not a disease, so that's good. And that's the only tomato I've found like that, so far.

Walking out of the Community Garden, I notice another neighbor's Snap Dragons!

White Snap Dragons

Yellow Snap Dragons

Pink Snap Dragons

Friday 18 August 2023

Oh Hi, Henrietta! Long time, no see. (Nov9 note... this is Not-Henrietta!)

Great Blue Heron walking in water

And Hello, Blurry and Hungry Baby. Has your sibling been fed already?

Barn Swallow baby in the nest

Sunflower unfurling its petals

Sunflower blooms and the blue sky

The temperatures today are back down to reasonable, finally. The high is 87° and it looks to continue to be less than 90° for the foreseeable future.


Sunflower bloom under a leaf

Slowly but surely, some of the outer tomatoes on the Early Girl are ripening.

Tomatoes ripening on the vine

Sunflower blooms and the blue sky

Parent checks on me.

Barn Swallow parent at the nest

Sheesh! I will never get over how crazy this looks!

Barn Swallow parent feeding a baby in the nest

You know, it's funny. The last nest had a stupid string of black plastic in it. And this nest has a stupid string of green plastic in it.

Barn Swallow parent looking down into the nest

Go get more bugs!

Barn Swallow parent flying away from the nest


Barn Swallow parent at the nest

This weeks heat wave was intense. Climatologist says they could WILL get worse. (yeah, that's my correction. I don't know why news articles pretend like there's a chance that things will get better!!)

It depends how you define a heat wave. So a traditional definition would be days above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. We are seeing more of those days and we're seeing more consecutive days like that. Portland and Eugene used to get something like 12 to 17 days during the summer above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Now we're seeing somewhere between 25 and 40 days per summer. And this summer we'll be close to setting a record by that measure.

Rose Garden and Ospreys!
Saturday 19 August 2023

Peach coloured rose

purple roses

Oh cool! When do you get to look down at a flying Osprey??!

Osprey flying just above the water

Osprey flying just above the water

And then the platform nest at the Downtown Riverfront Park... One begging child!

Osprey standing in a platform nest

There is some serious haze today, but the air quality said 19, Good when I left the house.

But at Oakridge, where the Bedrock Fire is 30% contained, the air quality is well over 300, Hazardous. And the Lookout Fire is still zero percent contained.

Looking upriver

Oh Bleh! It looks like this poor fish got his head ripped off.

Osprey flying, holding a carp in her talons

I bet this is a parent, who ate the nutritious bits and is bringing the rest to the kids.

And look at how she's got her legs, trying to hold the fish in the proper direction for aerodynamics!

Osprey flying, holding a carp in her talons

Looking downriver

The Sun at Alton Baker Park.

alton baker park

And back at the Rose Garden.

Sunday 20 August 2023

One of the two babies at the Barn Swallow nest.

Barn Swallow nestling sleeping in the nest

A bike goes by...

Barn Swallow nestling begging for food in the nest

We are at the stage when we think everyone should feed us! So disappointing when random sounds do not result in food!

Barn Swallow nestling quits begging in the nest

Barn Swallow nestling resting in the nest

Sunflower bloom at the garden

One of the Crooknecks in the 2nd Cucumber Empire... all male flowers.

Leaves and blooms of a crookneck squash plant

Harvested Tomatoes and Wax Beans

Those Striped German tomatoes. I just don't know.

I'm not sure when I am supposed to pick them... they are supposed to have red stripes, maybe, but the red parts on these tomatoes are... mushy. So that's why I also picked that orange one, which may or may not be ready.

Happy Soybeans! They are starting to get taller than the volunteer Amaranth!

Leaves of Soybean plants with a bloom of amaranth

The plants come up to my hip!

Sunflower blooms

One of those days
Monday 21 August 2023

A very very pleasant 81° today after a few days of upper 80s, coming down off that partial week of over 100°F.

Some haze this morning and the Air Quality is at 107, Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups. Yesterday it started about the same and then kept getting worse thru the day to end up at 190, Unhealthy.

hazy trees on the hill in the distance

I decided to walk out past the Community Garden today. Just need to see something different!

Unfortunately, it turns out to be one of those days where I just can't get a pic of the wildlife!

