Sunday 1 October 2023

Trees with autumn leaves

You can't be on the bike path, Little One! This Woolly Bear was a little hesitant to climb up onto my hand...

Woolly Bear walking on the path

But then she didn't want to leave! She clung to my hand with a hard grip. Okay. I figured she just thought this place in the grass I had picked for her was a terrible idea. And yeah, it was in the shade, and really wet with dew. So I walked a bit further and found a sunny place for her.

But she was still gripping my hand. Look, you! I can't just carry you around all day! But she was upset about being abandoned.

Woolly Bear, rolled up on a leaf

Sunflower bloom with blue sky

The Goldfinches are stuffing their faces and filling their tummies with Sunflower seeds.

Goldfinch standing on a sunflower stalk with a seed in their mouth

Goldfinch standing on a sunflower stalk with a seed in their mouth

I decided to pick that funny looking Crookneck today. And when I went to get that stealthy Lemon Cucumber... there was another one right next to it! Yay! I ate them for my lunch today! Num num!!


Hello my little Grasshopper friend.

Grasshopper standing on a borage stem

Hawthorn pomes

I don't usually participate in World Postcard Day... I guess I just send so many postcards that I don't feel the need to send more on a specific day! :)

But I LOVE this year's artwork!

World Postcard Day, postcard art

World Postcard Day

Monday 2 October 2023

Another bit of sprinkles today. It's nice!

Trees in autumn colours

Spent Teasel blooms

Berries of Red Osier Dogwood surrounded by green and purple leaves

I wander across the street into a neighborhood I've never walked thru before. And I find this...

Pink snowberries draping over a wooden fence

What... it looks like huge, pink snowberries!

And I get home and look it up. And sure enough. They sell a variety of different shades of pink Snowberries.


And here's a crow I liked so much I decided to turn her into a postcard!

Crow standing in a tree

Postcrossing: US-9788171, USA to Japan
She's already been Favorited a couple times!

Hi Henrietta. Long time, no see. You should stop by more often! (Nov9 note... this is Not-Henrietta!)

Great Blue Heron standing in water

Stewart Pond
Tuesday 3 October 2023

There's a Western Grey Squirrel in the park again... but this one is obviously a youngster. Not Worf.

blurry Western Grey Squirrel standing against the base of a tree

And again, I don't get close enough for a decent photo. But I will be able to identify this kid again if I see him... His tail is a little bit short.

The other Persimmon tree. I just love the wavy leaves!

Unripe Persimmon fruit hanging from the tree

There are two types of Persimmon... Astringent Persimmons, which are the heart shaped ones. And these Non-Astringent Persimmons, which are squat shaped.

The habitat at Stewart Pond park is a Wet Prairie... It's a dry prairie during the summer and shallow ponds during the winter rainy season.

Grassland with trees in the distance

We've gotten a good bit of rain, here and there. But not enough to start the ponds yet.

Unfortunately, they were mowing in the park when I arrived. So this Robin outside th park was the only wildlife I found.

American Robin standing on a power line

The little bit of forest is still a pretty place, but I prefer bird song over the sound of mowing!

Path thru the forest

looking up at the trees in a forest

Ha! I love that I can just point and click with the camera at the moon... and can actually see some craters and stuff!

Flowers and Garden!
Wednesday 4 October 2023

No chance of rain today, but the clouds are pretty low this morning!

Trees with autumn colours and fog in the hills in the distance

There's Zinnias galore at the Community Garden!

Orange Zinnia bloom with dots of colour in the background

Red Zinnia bloom with Cosmos in the background

Purple Zinnia blooms

And these Mini Zinnias are happy to look at!

Many Zinnina blooms in reds and yellows

Yellow SnapDragons, Cockscomb blooms and Zinnias

And then you've got the Dahlias!

Pink Dahlia bloom

Pink Dahlia blooms

And here we are at my garden plot.

Snail sleeping on a leaf

The Tofu patch is getting increasingly yellow!


And the pods are starting to dry out! There's so many of them! I can't wait to gather them up and make tofu!

Soybean pods hanging from the plant

And while I was back there in the tofu patch, I decided to grab this one, tiny Spaghetti Squash...

Spaghetti Squash hidden under leaves

I had tried growing some squash plants from seeds of a Spaghetti Squash I had eaten last year! Seed saving is cool!

I started some in pots at home, and planted some directly. Neither of these methods really work out... There's not enough sunlight for seedlings at home, and they don't usually recover. And then slugs like to munch on all the baby squash seedlings and transplants.

But, yep, one plant lived to make that tiny Spaghetti Squash!

And then, when I was checking for ripe Tomatillos... Wow!

Tomatillo husk

A Tomatillo husk has been turned into a skeleton!! So cool!

Tomatillo husk

And the big volunteer Sunflower is still trying to be pretty!

Small Sunflower bloom on a dying plant

Small Sunflower blooms on a dying plant

Since I got that Spaghetti Squash, I decided to get the littlest Butternut as well! A good harvest today!


and I'm on my way... only to see more beautiful things on the walk home!

Bittersweet Nightshade berries.

Bittersweet Nightshade berries hanging from the plant in various stages of ripeness

I had to search to see what this is... it might be Silky Dogwood. Aren't the colours just delightful!!

Blue coloured berries

Thursday 5 October 2023

This is Frodo, our one-eyed stray cat that the neighbor feeds. Frodo has been around for ages, she must be getting pretty old by now.

Tortoiseshell cat sitting on the pavement, looking away

Eastern Fox Squirrel, standing on the edge of the sidewalk, holding a peanut with broken shells in front of him

No rain, but clouds until 1pm. I am thinking about the eclipse that's happening here, next weekend, in nine days. But this cloudiness is standard for autumn... So I don't think there's any hope about actually seeing the eclipse. sighs.

Trees with autumn colour

Bewick Wren standing on a tree branch

Oh! It's damp enough for mushrooms!


Mushrooms surrounded by fallen leaves

And these are pretty, with their little twirly thingees!

Red flowers

Red flowers

Mimosa tree leaves and seed pod

You gotta be careful walking under the Buckeye Trees!

