Turkeys up Hidden Trail!
Wednesday 1 November 2023

Autumn trees with a tree covered hill in the background

Blow up Jack-o-lantern

Well, this one is scary! But look at the adorable dragon gargoyle!

Halloween Decorations, Blow up Skull Spider

Halloween Decorations, skeletons and a hurse

Okay! Up the hill!

I saw the deers first, but the camera was not being agreeable...


And then the deers were being skittish. I assumed someone was walking a dog, around the corner. But actually it was these guys! haha!

Two turkeys walking by, Deers hiding behind a bush

Hiking trail thru the trees, over a small bridge

Mourning Doves! So nice to see our native doves for once!

Doves standing on dead branches of a snag

But I'm actually up here to visit the Acorn Woodpeckers.

They are too far away again. SIGHS!

Woodpecker at the top of a far away snag


Blurry Acorn Woodpecker standing on a dead branch

Well. That's not a woodpecker! haha.

Blurry Varied Thrush standing on a pine tree branch

Varied Thrush. There is such a great diversity of native birds up here. They are doing construction, further up the hill and dang, I hope they don't cut these trees down.

Acorn Woodpecker at the top of a broken snag

That's all I get today. That's okay, I'll keep coming up here and they'll come closer eventually!

Back down the hill, and there's a whole flock of female Turkeys... Over a dozen! And they were just walking on past me!

Wild Turkeys walking on the ground

And checking out the patios!

Turkeys standing on patio furnature

So Cool!

Wild Turkey walking on the ground

Garden Work
Thursday 2 November 2023

oh, poor mangy dearheart... barely has any fur.

Eastern Fox Squirrel standing on the steps

I don't know. Do squirrels get the mange? I bet she's terribly cold. And just another continuation of The Year of Sick and Injured Wildlife. Sighs.

I wish I could magically throw some medicine at her and make her better!

Eastern Fox Squirrel standing on the steps

Trees along the bike path

Autumn trees with a hill in the background

Okay. Here I am at the Community Garden, with another, healthier squirrel. She's got a small sunflower head... They like to cut the heads off and just take them with them, to munch on at their leisure!

Eastern Fox Squirrel standing on a wood post, holding a small sunflower head in her hands

Here's a sunflower head in my plot that the squirrels didn't take! It's empty of seeds... it provided food to many birds!

Empty sunflower head

This is the section I'm going to work on today.


You can see all the Early Girl tomatoes, from where I pulled up that plant the other day. Today I'm going to untangle the two SunGolds from their tomato cages, and the Striped German.


And wow, those SunGolds had some roots! It was really hard to pull them out of the ground! And, of course, they were sprawling all over the place, so getting them out of the tomato cages wasn't easy either!

I really need to think about doing something with the soybeans!


Someone else's kale.

close up of kale

American Robin standing on a stick

Gathering Soybeans... and Crime
Friday 3 November 2023

Hello Young Fellow!

Eastern Fox Squirrel standing on the side of a tree trunk

Eastern Fox Squirrel standing on the side of a tree trunk

There was some excitement on the way to the Community Garden.

On the bike path, barely a block away from the Garden, it's probably 9:40ish am. There are two cops, woman and man, on the path talking to a homeless guy on the other side of the creek. I couldn't see him at all, thru the trees.

Woman Cop: okay. Thank you.
Man Cop: (Indistinct but asking a question)
Homeless guy: uhhhh. (Long pause) No.

(I don't even know what's going on... but that very long pause jumped out at me. That guy is SO guilty!) I'm within hearing distance now, walking on by.

Cop: So you didn’t shoot a pistol or something like that?
Homeless guy: I was just listening to my music. (Indistinct)
Cop: Because it was reported in this area. (Pause) Exactly where you are.

So that's just great. Shots fired at the bike path.

And now I’m kinda freaked because somebody's shooting their stupid gun... and are they even paying attention to where they are pointing that thing?!


And then I get to the garden and I'm starting to futz around in my plot when I notice there's a woman, on the inside of the Garden fence walking past all the gates. She stops at the gate I had just come in and rattles the chain. I always spin the lock well.

She walks back the way she came... and climbs up on a chair...

Woman climbing over the Community Garden fence

I have so many questions. Like how the heck did she get in? And what did she do, while she was in here? She obviously didn't take anything.

Well. Some things you just have to let go. I keep an eye on her, but I've got stuff to do today!

Gathering Soybeans

I started out the season with about 30 soybean plants. Not all of them grew up to normal size, but most of them did.

As I pulled pods off the stalks, I counted what I was getting from each plant... there were 60 to 70 pods on an average plant. They were in clusters of 1 to 5 pods every 6 or 8 inches going up each stalk, and a plant had at least a couple branches of stalks.

Gathering Soybeans

I had brought three small ziplocks with me... but those filled up quickly! ha! I pulled out one of the gallon ziplocks that I always carry with me, and got it mostly filled as well!

Ziplocks filled with soybean pods


On the way home... there were different cops, and a couple of Parks employees poking around the bike path, their trucks parked on the grass nearby.

I checked the police dispatch log when I got home. And sure enough...