Northern Flicker up in a bare tree

I see two Northern Flickers, two Green Herons, all of whom just flew away before I could get decent portraits! *laughs* Sometimes, that's how it is. Just gotta try again tomorrow. Meantime... there's flowers!

Black Eyed Susans

I don't know what the hot pink ones are.

Black Eyed Susans with other, hot pink flowers

This is a little city park I walked past today, Charnel Mulligan Park. I've seen a few of these crazy trees in parks around town, with the fluffy, cotton candy blooms, but I don't know what they are!

Basketball half court and playgroud equipment and a tree with bright pink blossoms

Yep, I just got nothing with the birds today!

Barn Swallow nestling in the nest, behind a feather

Tuesday 22 August 2023

White puffy clouds in a blue sky

Okay! Proof of two! *laughs* I was starting to wonder. It's been a couple days since we've seen both of the babies up there!

Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

Some bright colour caught my eye in the diagonal plot behind ours...

Green and red Chili Peppers, ripening on the plant

I don't grow peppers myself, because I don't like them. But they certainly are pretty!

Green and red Chili Peppers, ripening on the plant

Oops! I stumbled on the Delicata, and when I looked down to make sure it was okay, I saw it was not attached to the vine.


I found another couple tomatoes with Blossom End Rot, too. The rest of the Early Girl tomato could possibly be eaten, but the Striped German had gotten mushy and yucky. Oh well.

I think I do like the taste of the Striped German... The Early Girls have a very strong and acid, tomato-y taste, and the Striped German taste is mild and fruity. It's very good, but the plant didn't make all that many tomatoes. So... hm, I might plant them again?

And I finally looked up to see when Tomatillos should be harvested...

Tomatillo on the vine, being squeezed

The fruit inside will grow to fill up the husk and then the husk will split open and the whole thing will just fall off into your hand when it's ripe. Okay! Easy enough!

Sunflower blooms and a blue sky


Sunflower blossom

Wednesday 23 August 2023

Barn Swallow nestling in the nest

I water and gather at the garden.


And then I look around. Oh Hey! There's a squash growing amidst all the male flowers on one of the Crooknecks!

Squash growing on the vine

It's kind of ridiculous how big the Volunteer Tomatillos have gotten. And they have so many fruits! When I have volunteer tomato plants, they never do anything!

Tomatillo fruits on the vine and a squash blossom

So demanding.

Barn Swallow nestlings demanding food

Pale pink roses

Oh, hey! It's Bertram! I wonder what happened to Faiz Part 3. Bertram? Did you kick him out?

Bull Frog floating in the water

This is a good article I read today...

NPR: Why a stranger's hello can do more than just brighten your day

In general, people who tended to have more conversations with weak ties tended to be a little happier than people who had fewer of those kinds of interactions on a day-to-day basis.

I see loads of people out on the bike path every day, and when I'm not distracted by photography, I always try to smile and nod to everyone. I'm a happy person, doing what I love to do, being out in nature, and I do want to spread my happy!

I never really thought about it, but it does cheer me up to wave and say Good Morning to the people I see regularly. And I wonder about the regulars who I haven't seen in a while.

There's a few people who stop to chat, occasionally. I'm extremely shy, but I've learned a few names along the way.

Turkey Vulture flying overhead

Right on past the garden + Barn Swallows + Annoying City News
Thursday 24 August 2023

After a couple very nice days of low 80s, we've got another couple of high 80s to deal with again, 89°F today.

Bleh. I mean, it's August, what can you expect? It could def be worse. I'm just over it... bored of the heat and the summer and the garden!

So I walk on past the garden, again today.

Hi Bertram! Good to see you again!

Bull Frog floating in the water

Oh hey, it's Falkor! Been a while since I've seen her!

Blurry crow standing on a fence

Hi Baby! Are you experimenting with standing?

Barn Swallow nestling in the nest

Oh good, this time the Flicker lets me watch her for a few!

Northern Flicker standing on the curb

All the spots and stripes and chevrons and zigzags! I just love how decorated Flickers are!!

Northern Flicker standing on the curb

It's hot enough that I've brought my water bottle with me and here's where I sit to drink in the shade of a tree.