Buckeye fruit and empty husks on the sidewalk

Bright yellow Dahlia blooms

Orange Dahlia blooms

A blurry pic of the first Mergansers of the season at the creek! heh, the closer girl must have molted her head feathers all at once!

Two female Mergansers, paddling on the water

Hendricks Park
Friday 6 October 2023

Oh foo. Just as I get here, they are closing the Rhododendron Garden so they can spray and kill the Azalea Lace Bugs. They are invasive and do some damage, but who else gets killed when they spray? Everybody gets poisoned. :(

I sneak thru the edge of the Rhody Garden, so I can wander thru the Native Plants Garden.


Maiden Hair Fern

Leaves and fir cones arranged on the ground to make a sunflower shape!

Oh my gosh! I have seen this bird bath before, but today there are birds!

Sparrow standing at the edge of a stone bird bath

Birds splashing in a stone bird bath

Sparrow standing in shallow water of a stone bird bath

Pink Hydrangea blossoms, drooping

I was wandering the internets the other day and watched a video talking about edible berries... and I recognized some leaves! There are a couple sections along the hiking trails here, that are lined with ThimbleBerry!

Thimbleberry leaves

Song Sparrow singing on a mossy branch


Ferns and English Ivy

There are sadly lots of dead Douglas Fir trees along the Ribbon Trail. Climate change... it's not so much the lack of rain, it's the too hot summers. It stresses them. And then Bark Beetles finish them off.


When I was done taking pictures of the dead Douglas Fir, I looked around the forest, CHEEP! Haha! I startled a chipmunk, and boy was she mad about it!

Che-che-che-che-che-che-CHEEP! heh. Sorry to upset you, but it's kinda funny!

Oh, nice! The trail head has gotten a kiosk!

Kiosk on the trail surrounded by forest

I walk a little bit beyond the trail head... but the sun is beating down here and it gets uncomfortable pretty quickly. It's abnormally hot today... 87° where normal for this time of year is 70°F!

Trail with trees on the hill and blue sky

In addition to the new trail head kiosk, this sign says they'll also be repairing the trail here! That's good... there are places where the trail is starting to slough down the hill!

Hiking trail in the forest, with a white paper sign

And, for once, a Woolly Bear who I don't have to rescue... She's already made it to the edge of the path and is heading back into the forest! But first we need to munch on the greenery.

Woolly Bear standing next to some seedlings

River and Lots of Wildlife
Saturday 7 October 2023

Tho the rain started early in September, there's only been a day of rain here and a day of sprinkles there. Not enough to bring up the ponds, and certainly not enough for the spillover.

Dry spillover

And the turtles are enjoying the unusual hot weather we've had. 87°F yesterday and 85° today. The bottom turtle is a native Western Pond Turtle, the rest are the terribly invasive Red Ear Sliders.

Turtles on a log in the water

The main pond is full of Gadwalls, who are diving in the middle of the pond, and Green Wing Teals, who are dabbling in the mud at the edge of the pond.

Gadwall duck paddling on the water

Red Wing Blackbird standing on a twig

It's too bright to be taking photos of Egrets. But... Wait a second! ...

Great Egret and turtles standing on a log in the water

We are totally STANDING on that turtle! Haha!

Egret has one foot on a small turtle on the log in the water

Little turtle is all Dude! Seriously?! *laughs*

I walk around the pond, and the Egret has gotten a clue and both feet are on the log. But I think the little turtle is still thinking, Sheesh!

Great Egret stands on a log with turtles

There's a few cute Coots at the ponds, too.

American Coot walking at the edge of the pond

My place on the river to listen to the water.

Looking across the river at the trees on the other side

River water flowing around rocks

On the way back, past the ponds... Oh great. Some stupid Shorebird, that I'll try to look up but won't be able to identify. Shorebirds are hard! Their winter plumage makes them look all the same. Just some with long beaks, and some with short beaks. SIGHS!

Shorebird walking in shallow water

But this one does look pretty distinctive. Maybe it'll be worth it to TRY looking them up?

Shorebird walking in shallow water

... They are Snipes? Ha! What? I thought Snipes weren't real! *laughs* Well. It's good to learn things!

Wilson Snipes.

Two shorebirds looking for food in the mud

And, one last turtle, swimming in the side pond.

Turtle swimming in the water

Green Heron Photo Series
Saturday 7 October 2023

Oh! Oh my gosh! This Green Heron has caught a frog!

Green Heron standing in water with a frog in her beak

Poor little frog.

Green Heron standing in water with a frog in her beak

Frog squirms! He wants to live!

Green Heron standing in water with a frog in her beak


Green Heron standing in water with a frog in her beak

Frog is less lively now.

Green Heron standing in water with a frog in her beak

And now he's mostly dead. Eee.

Green Heron standing in water with a frog in her beak


Green Heron standing in water with a frog in her beak

Mmmm. Tasty!

Green Heron standing in water with a frog in her beak


Green Heron standing in water with a frog in her beak

A big meal for Green Heron, and she's happy. But I need a moment of silence for poor frog.

The river, lined with trees

Sunday 8 October 2023

Trees showing autumn leaves

While I'm gathering veggies, I notice this one is munching on her own harvest!

Squirrel hanging from a sunflower where the blooms are droopy

Eating that way cannot be good for your digestion!

Squirrel hanging from a sunflower where the blooms are droopy

Squirrel hanging from a sunflower

Eastern Fox Squirrel standing on a branch with food in her hands

The Zucchini plant is trying so hard!

small Zucchini squashes growing on the plant

And so is this Crookneck in the 2nd Cucumber Empire.

small Crookneck squashes growing on the plant

The Soybeans are still doing their thing.

Soybean pods hanging from the plant

Oh, haha! I didn't notice this one until I looked at the photos! A cute little Seven Spot Ladybug!

Ladybug hidden in a Sunflower leaf

Sunflower bloom surrounded by spent heads

The first big harvest of Tomatillos! I guess they need a long growing season. The SunGolds aren't ripening, so maybe they will sweeten up at home.


At home, in the porch room, I notice the Spider Plant is blooming!

Spider Plant bloom

Yay! I'm so happy! I think it was last year that I transplanted it and put all the Spiderlings in the dirt!

