the days getting longer
Wednesday 8 February 2023

It's the light in the evenings that I really notice, since I go check my mailbox around 5pm! There's just a couple months where it's completely dark at that time, and I have to maneuver to catch light from a sidewalk lamp to be able to see the lock! But otherwise our winters are mild... right now the alders are full of catkins, and I saw a couple witch hazels blooming!

a day
Saturday 11 February 2023

I love it when a squirrel greets me on the steps, right outside the door!

Eastern Fox Squirrel

Two Hooded Mergansers trying to catch the attention of the girl!

Hooded Mergansers in the water

But the boys were so focused on competing against each other, they didn't notice when the female wandered off! haha!

Two male Hooded Mergansers

Ah Spring!!!

Yellow Crocuses in old brown leaves

Also blooming in the neighborhood: Snowdrops and Winter Heath.

This girl has been hanging out near Blazey's spot on the bike path. I'm pretty sure this is the one who was eating his food the other day! None the worse for wear, after eating yucky cat food!

Eastern Fox Squirrel

today + My Hummer Friend!
Sunday 12 February 2023

Four little Nutrias, ran for the creek as soon as they noticed I had stopped to look at them.

Two Nutria on the grass

Nutrias are supposed to be 9 to 20 pounds. But these guys were SOOO little. Maybe like 6 pounds? My Dad wondered if they were babies. It doesn't seem like the right time of year for babies... it's winter! But I guess they must be!

And now that I really look at the pic... yeah, those are babies! And why else would there be four of them, together? They are usually pretty solitary.

oh, haha! I was looking at the male Teal, and didn't even notice his girlfriend behind him!

a pair of Green Wing Teals

I decided to walk a different path today, and I headed over to Westmoreland Park. It's a Frisbee Golf course, but the park is relatively small and I wondered if it was a full 18 hole course or just 9.

I headed over to the other side of the park to look at the kiosk to find out.

uh. weird. Did I walk past it? I know I get distracted... ? I turned around and looked around and... oh.

Sidewalk where a kiosk used to me

What the Heck? WHY?

The kiosk was removed recently, there's still tire tracks in the mud from the heavy machinery they used.

And I'm so bummed because there was info about the native plants and how the first people used them!


kiosi that is black with burn marks

Here's what happened to the kiosk... Arson!

What a shame.

The neighborhood association, Friendly Area Neighbors asked if it should be investigated as a hate crime, since the information on the kiosk was mostly about the native people who lived here, the Kalapuya. But the police determined that the incident does not meet bias crime criteria.

It will cost 12,000$ to replace, but the neighborhood is determined to put a new kiosk up! Good!

But then, walking home, this one showed up and made my day!

female Anna Hummingbird sits among the sticks

This is right around the area where I chronicled the nesting Anna Hummingbird last year. (You can go check that out in the archives, starting in March 2022)

I am pretty sure this is the mama Hummer, altho I suppose it could be one of her daughters. She definitely recognized me!

Anna Hummingbird hovering

Wouldn't it be awesome if she let me take pics of her nest again this year?!

Monday 13 February 2023

Blazey the Bike Path Ambassador has been missing since Jan26, and people have started leaving tributes to him.

Black cat trinkets on Blazeys Throne

As I approached his spot on the bike path, there was a lady talking to her little one in the stroller. What do you want to see? she asked him. I couldn't hear what he said. Blazey is sick or something. He might not be back.

She didn't have a thoughtful answer for her little one. Probably because she was upset herself about Blazey not being there. And maybe the bike path isn't the place to start a conversation about death with your toddler. Because of judgmental passers-by. *waves*

They moved on and I stopped to take pictures of the tributes. The lady called out to me, Any updates? No. Well, common sense says... she couldn't say the words out loud. I replied, yeah. I didn't know what to say.

What do you say? We obviously share grief. But we are strangers. And Blazey wasn't our cat, altho he was a part of our community, so he kind of is our cat. What do you say?

It's really sad, she said. Yeah.

I went on, but I'm thinking about my own tribute to Blazey. I've got that one great photo of him, where he's actually looking up at me. It's on this page somewhere. I could get some kind of outdoor photo frame, and write on it. In memory of Blazey, bike path ambassador and friend to all who pass by.


Odds and Ends
Monday 13 February 2023

Eastern Fox Squirrel

I usually ignore photos where my cute lil fuzzy or feathery person has their eyes closed... Birds especially, just look weird when they blink, their inner eyelids are white! (A couple photos down on this page: You can kind of see on the pic of the something artsy Teals.)

