Blogging the Infinite Static


Currently... Sat, 06 Aug 2022

The last week of July, we had a little heat dome with highs in the upper 90s and low 100s. I kept walking, but because I was heading out earlier in the morning, it disrupted the time I was usually working on the blog.

And now, it's been almost 2 weeks since I have added any new entries! And my other projects have fallen apart as well! Arg!

So, I need to get back at it! Yeah, it's still hot. And Yeah, I'm not sleeping great. But I gotta work on my projects!

(New entries go down to June 29.)




Friday 22 July 2022... blah

I'm really down today.

...

195 House Republicans want to end right to birth control

The House of Representatives just voted on the Right to Contraception Act...

A Bill To protect a person's ability to access contraceptives and to engage in contraception, and to protect a health care provider's ability to provide contraceptives, contraception, and infomation related to contraception.

This is a good thing! Putting birth control into law is decades late, but, well, here we are.

Unfortunately, 195 old white MEN voted against it.

That's a lot of men who do not want women or others to control their own fertility.

Apparently dumb asses don't realize that 99% of women practice some kind of birth control during their fertile years.

As for me, personally... they will have to rip my arm off before they can take my contraceptives away!

Bahahaha! Literally!!!

So, naming the names on this page... I'm of half a mind to send a strongly worded postcard to the idiots who voted against birth control. And maybe thank the 8 republicans who voted for the bill.

The Dems? Well, they are just doing their damn job, but I might thank my own representatives.

Arg! I feel so hopeless about the government in the US.
195 men in power who are anti-women, anti-equality... and that's just the House. The Senate is worse, of course.

I'm just wondering when they'll be voting against women's right to vote... Supreme Court will probably call it State's Rights again.

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Friday 1 July 2022... Garden

Eastern Fox Squirrel in a tree

So. I arrive at the garden. And there's this mess at the front, on the Evil Neighbor's side. What the hell?

The jerk has finally shown up, and weeded his front raised beds... and threw some of the weeds in my plot and didn't clean them up! GAH!

Just one of the reasons why he's the Evil Neighbor, ya know?!

But wait... haha, look what was under some of the weeds...

Tossed strawberry plant

That's a dried up and pathetic looking Strawberry plant. It might be too far gone, but heck, I'm going to add it to my own little strawberry patch and see what happens.

He's still a jerk, tho!

So, here's what I actually wanted to do today... The big Comfrey plant is starting to sprawl all over the poor little Sweet Potatoes.

Comfrey plant sprawling

So we give it a little trim. Wow, look at how much tidier it looks.

After picture

And never mind how little those two Sweet Potato plants are. Yeah, I transplanted them a month ago, and they've not grown at all since then. Stupid garden. But at least they are still alive.

I'm letting this last volunteer Elephant Garlic bloom... I had eaten the other ones as scapes! Yum!

Elephant Garlic Bloom

Sighs, poor munched Spaghetti Squash.

Spaghetti Squash leaf getting munched

Pretty weeds.

Bind Weed blooms and other weeds

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Friday 1 July 2022... Bluebird Fledglings!!

A female River Jewelwing damselfly! and a bug! :)

female River Jewelwing standing on a blade of grass

Aw! The Bluebird babies from the nesting boxes at the garden have fledged! Just two kids, this year.

Two Western Bluebird fledglings, standing on the fence

Here's Papa with some food. You gotta be on the top rung, kid!

Bluebird fledglings on the fence with papa feeding the top one

There you go!

Both Bluebird fledglings at the top of the fence, papa flies by

Dang they are CUTE!

Bluebird fledglines

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Thursday 30 June 2022... Garden

Okay! The last of the planting today! I've got two Zucchinis, which I'll put under row covers. And I've got 6 Giant Marigolds, an impulse buy at the Farmers Market.

Squash Patch

Yay! Planting done! Grow, Garden! Grow!

The second row of Wax Beans is coming up! They are so cute, when they are not munched by slugs!

Baby Wax Bean plant

Unfortunately, the Primary Lemon Cucumber patch, which I uncovered at the beginning of the week, is not doing great. The Cucs are still a bit droopy and the Cucumber Beetles are eating the Spaghetti Squash leaves. Gah.

Lemon Cucumber Patch

Well, that's my own fault for removing the row cover too early.

Marigold bud

Bluebird is a bit scruffy looking! I wonder if he's getting tired of taking care of those babies!

Western Blue bird standing on a nesting box

White rose

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Wednesday 29 June 2022... Garden

Great Blue Heron standing in shallow water

Okay. Today I am weeding at the garden, to make room for the rest of the stupid baby plants that are still sitting in the porch room at home.

Here is the Before photo...

Before weeding

This is the row cover over the secondary Lemon Cucumber patch, which I planted on jun23. And near the center, is a mostly dead Squash plant.

And the After photo...

After Weeding

That was a lot of work... There were so many grass roots in that little area.

Aw, look at the cute little potato plants coming up.

baby potato plants coming up

And, hey... The Wax Beans might grow faster than they can be munched?

baby bean plant, with munched leaves

Yesterday I didn't have my words... I was too mad to articulate! So. Let's have another go at the Establishment Clause!

The Establishment Clause is part of the First Amendment of the Constitution.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...

The courts have taken the no law respecting bit to mean (in part) that a government official cannot endorse a religion. And, specific to what I'm talking about today, a teacher in a public school... who is paid by the state and therefore a government employee... cannot conduct religious exercises publicly, in their capacity as a teacher.

So. This high school coach, who is praying in the middle of the field... publicly, loudly. And not necessarily forcing students to participate, but there is def an implied message to the football players... Pray or don't play.

And the Supreme Court, again going against however many years of precedent, ruled FOR this jerk of a football coach.

Yeah. And let's just follow the logic here. Promoting Christian prayer in public, good good good! But... What if I'm a Satanist, and I want to pray in the middle of the damn field! (ha! Damning the field in the meantime!!! ;)

uh huh. That is NOT gonna fly.

How about a Muslim? A Jewish person? Nope. None of this! There's only one type who's going to be allowed to publicly pray in a school setting, or on the high school football field.

Just one religion.

Separation of Church and State? Dead and Dying.
America the theocracy? Just made a giant leap forward.

Kennedy v Bremerton School Dist direct link to PDF of the opinion.

SCOTUS: School Prayer Awesome, Establishment Clause For Decorative Purposes Only
A good write up about the decision.

Bindweed blooms

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Tuesday 28 June 2022... Stewart Pond Robin

Heading out to check on the nesting Robin at Stewart Pond.

Pretty blue flower

Dang it! The amazing Lazuli Buntings are always too far away for photography.

Lazuli Bunting standing on a twig

Lazuli Bunting flying away

The prairie is beautiful.

Prairie with pink flowers and trees and a hill in the background

I think the pink flowers are a species of Checker Mallow.

The pond in the forest has finally dried up.

Forest

And here we are at the Robin's nest...

Robin in her nest

She still sits? Surely she has babies by now! Don't you need to get up and feed your babies??

I walk around, trying to get a different view. oh... haha! :)

Baby Robin peeks out from under mamas tail feathers

*laughs* not a very dignified pic of Mama Robin... but this is what she gives me to work with!

Baby Robin peeks out from under mamas tail feathers

Another SCOTUS Disaster

There's this thing in the US Constitution called the Establishment Clause.

... You know what? I can't do this today. The separation of Church and State is very very important to me and to our democracy, and I just can't do this today.

Things are really getting hopeless around here.

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Monday 27 June 2022... More Garden Pics

male Western Bluebird

Striped Cucumber Beetle

Purple Opium Poppy

Red Poppy blooms with seed pods

Small green tomato growning on the plant

Stink Bug on a leaf

The news over the weekend, in response to the fall of Roe v. Wade is just devastating.

And the one thing I keep hearing over and over is that we need to get out and vote. ARG! This is so annoying and it's all but insulting!

Supreme Court Justices do not get voted in. And, we actually did NOT vote for the presidents who installed those Justices... Those presidents all lost the popular vote.

So, yes, blah blah, voting is important. But a lack of voting did not get us here. And voting harder is not going to get us out of here.

Daisy and other flowers

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Monday 26 June 2022... Gardening bummer

The garden plot

It's hot, and the Lemon Cucumbers under the front row cover look wilted. So I'm going to remove that row cover. It's probably a mistake. There's still Striped Cucumber Beetles about.

Spaghetti Squash and small cucumber plants

I transplanted this Zucchini a couple days ago, and look. It's munched already. Sighs.

munched on Zuchinni leaf

I don't know why I keep hoping for good things to happen. I should face facts and understand that I'm not going to eat any Zucchini from the garden.

Sighs.

Here's Mama Bluebird.

female Western Bluebird standing on a nestbox

And here's the lovely Muscovy girl.

Muscovy duck on the water

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Saturday 25 June 2022... River Walk

You know that feeling when you're driving to the beach, for the first time in forever... and you first glimpse the ocean, out past the dunes? So blue. So amazing.

Or when you're driving west on I-70 thru Kansas, and you think you almost see the mountains... but maybe that's just clouds?

When I get out to the river, and I first see the water shining thru the trees... oh my! The weight of everyday life is lifted and there's a sigh of relief.

I belong here. This is my happy place.

The river, just past the trees

The Rose Garden is lovely.

Rose Garden with yellow roses in the foreground

Painted Porcelain Hybrid Tea Rose

Life of the Party, Floribunda Rose

Chihuly, Floribunda Rose

Top Gun, Hybrid Tea Rose

Smokin Hot Floribunda Rose

Oh my gosh! I thought I was taking a pic of a bug... it turns out, I was taking a pic of a bug being eaten up by a camouflaged spider!!! WOW!

Yellow spider legs around a bug in a yellow rose!

One Osprey at the nest

This new mural is amazing!

Hummingbird Mural

Still water coming over the spillover from the river into the ponds! Usually this would dry up by April or May, it's unbelievable the river is still high enough now, at the end of June!

Spillover from Willamette River to Delta Ponds

Good to see some older ducklings at the ponds... Avian Flu has killed almost all the babies this spring. Ducklings and goslings. There were four children in this family.

Duckling in the water

Hey, Cool!

Osprey standing in a tree

Hops on over to the next tree!

Osprey flying

So goofy! This must be a fledgling, out practicing their flying and landing skills.

Osprey in a tree

And off we go.

Osprey flying

Osprey flying

Turtles! These are all invasive Red Ear Sliders. But look at the little one trying to get on board! haha, you are little, but there's no room for you, kid!

Five turtles on a log in the water

The river

Carps!

five carps under the water

two carps under the water

Aww! Look at their precious face!

one carp under the water

Wow. What an awesome walk today!

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Friday 24 June 2022... Today

Dang it, little bird!

Bird flying away from the top of a tree

Couple more Sugar Snap Peas to eat. They are so good!

Snap Peas hanging off the plant

Strawberry bloom and fruit on the plant

In the past, the Love in a Mist self-seeded itself all over the place. But I must have layered the winter mulch too thick, and hardly any have come up this year. foo.

Love in a Mist

Yellow flower


The End of Roe v Wade

Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade; states can ban abortion at AP News

Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Org (Direct link to the PDF of SCOTUS opinion.)

And so it begins. The Supreme Court has started taking away rights. and it's the end of the United States.

So. Women and people with uteruses no longer have a federal right to bodily autonomy. Without bodily autonomy, our other rights are useless. We have become 2nd class citizens.

We will die. Pregnancy complications will disable us. There will be more unwanted children. They apparently can't understand the tragedy of this.

No mention of the men in this mathematical equation, of course. weird, huh?

With the fall of the right to privacy, a lot of other human rights will fall as well. It sounds like Justice Clarence Thomas is all about ending those rights... He writes in his concurring opinion that the SCOTUS should reconsider Griswold (contraception), Lawrence (gay sex), and Obergefell (same-sex marriage).

And why isn't Loving v. Virginia (interracial marriage) in that list? hmmm? (Justice Thomas is a Black man married to a white woman.) Loving is also classified as a substantive due process case in the exact same way as those other rulings.

Sighs.

Seven Spot Ladybug on Cow Parsnip seed pods

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Thursday 23 June 2022... Gardening and Dragonflies

Day Four of Sunshine!

Sky with clouds

Okay! Finally ready to transplant the rest of the Lemon Cucumbers! They've been sitting in the porch room at home, languishing but avoiding the evil Cucumber Beetles!

Lemon Cucumbers planted into the garden

And all covered up...

Row cover in the garden

The first batch of kinda slug-munched Wax Beans were planted two weeks ago. Since they actually grew, I decided to add a few more seeds to the bean patch!

some dirt where I planted some beans

There's a green Zucchini plant next to the beans... it was eaten up by the Cucumber Beetles, but it's acting like it wants to live!

small zucchini plant

And there are four plants left in the squash patch which are Technically still alive, after being mostly munched to death by the Cucumber Beetles. I think it's two Crook Necks and two Spaghetti Squash. I'm not sure because I planted a bunch of different squashes here but then I gave up on them when they got decimated by the bugs! Most were just eaten to death, but if they had partial leaves left, I didn't pull them out. I guess we'll see if the survivors will do anything.

Oh! Is this a potato? It's the first one to come up! Yay!

Small Potato plant

Tall, purple flowers

Garden Pinks blooming

Oh pretty damselfly! and an awesome name... Vivid Dancer!

Vivid Dancer damselfly standing on the path

Damselflies hold their wings over their backs, and are usually smaller. Dragonflies hold their wings out...

A dragonfly with a boring name... Pacific Clubtail.

Pacific Clubtail standing on the path

Sky with cirrus clouds

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Wednesday 22 June 2022... The Morning Chorus

Something woke me up at 4am.

It's still dark, but the Morning Chorus has already begun, if you call one bird... unidentified and non-melodious, singing a tapping sound... a Chorus! *laughs*

But then I heard what must have woken me up...

A Screech Owl!

TWO!

They are talking over each other for a couple rounds!

Screech Owls have the most amazing song, called a bouncing ball song! Here it is, go check it out!

Western Screech Owl Sounds at AllAboutBirds.

So cool! The second owl didn't sing for long, but the first kept going for a couple minutes. I noticed the time... After I woke, they started at 4:06am and they were done at 4:09am.


Day Three of Sunshine... and the tomato plants are definitely starting to perk up! Yay!

Tomato plant leaves

I finish weeding the section I started yesterday, for the row cover...

Weeded section

The Wax Beans are still alive, but really getting munched by the slugs.

Small bean plants with holes in the leaves

And the slugs have bitten into all of the Strawberries, so far. But I'm still glad I planted them, they are pretty, little plants!