Call time: 09:09:33 AM
Dispatch time: 09:29:30 AM
Incident Desc: Shot(s) Fired
Disposition: PATROL CHECK


Autumn trees and a hill in the background

Back at home, I spread out the soybean pods and put a fan on them. Most of the soybeans were on stalks that were standing up and those were obviously good and dry, they rattled in their pod. But some stalks had fallen over and were on the ground and wet. This should help!

Drying soybean pods

And, wow, that's a lot of pods I'm gonna need to shell out!

Trees in the Rain
Saturday 4 November 2023

It's been mid-60s (18°C), and even the nights have been warmer, in the mid-50s (13°C). And yesterday afternoon, it got so warm I was able to open up my bedroom window again.

I got to listen to the rain all night, and that's the best thing ever!

Today, still it rains!

Autumn yellow tree on the other side of the creek, rain drops in the water

So I'm just walking in the neighborhood today. The rain means I probably won't see much wildlife, and the camera will remain tucked under the rain jacket.

But the trees are so lovely, I just can't resist a little bit of photography!

Autumn Red Maple over the bike path

Autumn trees, a hill in the distance

Autumn trees, a hill in the distance

Cackling Geese
Sunday 5 November 2023

Good Morning, Friend!

Eastern Fox Squirrel standing on the ground, surrounded by fallen autumn leaves

Henrietta is busy hunting. (Nov9... Yep, this is Henrietta!)

Great Blue Heron standing in the water, staring at the bank

Last night got too chilly and I had to close my bedroom window again. I guess I need to get used to the fact that winter is coming!

Clouds over the bike path

Blazey's Guy, running errands on his bike, passes me twice! When he goes by the second time, he tells me there are geese, way out at the school. I wasn't going to walk that far today... but I can't turn down the first flock of Cackling Geese of the season!

Cackling Geese standing on the grass

Cackling Geese are the smallest cousins of Canada Geese. We have both species this time of year, but the Cacklings... uh, Cacklers? heh. Tend to gather together in huge flocks.

Cackling Geese standing on the grass

The clouds are starting to break up.

Red Maples, showing their autumn colour, on the bike path

Autumn trees

On my way back, I noticed a spider web, glistening in the sunlight...

Looking at the creek, some ducks in silhouette

Wow, her anchor lines are at least 12feet long! And she's caught lots of food.

Spider in her web

Up Hidden Trail to visit the Acorn Woodpecker Family
Monday 6 November 2023

Oh, hey! It's that youngster I saw in the park the other day with the shortened tail!

Western Grey Squirrel standing in a tree eating a peanut

I've seen him three times now - I also saw him out my bedroom window a couple days ago. And that's the point where I usually give someone a name. But... I don't know. I get the feeling that he's still wandering and doesn't have an actual territory yet.

I'll hold off on the name until I see him again.

Autumn trees over a street

Autumn leaves in front of grey sky

Hiking trail steps next to a small creek

Water coming over mossy rocks

I get to the top of the trail and walk up to the Acorn Woodpeckers home. The sun is coming out... and can you see? There's the faintest of rainbows leading right to my woodpecker friend!

Faint rainbow in the sky with some pine trees and a snag

Acorn Woodpecker standing onthe side of the trunk of a snag

Acorn Woodpecker standing on the side of a snag

Acorn Woodpekcer standing on the side of a snag

They are just SO interesting!

Granary tree with many holes filled with acorns

They've managed to jam two acorns into some of the holes!

Acorns in granary tree holes

Artsy ferns

Right Past the Garden
Tuesday 7 November 2023

I thought I was going to work at the garden today. But it started sprinkling before I got there... and I walked right on past!

I do regret the backpack, tho. It's got the hand tools in it: spade, shears and dandelion tool, along with other odds and ends like garden gloves and such. It's not terribly heavy, but my back was hurting a lot by the time I got home, having walked around 5 miles with it!


Tree covered hill in the distance

American Robin standing on a branch, surrounded by autumn leaves

Ha! We are almost the same colour as the leaves and branches!

American Robin standing on a branch, surrounded by autumn leaves

Oh! Pigeons!

Rock Doves standing on the ground

They are cool, but weren't very interested in getting their portrait taken.

Rock Dove walking in very short grass

Back at home, I decide to do some shelling!

Shelling Soybeans

Well. This is not going very quickly. I glanced at the time while I shelled 100 Soybeans, and it took me over 15minutes. Dang. How long to do all of these??!

Hopefully I will get faster!

Shelling Soybeans

Sweet Potatoes!
Wednesday 8 November 2023

There's more rain in the forecast, so today I'm digging up the sweet potatoes. The vines had died with the below freezing temperatures at the end of October and it's time to see what we've got!

trees along the bike path under a blue sky

Foggy trees

At the garden, I dig!

I am pleased with all the Sweet Potatoes I dig up under the first plant! There are some good sized tubers, tho they all have cracks in them. That's a bummer, I don't know why that happens.

Sweet Potatoes gathered

Under the second plant... there's hardly anything! I dig more and find a couple of potatoes that may have belonged to the first plant. ha. oh well!

The water is still on, which makes this a lot easier! The dirt is mud and I'm glad I get to wash off the sweet potatoes before I haul them home.

Once home, I set a fan on them to get them as dry as possible. I always lose a couple anyway because mold starts growing on some of them right away. And they don't keep, I'll have to eat them quickly!