But this squirrel is just so cute! :)

Eastern Fox Squirrel, blink!

Oh! This is good...

Cherry picker on the bike path

They are installing some new LED lamps along the bike path!

Loads of happy Robins around... the damp (and above freezing) weather brings the worms to the surface.

American Robin in the grass

But this one looks pissed off and is stamping her foot!

American Robin on a branch, stamping her foot

A half decent portrait of a Teal? wow, when does that happen?

Green Wing Teal on the water

And then I met CB. It's kinda nice when other walkers or bikers on the path introduce themselves.

Almost home, and I see this Western Grey Squirrel, who has been in the area for months... Tho I have a heck of a time trying to get his pic. But he's been around long enough, I think I'm gonna name him Wes. :)

You know, as in Wes Crusher of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D! :)

Western Grey Squirrel digging

It is pretty unusual to see a Western Grey Squirrel in town. For the most part, this territory belongs to the invasive Eastern Fox Squirrels, and our native Greys are regulated to the forests and the more wild edges of town. So it's really cool to see Wes now and then!

Boring Update, Dead Computer Catch Up. Snow and Birds.
Tuesday 14 February 2023

A little dusting of snow last night... I woke up at 3:15am to witness it falling. It switched back to rain pretty quickly, tho, so I'm super surprised to see any left on the ground today!

dusting of snow on the ground

So. Computer stuff...

I have had a working computer for 2 weeks now.

Slowly but surely, I have been trying to catch up with all the projects that I wasn't able to work on during the time I didn't have a computer... Sorting photos, catching up the Mail Log, and, because it's LetterMo, writing mail every day.

I'm a bit frustrated at how long it's taking. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel for the mail log, that should be done this week. (January mail log, anyway. The December mail log is still a mess!) But I'm only a little more than halfway thru my photos. I've been working so hard and really feel like I should be closer to finished!

But then I went to count the days I was basically without a computer...

The Tablet died when I tried to turn it on, 14 Jan, Saturday morning. But I had lost my files from 13 Jan as well, since I do backups (for photos and active files) in the afternoon, rather than at night.

Shenanigans ensued. I'll type about that later.

This computer arrived 30 Jan, Monday evening. But setup took a day and I didn't get to my projects until 1 Feb.

That's 19 days. So I guess that's why it's taking forever... because that was practically three weeks without a computer! In theory, my goal is to work on two days of photos, every day: today's pics and a day of catch up pics. But it doesn't always work out that way, some days there are just too many pics to go thru!

I've got six more days of photos to catch up with... and a few of those days are ones that I've been avoiding because they were big photo days with hundreds of pics to go thru.

Realistically, even if I jam, this will probably take me thru to the end of February. And then I'll need to work on all the same stuff from December, since I was on holiday for a couple weeks, visiting my family.

And some birds...

Golden Crown Sparrow

Female Mallard in the grass

Two American Crows in a tree

American Robin standing on a railing

Flew away before I could get closer... but this is a Red Shoulder Hawk being watched by two Scrub Jays...

Red Shoulder Hawk in a tree with two Scrub Jays

Great Blue Heron in a fir tree

Order of Business
Wednesday 15 February 2023

Brr! Frost and ice this morning.

Ice forms lines in a wet prairie puddle

I know all these Dead Computer Updates are boring! But I need to write them so that I can feel organized. :)

I've got a few typed blog posts, and I will be moving them to the main page soon.

After that, I'll be filling in some photos! That's what we are all here for, after all.

And once I get my templates set up, I will be clearing out the main page and archiving the old blog posts. I'm not sure how many old posts I've got on the main page, hundreds probably, and it loads up pretty slowly because of all the photos.

Great Blue Heron

Hey could you settle, please?

Yellow Rump Warbler, flying past some pussy willows

Oh, hey, Thanks!!

Yellow Rump Warbler standing on a twig

huh. That Heron is still hanging out. The hunting must be good here.

Great Blue Heron

Thursday 16 February 2023

Out to the river today, but it's just too quiet...

The spillover is dry...

Spillover between the river and the ponds, dry

And the Ponds are so low there are big islands, which def should not be there during our rainy season...

islands in the pond

The Delta Ponds were all but empty. There was a pair of Mallards in the overflow pond. A single Ring Neck diving in the main pond. And some far away shore birds...

Shorebird at the waters edge

And we'll never know what species they are because shore birds are hard! But I'm super impressed by how well they blend into their surroundings... I couldn't see them at all on my camera screen and had to guess where to point the cam!