Strawberry bloom on a plant

pink and lavender coloured Opium Poppies

Pink Opium Poppy

Cherries ripening on the tree

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Tuesday 21 June 2022... Gardening

Okay. Day two of Sunshine. So I'm back at the Community Garden plot to do some work!

Each garden plot gets it's own water tap, and there's pipes coming up in the corner where four plots meet. No one weeds around our taps, and there's some Creeping Buttercup that's starting to take over. So that's where I start.

I forgot to take a "Before" pic, so here is the "After" pic with the pile of weeds I've dug up...

Garden Plot

The back left plot is showing Horseradish, which is invasive at our garden. You can eat it, and it is healthy... but I hate it! *laughs* I chop it down where ever it appears in my plot, it's easy to identify, but impossible to get rid of permanently!

And the back right plot is Opium Poppies. They are beautiful and I love taking photos of them and the European Honey Bees. I am sad that they have yet to self seed into my plot.

Next up... need to make room for the 2nd row cover! Here's the spot, I'm going to break up the soil and pull out grass roots.

Before Weeding

The long sticks are last year's Sunflowers, dried up and maybe useful for marking areas! And to the left of the sticks are a couple of surviving Fava, the winter cover crop. And on the right is the back of the Mammoth Clover patch.

A good square done! But not quite big enough for the row cover... I'll have to finish it tomorrow.

After Weeding

You can't really see it, but there's a lone, mostly dead Spaghetti Squash in the middle of that square. I was going to pull it up, it's not going to do anything after being ravaged by the Cucumber Beetles. But the poor thing... I just couldn't kill it. I weeded around it and will put it under the row cover with the Lemon Cucumbers!

Okay. Let's go have fun...

Bechelor Button and other colourful blooms

Purple Bachelor Buttons

Oh, yay, a new dragonfly to look up! This one took me a while to find in my book. But I learned stuff as I searched! Skimmers have a fat body type, and Clubtails of course are fatter at the end of their tail, so I had narrowed this one down to a Darner...

I had to double check with some pictures online, but I finally figured out she's a California Darner!

Female California Darner hanging from a twig

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Monday 20 June 2022... Stewart Pond

Columbine bloom

Turkey Vulture flying

Cool artwork someone has chalked on the bike path!

Chalk drawing of an eye on the path

I just can't get over how beautiful the grass is...

Grassland

ha! A Swallow and a Vulture!

Silhouette of a Swallow and a Turkey Vulture flying

Oh wow!

Three Turkey Vultures flying

What the...? A Red Tail Hawk... with a red tail! Ha! That's weird!

Red Tail Hawk standing in a tree

um, I am NOT being sarcastic about the red tail! All the Red Tail Hawks I've seen here have brown tails, the same colour as their body. Definitely not red. I assumed it was a regional difference. but now I wonder if I've only been seeing juveniles? That seems... statistically unlikely.

Still a pond in the forest.

Wet Prairie pond in the forest

And the Robin still sits.

Nesting Robin

oh, lovely! A Twelve Spotted Skimmer.

Twelve Spotted Skimmer, dragonfly, standing on a blade of grass

ha, do they see each other???

Little bug on a different blade of grass in front of the Skimmer


A couple of articles I want to share with you today.

River Trash traps chew at huge ocean plastics problem

I love this! Turning Trash Traps into big, cute and lovable characters is fun!

Mr Trash Wheel has his own website, and there are a couple other Trash Traps in his family. They run on a water wheel or solar power!


I support Abortion Access Front, and they support independent abortion clinics. The newsletter I got today highlights a clinic in a city that spans the border between Tennessee and Virginia. The clinic needs to move to the Virginia side of the town...

Go Fund Me, Keep Abortion Safe and Legal in Bristol
they are at $37,753 and looking to get 75K.
(update... They hit their original target, but had to raise it to 125,000$ due to unanticipated expenses.)

I suppose that many abortion clinics will be doing this... moving out of state so they can keep going.

It just infuriates me that we have to do this.

This clinic is just moving across town, but many will have to move hundreds of miles away.

And their patients? Where will they go for their reproductive health care? These clinics provide more than just abortion care, you know. Where will people go every three months for their Depo shot or birth control pills? Pap smears are incredibly important, and absolutely saves lives! How are we going to get that done, when we don't have a regular doctor?

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Sunday 19 June 2022... Postcards to Swing States!

Happy Juneteenth!

Eastern Fox Squirrel standing on a fence

I went to the Post Office today and picked up my order of postcards! I'm very excited and plus they put my box in Parcel Locker Number ONE! *laughs*

Parcel Locker number 1 with key in the lock

Postcards to Swing States

I'm a little bit disappointed by the boring design on the postcards I got... The picture on the website is way better!

Boring postcard design

So anyway! I've got 500 postcards that need to be sent on 10 October.

Let's do the math... if I start writing tomorrow, that will be 16 weeks to the deadline. I will have to write 31.25 postcards per week, which is 6.25 postcards written five days a week (so I can take time off on the weekend) (or catch up if I need to!).

A significant daily effort, for a long period of time!

I think I can do it! Yeah!!


And some puttering around the garden...

I had planted some Wax Bean seeds, directly into the ground a couple weeks ago. I never do this because seeds just don't do anything in the garden plot. But they are actually starting to come up!

Bean plant

Yeah, the baby bean leaves have holes in them. And a couple are munched down to the stem. Slugs.

And only a few Sugar Snap Pea plants survived the slugs this spring... but the couple of snap peas that I've eaten have been SOOOO good!

Snap Peas hanging on the plants

Dang it, I wish I had planted more snap peas, I just can't survive on three or four peas a week! *laughs*

Green Strawberry hanging on the plant

Looks like the Lemon Cucumbers are doing okay under the row cover. That's good!

leaves just barely visible under a row cover

The bottom leaves off ALL the tomato plants are getting yellow! Ack!

Yellow tomato leaves

When I talked to my Mom, she said Too Much Water.

So that's just great. It's raining so much, it's starting to kill my tomato plants.

The Squash plants are already dead of cold and slugs and Cucumber Beetles. and now the tomato plants. Am I going to get ANY vegetables this year???

Wai!! Hopeless Despair!

Well. At least the bees are happy in the plot behind.

three Honey Bees in an Opium Poppy Bloom

And the Garden Pinks in another neighboring plot are pretty.

Garden Pinks blooming

But still. Hopeless Despair!

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Saturday 18 June 2022... Downtown Riverfront, 2nd Time!

Another day of rain! And I want to look at the new park again! I park at the Rose Garden...

Song Sparrow singing from a twig

Calla Lilies at the Rose Garden

Pumpkin Patch Floribunda Rose

Hot Cocoa Floribunda Rose

Champaign Cocktail, Floribunda Roses

A parent at the Osprey nest.

Osprey standing in the nest

And other people are building their nests!

Robin standing on the path, holding nesting material in her beak

And then it starts Pouring down rain as soon as I get to the new park! ha!

Downtown Riverfront park in the rain

A different view of the SubSubpra art pavilion.

Art Pavilion

The art continues with bands of metal in the sidewalks.

Bands of metal in the path

The abandoned Steam plant. That building definitely has some character!

Old building with windows broken

I'm not walking all the way to the next bridge today.

Looking upriver, past some Lupines, at a bridge

I turn around and go back the way I came.

SubSupra and the Defazio Bridge in the background

Under the Defazio walking bridge... ha! I didn't realize you could see the Sun from here! (that yellow ball on the right.)

Across the river

The bike path includes an art installation of a scale Solar System. The Sun and inner planets are in Alton Baker park, and the outer planets are along the Ruth Bascom Riverbank trail. Pluto is a tiny dot, over 3.5 miles away!

It's really cool and I love it! :)

And of course the rain quits after I come out of the new park. ha.

But I get to see one of the kids at the Osprey nest... (and the photo is a little better with some sun shining down!)

Child and Parent Ospreys in the nest

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Friday 17 June 2022... Stewart Pond

The rain is back again today, so the garden is back on pause. I'm out to Stewart Pond, to check on the nesting Robin!

On the way, a walk thru the neighborhoods...

Alliums

A Little Free Library in a pretty yard of flowers

And here we are. The wet prairie winter pond is turning into a summertime prairie... and oh my gosh, I just love the different greens of all the grasses!!

green prairie

It's pouring rain now!

Red Wing Blackbird standing on poison Hemlock

It's rained so much, there's still a pond in the forest! crazy!

Shallow wet prairie pond in the forest

And here's our beautiful nesting Robin. *laughs* She sits!

Robin sitting in her nest

Western Wood Pewee

Oh, hey!

Bushtit inside a Cow Parsley flower umbrella

A little flock of Bushtits!!

Two Bushtits

Ha! They're all over the place!

four bushtits

Two Bushtits

Female Bushtits have pale eyes, other than that they look the same as the males.

Female Bushtit

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Thursday 16 June 2022... Gardening Continued...

Planted the Lemon Cucumbers and a Spaghetti Squash, and the first row cover is ready to be pulled over!

Vege starts transplanted and row cover is ready

And here's the reason for the row covers...

Cucumber Beetles on a squash blossom

Sure enough, the Cucumber Beetles are coming out again now that the rain has stopped and things are drying out.

Damn you to hell, little bug!

Striped Cucumber Beetle on a squash blossom

Okay. All covered up!

Row cover in the garden

To the right of the row cover are some baby Leeks. That's my backpack, leaning against one of Evil Neighbor's raised beds... he hasn't started gardening yet this year, so his beds are just full of grass that's approaching a meter tall. I hope he doesn't come back. Because. You know. He's Evil.

In the middle, there are several volunteer Elephant Garlics, in front of the big patch of Mammoth Clover. ha, elephants and mammoths! :)

and the green on the left is another, smaller patch of Mammoth Clover. You can't really see it but there's a couple tomato plants, in front of and between the two clovers.

I've got several Sun Gold cherry tomato plants. An heirloom Yellow Pear tomato, a Roma Tomato, and a full size tomato called Celebrity. I don't know about the Celebrity... I just realized one day at the Farmers Market that I didn't have any big tomatoes, so I just grabbed that one.

And no Brandywines for the first time in years. I LOVE Brandywines. But the plants are not very productive... only five or ten tomatoes grow on a single plant. They just need a longer season, maybe, and that's not going to happen this year with the cold and wet spring we've had. sighs. maybe next year.

The Opium Poppies in the garden plot behind ours, are blooming!

Pink and Lavender coloured Opium Poppy blooms

They are so pretty, I love all the different colours!

Blooming Poppies

Pink Poppies

Purple Poppies

The European Honey Bees love the Poppies as well.

Honey Bee inside a Poppy

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Wednesday 15 June 2022... Flag

Okay. This is more than a pet peeve, and more than an annoyance.

This is something that makes me angry. I am pissed off about this!

This is the back porch of a neighborhood townhouse... I'm sure some Proud Boy Patriots are living here. You can tell by their extreme ignorance. They've got some kind of tent frame around their porch.

And they are using a huge American flag as... what? a privacy curtain?

THE FLAG IS DRAGGING ON THE GROUND!

back porch flag

Let me repeat.

The American flag is dragging on the ground!

ARG! ARG! ARG!

Having a flag even touch the ground briefly is not good, but leaving it to drag in the dirt 24/7 is the height of disrespect.

I am almost tempted to print up the Flag Code and drop it off at their front door. hmmm. Or. Here's a decent graphic, The American Flag at USA.gov.

And, having said all that... if you are at a protest and you feel the need to burn an American flag in order to make your statement? Yep. Go right ahead! Have at it!

Burning a flag in protest is part of our First Amendment rights. It is freedom of speech.

And yep, I am one of those people who take this to heart...

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.
(not Voltaire)

Altho, I rather like this rendering better...

I may not agree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to make an ass of yourself.
Oscar Wilde

*laughs*

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Wednesday 15 June 2022... Gardening

Pretty clouds

I have finally decided what to do with all the millions of Squash and Lemon Cucumber plants that are sitting in the porch room at home!

Okay. It's not millions. There are 8 Lemon Cucs, 2 Spaghetti Squash, and a couple of Zucchinis. But when you have to water them all twice a day, it seems like millions! :)

The Cucumber Beetles don't seems quite as multitudinous now. But that's just because they've eaten most everything. If I plant some new baby squashes in the garden, I'm sure they'll be back to eat everything yet again.

So I've got some row covers. When I pulled out the package that was leftover from a couple years ago, I realized the sheet I'd gotten was pretty small. Only 10x12 feet. I figured if I cut it in half, I could separate the baby plants into two rows with 4 Lemon Cucs and 1 Spaghetti Squash in each. And I'll worry about the Zucs later.

But the place I had in mind for the Cucs has some weeds encroaching. So that's what I'm going to work on today.

Here's the front right of our garden plot...

Before weeding

The black circle is part of a patch of Mammoth Clover... which was our cover crop from two seasons ago. I am happy that it still hangs around, it's good for the garden and I like diversity! But I'm going to cut some of it down to make room for the row cover.

The red oval is some invasive Creeping Buttercup. It has gotten established in the pathway and has set roots in the plot. It just needs to go. And I'll dig it out of the pathway, as much as I can as well. (They were very healthy plants... I pulled up several runners that were over 5 feet / 1.5 meters long!)

After weeding

Yay! A good space for one of the row covers! Plus there's some breathing room for a couple volunteer Elephant Garlics that are growing in the Clover patch.

The Creeping Buttercup that I pulled out will go to the Community Garden compost heap. But the clover I cut down will stay in the plot. I just dumped it in the Mostly Dead Squash patch. The nutrients and biomass can return to the dirt... with the rain we've been getting, it'll break down quickly.

Western Bluebird standing on the fence

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Tuesday 14 June 2022... Wildlife at the River (part 2)

This was the only sign of wildlife at the new park today. An intrepid Eastern Fox Squirrel...

Eastern Fox Squirrel standing on the ground

Maybe once things calm down, more wildlife will come visiting.

Back in the old park, there's some happy creatures. This is one of our native squirrels, a Western Grey.

Western Grey Squirrel walking in the grass

Happy Robin. Poor little worm.

Robin in the grass with a worm in their beak

Whoa! Swallows that worm almost instantly!

Robin eats the worm

And now we're looking for the next worm!

Robin standing in the grass

And back at the Osprey nest. Looks like two children, still... two lumps of heads...

Osprey nest with parent and two lumps

Two beaks...

Osprey nest with parent and two babies

Ooooh! Nope! That's Three! Two heads and a body behind the parent!

Osprey nest with parent and three children

Check! Three babies and a parent! Awesome!

Osprey nest with parent and three children

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Tuesday 14 June 2022... New Downtown Riverfront Park

The grand opening for Eugene's newest park took place over the weekend, and I'm excited to go and see it!