While in the porch room, I notice the Peace Lily is blooming!

Close up of a Peace Lily bloom

In the evening, I get back to the soybeans.

Shelling Soybeans

I've now shelled 500 soybeans. And my shelling technique is def getting more efficient.

When I started, it took over 15min to shell 100 soybeans. Now it's taking closer to 10mins.

So that's good. And I've made a pretty good dent in the pile.

The Tale of Two Henrietta Herons!!
Thursday 9 November 2023

It's a little chilly this morning, 39° tho the wind chill makes it 33°, brr. But the forecast says the rain will hold off until this evening, so I decide to walk west on the bike path today.

I thought this was Henrietta...

Great Blue Heron in the water

But the more I look at all the pics from today, that's def not the same heron I have been seeing! That dark blue patch at her shoulder is quite a bit bigger. huh.

And now I'm looking at previous photos. oh my gosh! There are def two Great Blue Herons at the creek! This one, with the big blue shoulder patch and another one with a very small patch. And I've been calling them both Henrietta! haha!

I need to look into this! *** But first...

I'm going out to the unnamed wetlands again.

Path thru the grass

There's nothing special here.

Or, I should say... I haven't yet discovered what's special here!

Path thru the grass

But I always seem to find some birds on the walk back!

There's a little flock of Bushtits.

Bushtit standing on a twig

As usual, they bounce around too quickly for me and the camera!

And a Spotted Towhee.

Spotted Towhee standing on a stick

Spotted Towhee standing on a stick

And some sparrows.

Golden Crown Sparrow standing on a twig

I turn off the bike path to walk thru Stewart Pond Park... But we still don't have a pond yet. It's still all prairie out here.

grassland with trees in the distance

But there's a flock of Cackling Geese here, anyway. I'm sure they would prefer to have some ponds here too.

Rain! Where are you, Rain?!

Far off Cackling Geese hidden in the grass

Okay. It's time to figure out who this really is!

Great Blue Heron standing on a snag

I go clear back to the beginning...

I named Henrietta on Feb28, and here's her pic from back then...

Great Blue Heron

This is def the same heron that I saw today. Big blue shoulder patches, plus you can see some of the dark blue feathers underneath her wing too.

And here's a pic of the other Great Blue Heron I've been seeing...

Great Blue Heron

We'll call her Not-Henrietta, for the moment! Very small shoulder patch, and you can see some of the cinnamon coloured feathers behind it too.

And it might be the angle or her stance, but I feel like this heron is a bit more petite, and doesn't have as many of those fancy feathers hanging down at her chest.

Not-Henrietta back in July...

Great Blue Heron

So, she's been around... and been mixed up with Henrietta for a good long while! Ha. It's funny! I'm glad I finally noticed! :)

And yes, I will go back thru the old posts and correct them! (Looks like our first sighting of Not-Henrietta was in June.)

And since I've seen her so many times, and can now identify her in the future, I've decided to call her Knotty!

Knotty is in keeping with the not theme of Not-Henrietta. And when you say it out loud, it sounds like Naughty. She didn't trick me on purpose, of course! But she is def messing with me! *laughs*

A Day
Friday 10 November 2023

Autumn trees on the hill

That house is always in the way of the photographic trees.

I wonder if they ever see me pausing on the bike path to point my camera in their direction!

Well. Now that I think about it... That's kinda creepy!

*laughs* Great. I'm the creepy person putting random houses under surveillance.

Trees on the hill

Aw, Ducky. That isn't good for you!

Female Mallard eating bread on the path

She's hanging out with the homeless people under the bridge, and at first I thought she had an angel wing from eating junk food.

Female Mallard standing on path

But I look again and realize her wing is damaged. She's hurt!

The Year of the Sick and Injured Wildlife continues. Sighs.

Crow walking on the path

Squirrel standing on a branch, holding an acorn in his mouth

I'm wandering in a new neighborhood, past the end of the bike path. And I discover the Eugene Weekly office!

Graffiti fish on a red building

The Eugene Weekly is our local, alternative newspaper. It is only published once a week, but it's good and fills a needed niche that our corporate newspaper fails at: Letters to the Editor.

Suspish was invited to decorate the building with their signature fish, and I'm glad to see it. It's been ages since they've put up new art and I miss that.

Saturday 11 November 2023

Warm and windy today, a pleasant 52° (11°C). The river is brown with mud and is flowing better for the rain we've gotten.

river with a hill on the other side

The ponds are higher, and muddy as well. But no spillover from the river yet.

muddy pond with a heron and the river behind trees

Just glancing at the ponds... I can see our winter visitors are ever so much more happy. The muddy water is yucky, but there's more space for everyone.

The Cormorants are always just a bit too far away for the camera to do them justice. Their beautiful eyes!

Cormorant standing on a log in the water

Cormorant standing on a log in the water, with wings spread out to dry

Cute little Grebe... but they look so weird without a tail.

Pied Bill Grebe paddling in muddy water

Listening to the river at my meditation spot.

looking across the river

Yellow Calendula blooms

heron standing on an island, surrounded by the river

It is just so beautiful out here!