Shore bird is camouflaged in the water

So I walked across to the official Delta Ponds. There's usually some birds there...

But first, I notice some park improvements! This bench has been here for a few months, but the gravel path up to it is new. I love this bench, it is perfectly placed for the view there, so I'm glad it got a little pathway!

new gravel up to a new bench

And now I find some birds!

Yellow Rump Warbler on a twig

Spotted Towhee in a tangle of twigs

Golden Crown Sparrow

I come around the corner, and whoa! A whole flock of Mallards!

A bunch of Mallard ducks on the path

I don't want to disturb them, so I turn around... and look at who I found!

River Otter on a log, behind twigs

River Otter in the water behind twigs

So cute! Look at her big ol' nose! and her sweet face!

Otters face above the water

She swam away, but would pop up and look back to see if I was still there.

Otter swimming to the left

Otter sitting on a rock in the water

So, so awesome! So glad I decided to walk this way!

Mourning Dove standing on a branch

Friday 17 February 2023

I've decided to make some soup, and I'm gonna need a Leek! So I'm heading to the Garden today to dig one up!

Was it last year that the Parks People got all obsessed about painting over the graffiti along the bike path? Maybe it was the year before, but it was crazy. They'd be painting every week or so, such a waste and occasionally covering up pretty good art.

Graffiti skull and a hole chipped in the paint reveling colours underneath

*laughs* I don't know why I even bother with Chickadees!

Chickadee with wings flapping

Who knows why I even bother with anybody, really! :)

Scrub Jay looking around twigs

Okay, at the Garden, and here's my little patch of Leeks. We've had some freezing nights and the Leeks are looking a little pathetic, but they are mostly still alive!

Leeks growing in the garden

I dig up one for my soup...

A dug up Leek and a hand spade

And then check for invasives. Nope, we're good on that front. But there are some happy volunteer Elephant Garlics coming up! Yay!

Small Elephant Garlics growing in the garden

Polar Plunge day at the River
Saturday 18 February 2023

Yep, time for the annual Polar Plunge... unfortunately I've come too early today to see anything cool. They are just setting up as I arrive, and after my walk they still haven't done any Plunges. bummer. (You can check out a couple photos I got last year... Feb19 River.)

And, again, we don't exactly have polar weather! It's 36°F and the water temperature is 40°F (2° and 4°C). But I'm sure that fun was had... and Special Olympics Oregon got well above their donation goal of $40K with 48,570$, so that's fabulous!

And on with my walk...

The spillover is dry.

Spillover between the river and the ponds is full of rocks

But at least there's some birds hanging out at the ponds today!

a pair of Canada Geese, standing in water

female Ring Neck duck has her beak tucked under her wing

American Coot in the water

Song Sparrow standing on a twig

The river

hmm? Who's this??

The back of a eagle standing in a tree

I thought she was big enough to be an Eagle, and look at those deadly feet! But she would not turn around so I could see all of her face. Dang it, bird! *laughs*

I walked on, but I was near my turn around point. She was still here when I came back. And with a different angle...

Juvenile Bald Eagle standing in a tree

Oh yeah. She's a juvenile Bald Eagle! 1.5 years old, based on the small amount of white feathers on her head... which won't be totally white until she's five.

I was hearing celebratory yelling from the other side of the river. Before the Polar Plunge, they were also doing a 5K Fun Run. The excited shouts made me smile, but I was glad they were on the other side of the river. :)

oh look! It's not winter any more!

Tree blossoms on a branch

Osoberry blooms

As I cross the bridge, coming back from my walk... oh, people.

People and tents at the river bank

I decide to make my way down there. But like I said, nothing exciting happening yet.

Dive team and photographer waiting in the water

I didn't wait around, and I make my way back to the parking lot.

One of the running teams went by, just finishing up their Fun Run and I was amused that they were all carrying pool noodles shaped into pretzels! Ha! I looked them up, and turns out they were the team that brought in the most donations: Reality Kitchen Dough Getters

Their team leader says that last year he went in up to my tummy. This year my goal is to raise $1000 and dunk my head under. *laughs* I don't know if he dunked his head, but he def raised more than 1000$, so that's cool!

I am not familiar with Reality Kitchen but it turns out they are really awesome!

They are a Community Supported Bakery!

You put your weekly order in for breads, pretzels, and desserts. They are baked up by kids who have aged out of the special education programs here in town. They are paid a decent wage and they are learning job skills and getting work experience.