Eugene Downtown Riverfront Park

And, of course! It's raining off and on again today. ha. The weather this spring is just insane!

I park at the Rose Garden, the new park is a bit over a mile upriver.

But you can't walk thru the Rose Garden without taking photos of roses!!

About Face, Grandiflora Rose

This Silver Lining is one of my favorites. Such a unique shade!

Silver Lining Floribunda Rose

And the new Twilight Zone now has an official tag labeling it... so I guess it's a keeper! :)

Twilight Zone Grandibunda Rose

And I pass by the Osprey nest that's on the other side of the river... hmm. A parent and two lumps?

Osprey nest with a parent standing

And here we are at the new park...

Looking down the path

The crowning glory (right now, there's more art on the way) is this amazing art pavilion. It's called SubSupra and the metal ribbons mimic the topography of the riverbed...

New Art Pavilion, with seating under it, the river in the background

The stainless steel is polished to a mirror shine! *laughs* How fun is that!

the photographer reflected twice in the mirror shine

The bike path splits into several parallel paths. I suppose the outside one is for bikers who just want to ride thru. There's a boardwalk right next to the river and extra benches and seating for people who just want to hang out.

The building in the background is the old EWEB Steam Plant. It took water from the river and heated the entire downtown, back in the day. But it's been abandoned for a long time. The plan is to develop it and put in restaurants and gift shops! This place will be amazing when that happens!

covered benches along the path with a large building in the background

The next walking bridge is another mile upriver... I think I'll go check that out!

Moody clouds over the river with a bridge in the distance

Two miles from the Rose Garden, and huh... I didn't realize the path was so close to the University. Not sure how many blocks away it is, and you do have to cross a major road. I will have to check that out another time!!

Bike path and a sign for U of O

And here I am on Autzen walking bridge looking upriver. Interstate 5 is over there somewhere, but there's another walking bridge just before it.

Willamette River looking east from Autzen walking bridge

That was my turn around spot today... I'm heading back. I'll put the rest of the wildlife in today's Part 2 post!

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Monday 13 June 2022... Colour at the Garden

Cloudy, but just a couple sprinkles today.

Clouds over dark trees

This is someone's yard, officially designated as a Pollinator Habitat! I love to watch and see how it changes thru the year!

Pollinator Garden

I don't know why people have Sweet Peas in their garden plot... Sweet Pea is poisonous! Not to mention really invasive.

Pink and Purple Sweet Pea blooms

Oh my gosh, what an amazing splash of colour!

Garden flowers

Let's see... the pink and white flowers are Garden Pinks, the orange is Calendula, and the blues are Bachelor Buttons...

Bachelor Button in front of other flowers

Hang on... we've got a photo bomber...

Fly in the Bachelor Button bloom!

*laughs*

Calunda bloom with Garden Pinks

And then on the way home. Oh sheesh... you gotta stand right next to some trash?!

Green Heron standing near the water with a bit of muddy fabric

okay, that's better. Thanks!

Green Heron standing on a twig above the water

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Sunday 12 June 2022... RAIN!

Still with the rain that started on the 10th! Yay!

I walked in the rain but didn't take many photos.

Red Rhododendrons

So here's a piggy for you instead!

white guinea pig

Dawn the Guinea Pig!

White guinea pig

white guine pig with hay

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Saturday 11 June 2022... The State of the Squash

Rain started yesterday and still raining today... It's just unheard of that it rains this late in the year! But it makes some of us happy...

Snail on the sidewalk

Butterfly Graffiti

Two Salsify blooms in the grass

The rain has driven away the Striped Cucumber Beetles. They'll be back, but it hardly matters... we won't be able to bounce back from this...

Zucchini plant munched to death by beetles

So a bunch of new plants from the Farmers Market populate the porch room. But when can I plant them to avoid death by Cucumber Beetle? I don't know.

New squash starts in the porch room

I mentioned the Cucumber Beetles to my farmer and she starts, "There are some organic pesticides..."

I shake my head, "I'm vegan. I don't want to kill anybody."

But it's more than that. Bugs are so very very important in our world... and we've been killing them at such a rate that we have to contemplate pollinating our crops with our own hand. Life without bugs is going to be near impossible, but that's where we are headed.

And I refuse to add to the problem just because I'm annoyed at what's happening in my own garden. I will never use pesticides or any other poison.

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Friday 10 June 2022... Awesomeness at Stewart Pond

Yellow and Red Columbine bloom

Oh wow! This is a Western Tiger Swallowtail. And they hardly ever sit down!

Western Tiger Swallowtail on a blackberry flower

But this one was really happy about the Blackberry blooms!

Western Tiger Swallowtail on blackberry flowers

So Lovely! They are one of our native species. Wing span about 3 inches.

Western Tiger Swallowtail on blackberry flowers

And off we go! Thank you!

Western Tiger Swallowtail taking off from the flowers

Western Tiger Swallowtail flyiing away

Western Tiger Swallowtail flyiing away

xxx ... more pics here!

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Thursday 9 June 2022... More Gardening

I am ignoring the dying squash plants today.

Let the weeding begin...

Weedy area BEFORE photo

I planted some Wax Bean seeds here.

Weeded area AFTER photo

Ha, so funny thing.

Last year I had grown Wax Beans for the first time ever. The little bean patch did well, and I wanted to do that again this year.

So I picked out some seeds to plant at my favorite local nursery. They sat in my cart for a few days because I didn't want to just buy beans, you know. I picked out a few other seeds to get.

But then, the nursery had a sale to get rid of the last few seed packets of the year! And so I switched from the Wax Beans that I had so carefully picked out, to some of these Wax Beans that were on sale.

When they arrived, I realized my mistake. I had wanted bush beans, which are short and will stand up on their own.

The sale beans were pole beans. They'll be 8 or 10 feet tall... And I simply do not have a trellis that big!!

*laughs*

Small Orange flowers

Love in a Mist blooms

Western Bluebird standing on a nesting box

Yay, a new dragonfly!

I love going thru my book to learn about dragonflies and damselflies! This one is a male Pacific Clubtail...

Pacific Clubtail dragonfly in the straw

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Wednesday 8 June 2022... Death and Destruction Continues at the Garden

I hate the garden.

Cucumber Beetles eating up a squash plant

There were seven Summer Squash plants that lived thru the slugs and the cold and wet. The Striped Cucumber Beetles are eating them all up.

Bachelor Button bloom

Red violet Opium Poppy bloom

Well.

I planted some Leeks today. There aren't any bugs who eat leeks, so at least I'll get some soup flavoring out of the garden this year.

sighs.

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Tuesday 7 June 2022... Up Hidden Trail

Oh, cool bug! This is a Lady Bug larva sitting in a Garden Pink.

Lady Bug Larva in a Garden Pink

Purple and White Irises

Oh, Dang it you Robin! Look at that amazing background with all those interesting colours. This would have been a beautiful picture, if only you were agreeable!! *laughs*

Blurry Robin flying away from perching on a fence

Been a while since I've gotten to take a pic of our native Western Grey Squirrel! It's not that I don't see them... it's more that they don't stick around for portraiture! :)

Western Grey Squirrel standing on the ground with sticks and leaves

Forget Me Not blooms

I come around the corner, from the forest back into a neighborhood... and we surprise each other!

A wild Turkey walking on a lawn

I say hello, and he's such a sweet gentleman, he replies with his gentle voice. We have a good conversation!

Wild Turkey

Oh, here comes another one!

wild turkey

He doesn't have as much to say as my friend. That's okay!

Wild Turkey walking past garden flowers

I walk on, and then happen to turn around and look back...

Turkey walking down the street

Daisies

little waterfall in the forest

oh, ha! Just sprawled out in someone's back yard.

Black Tail Deer

He was singing a good song... but oh! I wonder if his beak gives him trouble.

Song Sparrow standing on a branch with a slightly malformed top beak

We start with a pink flower, and we end with some pink flowers! :)

Checker Mallow blooming

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Monday 6 June 2022... River, Cooper Hawk

Such a long tail... has to be a Cooper Hawk?

Cooper Hawk standing on a hand railing

Yep, a juvenile!

Cooper Hawk standing on a hand railing

Oh, I just love the background, too!

Cooper Hawk standing on a hand railing

Duck! Haha, they're being mobbed by Swallows!

Cooper Hawk ducking away from getting mobbed

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Monday 6 June 2022... River, Delta Ponds way

Willamette River from the Greenway walking bridge

Spillover from Willamette river to Delta ponds

Three Turkey Vultures sunning in a snag

Spotted Towhee standing on a twig

Red Eared Slider on the bank

Oh, I wish this portrait came out better! Fish are so cool! My Dad says this is a carp.

Carp in the water

Willamette River

Willamette River under the clouds

Dang it... there was a Swallow going in and out of the bigger hole in this snag. She was too fast for me, tho, and I didn't get her picture. Foo.

Snag with holes in in

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Monday 6 June 2022... River, Rose Garden way

It's 100% rain today and I really really do not want to bother with the stupid garden.

So I'm out to the river. I want to check out the Osprey nest... Looks like a parent is standing up there! But I don't see anybody else, not even a lump. foo.

Osprey standing on a nest

Then coming back thru the Rose Garden!

Chihuly Rose

Arctic Blue Rose

Unnamed pink and yellow rose

This one is new this year, and is an instant favorite.
Twilight Zone!

Twilight Zone Rose

Twilight Zone Roses

*laughs* I'm such a sucker for the roses!

Oh my gosh! This Bushtit was yelling at a Scrub Jay... I think the Jay was just way too close to Mr Bushtit's nest. The nest was hidden, I didn't see it, but it was obviously buried in some nearby shrubbery, just outside the Rose Garden fence!

Bushtit standing on a trellis

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Sunday 5 June 2022... Just walk right on past that stupid garden!

Clouds above trees

Dignified Fledgling? or maybe a female...

House Sparrow Fledglin standing on a fence

And then you show your true colours! a begging baby! Bahaha!

House Sparrow fledgling with mouth wide open!

House Sparrows are invasive, but pretty cute, after all. :)

House Sparrow fledgling standing on a fence

There's an apple tree outside the garden...

Small Apple pomes surrounded by leaves

Herb Robert is invasive, but this patch next to the path is so striking.

xxx

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Saturday 4 June 2022... Stewart Pond in the rain

Lazuli Bunting standing on Hemlock in the rain

Nootka Roses

Oh my gosh... A Robin is building a nest!!!

American Robin standing in her nest with nesting material in her beak

She is very very nervous about me looking at her. Ha! I tell her, she's the one who decided to build a nest a few feet over the path!

But I am respectful, of course. I take a few pics, wipe the raindrops off the lens with my shirt, and move on.

Western Wood Pewee standing on a twig

Lesser Goldfinch standing on a stalk of grass

Snail on the path

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Friday 3 June 2022... Death and Destruction at the Garden

Cucumber Beetles are in the process of murdering ALL the squash plants. There were seven, all different kinds of summer squash, that had survived the cold and wet. And now it looks like there will be none.

WAI!

Many Cucumber Beetles on an eaten squash leaf

I am so sad and frustrated. I just can't make the garden work this year.

But... I have chores to do, so I can't mope and whine about the damn squashes.

I had run into our new plot neighbors, across the pathway, a couple times... Emily, Lee, and their kid who has an interesting name that I never remember! And they awesomely gave us some seed potatoes! (Dang, that's a lot!)

a box of sprouted potatoes

I've not grown regular potatoes before, altho I have dug up a few volunteers from Evil Neighbor's overflowing compost area!

So I'm eager to get these going... It might be the one thing that I CAN grow this year! ha.

So, here's where I want to put them. I get out my hand fork and start weeding!

a weedy area in the garden plot

On the left is the big happy Comfrey plant, making the Honey Bees happy. and one of the Sweet Potatoes. In the weedy area, there's a couple surviving Favas and some of last year's Beets which are going to seed. I'll keep some of them!

Weed, weed, weed... and dig holes, and more holes... and plant potatoes!

a weeded area

Okay! You can Grow now!

I also planted a couple basil plants. That was an impulse buy from the Farmers Market... I usually can't keep basil alive, but hope springs eternal, huh.

And a third Sun Gold... because the 1st Sun Gold was sun burned almost to death, and the 2nd Sun Gold isn't really doing well.

Pretty Pinks.

Garden Pinks blooming

Who's this?

House Sparrow Fledgling standing on a post

Oh, of course... the female House Sparrow, who was using one of the Bluebird nesting boxes at the Garden. I didn't realize the females looked so very different from the males!

And here's her scruffy baby. :)

Scruffy looking House Sparrow flegling standing on the fence

She's sweet, I like her!

House Sparrow fledgling sits

oh! haha! so silly! run! Catch up with Mama!

House Sparrow fledgling runs

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Thursday 2 June 2022... Today's Pics

Camas Lily blooming in a meadow

Oh, wow... how cool is this! Minnows!

Minnows

Pretty, pretty Wood Sorrel...

Wood Sorrel blooms and leaves

Wood Sorrel blooms and leaves

On the walk back home, I stop off at the garden. Our new neighbors across the path offered us some potatoes the other day. And yep, there's a box in our plot with a bunch of sprouted potatoes! Cool.

But then I look around at the other stuff...

Oh HELL AND DAMNATION!

Striped Cucumber Beetles eating a squash plant

Those are Striped Cucumber Beetles. Eating up what used to be one of my squash plants.

ARG! Goodbye squash plants. It was nice knowing you... too bad I threw away all that money on you.

Fah.

Okay... this is kind of interesting!

Bluebird standing on a nesting box

I'm pretty sure this male Bluebird is holding a baby's poo sack! ha! Yuck! *laughs*

:) Some baby songbirds make poo sacks so that the parents can take them away easily. This not only keeps the nest clean, but extra poo around might alert predators to the location of the nest!

Nature is pretty amazing, huh?!

But that guy really should drop that thing somewhere... not just sit with it. I mean, I'm happy to get an interesting photo... but still!

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Wednesday 1 June 2022... Ducks!

Hey Mama! You want to show off your babies?

Mallard mama with ducklings in the water, hidden behind plants

Yes! and she brings them out into the open. :)

Mama Mallard with ten babies in the water

So adorable! Thank you, Mama!

Mama Mallard with babies in the water

I'm working at the garden again today.

Again... I try to ignore the fact that I'm down to two Lemon Cucumbers of batch #2. sighs.

The project today... Weed this area...

Weedy area in the garden plot

And plant two Sweet Potato starts!

Weeded and planted with two Sweet Potato plants

Sweet Potatoes are such beautiful plants!

small Sweet Potato plant in the dirt

And then walking home, I see this one again!