Trees lining the bike path, with a mile maker partially covered with fallen leaves

Sunday Stroll with a Hawk!
Sunday 12 November 2023

Pink Camellia blooms

Oak leaves on the tree in autumn colours

Autumn trees and a foggy hill in the distance

I came up behind this one, and with the sun, all I could see was a dark silhouette. But right away my brain said That's a funny looking Crow! *laughs*

Cooper Hawk standing on a stick, surrounded by mossy twigs

Cooper Hawks are about the size of Crows. They eat song birds and so they must be small and maneuverable to fly thru the trees!

I obsess over those trees out there!

Autumn trees

This news item is a couple weeks old now, but I've been meaning to talk about it...

American Ornithological Society, English Bird Names Project
The AOS commits to changing all English-language names of birds within its geographic jurisdiction that are named directly after people (eponyms), along with other names deemed offensive and exclusionary, focusing first on those species that occur primarily within the U.S. or Canada.

This is so awesome, I can't even tell you how excited I am!!!

I despise all the old, white men names in the bird world... So much so, that when I talk about these birds, I always remove the possessive...

That Cooper Hawk above? Technically they are called Cooper's Hawks, and I hate that!

I can't wait for them to start renaming our birds! The Bird Names FAQ says there are about 70 to 80 birds to rename.

Anna Hummingbirds will be someone new! Maybe Steller Jays can be Stellar! OR maybe they can be Blue Magnificants! haha! Bewick Wrens. There are lots of Townsend's and Audubon's... I'll be glad to see them go!!

Work at the Garden
Monday 13 November 2023

I had just gotten on the bike path and a Nutria swims by. She's quick and I don't get a good photo before she disappears under the bank. I wonder if she has a home there.

blurry  nutria swimming

Autumn trees and a foggy hill in the distance

Okay. Today I'm clearing out the Second Cucumber Empire. Pulling up all the veggie plants, untangling the tomato cages, and doing a bit of weeding. Here's the result!


*laughs* All the Tomatillos that didn't get ripe! and look!

skeletonized tomatillos laying on the ground

They are all skeletonized!

That red plant is a volunteer and I wasn't sure if it was a beet or chard. I decided to look it up when I got home...

A beet with dark leaves growing in the garden

Turns out... Beetroots and Chards are the Same Species!!

What?!! Yep, they are just different cultivars. That is just crazy and it totally blew mind!

wikipedia, Beta vulgaris

It's good to learn things!

The back Fava patch is mostly recovering from the below freezing nights we had a couple weeks ago.

Fava in the garden

The Fava in the front was too tall and it's having a harder time with recovery.

broken fava stems

But this stuff is also growing in amongst the front Fava...

Dead Nettle growing in the garden

I'm pretty sure this is Dead Nettle. I don't know if it will survive the entire winter, but right now it's doing a great job of filling in for the failed Fava cover crop!

Before I left, I threw the Soybean hulls down, to add some fiber to the Tomatillo compost banquet! haha! At some point I'll be covering all this with leaves, and it'll decompose and add nutrients to the soil.

garden ground

I finished shelling the soybeans last night! There were 1288 pods and it took me four days to finish, working about 40 or 45 minutes a day.

There were no bugs. Which was surprising, considering how buggy the Favas were when I gathered them.

Shelling the soybeans was not big deal at all, and it was kind of meditative. Regardless of how the homemade tofu turns out, I am def going to plant soybeans again!

a New Bird
Tuesday 14 November 2023

Scrub Jay standing on a twig, looking back

Here's a different view of the foggy trees on the hill for you!

Bridge surrounded by trees

Aw, what happened to your tail, Little One?

Squirrel stading on a branch, holding an acorn in his mouth, missing part of his tail

And who's this?

Brown bird standing on a branch

You know what happens when you look up Little brown bird in Oregon? *Laughs* You get lots of sparrows, lots of wrens, and you don't get any of these birds!

Brown bird standing on a branch

And then she flies away without even showing me what she looks like from the front! sheesh.

Brown bird flies away

But that warm, cinnamon red tail gives her away!

Hermit Thrush!

Looks like they are another one of our winter visitors.

Orange Calendula bloom

Hidden Trail with Sun
Wednesday 15 November 2023

It was raining when I got out of bed this morning. But the day lightens up and I am thinking about visiting the Acorn Woodpecker family.

Squirrel hanging from the truck of a tree

There were a couple turkeys walking across the street, and a car had to stop for one of them. The turkey kept sauntering and the driver waited patiently.

Wild Turkey standing on the grass

Squirrel standing on the ground at the base of a tree, surrounded by fallen autumn leaves

Water comeing down rocks

Water comeing down rocks

Oh! Here's something super cool...

Squirrel standing on the branch of a Madrone Tree

My Squirrel friend is standing in a Pacific Madrone Tree!

It's one of our natives, they range along the Pacific from British Columbia to half way down California. That peeling bark is normal. And you can tell it's related to Rhododendrons, because that's what it's leaves look like!

I've never seen the berries before, they must get eaten up pretty quickly. But it's nicknamed the Strawberry Tree because the berries are bright red.

I get to the top and wander thru the Acorn Woodpeckers territory.

Acorn Woodpecker standing on a branch

Looks like just males, again... The females have a band of black across their forehead, between the white and red.

I wonder if females ever have guard duty.

Acorn Woodpecker standing on a branch, with green fir in the background

Blue sky past some autumn and fir trees

Fallen autumn leaves on the ground

Thursday 16 November 2023

It's misting this morning, and dark and dreary...