And then you pick up your CSB box, filled with delicious bready goodness! And yep, they have some vegan items! I might have to try this out for myself.

Todays Blurry Birds
Sunday 19 February 2023

Lenten Roses and a blue sky

Oh! I don't know who this artist is... Grafik? but I like this skeleton! A skeleton with a heart! Will be on the lookout for more of their art!!

Graffiti of a white skeleton

People leaving tributes for Blazey, missing over three weeks now. sighs.

Drawings and card on a post

Laa laa laa!

White Crown Sparrow, singing on a twig

What? That's not how it goes? :)

White Crown Sparrow standing on a twig

Blurry, blurry, blurry...

blurry Ruby Crowned Kinglet standing on a twig

And then this is the clear photo I get??! Sheesh!!

the back of a Ruby Crowned Kinglet

Oh! and even WORSE... This stupid thing that you can't see is a Kingfisher...

A dark blur

This is one of a pair who laughs at me every single year. They fly up and down the creek, looking for a good nesting spot. They tease me by sitting until I stop to get their pic. And then they fly away before the camera is ready!

And today this one was sitting so perfectly! On a branch, out over the water, I had a clear view of her in the sunlight with the darkness of the bridge behind her. As I pulled the camera up, I was thinking what an amazing photo this would make, a beautiful portrait... of one of my rivals.

ha. Yeah, right.

At least she didn't laugh at me as she flew away!

male Hooded Merganser paddling in the water

Oh, hello friend Nutria!

face of a Nutria, swimming in the water

Todays Cool Pics, no in focus
Monday 20 February 2023

A lucky pic of a Chickadee. They usually bounce around too quickly and I can't keep up with them! They are so cute! And so annoying! :)

Chickadee standing sideways on a twig

oh, foo! I love what is going on in this busy pic... too bad our feathery friend isn't in focus.

Spotted Towhee on a thorny branch, looking over her shoulder

This is the same squirrel who has been hanging around at Blazey's spot on the bike path. At least she's eating something healthier this time... a peanut rather than cat food!

Eastern Fox Squirrel eating a peanut

oh foo, again! I haven't seen any Varied Thrushes around, lately. So I was excited when I heard one whistling above me! I searched and scanned and searched some more in the trees above... and Finally found this bit of orange.

Varied Thrush standing on a branch

I was able to take just a couple photos, and then he flew away. SIGHS!

The bike path ends in the east at a dog park, and that's my usual turn around point. Walking that loop makes my walk 4 miles.

But I've started exploring the neighborhoods beyond the dog park. It's pleasant, looking at all the houses and yards. and I'm happy to get more exercise!

Today I had to walk around this.

Semi and trailer in a downtown neighborhood

Oh my gosh, I feel so bad for this guy! This semi has NO BUSINESS being on these little streets, and he is stuck trying to go around a tiny round-about! Whoever gave these directions, whether a buddy or the gps, needs a stern Talking To...

Maggie?! What the hell?
(haha! Maggie is the name my parents gave to their gps!!)

Female and male Brewer Blackbirds standing in a tree

Brewer Blackbird standing on a branch

Tuesday 21 February 2023

Some blue sky before the next rain shower rolls in!

puffy white clouds above the bike path

Eurasian Collared Dove, invasive but cute!

Collared Dove standing on a twig

And the rain!

American Robin on a twig, looking away with rain drops on her head and tail

Some Pics
Wednesday 22 February 2023

Hello, my dear. How is your morning?

Eastern Fox Squirrel

And Hello, my other dear.

Great Blue Heron

Brr! The trees in the hills are dusted with snow.

Trees in the background have a white coating of snow

Hi sweetness.

Scrub Jay standing on a twig

Graffiti on a fence, ATL to EUG, free them all

ATL to EUG [Atlanta, Georgia] [Eugene, Oregon] [USA]
Free them All

Cop City opposition spreads beyond Georgia forest defenders Law enforcement training center has drawn attention and concern from a broad range of local and national US voices who worry about its impact

Yes. More than concern...

Militarizing the police is very, very bad! Cop City is evil and needs to be shut down.

Defend the Atlanta Forest

Stop Cop City

American Robin standing on a twig

Lesser Goldfinch standing on a weed

Thursday 23 February 2023

I'm sick!

Just a head cold...

But my face is exploding every 15 minutes or so. UGH!


Saturday 25 February 2023

Doing much better, tho my face is still sniffly.