Muscovy duck in the water looking up

She's so sweet! And this is, what, the third time I've seen her in the past month or so? (yep... First sighting was may8, then again on may24.) Probably time to look up who she is! *laughs*

Muscovy Duck at AllAboutBirds

huh, super interesting! They are from South America and are one of the oldest domesticated ducks, they were kept by the native people in Peru and Paraguay. The claws on their feet are used for perching in trees! I guess I'll have to look up every once in a while. I would love to see a duck in a tree!

Annnd... hmmm... Not sure if she's a girl or not! ha!

There's a major size difference, the males are much bigger. But we've got nobody to compare to, out here! I'm gonna keep calling her a her! :)

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Tuesday 31 May 2022... at the Garden

Well. The stupid baby Lemon Cucumbers continue to die. But today I'm planting a couple more Squash... A Green Patty Pan and a Spaghetti Squash!

Squash planted at the garden

They look so happy when you first put them into the ground! I hope they live!

Seven Spot Ladybug on a dry stem

In the afternoon, my partner drove me out to a little flower shop. All the colours are delightful!

Coleus

Petunias

and 4$ for this cute little Heliotrope!

Purple flowers of a Heliotrope

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Monday 30 May 2022... Nature's Failures

BLue sky with a few clouds over the bike path

Hmmm. Well this is weird. I thought for sure the next time I saw the Wood Ducks at the creek, they would have babies with them. But here's the female, no partner, no children.

Sighs... nesting failure, probably. H5N1. :(

Female Wood Duck in the water

Blue sky with clouds seen thru Oak tree branches

I read in the newspaper that our spring has been so chilly and wet that the bees weren't able to get out and do their thing with the tree blossoms. The entire crop of Plums has been lost!

So, I'm looking around. There are some Apple pomes growing in a few places. But, yeah, when I checked a known plum tree on AP Road... it had no little fruits on it at all! crazy!

A small apple pome growing on the tree

And at the garden plot... looks like I'm losing the Lemon Cucumbers again. One by one, they are getting eaten up, by whoever, and there's nothing but a stem left!

Sighs.

Well. Here's one of Nature's Successes. This is a Crow fledgling!

Crow fledgling up in a tree

In this pic, you can kinda see her blue eye and a bit of gape...

Crow fledgling up in a tree

She has both parents caring for her. When one of the parents came back, apparently without food, the youngster was begging a bit... but her voice was so sweet. A soft "Maah? Maah?"

Bachlor Button bloom with Calendula blooms in the background

Oh, wow! This Great Blue Heron flew by so low I actually got a pic of her!

Great Blue Heron flying overhead

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Sunday 29 May 2022... Happy Flowers

The sky over trees

Clouds over trees

Oh wow! Can you see the Hummingbird?! :)

An Anna Hummingbird hovering in front of Borage blooms

Coreopsis blooms

Pansy and Forget Me Not blooms

Pink Columbine blooms

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Saturday 28 May 2022... Skinner Butte

A big run at the Saturday Farmers Market... I'm hoping this will be the last time I have to buy squash plants. Also get another Sun Gold to replace the sunburned one (which is technically still alive).

Lemon Cucumbers, which will bring the total up to nine... That might be enough to sustain me thru the summer. Last year I had ten plants.

And some Sweet Potatoes and Leeks.

It started sprinkling as I left, but I wasn't planning to go to the garden anyway... I head for the river and park at the Rose Garden. It's cool enough that the baby plants will be fine in the car while I go for a walk!

Arches at the entrance of Owens Rose Garden

Calla Lilies surrounded by other blooming plants

Oh wow, I just love these fancy Columbines!

pale purple double petal Columbine blooms

Dark purple Columbine bloom

It's just pouring down rain, now! I'm wrapped up in my rain jacket and decide to go up Skinner Butte. It's a small park and ordinarily I would never hike up on a weekend day... too many humans!

But the rain will keep the humans away today!

Ha! After seeing the fancy Columbines in the Rose Garden, here's our native Columbine, out in the forest!

Red Columbine bloom

Huh... it's been a long while since I've been on this part of the trail!

Stone stairs going up the hill

The rain makes the view from the summit even more beautiful.

View from the summit of Skinner Butte

I go all the way around on the Mid-Elevation trail. Skinner Butte is an incredible little park, but there's no escaping civilization on this trail. You can hear the traffic on the highway.

A large building in the background of a hiking trail

A good hike, and now I'm headed back. Just sprinkling now so I'm able to take some pics of the Osprey platform nest on the other side of the river!

Hmmm. A parent... and a lump. dang it, I'm not sure who the lump is!

Parent Osprey with wings open on the platform nest

oh well, try again next time! and back at the Rose Garden.

Hot pink rose bloom

Yellow rose bloom

Pink rose blooms

Pink rose blooms

heh. I'm such a sucker for the roses! :)

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Friday 27 May 2022... to the Garden

Artsy Heron! We were walking past the Camas Lilies!

Great Blue Heron walking in shallow water

The Red Ossier Dogwoods are blooming, down at the creek...

Red Ossier Dogwood blooms

Aren't the leaves just lovely?

Okay. At the garden...

There is just one Lemon Cucumber still living from the 1st batch of cucs I planted. So today I'm planting the 2nd batch. Three Lemon Cucs and one Striped Armenian Cucumber!

There were a couple of freebie Squash plants as well, that I grabbed and planted. They are wilted and pathetic looking, tho, so I'm not going to give them any hope.

These are Pinks, in someone else's garden plot...

Blooming Pinks

The really cool thing about Pinks is their name! You think they are called Pinks because they are pink? haha! Nope... Pinks got their name before there was a colour called pink!!

It turns out, the colour pink was named for these flowers!

And the flowers were probably named after pinking shears, for the serrated edges on the blooms!

First harvest from the garden!

two cut garlic buds on a plate

*laughs* Elephant Garlic blooms can be eaten! They have a very mild flavor, and can be chopped up and added to meals, raw.

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Thursday 26 May 2022... H5N1 death at the River

Willamette River seen from Greenway walking bridge

Spillover is dry again.

Spillover between Willamette River and Delta Ponds

Red Eared Sliders are terribly invasive, but dang it, turtles are just so cute!

Red Eared Slider on a log

Mama Mallard watching over her single, sleeping duckling. It's weird... I think this is the only duckling I've seen at the Delta Ponds this spring. And there haven't been that many goslings, either.

Mama Mallard on the rocky river shore standing over sleeping duckling

And then I see.

There's a dead Canada Goose, floating in the water.

:(

The H5N1 Avian Flu must be killing off most of the babies as well, I suppose.

Sighs. Well, I take a picture so I can report it at the website on the sign. Sighs.

Extra time at my meditation spot.

Looking across the Willamette River

And maybe just contemplate the river some more.

Looking up river

On the walk back, our one baby is awake.

Mallard mama and duckling on the river bank

And there is a family of Canada Geese with goslings.

Canada Goose gosling in the water

Canada Geese gosling and parent up on the bank

And, oh my gosh. Nutria Babies!

Two baby Nutrias

So Cute!!

Nutria Babies

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Wednesday 25 May 2022... Today at the Garden

Cirrus Clouds

Today I ignored the dead and dying plants at the garden, and did some weeding around the living plants... The three strawberry plants I put in at the beginning of the month, are looking good! (Never mind the sunburned Snap Peas next to them!)

Before Photo:

Before weeding photo

and After Photo:

After weeding photo

An unripe Strawberry fruit, hanging from the plant

Steller Jay standing on a fence with something in their beak

Steller Jay

*laughs*

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Tuesday 24 May 2022... Stupid Garden

Cirrus Clouds above the bike path

It has been unusually rainy and cloudy all thru May. And now there's been a couple days of sun... And several of my poor stupid plants in the garden have been sunburned!

Sunburned! I just can't win!

I don't think the Sun Gold is going to live. And Look! These Dead Nettles are totally fried! GAH.

Sunburned Dead Nettle

I'm just so frustrated. Not to mention the squash plants, which have bug eaten holes in the leaves. I never see the bugs, so I don't know who is doing the damage.

sighs.

Well, anyway.

It's been a couple of weeks, but here is that new duck at the creek again! Dang, she's just lovely!

Muscovy duck in the water

Aww! So sweet!

Muscovy

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Monday 23 May 2022... So Sad... Injured Mama Duck :(

Aww! Ducklings! There's seven in this family.

Five Mallard ducklings in the water

But then I get a look at Mama. Oh My God!

She doesn't have a tail and her wings are messed up!

Six Mallard ducklings with mama in the water

And a wound on the back of her head.

Seven Mallard ducklings with mama in the water

Poor Mama. Just barely escaped from being eaten, and now she's got seven babies to take care of. Sighs. Her injuries are pretty severe, I doubt I will see her again. *I cry*

Injured Mallard mama


And here's some more horrible stuff, from SCOTUS...

Supreme court guts lifeline for prisoners who claim wrongful convictions Decision bars federal courts from hearing new evidence not presented in a state court as a result of ineffective legal counsel

What in the fresh hell is this? I cannot even understand. What is the point of a trial if you can't look at ALL the evidence??! and why would ANYone want to hide evidence? Like truth doesn't matter in this world?!

What makes this even more terrifying... My state of Oregon has a serious lack of public defenders. We need a couple thousand extra lawyers (Literally!!) in order to get thru all the cases!

And if you actually get a public defender, and they can't do their job because they have a hundred other clients they are working with as well? Your public defender simply doesn't have the time to work for you. The chances of getting wrongfully convicted skyrockets, and now... what? we can't even do anything about it?

So. Americans do not have the right to competent lawyers.

In his opinion, Thomas presented the case as one of states rights. He said that federal courts should not be allowed to override the states core power to enforce criminal law.

States rights again. What in the hell is wrong with these five judges. Precedent doesn't exist for them. They can't remember the civil war. And goodbye United States... SCOTUS is ripping our country apart.


Later... here's an article about this that I wanted to add. It was written 29 June, and I think it's important.

SCOTUS just quietly slashed your Sixth Amendment rights (apologies, there are about 700,000 ads on that page, but the article is still readable.)


Ugh, ugh, ugh.

So here are some happier photos to cheer us up.

Green Heron standing in shallow water behind a branch

Herb Robert and California Poppy

Purple Salsify amongst Oak leaves

Chekcer Mallow with blue sky

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Sunday 22 May 2022... Oh Cool! A Snake!

Scrub Jay standing on a wall

Graffiti says SLEEP

Purple Wallflowers

Eastern Racer Snake

Wow! This is an Eastern Racer Snake, so beautiful!

Eastern Racer Snkae

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Saturday 21 May 2022... Gardening, ARG!

I picked up more baby vege plants at the Saturday Farmers Market, but once I get to the garden I'm annoyed to see that the squash plants and Lemon Cucumbers are dying right and left.

Well. I transplant some of what I bought today... a Crook Neck and two Spaghetti Squash, and a Roma tomato plant.

And I try to focus on the things which are alive.

Blooming purple Columbines with a blue sky

And on the way home, I marveled at the Cow Parsnip...

Cow Parsnip

Cow Parsnip blooms

Cow Parsnip is related to carrots, and parts of it are edible... But it will give you a rash... And Giant Hogweed is a look-alike and is poisonous, so you really, really need to know what you're doing.

Cow Parsnip... cooking

Cow Parsnip blooms

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Friday 20 May 2022... Rose Garden and River

Just past the Rose Garden on the Ruth Bascom Riverbank path, there's an Osprey nest platform on the other side of the river. A pair of Ospreys have been using that nest, for I don't know how many years!

An arrow points at the top of an Osprey head in a nest

haha! One of the parents is up there. You can just barely see a black and white striped face.

Just a couple of very early roses are blooming at the Rose Garden, but there's always something interesting to look at! Here's the Owen Cherry Tree, possibly planted in 1847.

Huge, twisted trunk of the cherry tree in Owens Rose Garden

White and purple Columbine bloom

White Columbine blooms

And then back to the Delta ponds... Happy to see the spillover!

Water coming over the spillover

Hmm. This might be a Western Pond Turtle. I wonder why she has so much green stuff growing on her.

Turtle floating in the water

This one is a Red Ear Slider... a pet store turtle who is dangerously invasive, unfortunately: They reproduce so much that everyone suffers.

Red Eared Slider floating in the water

My meditation spot...

Looking across the Willamette River

And now for the song birds!

Western Tanager on a twig

Western Tanager

Cedar Waxwing on a twig in the blue sky

Black Headed Grosbeak on a twig

uh oh. This is not a sign about feeding the ducks... this is a sign about Bird Flu... :(

Sign near the path

Don't feed the ducks or geese!
Feeding birds and contact with avian feces can increase spread of avian flu. City staff cannot regularly clean avian feces from surfaces. Wash avian feces off your shoes. Limit cross contamination with domestic chicken and ducks.
In Eugene Parks:
If you see sick birds, call...
If you see dead birds, please report...

sighs.

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Thursday 19 May 2022... to the Garden

Clouds in the sky

Mama Hummer said Hello!!

Just before I got to the place on the bike path where she had her nest, somebody buzzed me... It was Mama, and she hovered in front of me for several seconds, making sure I saw her!! I sing-sang my usual greeting for her and then she flew by me, going into the flowery bushes

Aww! So awesome that I got to see her again!

This is a pretty weed from Europe, and I have to look up the name of it every year! Salsify... it's pronounced Sal-suh-fee.

Salsify blooms

Cute lil Wood Pewee!

Western Wood Pewee standing on a twig

And a lovely Mallard couple, resting in the Lawn Daisies!

Female and male Mallard, sitting in the grass with Lawn Daisies

And at the garden to check on the baby plants. Here's the 2nd set of Lemon Cucumbers, looking good. (Never mind about the 1st set of Lemon Cucumbers... they are quite dead!)

Four small Lemon Cucumber plants surrounded by leaf mulch

Columbine blooms

Oh, Naughty! Look at your face! You've been digging in someones garden plot! haha!

Eastern Fox Squirrel standing on tilled garden dirt with dirt on his face

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Wednesday 18 May 2022... Walk West

Our Little Free Pantry is in a good neighborhood. :)

We Believe sign behind a free pantry box with cool art

Pink Columbine blooms

The exposure on the pic below is awful, dang it. But this is kind of cool! These are House Finches, Mama on the left and two fledglings.

That fluffy feather on the kids heads, means they are fledglings. There are many different species of song birds who might have this fluffy feather when they are growing up! I guess it's just the way the new feathers are coming in, but I don't know for sure!