Those variegated leaves are the Dumb Cane plant. Dieffenbachia. It blooms all the time, it's a very happy plant, along with the Peace Lily which blooms a lot too.

Neighborhood Walk
Monday 9 October 2023

Cooler today, and much more ordinary weather than the mid-80°s we had over the weekend... 65° and it starts sprinkling around my turn-around point!

Trees showing autumn colour

This one was bouncing around happily!

Towhee standing in a bush

Bouncing around and being goofy! What's the leaf for, Sweetness??

Towhee standing in a bush holding a leaf in her beak

Hey Human... get your own leaf to play with!

Towhee standing in a bush holding a leaf in her beak

(Drops leaf, randomly.) Okay. What's next?

Towhee standing in a bush

I don't know why I am obsessed with these Buckeyes! There are just a couple big trees in the neighborhood beyond the end of the bike path, that I walk under.

Buckeye nuts and hulls laying in the grass

I pick up three of the nuts... they are a good size to hold comfortably in your hand and pleasantly smooth.

Skeleton and grave marker, Halloween decorations

Todays Wildlife
Tuesday 10 October 2023

It rained all night! And all morning! Ah! So nice! How I love the rain!

The slugs love the rain too. I found this one right as a Parks truck was passing me on the bike path. Slug is intimidated by the vibrations: she-he has stopped and eye-stalks are pulled in! But I made sure the truck didn't squish her-him!!

Slug on the path

That hole is her-his air mouth, called a pneumostome. The chamber acts like a lung and the hole opens and closes on a two minute cycle.

The ducks are happy too.

Female Mallard duck standing near the water

Oh Cool! A Cooper Hawk!!

Cooper Hawk standing on a branch

I'm so happy that I'm seeing more birds, lately! I think many birds molt after their nesting time, and keep a low profile at the end of the summer.

heh. There are two crows mobbing, and the hawk has to duck as the crows dive bomb her!

Cooper Hawk standing on a branch, hunched over

Cooper Hawk standing on a branch

Okay, time to leave.

Cooper Hawk taking off from the branch

Western Bluebird standing on a post in the rain

Northern Flicker standing on the muddy ground

Rainy Day with Playing Crows
Wednesday 11 October 2023

Sprinkles and rain today, so the camera mostly stayed tucked under my rain jacket. But there was also a breeze coming out of the south...

Ugh, so annoying! Even with my hat, and pulling the hood of my jacket around, my eye glasses are still getting misty droplets on them. Humph!

Cloudy sky above trees

But when I saw a couple Crow families playing Top of the Tree, ha! The camera came out regardless of the damp consequences!

Two Crows standing on twigs at the top of the tree

Two Crows, flying, just taken off from the tree

I win! ... No! Me! I Win! ...

Two Crows standing at the tops of two trees

... Nooo, I'm pretty sure I'm higher! ... But Look, I'm so high I can't even stand!

But to Win, you have to be able to stand! I'm standing, I win! ... No, that's not how it works! I'm the winner!

And then this one decides to play a different game.

Two Crows flying, one has just dropped a small twig

*laughs* I don't know if anyone caught that little bit of twig on it's way down!

I have been eating about one Spaghetti Squash from the garden, every week.

It takes a lot of kitchen work, and once a week is all I can stand! *laughs* I hate cooking and I hate spending time in the kitchen.

You know how they say that celery is a negative calorie food because it takes more energy to chew it? I think Spaghetti Squash is like that too...

You have to cut it into quarters, that's sometimes pretty hard. And then you have to get the stupid seeds out. And then after you cook it, you have to rake out the spaghetti-ness! Gah, that is so tedious.

So. Much. Work!

I guess it's worth it, tho. I do love eating it.

I am a little sad, tho, seeing my huge stash of Spaghetti Squash get whittled down, week by week!

Up Hidden Trail
Thursday 12 October 2023

Oh Hi, Kitty! Aren't you beautiful. Hey could you do me a favor and tell your hooman the Little Free Pantry needs some more food in it? Thanks!

open Little Free Pantry with a few apples and a can, with a Siamese Cat standing on the ground

Persimmons ripening on the tree


Wild Turkeys standing on the sidewalk

Their cute lil frowny faces!

Close up of a turkey

Wild Turkey walking on the sidewalk

More Turkeys! Ha, they are every where!

Two Turkeys standing in the grass

Close up of a turkey

Halloween display with human skulls, skeletons and grave markers

Eeee! Clowns are too scary for me... But the trapeze skeleton with rainbow hair is awesome!!

Scary Clown Halloween decorations

Okay. Here we are at the hiking trail!

small waterfall surrounded by logs and leaves

I come across a bachelor band of three Black Tail Deers! Ha: big, medium and small antlers!

Three deers walking away

oh, Small Antlers has broken one off already! Playing too hard!

Three dees, one turned to look back

Leaves caught in the sunlight

Small waterfall surrounded by mossy rocks

I go up past the end of the hiking trail, I'm hoping to see the Acorn Woodpeckers again. But dang it! This one was just flying thru!

Red Tail Hawk standing at the top of a broken off snag

A Red Tail Hawk, obviously. She standing at the top of one of the granary trees, see the holes? Ha, I bet the woodpeckers are mad about that, but what can they do?

The hawk has scared most every body away, but the guardians of the territory slowly reveal themselves!

Acorn Woodpecker at the top of a broken snag

I don't get any good portraits of the Acorn Woodpeckers today. But wow, their trees are so interesting!

Granery tree with acorns stuck in holes

Flowers and Garden
Friday 13 October 2023

the path with trees and sky

oh, cool! The dew has revealed the Grass Spider webs!

Grassy field with Grass Spider webs

The spider in this one ran into her den as I approached.

Grass Spider web

Grass Spiders have to be quick and smart because their web isn't sticky. When someone walks across their web, the spider has to know whether to run out and capture the prey or hide out in the den if the creature is too dangerous!

That decision has to be made in an instant. Can you imagine having to live your whole life like that!

Cloudy sky above tree lined hills

It must be too chilly this morning... this one was just standing in the middle of the stupid bike path! sheesh!

Curled up Woolly Bear

Pink Zinnia with yellow flowers in the background

Milkweed is setting it's seeds free...