... But not actually THAT dreary! I hadn't fixed the exposure on the camera from yesterday's sunny day. *laughs* so the photo came out a bit wonky!

Here's something bright and cheerful to counteract the dreary.

Mural of a hummingbird with coloured hexagons, trees in the background

This is the pollinator mural at Charnel Mulligan Park. It's called *Honey Forever* by David C.P. Placencia.

(I really like the concept art, Park Mural Project... it's too bad the finished art had to be so square.)

foggy autumn trees

Not a very exciting walk. ha. Sometimes that happens.

Garden Freebies and Henrietta Eats a Fish
Friday 17 November 2023

Two crows, standing on a wood fence, one is cawing

I thought I was going to do some work at the Garden plot today, but when I wandered past the front, I saw someone had left some freebies!!

strawberry plants and sunchoke roots laying in the grass

Strawberry plants and a huge SunChoke root!

Yes Please! I grab one of the bigger strawberry plants and the SunChoke root ball!

I've been wanting some Sunchoke plants for a while. I actually got a couple roots last year... but I just barely covered them and squirrels munched them all! None of them survived.

So this time, I am going to bury them deeper!

Hole dug with SunChoke roots in it

That should be deep enough to protect them from the squirrels. And just gotta cross my fingers to see if the roots survive our muddy winter.

Sunchoke roots in the dirt

I'm heading home... and Henrietta has just caught a fish!

Great Blue Heron with a fish in her mouth

oh, ugh. Poor fish is still flopping about. Henrietta jostles the fish around a bit.

Great Blue Heron holding a fish in her beak

She throws the fish down in a shallow part...

Great Blue Heron

And then stabs him.

Great Blue Heron stabs a fish

But the fish is still wriggling! Dang, that poor fish lives thru multiple stabbings.

Great Blue Heron holding a fish in her beak

I think Henrietta just doesn't want the fish wiggling and alive in her stomach.

After a few more stabbings, she finally swallows the poor, tortured fish.

Great Blue Heron, swallowing a fish

The fish is so big, she has to force him down.

Great Blue Heron

A pretty big meal. She won't have to think about eating for a while. I wonder what kinds of hobbies she can work on now!

Great Blue Heron

A moment of silence for our fishy friend... I'm sorry his death was so hard, and may his remains give good nutrition.

Autumn trees

Today. With Amusement.
Saturday 18 November 2023

Heavy fog today, and because it's not raining, I need to get down to the garden and do some weeding. There's probably not so many non-rainy days left in the year, so I gotta make use of the ones I have!

Foggy trees along the bike path

Hi Henrietta!

Great Blue Heron, walking in shallow water

I was thinking. Since I'm pretty sure Henrietta is bigger than Knotty (who I've not seen since my revelation about the two herons) ... and since female herons are smaller than males... Yeah. I think I've mis-gendered Henrietta. I should start saying Him!

Not gonna change his name to Henry, tho... I like Henrietta too much! *laughs*

It'll be like the man they call Jayne. Bahaha!

Hi My Cute Little Mergansers!

Male and female Hooded Mergansers paddling on the water

Female Hooded Merganser

Hi Robin!

American Robin standing in a tree

Okay. At the garden. I SAY I'm weeding... but the ground is too muddy for that and I'm actually just ripping out the grass. Every once in a while I get a good long grass root to come out. But I'm mostly just mowing with my hands!


On the way home, I see that duck with the messed up wing again.

Female Mallard standing in shallow water

It's only the second time I've seen her, but I think she's a keeper. Which means I can name her.

Since I thought she had an angel wing at first, I figure I should call her Angel. But I don't want to call her that.

I think I'll call her Angle.

She'll be a little ode to my spelling problems! heh.


and I'm still *giggling* about the man they call Jayne!

A Beautiful Day
Sunday 19 November 2023

foggy trees in the distance

It is MUCH warmer and nicer today with the sun... and there are a crazy amount of people out walking on my bike path.

Lesser Goldfinch standing on a stalk of grass

Here's Angle again, our ducky friend who is not an Angel yet. She's still hanging out near the bridge, and this is our third sighting for her.

Female Mallard standing on a flat rock, surrounded by dark water

American Robin standing on a branch

Autumn trees

A Lovely Walk at the River
Monday 20 November 2023

It's chilly again today. And it's so late in the season, I'm surprised to see some rose blooms, still hanging on!

Pink rose bloom with trees and benches in the background

Pink rose bloom and fallen autumn leaves

And I've got the Riverbank path mostly to myself! That's nice... yesterday's bike path crowds kind of made me ... non-relaxed.

Bike path surrounded by trees, with the river on the left

foggy trees

The art pavilion at the Downtown Riverfront Park...

Which reminds me! The park won another award recently!

That's cool! It's a small park, but it really is amazingly beautiful. Especially when you consider what it was before... the bike path did go thru this area, but it was lined with chainlink fencing, blackberry brambles and was just kind of sketchy.

And now we've got this lovely place, with walking access to downtown. It's really something to be proud of!

Great Blue Heron standing in a tree, surrounded by mossy sticks

I'll cross the bridge to make a loop at my turn around point.