House Finches on a roof

And here we are at the wet prairie at Stewart Pond Park.

pond in the grass

There are swallows swooping over the water... Mostly Barn Swallows, I can see their red feathers. But there's Tree or Violet Green Swallows as well... I wish there was an easy way to tell them apart!

Swallow flying over the pond

What the... ? Ha! Why are her feathers like that? It looks like she's got a hoodie on her head!

Young bird standing on a twig

It took me a while to figure out who she was... the shape of the beak was making me think. But then, oh! Of course! She's a Red Wing Blackbird!

Camas Lilies...

Camas Lilies blooming in the forest

This stuff is growing up all over the place here, with umbrellas of little white flowers... and I decided to finally look it up. huh. Poison Hemlock.

Leaves of Poison Hemlock

Oh cute little bird! Another one I have to look up!! He's a Common Yellowthroat.

Common Yellowthroat in a tree

And one I def do not have to look up. ha! Towhees are one of my favorites!

Spotted Towhee behind twigs

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Tuesday 17 May 2022... Gardening

Got all of the baby plants from Saturday Farmers Market transplanted into the ground today! Yay!

A 2nd Sun Gold and and heirloom Yellow Pear Tomato. Two Zucchinis, two Spaghetti Squash and three tiny Lemon cucumbers.

Planted Spaghetti Squash

Columbine blooms and a blue sky

Scrub Jay in a tree

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Monday 16 May 2022... Happy Pics

Eastern Fox Squirrel standing on a step

Seven Spot Ladybug on a leaf

Green Herons are so shy, I'm always excited when I get to take their portrait!

Green Heron standing on a rock with water rushing around

Barn Swallow standing on a railing

hmm. Are those white feathers normal for Barn Swallows? Or is this a bit of leucism? ... Not sure. There is a pic of one with white on wikipedia, but no talk about it. So maybe it is just normal.

Barn Swallow standing on railing, with some white feathers on wings and back

Oh, the Checker Mallow is blooming!

Checker Mallow blooms

Checker Mallow blooms

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Sunday 15 May 2022... a Walk to the West

Eastern Fox Squirrel looking down from a tree branch

Oh my gosh, our Little Free Pantry is practically empty! I dropped off the menstrual pads at the bottom, but maybe I'll bring some cans or something when I get back.

The inside of a Little Free Pantry, not much in it.

An Orange Poppy

Bright pink and white Columbine blooms

Western Tanager on a branch

House Finch on a twig

California Poppies blooming

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Saturday 14 May 2022... Starling series

Camas Lilies

There are Starling parents and fledglings all over the place at the Community Garden today!!

Starling fledgling and parent standing on the path

The youngster is begging at her dad!

Starling fledgling begging at her parent

Wait! Wait!

Starling parent walking away from the fledgling who runs to catch up

*laughs*

It's normal for birds to continue to take care of their kids after they've fledged. The youngsters can fly but they have lots to learn about flying and finding food and about life in general!

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Saturday 14 May 2022... to the Garden, but not gardening

Ha! I love it when the wildlife greets me, right out the door! Two sweet girls!

Eastern Fox Squirrel on the step

Eastern Fox Squirrel standing on the ground

We go to the Saturday Farmers Market to buy more plants... but the garden is a swamp! So I'm not planting anything today...

a puddle in the corner of the garden plot

The strawberrys sit in a puddle

I've got two big Comfrey plants growing this year and they are blooming like crazy!

Comfrey blooms

Western Bluebird

Done looking at the garden, but I need more exercise, so I take the long way home. Here's Blazey, the bike path ambassador, in his spot.

Tuxedo cat

Lucky pic of a Chickadee!!

Chickadee in a tree

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Friday 13 May 2022... SCOTUS

Clarence Thomas warns Supreme Court can't be bullied
As a society, we are becoming addicted to wanting particular outcomes, not living with the outcomes we don't like, Thomas said.

Did you just say that? Are you fucking serious?!

When the federal right to legal abortion goes away... people WILL DIE!

They will die of botched & illegal abortions, they will die of pregnancy because the US has a high Maternal Mortality, and they will die because they've had a miscarriage and are too scared to go to a hospital.

Not Living with the outcome... is LITERALLY TRUE!!


XXX

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Thursday 12 May 2022... Garden and Flicker series!

Just stopping by to check on the veges I planted yesterday. It is raining, like they said it would, and the baby plants are happy about that!

Western Bluebird

unopened orange tulip

Pinkish Tulip with white ones in the background

Northern Flicker standing on the sidewalk

Northern Flickers are woodpeckers... but their favorite meal is ants. So pretty often, you'll see them on the ground, digging up an ant nest!

Northern Flicker on the sidewalk, digging at the crack with his beak

Northern Flicker with his tongue in the crack, getting ants

Thank you for letting me take your portrait!!

Northern Flicer

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Wednesday 11 May 2022... Gardening

There's more rain on the way, so I want to get some plants in the ground at the garden! Some squash, a Sun Gold cherry tomato, and the first set of Lemon Cucumbers!

Clouds and blue sky

And also a third Albion Strawberry plant!

Strawberry plant with a bloom

The baby squash plants keep dying of the slugs, but at least the strawberries will live.

Strawberry fruit with bloom in background

One of the Columbines is thinking about blooming!

purple Columbine buds

A Starling showing off his colours on the Community Garden fence!

Starling standing on the fence

And cake for my birthday! :)

a slice of chocolate cake with pink frosting and strawberry compote

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Tuesday 10 May 2022... Flowers at Hendricks Park

Well, this is kind of exciting... the car I'm driving out to the park hit 180,000 miles!

Picture of the dash of a car with 180,007.9 miles showing

And then I arrive at the Rhododendron Garden! So lovely!

Rhododendrons in yellow and various pinks

Pink Rhododendrons

I didn't notice when I was taking this photo... but this trillium bloom is getting old... and buggy... and sluggy!! *laughs*

Trillium bloom with a tiny slug and a white spider

Oh my gosh! These ferns look like Sea Horses!!

New fern leaves

Pretty shadows on a Fringe Cup.

Finge Cup

Well, this would have been a pretty photo to have... except for the blurry bird part! ha. oh well. He's a Western Tanager.

Western Tanager in the grass with pink flowers

This one again. Sighs. She is very beautiful, tho. I'll have to see if I can read her tag next time to find out her name.

Cat on the hiking trail

I love the Song Sparrows!

Song Sparrow standing on a twig

Looks like there are babies to be fed!

Robin on a twig with a worm in her beak

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Monday 9 May 2022... some pics

Pretty pretty...

Pink blooms on a Hawthorn tree

Clouds

Northern Flicker

A Crow and Vulture in the sky

Silhouette of a Vulture in the sky

Ha! That's random!

Bumper sticker on a pole

Northern Flicker standing in a tree

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Sunday 8 May 2022... New Duck!

But first...

postcard to Chief Justice John Roberts

Translation: Dear Chief Roberts, Please, please, please! Do not let Roe v. Wade fall! Breaking 49 years of precedent? Weakening our right to privacy? How many other rights will we lose in the aftermath? I am terrified. Please don't let this happen. Sincerely, rift

I'd like to send a postcard to Justice Alito, as well. But really. What do you say to a person, a man, who has sincerely quoted a witch trial judge. What do you say, besides cussing at him???


Hey, cool! a new duck is hanging out at the creek!

Muscovy Duck with beak tucked under her wing

Weird face, but a sweet look. I hope she sticks around!

Muscovy Duck standing on a branch

Western Bluebird. So fluffy!

Western Bluebird standing on a nesting box

Oh, hey! Another cool bird!

Um, could you move over just a little bit... ?

Yellow Rump Audubon Warbler behind a twig

Thanks!

Yellow Rump Audubon Warbler

This is a Yellow Rump Audubon Warbler, the western version of the species. The eastern version is called Yellow Rump Myrtle Warbler and has a white throat. These little birds are summer visitors here.

Yellow Rump Warbler

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Saturday 7 May 2022... Rose Garden and River

Bought a few vege starts at the Saturday Farmers Market, then parked at the Rose Garden to walk along the river. It's a lovely, dreary day and it's sprinkling now and then.

Benches and flowers at the Rose Garden

Bleeding Hearts blooms

Song Sparrow standing on a chain link fence, singing

A quick check of the nest platform, across the river... but no sign of the Ospreys today.

Silhouette of Osprey nest on a platform

I back track and go over the river on the Greenway walking bridge... There are swallows swooping above the water, scooping up bugs! I love to watch them!

Looking at the river from the Greenway Bridge

But I can't tell if they are Violet Green Swallows or Tree Swallows.

A Swooping Swallow just above the water

Wow, check out the spillover!!!

Spillover from the river to the ponds is flooding!

Turkey Vultures!

Silhouette of three Turkey Vultures in a tree, and one flying by

Wow, they're everywhere! I eventually counted 13... but then I saw more in the trees on the other side of the main pond! I wonder what's going on!

Some Turkey Vultures flying

Oh the cuteness!

Five Canada Goose goslings in the water, following a parent

One Canada Goose gosling

Five goslings and two Canada Goose parents

Ha. A Red Wing Blackbird... with rather orange epaulettes!

Red Wing Blackbird standing on a twig

Tree Swallow. But I'm guessing the swooping swallows above are a mixed group of Tree, Violet Green and maybe Barn Swallows!

Tree Swallow standing on a twig

XXX

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Friday 6 May 2022... Good Bird Day at the Garden

Steller Jay standing on a twig surrounded by green leaves

Steller Jay standing in the grass

Oh Wow! A Wilson Warbler!! Awesome!

Wilson Warbler in a tree

A bad pic of a female Violet Green Swallow. are they using one of the Bluebird nesting box as well??

Female Violet Green Swallow standing on a nesting box

The male is here, too.

male Violet Green Swallow standing on a fence

At the garden, the squash plants are getting eaten up by slugs. Sighs. But the strawberry plants look good!

Hopefully the strawberries will pull me thru the sadness of the dying squash!

Green Strawberry fruit

And the comfrey is blooming!

Seven Spot Ladybug on Comfrey blooms

*laughs* a perfect fit... Comfrey and Honey Bees are both invasive from Europe, so they have evolved together to get that good fit!!

European Honey Bee buried in a Comfrey bloom

And then on the way home, a Western Wood Pewee! Silly name, but cute little bird!

Western Wood Pewee on a twig

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Thursday 5 May 2022... Rain!

Happily raining today!

After one of the driest Februarys in over a hundred years... April was the 7th wettest on record!!

We're up to 12.60 inches for the year now. We have not caught up to normal... which is 18.68 inches for the end of April. But, like I said, at least we've not fallen further behind on the rainfall.

And, even better that the rain is continuing into May!

With the rain, the camera is mostly tucked under my rain jacket, during my walk. But I've taken a couple photos today!

Snail on the bike path

Camas Lilies


The news this week is of Supreme Court Justice Alito's horrifying leaked opinion about abortion rights. sighs.

If Roe falls... this country will no longer be the United States of America. We will be divided by States Rights... a horror from the times of the American Civil War.

There will be states where people can get health care.

And there will be states where it will be intolerable for women, LGBTQIA, BIPOC, AAPI and other minorities to live... It starts with the loss of reproductive health care, including contraception, and (of course) including puberty blockers for trans kids. They are also working to take away voting rights, in these states as well. We'll go back to Legalized discrimination. Where does it end? I guess we'll find out.

If Roe falls... this will no longer be a democracy. Half the population doesn't have a federal right to bodily autonomy? Bodily Autonomy is the foundation of all other rights.

You can't enjoy the pursuit of happiness when you're dead. Oh, you didn't know? Maternal Mortality in the US is bad. Really really bad.

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Wednesday 4 May 2022... at the Garden

Eastern Fox Squirrel sitting on a fence post

Today I took a couple of baby squash plants to the garden... a Yellow Zucchini and a Green Patty Pan. I love summer squash in many different forms!

The Strawberries are still happy.

Strawberry bloom

These tiny little weeds are perpetual in the plot during the growing season. I had always thought they were Baby Blue Eyes because I had a seed mix that included them, ages ago.

But no... Baby Blue Eyes have five petals on their flowers, and this only has four.

Germander Speedwell

Germander Speedwell
Funny name! and native to Europe and Asia, but not an invasive problem in my garden plot.

And then, walking home, a Hawthorn is blooming along the bike path!

Pink Hawthorn blooms

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Tuesday 3 May 2022... Bus Experiment

So! I might have Jury Duty on Thursday!

That's exciting. Or maybe nerve racking. *laughs* I'm not sure which!

Anyway. If you have to go in, you have to stay the entire day, from 8:15am to 5:30ish. So they make sure you can get to the court house without too much trouble... they will validate your parking at the two nearby parking structures, and they include a free bus pass for the day.

There is a stop for the EmX, our rapid transit, at the end of the street, about a block away. It's been ages since I've ridden the bus, so I wanted to do a trial run today!

I got up early. I was super nervous walking down to the bus stop. There was something wrong with the fare machine at the stop, and I couldn't pay to get a ticket. After a couple attempts, I gave up. And the bus had arrived anyway. They never check your ticket... I had a good excuse for not having a ticket, but it was moot!

Once I was on the bus and on the way... I was suddenly having fun! I should do this more often, being driven around without a care is Awesome!!

But then, getting closer, I realized I didn't know when to pull the cord for my stop! Ack, that was dumb! Fortunately, the bus made my stop for others, regardless of my dumb-ness and I got off at the right place.

The courthouse is about a block away, and I am there well before my assigned time! I go inside, look at where I'm supposed to go for my jury duty. I'm not terribly early but there's just a couple of other humans around... Maybe they don't do jury things every day.

Then I head across the street... If I'm here the same time on Thursday, I can go drink my coffee at the Park Blocks! Which is exactly what I'm doing right now! I feel better, knowing exactly how to get here and where to go!

View of the courthouse from the Park Blocks

I go back to my bus stop to go home... but the return stop is not in the place where I think it should be! Ack, again! Dang it, why isn't it just across the street?!

It's never easy! I wander around, fortunately I happen to walk in the correct direction... and I find the bus stop going the other way. Yay! I did it!

I get home. Eat breakfast. and realize I need more exercise! A couple of blocks of walking to and from the bus stops just isn't going to cut it!

Eastern Fox Squirrel standing on the step

You think it's an artsy pic of a Periwinkle... but actually there are two teeny tiny bugs in there! :)

Close up of the center of a Periwinkle bloom with tiny spiders

Yellow Tulips and Spanish Bluebells in a raised garden box

Silhouette of an American Crow standing on the top of a pine branch

Steller Jay standing on a cluster mailbox

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Monday 2 May 2022... Cool Birds

Bushtits are so cute! I wish I could get decent pics of them, but they bounce around too quickly.

a pair of Bushtits in the bushes

Upside down Bushtit on a twig

Our Wood Duck friends.