Open Milkweed pod with seeds coming out

But look! There's someone tucked up, inside! They might be a baby Lady Bug!

Bug inside the milkweed pod

This pretty thing is in the demonstration flower bed, but I didn't see it's label, so I don't know what it is.

Blue flowers

Orange Zinnia with red and pink blooms in the background

Sun Choke blooms

Oh, hey! A Pine Siskin! That's somebody different, for a change!

Pine Siskin standing on a wood post

Several small zucchinis growing on the plant

Soybean pods on stalks

The Nasturtium in the tofu patch has decided to bloom after all!

Orange Nasturtium blooms

Ha! This one was drumming for a while before I realized that sound wasn't a human with a hammer! *laughs*

Downy Woodpecker standing on the side of a post

He flew away before I could get closer. But ha, he's doing a number on the back of this Bluebird nesting box!

Downy Woodpecker standing on the side of a post

Lots of veggies to bring home today! But oh, the SunGolds are not sweet.


The Tomatillos are fun to find, tho! I squeeze each one on the vine, and if the fruit has filled up the husk, I turn it over to see if the husk is starting to split. If it is, I give it a little tug and it pulls right off. And then I go up the branch, because any fruits closer to the roots are going to be ready to pick as well!

The Striped German has decided to try making tomatoes again! That's nice, I thought it was quite done!

Small, green tomato growing on the vine

And of course the SunGolds continue.

Green cherry tomatoes on the vine with a tomato bloom

And on the walk home, Henrietta! (Nov9 note... Not-Henrietta!)

Great Blue Heron standing in water, with her reflection

Saturday 14 October 2023

I have been watching the weather forecast for weeks, even tho I *knew* it would be cloudy and maybe raining today!

At the beginning of the week, it was to be cloudy with a good chance of rain. Thursday the forecast said 60% chance of rain. Fridays forecast said 40% rain!

This morning the forecast still said 40% rain, but the rain was supposed to hold off until after 11am! The morning was to be partly cloudy!

Oh my gosh! There might be a chance... the tiniest chance to see the eclipse!

The day starts with clouds and fog, but when dawn breaks there is a moment when the sunbeams come thru, under the cloud layer.

Hope Springs! But only for a moment. The clouds roll in.

The eclipse starts at 8:06am and the Ring Of Fire will occur from 9:17 to 9:19. And then completely over at 10:39am.

I leave the house around 8:50. It's cloudy, but the clouds are moving around quite a bit... So I'm having an inordinate amount of hope now!

As I drive, it seems like a normal, cloudy day even tho the moon is covering well over half the sun by now!

At the park, the parking lot is fuller than usual for a saturday, but there are a decent number of spaces left. A few people have arrived at the same time, and more are trickling in behind me. I have to walk out to the field, because there's trees in the way.

At 9:06am, this is the 2nd photo I snap... No zoom, no cropping, no colour adjustment. Look closely, the sun is just left of center!

Eclipse, 9:06am


The river flows to the northwest here, and Greenway walking bridge would have a clear view of the east. As I suspected, a lot of other people had my same idea...

people on the bridge

I stay in the park for the moment and Oh My Gosh!

Eclipse, 9:07am


Eclipse, 9:08am

And I can SEE IT! The clouds are heavy enough that I can look directly at the sun, without any trouble!

Eclipse, 9:08am


The camera is having such a hard time with the auto-focus! It's just clouds, it says! So I point it at the trees and hope they are far enough away that the eclipse is in focus as well. It kind of works.

Eclipse, 9:12am

Eclipse, 9:12am

The clouds start moving around and suddenly it's way too bright to look at the sun any more! I crank up the exposure on the camera, but it doesn't help.

Eclipse, 9:13am

With a break in the action upstairs, I decide to move out to the bridge.

People standing at the rails of the bridge

Oh, nice! The view is lovely here!

looking upriver at a bridge and morning light coming thru the clouds

And the clouds are moving around again... and oh my gosh, we are so close to the perfect Ring of Fire!

Eclipse, 9:17am


Eclipse, 9:17am

And with that, the clouds got heavier and there were no more views of the eclipse.

sky over the river

A lady in the crowd, asked people to join her song, to see if they could move the clouds along... ♪ Here comes the sun... ♪ she sang, and the crowd sang the Dah-da-doo-doo! :)

She sang a couple more lines, but it fell apart pretty quickly since nobody quite remembered how the song went!! But so delightful and it made me feel really good to see people come together and be happy together.

One last photo upriver, with the beautiful morning sky...

Looking upriver

And then on with my walk.

A Walk After the Eclipse
Saturday 14 October 2023

The Eclipse isn't officially over, but the clouds are covering it up completely now. It's maybe a little bit darker than a normal cloudy day... but I'm surprised at how NOT dark it is!

There is a huge group of crows wheeling and chasing each other, over the main pond! They know something's going on and have decided to celebrate! ha!

21 crows flying

But for everyone else, the business of life and death goes on.

Great Egret standing in water, hunting

Looking across the river

river flowing around rocks

I love this little flower bed... they put it in earlier this year, along with a bench, and it's just been so happy!

Calendulas blooming with the river in the background

Echinacea blooms with Prairie Coreopsis, and the river in the background

A Yellow Rump Warbler...

Yellow Rump Warbler standing on a twig

We have both subspecies here. This one, with a white throat is the *Myrtle* Warbler. *Audubon* Warblers have a yellow throat.

river flowing over rocks

oh, great. Another shorebird. ugh. Shorebirds are so hard to identify, their winter plumage all looks the same. but yep. I'm going to give this one a try. Because look how pretty.

Long Billed Dowitcher standing in water with their beak in the water

Oh! They paddle like ducks?! ha, with those skinny toes! heh, I don't know why that surprises me, but I've never noticed a shorebird paddling!

shorebird paddling in the water

I think this might be a Long Billed Dowitcher.

But don't quote me on that... because the bill on the Short Billed Dowitcher looks just as long to me! haha!

American Coot on the water

Sunday 15 October 2023

It never did rain yesterday after the eclipse, even tho it was 40% rain in the afternoon. The clouds kept things warmer over night... I've still got my bedroom window open, and I didn't have to pull up the quilts to sleep comfortably.