River with autumn trees on the far bank

I love listening to the river here.

river going over grassy rocks

I try to get artsy with the trees...

Mossy Oak branches

And here's the Heritage Cherry Tree in all it's autumn glory.

Tree with autumn yellow leaves and dark branches

A Walk to the West
Tuesday 21 November 2023

Oh, hey! Here's somebody I've not seen in a while! A Black Phoebe!

Black Phoebe on a metal post

This is about 100miles north of their official range. Climate change, you know.

Aw, really?

Blurry Chickadee, taking off from a mossy branch

Hi Henrietta!

Great Blue Heron walking in the water

Great Blue Heron

Here I am at the un-named wetlands. The sky is nice today!

Raised path past a tree, thru the grass

Cute lil Song Sparrow!

Song Sparrow standing on a twig, surrounded by other twigs

Oh my goodness! Do birds Sneeze?

Song Sparrow standing on a twig, caught in a sneeze

Well, of course birds sneeze! Everybody who has lungs needs to be able to sneeze. I just never thought about it before!


Song Sparrow with her back turned, standing on a twig, surrounded by other twigs

Henrietta is still hanging out!

Great Blue Heron

I'm bummed that I've not seen Knotty in a while. I hope Henrietta hasn't kicked her out!

Sky over grass land with some autumn trees

A Day with Birds!
Wednesday 22 November 2023

So much nicer today with our insulating clouds keeping us a little bit warmer. It was 50°F when I left the house this morning and the day was 53/37... perfectly, wonderfully normal for this time of year. And it's just about my favorite!

Autumn trees on the hill

Here's our sweet Angle (not an Angel)... right after she was abandoned by the two ducks she was hanging out with. Jerks. They flew down to the water, but Angle can't fly. She has to slowly walk down the bank of the creek.

Female Mallard on a muddy bank

Poor Girl.

There was a Kingfisher flying up the creek. For once, she didn't notice me... so she wasn't flying circles over my head and wasn't laughing at me! And I was able to hide behind the shrubbery and get her photo! Yay!

Female Belted Kingfisher standing on a branch

The big flock of Cackling Geese were hanging out at the school field again.

Cackling Geese walking in the grass

And the Pigeons again! Just the two this time, I didn't see the third one.

Two Rock Doves up on a wood beam

The Bird Way: A New Look at How Birds Talk, Work, Play, Parent, and Think
Jennifer Ackerman

Pigeons are so cool. In the book I'm reading right now the author says that we domesticated pigeons so thoroughly that even now, when you hold a wild pigeon, they will sit quietly in your hand. They remember.

The Bird Way: A New Look at How Birds Talk, Work, Play, Parent, and Think by Jennifer Ackerman

It's excellent reading and I highly recommend it. Birds are ever so interesting!

Red Shoulder Hawk standing on a branch, up in a bare tree

Red Shoulder. And I don't know what this tree is, but I like the way it looks!

Red shoulder Hawk standing on a branch, up in a bare tree

Autumn trees

Scrub Jay standing on a mossy branch

*laughs* I made her nervous when I talked to her! She jumped when she heard my voice and is now ready to push off and fly away.

I was just saying hi and how is your day going! :) but if people can't appreciate a simple greeting... Well. What're you gonna do?

My day is brilliant, thanks for asking! What a great walk! *laughs*

Thursday 23 November 2023

It's chillier again today, with some uncomfortable wind. But it's dry, so I'm weeding at the garden today.

trees on the hill in the distance

oh foo. Little Bird? Why you gotta be that way?

Sparrow standing on a twig, looking away

Here's where I worked today.


The raised beds are the back neighbor. The end of the board stops at the red post, which is the back corner for our four plots.

You can see I have, yet again, weeded well beyond the edge of my plot and into Probably Not Evil Neighbor's plot...

And, ya know? He might not be evil, like the last guy was, but he is kind of a jerk. This has been his first season, but I assume he's seen that I Consistently weed past the edge into his plot. And he's done nothing for me in return. I'm starting to get annoyed.

And that's the corner with the Horseradish infestation. I use the dandelion tool, and most of the horseradishes break off a couple inches down. But when I pulled this one up, it just kept coming!

Horseradish root on the grassy ground with a dandelion tool next to it for size reference

As I'm walking out of the Community Garden, a hawk flies by and settles on a nearby utility pole!

Hawk standing at the top of a utility pole

That long tail gives her away... she's a juvenile Cooper Hawk!

Friday 24 November 2023

Hi Henrietta!

Great Blue Heron standing in water, looking at the bank

He's busy looking for some breakfast.

At the garden, I am weeding again along the border with Probably Not Evil neighbor. But you can hardly tell the difference when I'm done, so I think I'm going to ignore the rest of the grass. Next time I come, I'll start hauling leaves!

The Columbine has expanded a little bit this year, happy to see little babies sprouting up here and there. The flowers are pretty of course, but I love the leaves, too.

Columbine leaves

And the way they catch the dew, in perfect little spheres!

Columbine leaves with water drops

And then something in the back Fava cover crop patch, caught my eye...

Favas sprouting from the base of damaged stalks

Oh, Yay! We had some below freezing nights at the end of October that damaged many of the Favas... But they are re-sprouting at the base!

I checked the front Fava patch, and some of them are re-spouting as well!