A pair of Wood Ducks, female and male, standing on the bank of the creek

um, what? What's Praxis??

Graffiti is Praxis

hmm, Merriam Webster says exercise or practice of an art, science, or skill but Wikipedia has a whole page dedicated to the word!! Very interesting!

Aw, it's a little one!

small Nutria on the bank

Hunting under the bridge...

Silhouette of a Great Blue Heron, hunting

Strike!

Heron has struck, head is under water

Oh, hey! Caught someone!

Heron with a little minnow in their beak

Toss it down!

Heron with open beak and little minnow about to go down the hatch

Yum, a tasty snack!

Silhouette of happy Heron

Poor little minnow.

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Sunday 1 May 2022... Garden

White puffy clouds in the blue sky

Our invasive friend, the House Sparrow is still hanging around one of the nesting boxes.

House Sparrow standing on a nesting box

And there's a family of native House Finches strolling around!

House Finch walking on dirt

Juvenile House Finch walking on dirt

I planted the two strawberries in the back of the plot, next to the pea and lettuce patch. I hope they will be happy here!

Strawberrys transplanted into the ground

Strawberry bloom with some leaves

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Saturday 30 April 2022... Pretty Parks at the River

A quick run to the Saturday Farmers Market... where I realized... Strawberries!

Strawberries aren't going to mind the cold or the damp! Slugs don't usually eat the leaves (tho they will eat the fruit). But maybe I can keep a couple of Strawberry plants alive in the garden!

The kind I got are called Albion Strawberries which are supposed to be everbearing. We shall see how it goes!

Too muddy to plant anything today, so I head to the Rose Garden along the river. No roses yet, of course, but it is still lovely there!

Pink Dogwood blooming

And then out to walk along the river...

Ruth Bascom Riverbank path

Def time to check out the Osprey nest platform... Oh Yeah! You can just see a parent's head up there!

Osprey in her nest

I walk all the way to Alton Baker Park. That round yellow thing is the Sun, part of a scale model of the solar system!

Looking down into Alton Baker Park

There are several families with goslings! There are babies everywhere!

Canada Goose family with lots of goslings, on the sidewalk

The fence surrounds a duck pond to keep the birds safe from dogs... the babies can just barely get under the fence.

Two goslings on the other side of the fence

There's tree stuff that's fallen on the sidewalk that the babies are interested in.

The parents keep their eyes on me... Hey human, you be good!

Canada Goose parents keeping an eye on their goslings

Yep, I'm good. I stay still and quiet and the babies come closer to me.

Canada Goose goslings

oop! The dog on the leash is kept far away, but the goose parents are worried. They gather up the babies quickly. Back to the Water my children!

Canada Goose and goslings going back into the pond

Three goslings in the water

And then walk back. So peaceful.

a shaded bench under a tree at the Riverbank path

oh, haha! It's really too muddy, my dear, to be digging up saved nuts! What a mess you've made of your hands and face!

Western Grey Squirrel with muddy hands

Bench surrounded by Spanish Bluebells and Dogwood blooms

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Friday 29 April 2022... Cool Spider!

An artsy starling. And the next photos are of a spider... you have been warned! :)

Starling in a maple tree surrounded by new leaves and maple keys

Here's someone who caught my attention on the bike path.

Woodlouse Spider, walking on the side walk

Wow, isn't she beautiful! And because of her colour and shape, I was able to figure out her species!

A Woodlouse Spider!

oh... but she's also called a Pill Bug Hunter! Poor little Roly Polies!!

She was using her arm to cover up her face, but you can kind of see how huge her jaws are in this pic. She needs that power to cut thru the Roly Poly shell!

Woodlouse Spider

So interesting and amazing!!

And ducklings! I am pretty sure this is the same family of three where the one baby was squinting.

Mama Mallard and three ducklings preening on the bank of the creek

So cute!

Mama Mallard on the bank with one baby

I also went into the Community Garden to gaze at the stupid dead plants. I need to plan my attack... what vege starts will I buy at Saturday Farmers Market tomorrow, are the nights warm enough yet to actually plant anything, etc.

Ornamental Cherry Blossoms

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Thursday 28 April 2022... at the River

The Willamette River, seen from the Greenway Walking Bridge

A bit of water coming over the spillway!

Spillway between the Willamette and the Delta Ponds

So round and fluffy!

A gosling walking on the bank

And... oh my god!

Two Canada Goose families in the water

Bottom family has 13 babies, top family has 27! Twenty-Seven!!! This is insane!

My meditation spot.

Looking across the Willamette River

I just love the Big Leaf Maples!

New leaves coming in

I've not seen anything of the Bushtits, the last couple times I've been out. And so I figured the nest was done.

Me touching the Bushtit nest

oh. opps! Nest is def not done. Here's the male to yell at me again!

Blurry Bushtit standing in a tree

Sorry! Sorry! That was so rude of me! Sorry!

male Spotted Towhee singing in a tree, behind a twig

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Wednesday 27 April 2022... Camas Lilies

Clouds building up

Maple keys

Camas Lilies

Camas Lily Patch

Oh! A White one!

White Camas Lily

Camas Lily bulbs are edible and nutritious... and ALL the foraging websites say to NEVER eat the white Camas Lily bulbs, because that's the poisonous Death Camas!

But when I looked it up... Death Camas looks NOTHING like a white Camas Lily. Ha!

I get that they are trying to keep stupid people alive. but, lordy lordy! Stupid people should def not be foraging for their food!

If you are not 100% sure about what something is, out in the wild... DO NOT EAT it! If you even have a shadow of a doubt, if you are even 99% sure... DON'T EAT it!

That's my soapbox, and you should def listen to what I'm saying!! :)

Oh, hey... There's a new male Anna Hummingbird on the other side of the Community Garden!

male Anna Hummingbird standing on a leafy twig

And I haven't seen our Wood Duck friends in a couple days!

a female and male, pair of Wood Ducks, in the water

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Tuesday 26 April 2022... Hidden Trail

a yard full of tulips and flowers

I LOVE the colours in this photo!! The Maple keys and the new leaves and the pale blue sky and the fluffy cloud. But little dude needs some pants! Bahaha!!

Squirrel up in a tree eating Maple keys

Okay... here we are at the Hidden Trail, which follows a little waterfall up the hill.

Waterfall with mossy rocks and surrounded by green

The Fawn Lilies are still blooming!

And Forget Me Not.

Forget Me Not blooms

And Fringe Cups.

Fringe Cup next to the water fall

Nervous American Crow standing on the ground

Red tulip with Spanish Bluebells

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Monday 25 April 2022... Blurry Birds

A moody pic of the clouds over the Community Garden fence... but look at the pair of sweet House Finches!

dark clouds over a fence where two birds sit in silhouette

Western Bluebird standing on a wood trellis

hmmm? Who's this?

immature Yellow Rump Warbler standing on the ground

Oh, haha, you gave me a clue! Yellow Rumped Warbler! Must be a youngster!

immature Yellow Rump Warbler, flying from the ground

Lesser Goldfinch standing on a dandelion

Ducklings! But, oh no... that baby in the back is squinting his eye. Poor Baby! I wonder if he has that H5N1 bird flu that's going around. There haven't been any reports in Oregon yet, but that doesn't mean it's not going around!

Mama Mallard with three ducklings in the water

Something artsy.

Leaves with a grey sky background

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Sunday 24 April 2022... Garden Failure

ARG! Last night it got down in the 30's... and the cold has killed most of the plants I put in yesterday!

Wai! The Eggplant!

Wilted Eggplant

So much for that experiment. The Eggplant will not recover, and most of the squashes are in the same state. Stupid weather!

Sighs.

silhouette of a Great Blue Heron, standing in shallow water, hunting

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Saturday 23 April 2022... Farmers Market!

The nights have been warmer, and there's a break in the rain... and I am eager to get going with the garden!

At the beginning of April, I had planted Sugar Snap Peas, Lettuce, and Beets. The slugs ate a couple Lettuces to death, and of course the peas leaves look like postage stamps from munching... But that little patch of life in the back is actually doing pretty good, with the chill and the rain!

Today I visited my favorite farmer at Saturday Market and bought some baby plants. I got several kinds of squash... Zuc, Patty Pan, and Crook Neck. Another set of Sugar Snap Peas.

And an impulse buy... Eggplant!

Newly planted Eggplant

I'm not a huge fan of eggplant fruit, but it might be interesting to grow. Plus, it's fun to say Aubergine! *laughs*

I got all the little plants into the ground and then I walked home.

Lilac is fixin' to bloom

Dark Purple Lilac buds

And the Apple blossoms, again.

Apple blossoms

And the ornamental Cherry blossoms!

Pink ornamental cherry blossoms

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Friday 22 April 2022... part 2, Preparing for the Next Generation!

Wow, look how cobwebby this lamp is... I can just imagine all the flying bugs swarming there at night!

Are we going after spiders for lunch?

Little bird hanging upside down from a street lamp

Little bird flutters under the lamp

Little upside down bird gathers stuff from the lamp

Ah! No, not lunch! She's gathering nesting material!

Little upside down bird, with nesting material in her beak

Ha. So many blurry photos, and I still can't tell who this bird is! Is it the same Orange Crown Warbler that I saw the other day??

Little upside down bird launches off from the lamp with a beakful of nesting material

A European Honey Bee hive is swarming, right next to the bike path! There are bees in the air everywhere!

Bees swarm around two beehives

I wish I had paused longer to get more photos... this is so interesting. And I love being surrounded by the bees, who obviously have other things on their minds!

Close up of the entrance of a bee hive, where bees are swarming

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Friday 22 April 2022... part 1, Garden

Tulips at one Community Garden plot.

Bright red violet Tulip

And Pansies at another Community Garden plot.

Purple and yellow Pansies

uh oh! A House Sparrow... not someone we want moving in at the Bluebird nesting boxes at the garden!

House Sparrow standing on a nesting box

The House Sparrows are invasive. That's not their fault, of course, but supposedly they take over the prime nesting spots.

But it's not a problem this time! Because there's several nesting boxes, and I think this pair of Western Bluebirds is using one.

Western Bluebird standing on a nesting box

A building storm cloud...

Storm Cloud

There's an apple tree, just outside the Community Garden.

Apple Blossoms

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Thursday 21 April 2022... XXX

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Wednesday 20 April 2022... and More Rain!

Another rainy day, and I am so pleased even tho I'm not able to take as many photos. February was so, so very dry... we won't catch up, I don't think, but at least we won't fall farther behind on rainfall.

Great Blue Heron, hunting in the water

Oh. This is interesting. I don't know who this is!

an Orange Crowned Warbler

Orange Crowned Warbler

I had to get my book out! This is an Orange Crowned Warbler... and just like Ruby Crown Kinglets, their crowns are ordinarily hidden.

This is the most common western warbler and The very lack of conspicuous field marks is an aid to its identification! haha!

Orange Crowned Warbler

book cover for Audubon Field Guide o Birds, Western Region

Audubon Field Guide to North American Birds, Western Region

I have several field guides, but this one is my go-to when I don't have a clue about the bird!

It's easy to page thru the photos to find a new bird, and then I've got a starting point to learn more on the internets.


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Tuesday 19 April 2022... Rain

Raining today, so I'm just walking in the neighborhood, taking pics of yards. I just love this one... so much colour!

Daffodils, Tulips, Spanish Bluebells

Daffodils, Tulips, Spanish Bluebells and Grape Hyacinths

And a Song Sparrow, who shakes off the rain and sings some more!

Song Sparrow standing on a twig

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Monday 18 April 2022... Funny Ducks

Oh, cool! Here's a female Green Wing Teal who gets to choose between two suitors!

Female Green Wing Teal with two males in the water

They choose new partners each year and the males have a funny little dancing bow they do to show off to the females.

Male Teal dancing in the water

blurry pic of Male Teal being pretty

blurry pic of Male Teal dancing in the water

I also came across our Wood Duck pair... right when the group of three female Mergansers happened to paddle by.

A male Wood Duck and a female Hooded Merganser in the water

The male Wood Duck isn't sure about the little Mergansers and he's kind of pushing them away. But the Mergansers are messing with him... One of them dives underneath the Wood Duck and comes up behind him! Nah nah! I'm not touching you! *laughs!*

Female Merganser coming up from a dive behind a male Wood Duck

Long suffering, but oh so pretty.

male Wood Duck

And on the way home...

Red Tail Hawk standing in a tree


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Sunday 17 April 2022... todays pics

I was looking at the oh so empty Hummingbird nest...

Empty Hummingbird nest

... And then I turned around and caught a glimpse of two hummers, who quickly buzzed back into the Rhody bushes! Aw! Were they the babies who wanted to tell me Look! We can fly! :)

A cute little Downy Woodpecker.

Downy Woodpecker on a tree trunk

Dang it!

Female Wood Duck in the water behind some sticks

This will be the second year the Wood Ducks have stayed at the creek. (to make babies!) But they are still so shy... when they see me, they go and hide behind the nearest shrubbery!

Dang it, some more!

Male Wood Duck in the water behind some sticks

*laughs*

The Ornamental Cherry Blossoms have started blooming!

Pink Cherry Blossoms

Pink Cherry Blossoms


I love this article about swearing and language for Ukraine against Russia...

How swearing became a weapon of resistance for Ukrainians Their enthusiastic use of bad language contrasts with Putin's linguistic prissiness... and shows that Russia doesn't own Russian

So interesting about cursing in the Russian language culture! And how Ukrainians and the Ukraine government is using swearing as another avenue to fight back ... and somehow it's dignified and funny and the whole world understands that Putin is a dickhead!

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Saturday 16 April 2022... at the River

Storms forecast today, but currently the water isn't quite high enough to get over the spillover.

Spillover between the river and the ponds

:)

male Spotted Towhee on a twig with new leaves

Aww! The first Goslings!!

Canada Goose surrounded by goslings in the water

*laughs* The Towhees are everywhere!

Spotted Towhee on a twig

My meditation spot along the river... The sun is shining right now, but just wait!

Looking at the Willamette River

What the... ??! There's a Bushtit nest, right on the path! I mean RIGHT on the path!! Literally, except for the blackberry vine hanging down, if I could walk at the edge of the path, I would bump my head on their nest!

Bushtit nest hanging from a vine

This is crazy! What were the parents thinking?!

The bike path and a Bushtit nest

Here's Papa Bushtit, who has been angrily cheeping at me while I'm looking at their nest! Mama pops into the nest while I'm distracted. So it's definitely an active nest! Crazy!