Trees next to the bike path, a bit of autumn colour

Squirrel standing on a wood post of a fence

Western Bluebird standing on a wood fence

Cosmos with other flowers in the background

Garden Pinks with other flowers in the background

Dark Leaf Dahlia blooms

*laughs* I know! I'm always taking photos of the same garden plots! But they have the best flowers!

Snap Dragons, Cocks Comb and Red Amaranth

Here's something different! A tiny little Violet!

A single Violet bloom on a small plant

The volunteer pea plant in the front garden square that I cleared for some cover crop.

Lots of green plants

A juvenile White Crow Sparrow, they are winter visitors here. And an enthusiastic tomato plant!

White Crown Sparrow standing on a metal trellis

I wasn't going to gather anything today... but I happened across some ripe Tomatillos. The leaves are Tomatillo too.

Gathered Tomatillo fruits

The neighbor has some pretty peppers.

Red and green Peppers growing on the plant

Red and green Peppers growing on the plant

huh. Lily ... berries? Or I guess we can just call them seeds!

Red seeds coming out of black pods

*eyes a little sunflower head* Probably picked and abandoned by a squirrel!

Bird standing on a post, eyeing a small sunflower head

This is the Audubon subspecies of Yellow Rump Warbler... Yesterday was the Myrtle subspecies, with the white throat!

Bird standing on a wood post

Bird standing on a wood post

Monday 16 October 2023

Oh my gosh, I walk out the door and it's just pouring down rain! Camera gets tucked under the rain jacket and I wonder if I will take any photos today... beyond the cute squirrel who greets me from the sidewalk!

Eastern Fox Squirrel standing on the sidewalk, holding a sunflower seed in her hands

The rain backs off to a sprinkle, and some things in the neighborhood catch my eyes!

Oak leaves, most green, some tan

This hell strip is just amazing. Look at all the colours!

Plants and flowers

Pink and white flower

Dark Leaf Dahlias

Dark Leaf Dahlias

Plants and flowers

Wetlands and Stewart Pond and Happy Birds
Tuesday 17 October 2023

I'm walking west today for something different.

Green and red leaves

Ha! I found a tiny skateboard!

miniature skateboard on a concrete block

It's good to hear the contact calls of the Song Sparrows again. Jeep. Jeep. Jeep.

Song Sparrow standing in a blackberry bush

Instead of turning off the bike path to go to Steward Pond Park, I just keep walking!

Bike Path art

This is a raised path that goes thru some Wet Prairie and makes a loop with the bike path. It's not rained enough, and the wetlands are still in their dry prairie stage.

path thru grasslands with a couple trees

This little walk doesn't have an official name, other than it's part of the West Eugene Wetlands.

wooden bridge

I make that my turn around point and start heading back.

AWWW! This is awesome... Cedar Waxwing kids!

juvenile Cedar Waxwing standing on a twig

Cedar Waxwing standing on a twig, and surrounded by silhouettes of twigs and dried leaves

Juvenile Cedar Waxwing standing on a twig surrouded by dogwood leaves and berries

There's a Nootka Rose bush right before the turnoff, going to Stewart Pond, and I pull a few rose hips and stick them in my pocket. I've been thinking about trying some Rose Tea!

Rose hip

My public service announcement...

Never, never eat anything in nature unless you are 100% sure about what you have!

And this time I've got an addendum...

Never eat anything in nature unless you know all the look-alikes as well!

Fortunately, roses are easy. And none of them are poisonous.

Here I am, coming up on Stewart Pond. It's still a dry prairie as well.

grassy area and then trees

Inside the park, there are several groups of guys playing Frisbee Golf so the little forest is quiet and empty again. But just outside the park, there's a happy little flock of Golden Crown Sparrows...

Juvenile Golden Crown Sparrow standing on a twig

Bahaha! She's got a wing poking in one direction and a toe poking in another direction!!

And she's all What? *snort*

Juvenile Golden Crown Sparrow standing on a twig

Golden Crown Sparrow standing in a dead Cow Parsnip plant

Golden Crown Sparrow standing in a dead Cow Parsnip plant

Wednesday 18 October 2023

The forecast said no chance of rain, but I'm getting misted on! It's kinda chilly, too, even tho it's supposed to warm up to 66° this afternoon.

Trees next to the bike path

Trees next to the bike path

This is a terrible photo of a Western Bluebird standing on the Community Garden fence... but those pale, washed out colours!

Western Bluebird standing on a wood fence, blurry trees in the background

Misty tree in the distance

Oh, ha! Here's another wild squash on the bank of the creek!

squash plant with a bloom, surrounded by other plants

I couldn't get a decent pic of the plants surrounding the squash. But the little white flowers are some kind of nightshade. The purple blooms are a garden flower that I recognize but don't know the name of. And along the top is the ubiquitous Himalayan Blackberry.

I found another wild rose bush where I can pick hips for tea.

Rose hips on the plant

But it turns out you need quite a few rose hips for a cup of tea. And you need to boil the heck out of them for 15 or 20 minutes. And a couple sites say that you should also steep them overnight. And then of course, you've got to strain the whole thing.

So this is sounding like more kitchen work than I want to do! But... it would be interesting to try!

red maple leave in the grass

Two Crow Stories
Thursday 19 October 2023

Extremely heavy fog this morning, visibility is hardly anything.

Halloween decorations in a downstairs entry way

Magnolia cone

Yellow Nasturtium blooms

Zinnia blooms in red and orange and pink

Zinnia blooms in orange and yellow

Halloween decorations surrounded by flowers

*laughs* I wonder if eating flowers is like candy for snails!

Sun Choke bloom with a snail

Sun Choke blooms

I thought the crows were just having a meeting...

Nine Crows standing in a tree

... but they kept getting louder and more angry and ever more were flying in. They are so loud and WHAT is going on? There's dozens of crows yelling! I watch them and think they are mobbing a hawk or somebody in the next tree over.

But then I hear, kekeke a begging juvenile hawk. And he sounds so pathetic... and desperate. And I'm all You Crows are mobbing a CHILD!

The kid keeps begging, and he is sooo intimidated and desperate, and he doesn't know what to do, and you can hear all of that in his voice and it's just breaking my heart!