I am happy to go out walking again. I wonder what I missed!

oh. This Nutria was right next to the path, and letting humans get Way Too Close! When I got close enough, I could see the problem... Doesn't have an eye?

Nutria standing in the grass, squinting eye shut

Or actually, she does have an eye... she's just squinting it shut. She's sick! (oh ugh, I can empathize excessively, with my recent and current exploding face disease!)

Closer pic of Nutrias face, squinting her eye shut

I go around to her other side. Oh thank goodness... she's only half blind!

Nutria in the grass

This is a place where the neighbors occasionally feed the ducks, and I'm wondering if they might be feeding this girl as well.

Nutrias are herbivores, they just eat grass and plants. But the extra calories in the grains of the duck food are probably welcome when they are sick.

Poor girl, I wonder what her fate will be. As an invasive species, Nutrias don't have any natural predators here. Except humans and cars. I suppose a cougar might eat them, tho she's safe here in town, obviously! But it's going to be tough living if she goes totally blind.

American Crow and Great Blue Heron standing in a fir tree

Great Blue Heron standing in a fir tree

Female Hooded Merganser, in the water

Male Hooded Merganser, in the water

Todays Pics
Sunday 26 February 2023

Yellow Lenten Roses

Ha! There's a bit of a breeze today, and look what it's doing!

Great Blue Heron standing in a tree, feathers floofed up by wind

American Robin in the grass

Well, sheesh. But it's a cute blur!

very blurry Yellow Rump Warbler in a tree

The good-eye side of my half-blind Nutria friend.

Nutria standing in the grass

Golden Crown Sparrow, looking back

This is just a cool blog post that caught my attention...

Dawn Chorus: We Are Everywhere

This is a list, in photographs, of the birds who can be found all across the US, for all of the year! It's kind of funny that the author forgot Song Sparrows, tho. My Favorite!

Happy Birds
Monday 27 February 2023

This Great Blue Heron has been hanging out in the same area of the bike path for a little while. My new friend!

Great Blue Heron, standing in water up to her feathers

Oh! haha! She rousted and her feathers are all fluffed!

Great Blue Heron, standing in water with feathers rousted

Golden Crown Sparrow on a twig

female Downy Woodpecker on a branch

A white puffy cloud in front of dark clouds

female Western Bluebird standing on a pipe with tree branches in the far off background

Aww! She let me get so close!

female Western Bluebird closeup

On the other hand, when the little bird is too bouncy, I just point the camera and click in the general direction. Every once in a while, rarely really, the bird is in frame and might be somewhat in focus.

Can you find the bird? :)

Lots of branches

Here they are!

Yellow Rump Warbler standing on a twig


Heron Series
Tuesday 28 February 2023

I come around the corner, and my new friend sees somebody to eat and stalks forward!

Great Blue Heron walking in the water

Heron strikes and head is in the water

Heron with minnow in beak

Eats poor little minnow and then floofs the feathers!

Great Blue Heron standing in water, rousting

But that little thing wasn't even a mouthful... Anyone else swimming around here?

Heron looks down into the water

Oh. Maybe I scared them all away!

Great Blue Heron standing in water


I've decided to call her Henrietta Heron... As in Henrietta Lacks. You know about HeLa?

Goodreads: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
by Rebecca Skloot

Book cover of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

This is an excellent book, I read it a while ago and will def read it again some day. There's also a movie, I think.

The HeLa cell line is incredibly important to science... That cell line was the first one they found that propagated indefinitely, and it's been used since 1951 in all kinds of medical research!

Since then, other imortalised cell lines have been discovered.

Including HEK-293... remember the anti-vaxers throwing a fit about the covid vaccine? They pretended to want a religious exemption because HEK-293 originated from fetal tissue of an elective abortion, Finland 1973.

Abortion opponents protest COVID-19 vaccines use of fetal cells

Idiots. They didn't realize that almost all common medications had been tested for safety with HEK-293. Of course they took Ibuprofen when they had a headache, Sudafed when they had a cold, and Benadryl for allergic reactions!

They don't actually care about the source of HEK-293, and they didn't care about the hypocrisy. It was just a convenient excuse to not get vaxxed.

Anyway. Back to our regularly scheduled programming! :)

Dark Clouds

American Robin standing in the grass

Oh, cool! There are a couple of killdeers running around, near my turn-around point!

Killdeer standing in the grass

And Henrietta is still hanging out, on my way back!

Great Blue Heron, standin in water, surrounded by sticks