Rocks for sitting, under a tree

Barn Swallow nestling in the nest begging for food

A Barn Swallow parent stands on the edge of the nest

Barn Swallow nestling in the nest

Barn Swallow parent feeding a nestling in the nest

Barn Swallow nestling in the nest

Yesterday, our local hospital announced that it was closing it's Sacred Heart, University District Hospital, in downtown Eugene.

It's kind of a disaster because that will leave Eugene without a hospital or ER. Our sister city, Springfield, has two hospitals with ERs, but not only are they on the other side of I-5, for most of Eugene they are also on the other side of the Willamette River.

When I read the article in the newspaper yesterday, it said that the ER wait time at Riverbend Hosp was 18 hours. I... assumed that was a typo? But they haven't corrected it on their web site, so I guess that's what it is. Which is beyond shocking.

PeaceHealth to close Eugene's only hospital; nurse's union calls move disastrous
(Sorry, that's our local newspaper and there's about a million ads on that page.)

Open Letter to PeaceHealth Lane County commissioner calls hospital closure a moral and health catastrophe

Friday 25 August 2023

Oh bleh, Air Quality is 188, Unhealthy again today.

smoggy sky past the trees on the hill

The Bedrock Fire near Oakridge is 31,516 acres and 50% contained with 743 people working on it. And the Lookout Fire along highway 126 is 15,924 acres and 16% contained with 1066 people.

Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

Barn Swallow nestling in the nest

I regularly scoop up bees who accidentally get caught up in the spray as I'm watering the garden. Usually the Bumblebees will fly off pretty quickly, and the Honey Bees take a few minutes to re-group. But today I've got an especially wet Bumblebee who stayed on my hand for about ten minutes!

Bumblebee standing on the back of my hand

I asked her several times if she'd rather stand on a leaf or something, but she adamantly refused.

That big drop of water! She needs a towel!

Bumblebee standing on the back of my hand

Oh my gosh! The first Tomatillo has split it's husk!

Tomatillo on the vine, bursting from its husk

I find four with open husks, but two of the fruits have also split their skins... too juicy.

Holding a split tomatillo, with the bumblebee standing on the back of my hand

That's a bummer, but I get to take two home. It will be the first time I've eaten Tomatillos!


That little Zuc got made in the 100° heat, it prob won't be any good. I also broke a twig off the Tomatillo plant when I was digging thru it... I'll take it home and put it in water for some home decor. *laughs*


Hmm. Soybean flowers?

Soybean flowers

Ah! Yes! Soybean pods! Yay!

Soybean pods, on the plant

How exciting! Homemade tofu, we are on our way!


Barn Swallow nestling napping in the nest

Barn Swallow Nestling Series
Saturday 26 August 2023

Still with the crappy air quality, tho at 95, Moderate, it's not as bad as yesterday.

Trees and a hill in the distance


Barn Swallow nestling napping in the nest

Oh cool! A parent flies in!

Barn Swallow nestling in the nest, a parent lands nearby

Hello? You got some food?

Barn Swallow nestling begging for food, parent nearby

Nothing? Aww, dang it.

Barn Swallow nestling in the nest, parent standing nearby

You just need a break? Have you been working ever so hard for these ingrates? You deserve a rest!

Barn Swallow parent

And, anyway, here's your partner!

Both Barn Swallow parents at the nest, one nestling being fed

Single Coreopsis bloom

Green Grapes on the vine

Red Hibiscius

I sit under the tree again to drink my water.

Looking into a dry grass field fron under a tree

On the way back, ha, just a couple of lumps!

Barn Swallow nest

A bit of excitement...

Barn Swallow parent feeding a nestling in the nest

And then we are lumps with feathers sticking out again.

Barn Swallow nestling tail feathers and wings sticking out

Jostling to get comfortable.

Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

Barn Swallow parent fliess to the nest, both nestlings visable

Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

So cute!

Vulture Mobbed by Crows!
Saturday 26 August 2023

Turkey Vulture up in a tree

Turkey Vulture standing in a tree with wings partially open

And then some silly crows come along to mob her.

Turkey Vulture standing in a tree, a crow flying behind her

Turkey Vulture standing in a tree, a crow flying behind her


Turkey Vulture standing in a tree, a crow flying behind her

She stomps her foot at the annoying crows!

Turkey Vulture standing in a tree

Sunday 27 August 2023

Barn Swallow nestling in the nest

I try to get photos of a little flock of Lesser Goldfinches, but I'm not terribly successful!