Bushtit from below

On my way back, I decide to keep walking instead of heading to the car.

Bench on the path surrounded by trees and a street lamp

oops. I'm wandering thru the Rose Garden when it starts hailing! Just small hails, and then it's pouring down rain! I walk fast and take shelter under the nearby highway bridge, along with a few other people.

several people walking on the path in the rain

A three legged dog, Border Collie type, went around gathering pats from everyone, before she and her human moved on, out in the rain. :) I wish I'd taken a photo of that sweet dog!

The hard rain doesn't last long, and soon rain turns to sprinkles. And I head home.

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Friday 15 April 2022... Mixed Feelings

white puffy clouds and blue sky with bright green, dark green, and pink trees

The Hummingbird nest is empty! The babies have successfully fledged! Mama will continue to feed the kids, away from the nest, for another week or so.

an empty Hummingbird nest

Oh no! These ducklings look like they've just been born... and their Mama is being harassed by a male duck. She is trying to get away from the jerk, but can't just fly away from her babies. And the babies are all bunched up because they are scared and they are peeping in distress. :(

12 newborn ducklings on the water

Wai! I wish I could just grab that drake and take him away so this family could have some peace.

Oh. Hello Mx Red Shoulder... would you like to eat a duck?

Red Shoulder Hawk in a tree

(Just kidding. The hawk would more likely eat the babies!)

Chickadee standing in a tree

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Thursday 14 April 2022... out to hilly Hendricks Park

Well! This looks fun! I wish I had the guts to ask to join them!!

A person balancing on a low tightrope, another person looking on

oh my gosh, what a goof!

Song Sparrow at a drinking water fountain

The Rhododendron Garden is starting to fill up with colour!

White Rhododendron blooms, purple in the background

Hot Pink Saucer Magnolia blooms

And wildflowers out in the forest!

Trillium bloom with ferns in the background

Common Yellow Violets

Camas Lily blooms

False Solomons Seal

Starry False Solomons Seal

Hey! Who's this??! Dang it people! Keep the kitties inside!

Orange and grey tabby on the hiking trail

Kitty? Oh Cute Kitty? Please go home... It's fixin' to rain!

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Wednesday 13 April 2022... Hummingbird Family

puffy clouds and a blue sky

Oh my gosh! Here's Mama Hummer with some extra fluff for the nest?

female Anna Hummingbird standing on a twig, with fluff in her beak

oh, haha... it's almost a family portrait. Family with fluff! :)

Two baby Anna Hummingbirds in the nest with mama hummer

Okay. You babies need to scoot over just a little bit...

Two baby Anna Hummingbirds in the nest with mama hummer

Mama tucks the fluff into the bottom of the nest. But I'm wondering why! The babies are almost ready to go... why do nest repairs now?

Two baby Anna Hummingbirds in the nest with mama hummer

Mama leaves and the babies have to squirm around to get comfortable again.

Two Anna Hummingbird babies in the nest

Back to my walk. The pair of Killdeers are still at the Events Center.

Killdeer standing in the grass

Camas Lily blooming

Apple Blossoms

One more look at the hummers on the way home.

Two Anna Hummingbird babies in the nest

Oh, haha. The one wants a look at me, too!

Two Anna Hummingbird babies in the nest

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Tueday 12 April 2022... Hummers and Killdeers

*laughs!*

Two Anna Hummingbird babies in the nest

And look at their feathers! Wow! I bet they start flying any day now!

Two Anna Hummingbirds in the nest

Oh! First Camas Lilies are blooming!

Camas lily blooming

And look who's watching me as I take pics of the Camas...

Eastern Fox Squirrel

Oh, cool! There's a pair of killdeers running around in the parking lot behind the Events Center!

Blurry Killdeer running on the ground

They were scooping up worms who had crawled up out of the grass.

Killdeer standing on the ground

Those eyebrows make them so worried looking!

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Monday 11 April 2022... April Showers

It rained over a half inch yesterday, and a bit more sprinkles today... and Look! The bike path under 11th is flooded!

The creek floods the bike path under a road bridge

I can't walk that way, but that's okay. I'll take pics of the yards in the neighborhood.

Spanish Bluebells with Tulips in the background

Rain drops on a pink tulip

American Robin standing on a twig with new leaves

Our friend the Nutria is out on land... her burrows have probably flooded as well.

Nutria, mostly hidden behind twigs and grass

The wet prairie ponds have filled back up!

Green Wing Teal in a shallow pond

Just a glimpse of the pair of Wood Ducks. I wish they were less shy!

Female and male Wood Duck in the water

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Sunday 10 April 2022... to the Garden

The little patch of plantings at the Community Garden plot.

Looking down at planted peas and lettuces

There's Sugar Snap Peas, both green and purple leaf lettuces, and some beets.

But the slugs have found the Sugar Snap Peas...

small pea plant with slug bites on all its leaves

And someone else is munching on the lettuce, which is weird! I don't remember ever having a problem with the lettuce.

a small lettuce plant with insect munched leaves

ha. Oh well, that's about how it goes in my garden plot!

And then I go visit the Hummer Nest...

Two Anna Hummingbird babies in the nest

I see Mama Hummer! It's the first time I've seen her in about two weeks... She's just been so busy getting the babies fed!

No pics, but she hovers and acknowledges my presence! :)

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Saturday 9 April 2022... part 2 ... First Ospreys!

Haha, when I first saw the Ospreys in the far away trees, I thought they were Bald Eagles!

Two Ospreys standing on branches in a far away tree

One Osprey flys towards the other, still sitting on a branch

Oh hey! What's going on??! Ca-Caw!

One Osprey flys towards the other, still sitting on a branch

I guess it's just time to go flying!

Osprey launches up from the branch

Two Ospreys flying in the blue sky

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Saturday 9 April 2022... at the River... Part 1

Oh wow, I love all the colours and textures in this pic!

a male Spotted Towhee stands on a twig surrounded by moss and lichen

Dry spillover...

Dry spillover between the river and the ponds

Oh, cool! The Sliders never come this close to the bridge! He got a good look at me and then sank himself and walked along the bottom of the pond!

Red Eared Slider turtle floating in the pond

Aw, cute!

Eastern Fox Squirrel resting on a twig

My meditation spot...

Looking across the Willamette River

A blurry Bushtit.

Blurry Bushtit behind twigs

And a less blurry but more upside down Bushtit! haha.

Bushtit hanging from a twig

Just a pretty day!

The Willamette River

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Friday 8 April 2022... All Kinds of Babies!

Oh my gosh! The Hummer babies are starting to look like real birds (instead of little monsters)!! *laughs*

Two Anna Hummingbird babies in the nest

We gotta strech! Blurry, but so adorable!

Two Anna Hummingbird babies in the nest, one stretching a wing out

Gosh, it's hard to get comfortable anymore!

Humming bird babies jostling for space in the nest

Cracks me up that the baby on the left is closing her one eye... Don't hit me in the face, please! heh.

Some baby leaves.

Tiny leaves of an Ash Tree

And the first ducklings of the season! Yay the cute-ness!

Mama Mallard duck in the water with 4 ducklings

There were 6 babies all together!

Teaching how to dabble...

Mama Mallard dabbling in the water with one baby watching

Three Mallard ducklings in the water

One Mallard duckling in the water

And then on the way back, the Hummer babies have finally arranged themselves comfortably.

Two Anna Hummingbird babies in the nest

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Thursday 7 April 2022... at the Community Garden

male Wood Duck in the water

The peas I planted on the 2nd are still alive!

Sugar Snap Pea plants in the garden

This garden plot at the back of the Community Garden has an Easter Tree, and a cool variety of Daffodils!

Yellow Daffodils and an Easter Tree in the background

Are the Bluebirds nesting here or not? I can't tell.

Western Bluebird standing on a fence

And then I continue my walk.

Eastern Fox Squirrel

Scrub Jay standing on a twig

Two American Crows standing on a fence

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Wednesday 6 April 2022... Hidden Trail

I'm going up Hidden Trail today... but to get there I have to walk over a mile thru the neighborhoods. And I am happy to take pics of flowers in people's yards!

Red Camellia blooms and a blue sky

Daffodils and Tulips and Spanish Bluebells

Tulips and Daffodils

White Daffodils and blue sky

And here we are at the Hidden Trail.

Path weaving thru trees and shrubs

Fawn Lilies are blooming!

looking down at many Fawn Lilies

Fawn Lilies

This Flicker was so intent on whatever bugs he was finding, he barely noticed me, even tho I must have been watching him for five minutes or so!

male Northern Flicker on the ground with a bug in his beak

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Tuesday 5 April 2022... Hummer Babies Milestones

Some blue green feathers are starting to come out on the backs of the hummer babies!

Anna Hummingbird babies in the nest

Pretty Apple Blossoms.

Very pink Apple Blossoms

Artsy!

new Ash leaves against a hazy sky

And more Artsy!

Crow standing on a twig

The Crows are very social with me today.

Crow standing on a fence, clouds and blue sky in the background

And then, on the way back home... AWWW! Look! Babies eyes are starting to open!!

Two Anna Hummingbird babies in the nest, their eyes a little bit open

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Monday 4 April 2022... pics

Happy that there's some rain today!

And Happy to keep seeing the Wood Duck pair at the creek.

Wood Duck pair in the water

I haven't seen Mama Hummer lately. But she's obviously doing her job! Our babies are growing!

Two Anna Hummingbird babies in the nest

Ha. Just hanging out on the bench.

Eastern Fox Squirrel standing on the arm of a path bench

Here's a Eurasian Collared Dove.

Eurasian Collared Dove standing on a mossy branch

You can't see their collar because it is just on the back of their neck. Invasive, of course. But I don't know if they cause any problems.

All doves are beautiful and have lovely songs. But the song of the Collared Dove makes me laugh sometimes! They are just so frantic about it! They try to coo as fast as they can!

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Sunday 3 April 2022... lots o pics

Forget Me Not's are blooming.

Forget Me Not blooms

I go into the Community Garden to check on the veges I planted yesterday. They are good!

Baby Lettuce in the ground with pea plants in the background

Oh! a Black Phoebe! (dang it, a blurry photo.)

a Black Phoebe standing on a twig surrounded by new leaves

I've been seeing Black Phoebes now and then, this year... it's interesting because they are a bit outside their usual range which is all thru Mexico and up the coast of California. I suppose they are shifting north due to climate change.

a Black Phoebe

Okay, these are so pretty I really need to look them up! They came in all kinds of colours, pinks and reds and purples and mixed with white.

white and purple Anemones

Ah! here we are...

Wikipedia, Anemone

mixed white with purple Anemones

Two beaks and a pile of baby feathers.

Two baby hummingbird beaks sticking up out of the nest

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Saturday 2 April 2022... First Saturday Market

Yay! It's the first Saturday Market of the year... which means I'm heading out to the Farmers Market to buy Vegetable starts for the Community Garden plot!

The nights are still pretty chilly, so I'm sticking with cool season crops... Sugar Snap Peas, Lettuce, and Beets.

Lettuce starts planted, with planted beets and peas in the background

I scraped away the winter covering of mulch, and you can see how muddy it is, even with no rain!

This fellow came to check on me. *laughs* I think I'll call him Silhouette Hummer!

male Anna Hummingbird silhouette

I wonder if he's the father of our nest of babies.

and, yep. No doubt now, there's two of them...

Two baby Anna Hummingbirds in the nest

(Be sure to right-click and Open Image in New Tab, to see a bigger version of that pic... it's kind of hard to tell what you're looking at here, but that's an open beak behind the front baby hummer's face sticking up!)

White tree blossoms

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Friday 1 April 2022... Blurry Birds at Stewart Pond

red and yellow tulips

Still a wet prairie pond out in front of Stewart Pond Park, but there was just this lone shorebird hanging out there.

blurry Shorebird walking in water

A far, far away Red Wing Blackbird.

blurry Red Wing Blackbird standing on a reed

And a bad pic of a Bewick Wren.

blurry Bewick Wren standing on a twig

Sighs. There are just some days when I just can't get a good pic of any wildlife that comes along!

Good luck finding the Ruby Crowned Kinglet in this pic!

Ruby Crowned Kinglet, little bird hidden amongst lots of sticks!

*laughs*

At least I can take decent pics of the plants! Here's some blooming trillium.

Trillium blooming

I really like the pink tulips.

A yellow tulip and some pink tulips

And I really like these two, who were barking at me while I took pictures of tulips!

Two small dogs looking under the gate

*laughs*


xxx Aww, this is awesome!

These second-graders helped shelter pups find their fur-ever homes https://www.npr.org/2022/04/01/1090057426/these-second-graders-helped-shelter-pups-find-their-fur-ever-homes And the drawings are amazing!

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Thursday 31 March 2022... Surprise at the Hummer Nest

I saw this photo and I'm all Ohh! How cute! A beak and a tail!

A beak and a tail sticking out of the Anna Hummingbird nest?

But then I looked closer. I think that's actually two beaks! Two baby hummers!?!

*laughs* It's normal for Anna Hummingbirds to have two babies... but since I'd only just seen the one, I assumed there was just one!

Great Blue Heron standing in water by the bank

European Starling with some leaves


xxx Today is International Transgender Day of Visibility!

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Wednesday 30 March 2022... Into the Garden

Silhouette of a Turkey Vulture, flying

Last fall, I had planted a couple patches of Fava Beans as a winter cover crop. At some point we got some freezing weather which killed most of the Fava plants, but a couple survived...

A Fava Bean plant

But look how chewed up it is. The slugs have been munching on it. And I didn't really mean to provide a dinner salad buffet for them all thru the winter! *laughs*

Oop, another little Creeping Buttercup to dig out.

Several leaves of Creeping Buttercup

Pretty, pretty! Grape Hyacinths.

Many Grape Hyacinths blooming in the grass

And our cute little baby hummingbird is all set for Mama to come back.

Baby Anna Hummingbird in the nest

I wonder when her eyes will open.

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Tuesday 29 March 2022... out to Stewart Pond

Something pretty.

Red Tulips with Daffodils and Grape Hyacinths in the background

Lesser Goldfinch standing on a twig

Oh! The first Barn Swallow of the season!

Barn Swallow standing on a phone line

Trilliums blooming!

Trillium blooms

And... hmm... :)

A blooming pansy growing in a crack in the road


The pansy reminds me of the Ukrainian lady who told the Russian soldier to put Sunflower seeds in his pocket.

You remember at the very beginning of the war, day one, in fact, Russian warship, go fuck yourself.

Ukraine gives medal to soldier who told Russian officer to go fuck yourself
Heh. but...oh my god, the radio recording (video at the top of the page) is really disturbing. Well, this is it...