Fava sprouting from the base of a damaged stalk

So that's good. It's nice when the winter cover crop actually lives thru the winter! ha.


On the way home, Henrietta is still at the same spot at the creek. Are you Still looking for breakfast, My Dear??

Great Blue Heron

Day of Woodpeckers, Up Hidden Trail
Saturday 25 November 2023

Brrr! It got below freezing last night.

Frosty Oregon Grape leaves

ugh. I don't like it! But it gives me something new to take photos of!

Frosty Big Leaf Maple leaf

Sun beans coming thru Douglas Fir trees

Wild turkeys

At the base of the hill, where Hidden Trail starts going up, I hear an odd Thump. Thump. Thump. I look up in the tree... Oh My Gosh! There's a Pileated Woodpecker up there!!

the back of a Pileated Woodpecker

These woodpeckers are so cool. They are big! And they look a lot like the extinct Ivory Billed Woodpecker.

I walked around the tree, trying to get a decent photo... to no avail! Ha! Bird was not interested!

Pileated Woodpecker standing on the side of a tree trunk

Oh well. Another time, maybe! :)

Small path bridge strewn with fallen yellow leaves


I get to the top of the trail and start walking up to the Acorn Woodpeckers' territory. Oh Foo...

Hawk standing at the top of a pine tree, framed with branches of another tree

This is NOT who I came up here for!

She's a Red Tail, and doesn't even do me the courtesy of giving me a good photo. *laughs*

She's scared most of the little birds into hiding, but there are a few brave souls flitting, low in the shrubbery.

Golden Crown Sparrow

And a single Acorn Woodpecker has stuck his head up to guard the precious hoard of acorns!

Acorn Woodpecker standing at the top of a snag

I follow the road, which curves around to the other side of their territory. Still just the one, and he's preening now.

Acorn Woodpecker standing at the top of a snag, preening

Hey! You, up there! Are you allowed to preen when you're on guard duty??


Frosty Lupine leaves

sighs. Am I ever going to get close enough for decent photos of this family?

Acorn Woodpecker standing on a dead branch

Certainly not today.

oh well. :)

Back at home, the African Violet is blooming!

Purple blooms surrounded by leaves

And that's the happy Spider Plant, too.

Sunday 26 November 2023

Henrietta. And a lot of sticks!

Great Blue Heron, standing in water behind a lot of bare twigs

It's well below freezing again, and dry so I'm heading to the garden to start hauling leaves to the plot.

Autumn trees with foggy hill in the background

Squirrel sitting in the fork of a mossy tree

I get to the Community Garden and pull out a wheel barrow and two forks. I put on my garden gloves and get to work!

The front pile of leaves... is TERRIBLE. oh my gosh, it's so bad! There's few leaves, it's mostly fir needles, and there's sticks and I'm picking out trash as well.

Dang it. So, that's just not going to work... the fir needles are bad for the soil. They won't break down like the leaves do, and they'll decrease the pH of the soil, making it more acidic. Rhododendrons like that. But garden veggies do not!

So I poke around the leaf piles before loading up a 2nd wheel barrow load. About 8feet behind the fir needles are some actual leaves. I can't get the wheel barrow back there, so I have to reach with the fork between the leaf pile and the wheel barrow. And these leaves are wet, molding and heavy! It's really really hard work.

I don't want to kill myself on day one, so I only haul five wheel barrow loads...


heh, yep, just a bit of the corner is covered.

And, yeah, going a good bit over the border, into JerkFace's plot.

Is this second round of freezing temps going to finish off the Favas??

Frosty Favas

On the walk home... oh, hey! It's Angle!! I've not seen her in a couple days and was a little worried.

Female Mallard napping on a rock in the water, her head tucked under her wing

Oh, look how cute!

Golden Crown Sparrows standing on twigs

Top Sparrow: You've got something on your face.
2nd Sparrow: Oh, thanks! *wipes face on branch*


The Birds and The Garden
Monday 27 November 2023

Another frosty morning. But little wind, so once I get to work at the garden, I'll be able to take my jacket off.

Frosty trees along the bike path

Oh. This is new...

Wood cross next to the bike path, engraved

My condolences to Billy Skinner's people.

The cute little Teals are paddling away from the crazy human. But look at that splash of teal!!!

Male and Female Green Wing Teals, on the water, another male behind leaves

Heh. The Hooded Mergansers look kind of worried when their hood is down!

Two male Hooded Mergansers paddling on the water

I just love all of our winter visitors at the creek!

Male Hooded Merganser paddling on the water

Okay! I'm at the garden, and the same deal as yesterday... I have to work hard to get to the good pile of leaves, which is hidden well behind the crappy fir needles.

But then!!!

Garden and a dump truck behind the fence

A new batch of leaves has arrived! I stay out of the way and wave happiness at the driver!

And these leaves were PERFECT! Light and fluffy, no pine/fir needles, few sticks, no trash!! YAY.

I got 2 wheel barrow loads of those... and then a street cleaner came and dumped 2 loads of absolute crap in the way. Muddy, and needle-y. ARG!

But it's relatively easy to get to the light fluffy leaves, and I don't have to perform heavy gymnastics to get to them! So that's great!

And, because of the lighter leaves, I was able to haul extra today! I got 9 wheel barrow loads, when I was planning on 4.