And How? How can the crows keep going, knowing this is a child, hearing his distressed crying??! Are they heartless??! They should be ashamed of themselves!

Well. They can't keep it up. The mob starts breaking up. In just a couple minutes they're gone. A couple crows remain to keep an eye on the situation, and nobody's cawing.

They're not heartless, after all.

I hope the juvenile hawk is okay... physically, anyway. He probably has emotional scars and PTSD from all those stupid bullying crows who were probably just bored and wanted some drama. Poor little hawk.

Meantime, I've been gathering...


That's Butternut #2, the third one is still green and the vine has died, so that's it for the butternuts.

And the fuzzy pods are a test run of the Soybeans! To see what the beans look like and if they are getting dry yet!

Last week, I got a tofu press. And I already have cheesecloth. So I think I'm set with tofu making supplies!


As I was coming out of the Community Garden and walking out on the side path... This crow flew right over me.

And she was OBVIOUSLY holding one foot higher than the other, in her flight!

Falkor! But look!

Crow standing on a street lamp

She's putting both feet down, to stand! Oh my gosh! Falkor? Is that really you?!

She flies right over me again... and again, I see that she is obviously holding up a foot as she flies. She lands in a nearby tree and turns to look at me.

Crow standing on a twig in a tree

Oh my gosh, look at that tiny twig she's standing on! She's healed!

Crow standing on a twig in a tree

She's healed! And I can hardly believe it!

But it must be her! It has to be!

Why else would she get my attention, by flying right over me. Twice!

Crow standing in a tree

Thank You Falkor! Thank you so much for saying hi! :)

Dreary and Blurry Day
Friday 20 October 2023

Another foggy and misty day!

trees along the bike path

I love the cloudy days... tho when the clouds are thick like this and it's so dark and dreary, the photos will be blurry since the camera likes a lot more light!

Well. You know. More blurry than usual! haha! Once upon a time I had the idea to redo the design here from the silly old sunflowers to some Blurry Birds! Maybe I should think about that again.

Nutria standing in water close to the muddy bank

Oh! Henrietta nabs someone right as I come up! A poor Crawdad. (Nov9 note... this is Not-Henrietta!)

Great Blue Heron with a crawdad in her beak

Great Blue Heron with a crawdad in her beak

Great Blue Heron walks in the water

Female and male Mallard sitting on the bank of the creek

Golden Crown Sparrow standing on the ground with two fallen apples in the background

Golden Crown Sparrow standing on a thorny stick

Cosmos blooms in front of a chain link fence

oh foo.

Blurry Varied Thrush on a metal fence

We mostly see Varied Thrushes in the winter, when they come down from the hills where they've raised their children.

Their song is a simple, one note whistle which is very beautiful.

Robin standng in a shrub surrounded by leaves and red berris

Interesting Things on a Dreary Day
Saturday 21 October 2023

The sky was dripping this morning but once the sun rose, it resolved into some on-and-off misting. I decided to go out to the river, despite the wet... it probably won't be very exciting since not much wildlife comes out when it rains.

But that's okay. Just getting some exercise in an amazingly beautiful place, is a good thing!

oh my gosh, the colours!

Beauty Berries surrounded by red and yellow and green leaves

and the vines!

Song Sparrow surrounded by vines

And more colours!

Japanese Anemone with Beauty Berries in the background

purplish-pink rose bud

Silver Lining is def my favorite!

purplish-pink rose

Yellow roses with blooms and autumn colour in the background

Yellow rose

Orange rose covered in dew

Sheesh. I am such a sucker for the roses! Moving on!

oh my gosh! There is an art installation at the Downtown Riverfront Park! Colourful banners up on the path lamps!

Colourful banners

Aw! It's LGBTQ+ positive artwork! With bears! I love it!

Colourful banner

Aw... but it's making me cry.

Cultural Currents Artist Highlight, Coda Stone
Everyday Bears!

The second artist has a way with wonderfully bright colours!

art banners along the bike path


art banners

Cultural Currents Artist Highlight, Pattrick Price
The Colors of Formline

art banner

I get off the main path because it seems to be filling up with humans wearing green shirts. Heading towards the university arena? I thought the football game was at the new stadium. So I'm not sure what is going on.

But then I get distracted by this one! what the heck?!

Hawk standing on a snag, holding all their feathers out

Gives it a shake... but now she looks even more pathetic!

Hawk standing on a snag

She is NOT going to dry off any time soon with this misty weather happening.

And what did she do? Was there food down in the water? Did she intentionally take a bath? Today, of all days?! What were you thinking?!

hawk standing on a snag

Okay... no red on the shoulder. Is she a Red Tail? ah, no. Red Tails don't have bands on their tail feathers. And that super long tail... This is a juvenile Cooper Hawk.

She notices me watching her!

hawk standing on a snag

Silly kid! I bet we are really cold too. brr.
Well, I hope you live to tell the tale, kid!

The bridge is my turn-around point to make a loop over to the other side of the river. But, oh jeez, so many humans. I never did figure out what was going on.

But I walk past a fabulous group on the drums. And I walk thru a parade of people to get to the other side.

lots of humans on the bike path in the forest

And then, walking back... there is a huge and beautiful tree, just outside the Rose Garden that I really love. And it has fruits!

Green Olives hanging from the tree

And they look like Olives?!

They are quite a bit bigger than the olives you'd get in a can, well over an inch long and nice and fat. And there's a bunch on the ground, but they are all still green.

Well. I don't know. But I pick one up and put it in my pocket. I will dissect it at home to see what's inside. I will report back soon!

This turned out to be an awesomely incredible day.

I thought I was going out for a non-exciting walk! But interesting things were happening all around me!

Sunday 22 October 2023

I'm checking my PO Box mail this morning, and there's a small Nutria in the front yard of the Post Office! ha.

Nutria standing in the grass with dandelions

This is crazy! Where's the nearest creek? I'm not even sure, but there's no water close by that I know of! You have dispersed to the wrong place, little one! Altho I'm sure those dandelions are delicious.

Nutria standing in the grass with dandelions

Okay, on to the garden!