Lesser Goldfinches stanidng on spent sunflowers

Lesser Goldfinch standing on a small spent sunflower head

Tomatillos growing on the vine

Sunflower blooms

Sunflower blooms

This is what's left of the First Lemon Cucumber Empire. The yellowing leaves means these plants are coming to their natural end.


SIGHS. I did have 10 whole Lemon Cucumber plants at one time, briefly, but I did not make myself sick of eating Lemon Cucumbers this year. Maybe next year I will try to have 15 plants!

At least the zucchini is still going strong.

Zucchini Squashes, growing on the vine

And another couple of Tomatillos...


I got the first couple of Tomatillos the other day, and Partner and I had a tasting celebration, since neither of us had eaten one before.

*laughs* He said they were okay. As for me... they are very Lime-y. I didn't like it much. I am def NOT making Salsa Verde!

But I didn't hate it, and I am open to using them as a complement flavor. Just not the main attraction!

The Butternut vine. It only has two fruits on it, under the leaves. I think I planted it too late in the spring. That's okay... I don't like having too many Butternuts, especially when I'll have Sweet Potatoes as well.

Butternut Squash vine

Ha, the Early Girl still has blooms!

Tomato blooms

Barn Swallow nestling in the nest

Oh hey! Is this the same Turkey Vulture from yesterday?

Turkey Vulture standing on the ground amidst plants

She's standing on the opposite side of the creek... and she's fiddling with a dead crawdad. huh. I don't think that's on her usual menu!

Next Failure :(
Monday 28 August 2023

Much cooler today, the high is 68°F (20°C) and it's even trying to mist a little as I head to the garden!

Tree covered hill in the distance

The high humidity will help a lot with the wildfires... Bedrock Fire is 31,579 acres, 71% contained and down to 715 people working it. There's more people on the Lookout Fire now which is 22,317 acres and 17% contained with 986 people.

There is also a new fire, across highway 126 from the Lookout Fire called Horse Creek Fire. It started on Aug24 from lightning and is just 616 acres, but zero percent contained.

I get to the Barn Swallow nest... and I'm confused and lost.

Empty Barn Swallow nest

At first I think the babies are hunkered down.

But then I think about how they were squirming around the other day, trying to get comfortable when there just isn't enough room for both of them in the nest. They are too big to hunker down.

And their parents are just outside. They are chittering and flying loops. I walk out to see what's going on...

Both parents are frantically mobbing a Scrub Jay, who is just nonchalantly standing in a willow tree.

oh. oh, no.

That Scrub Jay just killed the babies.

I walk on. Because nature is red in tooth and claw and there's no such thing as mercy. Mercy is a nice, human thing. And infanticide happens all the time in nature.

Sighs. And I suddenly remember it's The Year of Sick and Injured Wildlife. sighs.

With the cooler weather, I've decided to do some work at the garden. I'm going to start with the front garden square, it's mostly just wildflowers now... The Sugar Snap Peas are done, the Spaghetti Squash vines are starting to die back naturally. And I managed to kill that one big Patty Pan that sat in the middle of all that.



And After...


You can see I weeded pretty far into the neighbor's plot (to the right of the brown post and the wood board on the ground). That's Probably-Not-Evil Neighbor, and I dug out his grass as a courtesy and I am still not annoyed with him even tho I keep doing this work for him.

Anyway. It's a pretty good beginning towards the winter garden! Ripped up grass and other annoying weeds go to the Community compost. The borage I piled up in the garden, to spread its seeds and to break down and help the soil!

I got the 2nd of four Delicatas today!


This one kept zipping around me...

Anna Hummingbird flying towards the camera

*laugh* She definitely cheered me up even tho she refused to sit for a portrait!


A Cloudy Day
Tuesday 29 August 2023

Oh hey, it's Scappy #1 with the neurological problem in his spine and the torn ear!

Eastern Fox Squirrel standing on the sidewalk

When he bounces away, I can see that he's moving much better. That's great! But when I look at the photos... um? Scrappy? It looks like you are missing some toes! Poor boy. Having a hell of a life, aren't you?

There's some clouds today, but it's not as nice as it was yesterday... when the bit of misting actually gave us 0.06 inches of precipitation! Ha, not much but it's unheard of for us to get anything coming out of the sky in August!