Also, you see that Possibly Not Evil Neighbor has thrown down a tarp. Sighs. It does not cover his entire plot, not even close. And of course he couldn't place it so that it would stifle the grass along my edge. Jerkface.

Heading home.

Yellow Rump Warbler standing on a wood fence post

Oh! Hello!

Nutria standing in the grass

Oh! And Hello!

Nutria peeking out of the grass

You all are just all over the place! *laughs*

Nutria peeking from behind a bush

Cute lil critters!

Hauling leaves at the garden
Tuesday 28 November 2023

It's another frozen but dry morning. Looks like warmer temps and rain will be returning by the end of the week, so I'd better hurry up and get as much done at the garden that I can!

But on the way, I'm distracted by the Magnolia Trees.

Magnolia cone with red berries in it, surrounded by leaves

And Henrietta!

Great Blue Heron standing in water

And one of the little Nutrias that I saw yesterday.

Nutria in the grass

Okay! Today I'm working on the left side of the garden plot. Which means I need to chop down the big Comfrey. I was happy to have Comfrey finally growing in the plot... But this one has just gotten too big and I'm going to try to remove it.

It's huge, easily 6 or 7 feet diameter, and the roots are very well established. So it will probably take years to kill it! ha. And the killing starts today, with me hacking at the roots with my hand hoe, like an axe!

Unfortunately, I forgot to take before and after pics.

But here's what the garden plot looks like after 10 more wheelbarrow loads of leaves!

On the way home, I see Angle. She's preening, and I'm pretty happy to see that she's able to move her bad wing a little!

Preening female Mallard standing in shallow water

I assume she won't be able to fly again... She's only got a few primary flight feathers, tho those will grow back eventually. But she's also holding her wing in a weird way, and I don't know if whatever is wrong there will ever heal.

I wish there was a magical clinic where the wildlife knew they could get medicine and get healing. But that's not the way stupid nature works.

Wednesday 29 November 2023

Still with the below freezing temperatures in the morning, and I'm so tired of it.

heh, I was tired of it on day one! Normal temp for this time of year is 49/36 and that sounds perfectly nice!

Winter trees with foggy trees in the background

The little Nutrias are out and running around again!

Two Nutrias standing in the grass with Mallards

They are so cute.


And you can see how little they are, with the ducks to compare to!

Nutria standing on a steep grass covered bank with female mallards

Okay! I am switching gears today at the garden. Going to kill some grass that's been annoying me...

Garden Before

Since it's not rained for seven days straight, I get the hand fork out, to do some serious weeding. But nope. The dirt is Still too muddy, and I can't pull out any grass roots. foo.

Garden after

Heading home.

Male Hooded Merganser, paddling on the water

I am learning about a tree... Alder!

Alder cones and catkins

They are easy to identify right now, the leaves have fallen but the small cones stay on for a good long while. And of course, the catkins are starting to do their thing!

The odd thing about their autumn leaves... they fall off when they are still green! No autumn colour at all. On the ground, the green leaves will slowly break down to dark brown.

Cool Birds at Stewart Pond
Thursday 30 November 2023

It stayed above freezing last night, and it sprinkled for hours before sun up. And it's just much nicer, so I'm heading west for my walk today.

House Finch standing on a blackberry vine

I walk past the wet prairie, which is still just a prairie, and Stewart Pond Park is not a pond yet but there's some geese hanging out...

Canada Geese and Cackling Geese standing in the grass

It took me a minute to realize this is a mixed group! The above pic has Canada Geese in front and the two in the back are the smallest cousin, Cackling Geese!

Here you can see the differences in their faces. The Canada Goose on the left has a longer beak and the Cackling Goose on the right, has a cute little snub-nosed beak.

Canada Goose and Cackling Goose standing in the grass

And of course the Canadas are quite a bit bigger than the Cacklers.

Cackling Goose and Canada Goose

An then, just before the entrance to the park, someone is fluttering up on the power line...

American Kestrel standing on a power line, fluttering her wings

Oh my gosh! An American Kestrel!! This is so cool! But, oh, I wish it wasn't so dark and dreary... the photos aren't great, but I'm so glad I got to meet her!

American Kestrel standing on a power line, looking down at me!

Somebody has disturbed the flock of geese!

Flock of geese, in the sky

I was walking on the path thru the little forest, and I tripped on a tree root that's poking up. I caught myself but felt stupid because I've stumbled over that root before! But now, there's a hole on the one side of the root, so the potential for harm is much increased.

I looked around for something to mark the danger and I found some white boards, a bit up the path! Perfect! I put the board over the hole and this will prevent the tree root from murdering the humans!

leafy path

A Golden Crown Sparrow. Hopefully her weird toe nail doesn't give her much trouble. It must be annoying tho, that she can't grip the branch with that toe!

Golden Crown Sparrow, standing on a twig

I'm back on the bike path, heading home, when I see a flash of red. Oh! Sapsucker!

Red Breast Sapsucker, standing on the side of a tree trunk

S/he is So Sweet, they let me walk around the tree for a better view!

Red Breast Sapsucker, standing on the side of a tree trunk

Red Breast Sapsucker closeup

What a great day with an awesome variety of birds!! It's always exciting when I get to see new and different birds!