Trees with autumn colours and foggy hill in the distance

oop, gotta move somebody off the bike path!

Woolly Bear caterpillar on the sidewalk

I gather what veggies there are!


The smaller Tomatillos at the top are from the volunteer plant living in the tofu patch. That one actually started growing before the two or three in the Second Cucumber Empire, so I'm not sure why all of it's fruits are so much smaller. They are a lot more lime-y, too. The bigger ones kind of mellow out a bit.

Oh cool, I found a Tomatillo where the husk has skeletonized but the fruit is still good!

Tomatillo on a wood board

I do some exploring in the Community Garden and find this a couple plots down...

Yellow blooms

What is it? Is it a crop? I have no clue! The internets aren't helping me, either. huh.

Orange Dahlia bloom and some clover

Eastern Fox Squirrel standing on a wood post

Neighborhood Observations
Monday 23 October 2023

Autumn colours of trees on the hill

This Geranium growing out in the wild, right next to the bike path has put out one last flower for the season.

Purple Geranium bloom under leaves in the grass and clover

Still some signs of our busy Beaver at the creek!

Beaver munched tree on the other side of the creek

Neighborhood sidewalk

Halloween decorations

Dark Eyed Junco standing on a stick, surrounded by yellow leaves

Up Hidden Trail
Tuesday 24 October 2023


Blurry Siamese cat looking up

Little Free Pantry Cat!

Siamese cat standing inside a Little Free Pantry

While this goofy fellow is amusing and sweet... all cats should be indoor cats! But Siamese Cats especially should stay indoors.

Because of their breeding, Siamese Cats can't see very well at night. The genes that make their point colouration also screw up their optic nerves and they are missing tapetum lucidums in their eyes, a retroreflector which amplifies dim light.

So please just keep your kitties inside!

Siamese cat

Looking up at Persimmons ripening on the tree

Autumn trees along a street with fir trees on the hill in the background

hiking trail winding thru trees

This house def has my favorite Halloween decorations!
Clowns, NO! Skeletons, YES! :)

Halloween decorations

But this bat cracks me up (top middle)... it has ears! haha. Ears would not be included in anyone's skeleton!

Halloween decorations

Ferns and moss on a rock, surrounded by fallen leaves

I've come up the hill to see the Acorn Woodpecker family who lives up here. But dang it, the couple who are here are standing in trees way too far away.

Acorn Woodpecker on the side of a tree, far away

I walk up the road a bit, to see if I can get closer. Their granary trees just fascinate me!

Tree trunk with holes, some filled with acorns

Acorn Woodpecker standing on a branch

Some of their words are Wika-Wika-Wika and a Churrr sound.

Acorn Woodpecker standing on the side of a granery tree

This is a fun article!

Acorn Woodpeckers Hoard Thousands of Acorns in a Single Tree That's not even the weirdest thing about them.

And on reddit I learn about trypophobia, aversion to the sight of holes. ha!

A Woodpecker's acorn stash in a granary tree

Back down the hill.

Mushrooms growing on a fallen tree trunk

Lupine seed pods, open and empty

Didn't know dragons were Halloweeny!

Blow up Halloween decorations in a yard

Bad Day
Wednesday 25 October 2023

You should skip this top part. It's bad. And then I go into some doom. sighs.

Clouds over the bike path

The bike path goes by an apartment complex that has a dog area right next to the fence. Today I witnessed a person hitting their dog. 1. 2. 3.

I was shocked into silence and I was so mad I started to cry. The person yanked the poor dog back into their apartment pretty quickly. And I was left on the bike path, crying and I don't even have any tissues in my pocket.

Could they have broken the dogs ribs? But even bruised ribs are terrible, it will hurt to move for days and days.

God damn. Why are humans so awful? I hope humans go extinct soon. Unfortunately, in the process, humans are trying to make everyone else extinct as well.

If things were to change for the better right now, there might be a chance for cockroaches to survive, once it’s all said and done. But that's not happening... humans aren't doing a single thing to fix climate change or to fix the poisons we spew. The way things are going, it's going to be a runaway greenhouse effect, with the poisons thrown in for funsies. The whole planet will be dead, like Venus with plastic, except maybe some bacteria in the stratosphere.

I’m pretty down. But it’s always good to see Henrietta.

Great Blue Heron standing in water

And the clouds are nice today.


But then I didn't have the exposure set correctly on the camera for this split second photo. ha. oh well. It's still kind of a cool photo.

blurry and part over exposed hummingbird at a flower

Black cat sitting on a porch

And then my friend Eric rides by and has a friendly wave and a big smile. That cheers me up.

And a sweet squirrel stops to have a conversation.

Eastern Fox Squirrel standing in the grass, surrounded by fallen leaves

Eastern Fox Squirrel walks in the grass, surrounded by fallen leaves

Okay, now I have something to munch on. What did you want to talk about?

Eastern Fox Squirrel eating a peanut

Not very professional for a therapist, is it? :)

Starling standing on a wood nesting box

My Squirrel therapist says I need to counteract the doom...

Vegan diet massively cuts environmental damage, study shows Detailed analysis finds plant diets lead to 75% less climate-heating emissions, water pollution and land use than meat-rich ones

Go Vegan for the squirrels!

The Last Day of the Veggie Garden
Thursday 26 October 2023

Eastern Fox Squirrel standing on the sidewalk

It's chilly today... I'm still wearing my cut-offs, but I'm glad I put on a heavy shirt!

Autumn trees with fog on the hill in the background

Oh wow! There's a Red Shoulder right outside the Community Garden!

Red Shoulder Hawk standing on a mossy stick in a tree

And she's totally not detected at all... there are little birds bouncing around in the garden and singing without a clue about the danger!

Red Shoulder Hawk standing on a stick in a tree

Red Shoulder Hawk standing on a stick in a tree

See? Lesser Goldfinches, all out in the open and happy and playing without a care... barely 30feet away from the hawk!

Lesser Goldfinch standing on a sunflower stalk

Well. I don't think Red Shoulders normally eat little birds, and the hawk flies away before too long.

And on to my plot...

The forecast has a freeze advisory, this weekend the over night temperatures will be in the upper 20s (-3°C).