Today it'll be 77°F, which is still cooler than normal for this time of year, 82°.

clouds over the bike path

trees on the hill in the distance

A sad look at the empty Barn Swallow nest. It is just too quiet under the bridge.

Empty Barn Swallow nest

Aw. Both parents are still here. Grieving for their lost babies. Sighs.

Barn Swallow standing on a fence post

Clouds over the Community Garden

Today at the garden I am continuing to weed out the front garden square. Here's the Before pic...


And here's After.


There were several Banana Slugs living in that mess. But look at this silly slug... She-He is carrying an Aphid! haha.

Banana Slug with an Aphid

(Note: Slugs and Snails are hermaphrodites! They are both female and male, so that's why I use the combined she-he pronoun. :)

I also found quite a lot of very fat Sugar Snap Peas! *laughs*


The nice thing about Snap Peas is that they get sweeter as they get fatter. When Snow Peas get to this point, they are quite unedible... which is why I don't bother planting them anymore.

A Smartweed bloom, a native wildflower. I am happy to have a good diversity of plants in the garden!

Smart weed bloom with Borage

And I am so happy that the Tofu patch is coming right along!

Soybeans growing on the plant

I do a little walk-about thru the Community Garden to see what interesting things others have in their plots.

Grapes and leaves on the vine

Zennia blooms

Oh my gosh, look at this precious bee... her wings are perfect. Most bees wings, right now, are tattered at the edges, they've been flying since spring. She must be a youngster!

European Honey Bee standing in a yellow Zinnia

Spaghetti Squashes!!!
Wednesday 30 August 2023

Some clouds this morning but it ends up being a perfectly normal end-of-August day at 82°!

Trees on the hill and clouds in the sky

I've gotten to the Spaghetti Squash vines and today I'm going to tidy this up... There are ten glorious squashes in this picture, can you find them all?!

Spaghetti Squashes on the vine



And After...


Yeah, I left that little stand of Borage there in the front corner. I love Borage.

And here's what I'm going to attempt to haul home...


I brought my big backpack today, and yep, it all fit! The full back pack was 15.5 pounds and quite the workout walking home!

The smaller Spaghetti Squashes are all around 1.5 pounds, the two bigger ones are 2.5 pounds and 3.25 pounds!

Those are the last two of four Delicatas, and they are small at 10oz each. I've not cooked any yet, but I'm looking forward to trying them!

And yep, that's a green Patty Pan. The slugs have been eating all the squash from that plant this year... paying my rent to the wildlife. But I saw they had missed one, so I nabbed it!

I love these lemon yellow Sunflowers! They are so strikingly different from the school bus yellow of the regular Sunflowers!

Sunflower blooms

Sunflower blooms

haha... I didn't notice the bumblebee at the time.

Bumblebee on a sunflower

The Guardian: Flora, fauna and ... funga: campaigners call for new term for conservation talks
Fungi should be recognised and protected on equal footing with plants and animals, says Fungi Foundation

Nice! I like it! Funga!

Lots and Lots O Beautiful Flowers!
Thursday 31 August 2023

Plains Coreopsis

I am going a little bit crazy with the pictures today.



But look at all the beautiful things I get to see!

zinnia bloom surrounded with colour in the background

Bachelor Button surrounded with colour inthe background

White Cosmo, purple Bachelor Buttons, California Poppy, Queen Anne Lace

And beautiful people...

Anna Hummingbird standing on a wire trellis

Marigolds and Red Amaranth

Lesser Goldfinch standing on a small, spent sunflower blossom

Pink and yellow flowers

Yellow Jacket on a pink and yellow Dahlia petal

Sprinkles begin! It's drizzles for a couple hours! That's just crazy in August, summer is our dry season!

Anna Hummingbird standing on a wire trellis with a drop of rain coming down

Eventually, I get down to work... I've started forking the front garden square, and weeding out the grass roots. I'll be planting some cover crop here.


I've brought my big back pack again so I can haul home a few more Spaghetti Squashes!


Oh cool, another Slicer Cucumber! They aren't as good as the Lemon Cucs, but still.

Green Cucumber growing on the vine

And another Crookneck growing in the 2nd Cucumber Empire as well!

small Crookneck squash, growing on the vine