That will do in all of the remaining veggie plants here at the garden, so today I'm picking everything that I can carry!

The biggest zucs are barely 6inches, but I pull them. I'll have to eat that slug munched one quickly before it goes bad!

Yellow Zucchini squashes on the plant

The Striped German.

Green tomato growing on the vine

That one is so green and I don't pick it. Just as well. It would not have fit in the backpack...


I have to leave so many tomatoes on the Early Girl... But the backpack will be full, and that's a lot of tomatoes to eat as it is!

On the way out, I stop to admire the Fava patch that I planted at the beginning of September as a bit of winter cover crop.


Hey! Wait a second...


An aphid! Ha! Munch away, little bug!

I am happy to support bugs. Yep, even the pests.

West and Wetlands Past Stewart
Friday 27 October 2023

*laughs* The Little Free Pantry Cat does not want to be photogenic today!

Siamese cat standing on a book

And why are these books out here, anyway? There's a Little Free Library right there! Sheesh.

One of the Persimmon trees. The colour combination of that particular shade of orange with the green... and the shapes of the leaves! Just makes me happy.

Persimmons on the tree

Song Sparrow standing on a blackberry vine

Oh, Henrietta! Do you hunt all up and down the creek?

Great Blue Heron standing in water

Still just a dry prairie out here. I wonder if ducks will come when the ponds fill up.

walk way thru grass with some trees

Downy Woodpecker behind sticks

Back to Stewart Pond Park.

grasslands with trees in the background

Ha! Artsy!

silhouette of a bird on a branch

Juvenile Golden Crown Sparrows bouncing around just outside the park.

Golden Crown Sparrow standing on a stick

Golden Crown Sparrow standing on a blackberry vine

And an Eastern Fox Squirrel bouncing around inside the park. This park isn't big enough to accommodate our native Western Grey Squirrels.

Squirrel standing on the ground surrounded by fallen leaves

stone steps going up from a grassy area thru the trees

River Loop
Saturday 28 October 2023

Steller Jay feather on the sidewalk with fallen oak leaves

It was 28° (-2°C) when I left the house this morning... The first frozen night of the season! There's some frost in the shade, but the sun is melting it as soon as it hits.

A bridge spans the river with trees on either side

A Heron, and some headless Teals! haha...

Great Blue Heron standing on a snag over the water, Green Wing Teals in the background

Some are sleeping, with their head tucked under a wing. Some are eating, dabbling in the water.

A Red Tail! But she's being mobbed by a handful of crows.

Red Tail Hawk standing on a branch with sticks in front of her face, sighs.

And she doesn't stick around very long.

Red Tail Hawk taking off from the branch she was standing on

But it's so nice that I can just show up at the wildlife area and get to take photos right away!

Not _good_ photos, but photos! *laughs*

Great Egret standing in water

River with trees on the opposite bank

River flowing over rocks

I just love this little flower bed, next to the path, and there's a bench here too. It was created earlier this year and someone local must maintain it, which is nice!

Echinacea bloom and the river in the background

Coreopsis blooms

Two miles on from my starting point, Owosso walking bridge is my turn-around point. I decide to cross it today and walk back on the other side of the river. The other side isn't as exciting, but it's nice to see different things!

Looking north, and downriver, that's the Beltline in the distance.

A bridge spans the river with trees on either side

Upriver with Skinner Butte in the distance

Cormorants sunning on a tiny island in the river

Frozen Garden
Sunday 29 October 2023

It got down to 25° (-4°C) last night! Brr! I do not like it! It's not supposed to be this cold, this early in the season!

Autumn trees and hill in the distance

The Egan Warming Centers are preparing for another record breaking winter. Last season they were open 31 nights, which beat the old record.

Halloween decorations

The Fava I planted on 1 Sept was too tall. These plants will survive, even tho they are permanently bent over. The smaller plants, that self seeded, are much happier, no damage at all.


The soybeans are still standing. I need to do something about these at some point! ha!


These things caught my eye again. Some kind of lily seeds. and this time I grabbed a few to see if they will grow for me!

Red berrys in pods

Squirrel on a wood post eating a small, frozen sunflower head

Oh My Gosh! An OWL!!
Monday 30 October 2023

Halloween decorations

It's another frosty morning. But warmer nights are on the way!

Trees and hills in the background

Trees and hills in the background

Golden Crown Sparrow standing behind frosty green leaves

Female Hooded Merganser paddling in the water

Frosty wildflower leaves

Frosty wildflower leaves

American Robin standing on a twig

On the way out, I had heard some crows caw-cawing, but there were trees in the way and I couldn't see if there was anything going on.

On the way back, the crows were still yelling and I took a different route thru the neighborhood.

And now I could see what the crows were talking about!

two crows, in silhouette, and an owl

oh my gosh, how awesome! She's a Great Horned Owl!

two crows and an owl

And the crows are standing sooo close! And just cawing. Nothing else.

I wonder if the owl is all, Dang it you all are loud with your stupid Cawing! Will you shut up already so I can get some sleep?!


That beak! Those ears!

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl standing on a branch in a tree

So, so Awesome. I've never seen a Great Horned Owl in the wild before! It's just so cool!!

Unfortunately, my photos aren't clear enough for printing. But, you know... I think I will make a postcard anyway!

Ha! See me embracing imperfection! :)

Garden Work
Tuesday 31 October 2023

Another morning with frost, ugh. They promised me some warmer mornings this week!

Trees with a hill in the distance


Juvenile White Crown Sparrow standing at the top of trellised beans

Juvenile Golden Crown Sparrow standing at the top of trellised beans

Dark Eye Junco standing on a wood post

Okay. Since the frost has killed all the veggie plants at the Garden plot, I'm going to start the winter tidy today.

I've pulled up the Wax Beans, and weeded a bit there. and then I pulled out the Early Girl. That monster had been held up with four tomato cages. But then it made so many tomatoes, all four cages fell over with the weight!

Crazy thing! And untangling the plant from all the cages took a bit of work. And look at all the tomatoes that were still on the plant...

Green and red tomatoes, scattered on the ground

There are 40 in this photo, and I tossed more from the plant in other directions! Not to mention all the ones I took home right before it got frosty! So incredibly prolific!