And...

Ukraine reveals Russian warship, go fuck yourself! postage stamp
*laughs* How do I get one?!

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Monday 28 March 2022... part 2

Our Manky Mallard friend at the creek...

Dark coloured female Mallard

She does have a boyfriend, I wonder if she will pass on her dark colour to her children!

Ha, Artsy Crow! Interesting colours, huh! I like!

American Crow standing in a Maple tree starting to leaf out in spring

A weeping cherry tree drapes blossoms over some tulips!

Cherry Blossoms and Tulips

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Monday 28 March 2022... Hummer Baby Series

Mom's out getting food. But you can see a bit of baby feather fluff in the nest!

Anna Hummingbird nest

Ah, here she is!

Mama Anna Hummingbird at the nest wih baby peaking her head up

Hey! Hello! Hungry here!

Mama Anna Hummingbird looks around while baby has mouth open

Holy Moly... does that beak full of food go directly into the stomach?! sheesh!

Mama Anna Hummingbird feeding baby

Ha, trying to get comfortable... we are sitting on the nest more than in the nest!

Mama Anna Hummingbird on the nest

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Sunday 27 March 2022... Proof of Baby!

Nesting Anna Hummingbird

And then she flies away. hmmm... is that somebody in there?

Hummingbird nest

Yes! There's someone moving around!

blurry movement from inside the Hummingbird nest

Oh my gosh! That's a blurry baby! YAY!

blurry baby Hummingbird in the nest

Funny how short her beak is!

And now she's in prime position for when Mama comes back with food!

baby hummer points her face up

Aww! Just Too Cute!

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Sunday 27 March 2022... Chickadee Series

Another one who needs to fix their feathers!

Golden Crowned Sparrow standing on a twig

And what the heck is going on here? A blurry bird series!

Chickadee on a snag

ummm... Are Chickadees cavity nesters? Yep! They are! I learned something new today!

Chickadee tail feathers sticking out of a hole in the snag

But she keeps looking over at me. I'm not close, but I'm obviously bothering her.

Chickadee on a snag

But I can't resist taking a couple more blurry pics.

Chickadee on a snag

Such cute little birds. I wish I could take decent pics of Chickadees, but it is never to be!

Chickadee on a snag

(Later) The Chickadees decided not to use this hole in the snag, after all... I didn't see them at the snag again. Undoubtedly my fault for staring at them and bothering the female while she's trying to do cleanup.

Sighs. Sorry, little ones!

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Saturday 26 March 2022... at the River

I park behind a soccer field, and these guys have been practicing every saturday morning...

four men practicing Irish Hurling

The game is Irish Hurling! And it looks crazy! I am glad to see helmets... probably easy to get wacked in the face!

The Traditional Irish Game Hurling info and a showcase video

Dry spillover...

Spillover between the river and the ponds

Lots of Vultures out today, I wish I could have gotten a decent pic.

Turkey Vulture on a branch

Warm enough for the turtles to come out. These are the invasive Red Ear Sliders, but isn't that shell beautiful!

Red Eared Sliders sunning on a log

hmmm... hello?

the back of a Red Tail Hawk, standing on a snag

Whoa!

Red Tail Hawk, standing on a snag

The Willamette River and Skinner Butte...

Willamette River and Skinner Butte in the background

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Friday 25 March 2022... Wow! Raccoon of a different colour!

Oh my gosh! This is amazing! A Blonde Raccoon!!!

a blurry Blond Raccoon

Sorry about the blurry pics, but I didn't get the chance the spend time with this lovely but shy and anxious person...

a blurry Blond Raccoon

I did a little research. The Blonde colour in raccoons is a simple recessive trait, but it's incredibly rare. Not quite as rare as Albino, but rare!

XXX (more info to follow!)

This web site has some good, interesting information:

Elusive blond raccoon spotted on small island

a blurry Blond Raccoon

And, incidently... since I've been chatting about the invasives in the garden... You see the yellow flowers in the top two photos? The raccoon is walking across a bad Lesser Celadine infestation. This is on the bank of the creek, and you can see how the evil things have killed a lot of the grass. Grass which is needed to stablize the creek bank. sighs.

Anna Hummingbird on her nest


And in book related news... (yeah, remember how I was going to chat about books and reading on fridays? haha, that was end of January and hasn't happened since!)

A head librarian in Texas has been fired for making good trouble. She refused to remove the 800+ books that Texas wants banned. She worked at a PUBLIC library

Daily Kos: Texas librarian fired for not pulling books off the shelves in banned book purge

Kingsland librarian fired amid controversy over advisory board

So. This is bad. Really really bad.

I am utterly disgusted at what republican politicians are trying to do across the country, taking away everyone's rights.

And it's devastating to watch our democracy crumble.

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Thursday 24 March 2022... Community Garden

Keeping the baby warm...

Anna Hummingbird on her nest

I decide to go into the Garden again today, instead of just walking past it. That neighbor's Hyacinths are still blooming.

Pink Hyacinths

And I have another invasive to yank out of our garden plot. This is Creeping Buttercup...

Creeping Buttercup plant with a wood background

Creeping Buttercup is not as problematic as the Lesser Celadine, I mentioned the other day. It's more just annoyiing. It has the typical yellow flowers of buttercups and spreads with seed and stems which creep along the ground and root at nodes to create new plants.

That's what this one is... a node at the back of the plot, right up against the neighbor's raised bed. There's also some Creeping Buttercup in the grassy pathway at the front of the plot... I really should get my dandelion tool and just pry all of that up, since it creates a perpetual promblem!

The crown of the plant goes down a little bit, and if you just grab the leaves, they will break off and leave the crown in the dirt. Which, of course, will just keep growing! So that dandelion tool works well to get under the crown so you can get all the important bits out. It's okay to leave the roots, they'll die without the crown.

Technically, Comfrey is an invasive weed as well... But it's slow to spread, and has pretty flowers. It does get big, tho, so it's probably annoying if it's growing where you don't want it. But that is the definition of a weed, after all!

Looking down at the leaves of a Comfrey plant

Oh, look how lovely!

a green Caterpillar, curled up on a leaf

I've scared him, but isn't he pretty!

oop! haha! Off she goes!

blurry Anna Hummingbird flying away from her nest

Oh Little Baaabbby? Don't you want to stick your head up??

Hummingbird nest

*laughs* nope. bummer.

Golden Crowned Sparrow

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Wednesday 23 March 2022... pics

Looking up at the sky... I wonder what she sees.

Nesting Anna Hummingbird

Singing Song Sparrow on a twig

These are pretty. They remind me of Poppies, but these are short, low to the ground, and it's way too early for Opium Poppies to be blooming.

Poppy Look Alikes

oh good! The male Wood Duck has returned as well! I didn't see him with the female yesterday.

Male Wood Duck in the water

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Tuesday 22 March 2022... Exciting Hummer Day

Oh, hey! a Wood Duck! Has she returned to the creek for a second year?!

female Wood Duck in the water

I don't ususally do selfies, but today Blazey, the bike path ambassador, climbed up into my lap for cuddles and I just couldn't resist!

Blazey the cat with a human in the background

I set Blazey down and I got up to move on. There was a woman with pink hair, who had seen me taking photos with Blazey and we grinned at each other... Maybe we are both closeted cat people. :) I said, "He's ready for his next customer!" and we laughed together.

Bad explosure on this pic of the Hummer nest today. But I'm positive I saw somebody moving around in there!! I think we have a baby!

Hummingbird nest

And then Mama Hummer came back... and oh my gosh, she's feeding somebody! Her back is turned to me and I can't see past her. And there's still no photographic proof, either, darn it. But we definitely have a baby today!

Close up of some Lawn Daisies

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Monday 21 March 2022... bad pics

Not a great day for photos, kind of dreary and drizzly. So here's a couple blurry birds for ya!

Anna Hummingbird on her nest

Cooper Hawk

But then... Look at the colour varieties in all these trees! This makes me happy, when blurry birds do not! :)

Different colour spring trees

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Sunday 20 March 2022... pics

Could you please fix your feathers!

Golden Crown Sparrow standing on a twig

Blurry Bird!

Ruby Crowned Kinglet

This is currently the only Manky Mallard at the nearby creek.

fem Mallard with dark feathers

Every time I first glimpse her, behind some shrubbery or whatever, all I see is a dark or black duck. And I get excited because I think I'm looking at a new species! And then I walk around the shrubs and Oh. It's just you again. *laughs*

You can see how much darker she is from a standard Mallard...

Female Mallard

Our Mama Hummer still sits.

Nesting Anna Hummingbird

Oh pretty, Forsythia is blooming.

Forsythia blooms with a pale pink background

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Saturday 19 March 2022... Oddness at the River

Greenway Pedistrian brige

Still no rain, and a dry spillover.

Dry spillover between the river and ponds.  And a Canada Goose.

What the... ???

A skeleton foot on a fence post

Um. Yeah. That's a human skeleton foot on a fence post. Why did someone leave their skeleton foot at the Delta Ponds? Why did someone Bring their skeleton foot to the Delta Ponds? heh, who knows... it's Eugene!

blooms of Red Flowering Currant

Song Sparrow on a twig

Getting artsy with some Grape Hyacinths!

Grape Hyacinth blooms with river in the background


Birdwatchers, church-goers and TV addicts are considered dull All these hobbies were judged to be worse even than stamp-collecting.

*laughs*

Fortunately, the least boring are actors, scientists and journalists (and in particular science journalists)

So since I'm a Naturalist who writes about the birds I see... I'm in the exciting category rather than the boring category.

RIGHT??!

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Friday 18 March 2022... Garden and Pens

Looking past sticks and leaves at the Anna Hummingbird on her nest

I decided to go into the Community Garden today, to see if I needed to yank up any weeds in our plot.

Oh, pretty! Someone has Hyacinths blooming in their plot!

purple and pink Hyacinths

And a Seven Spot Ladybug on a cool leaf.

Seven Spot Ladybuy on a brown leaf

uh oh! Here's the EVIL Lesser Celadine, in a neighboring plot.

Very invasive Lesser Celadine with blooms

That stuff is super invasive, kills everything around it, even the grass! And spreads with seeds and tubers and these horrid little bulblets.

If you let it get established... yeah, when it gets to the point of blooming, it's established... it's extremely difficult to get rid of it. You have to dig it out, and scoop out all the dirt around it. You cannot put plants or dirt into the compost, it will survive and reproduce there! You have to haul the dirt to the landfill.

Crazy! But the first leaves are easily recognized. I always have a couple that try to grow in my plot, which is why I check the plot thru the winter. I dig them out when they've just got a leaf or two... They've grown up from seeds, so there aren't any tubers or bulblets I need to worry about.

Here's another invasive, tho this one is much more benign... Red Dead Nettle.

Red Dead Nettle

The Dead part of it's name means it doesn't sting like it's cousin, Stinging Nettle! Dead Nettle is so soft, it's actually a pleasure to run your hand thru a patch!


My Pen Loving Friend decides to count her pens... !!

Pen Expectations

in the next post she's laid down some rules... it's a PEN count...
... not refills (I don't really do refills, so okay!)
... not pencils (I've got a good drafting mechanical pencil, and a set of coloured pencils in my writing area, but I never use them to write).
... and not markers. (hmm. I have a big collection of Copics, which I do use to write, but only addresses on envelopes, nothing else. So, okay, that can be a separate count!)

Not pens in her infirmary... oh my gosh, I hate it when there's still ink but the nib is clogged or something and the ink flows unevenly!! I will move the pen to less demanding work area (like the kitchen where my partner and I write notes to each other) but if the problem persists, it goes to the trash!

And we're not counting decorative pens which are just eye candy and not actually used. Ah. I don't really buy this kind of pen. I do have one good fountain pen, which has a green barrel which delights me... but I bought that to use! For me, it's enough to just see a good, wild variety of pens in my workspace and that makes me happy! :)

So, I think that's all the rules of our game!

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Thursday 17 March 2022... pics

Oh awesome! I always get excited when I can fit more than one individual into a photo! :)

Fox Sparrow and Golden Crownned Sparrow

This is a Fox Sparrow and a Golden Crown Sparrow. Even more exciting since I don't see Fox Sparrows very often!

female Mallard in the water with a pair of Greenwing Teals, male and female

female Hooded Merganser in the water

Eastern Fox Squirrel on a branch

Mama Hummer takes a look at me, and then goes back to drowsing.

Anna Hummingbird sitting in her nest

I am pretty sure there's a baby in the nest today. One of my photos of the nest, when Mama is away, shows the tiniest bit of red-ish brown, maybe naked baby bird skin. :)

I was on my way home, just walking the last bit of the bike path before I turn off onto my street. There's a little boy with his skateboard on the bike path and when he sees me, he motions for me to Hurry Up!

He's looking down into the creek, but I have to walk past some trees and bushes to see what he sees. A Great Blue Heron!

Great Blue Heron standing in the creek

We chat, I tell him the name of the bird and he tells me he's practicing his skateboarding here because there's a tiny incline he can roll down.

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Wednesday 16 March 2022... Day of Signs

LFP art with the We Believe sign in the background

Black Lives Matter sign with a daffodil

And a sign of the Russian invasion of Ukraine...

Gas Prices at a 76 gas station, 4.999$/gal for regular unleaded and 6.099$/gal diesel

Purple Wallflowers

Roly Poly walking on the sidewalk

Song Sparrow standing on a twig

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Tuesday 15 March 2022... pics

White Crowned Sparrow standing on a twig

I walked west today and after I passed 11th, I heard frogs singing! I investigated, and ha! I didn't know there was a little pond here, it's hidden behind a little rise!

A little pond, behind a chain link fence

I wonder if it's a permanent pond or a wet prairie pond! Will have to check it out again thru the summer.

male Hooded Merganser, in the water

:) Something Artsy...

Silhouette of female and male Greenwing Teals on a log, surrounded by water and grass

Ha, their closed eyelids look funny!

Hmmm... actually I think I like those sweet Sleeping Teals well enough to make a postcard our of that pic! :)

Ah, Spring!

Cherry Blossoms

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Monday 14 March 2022... Series: a Heron eats

um. Holy Moly!

A Great Blue Heron with a fish

The poor fish has been stabbed, and the Heron is maneuvering it around to eat whole... this pic is a bit bloody.

A Great Blue Heron, fish is half in his mouth

Great Blue Heron with fish in his throat

eee. Carnivores. bleh.

And that fish was still alive as he went down. I wonder what he dies of... maybe lack of air? Sucks that he has to deal with hopelessness and stomach acid as he dies tho.

Sorry. Gruesome thoughts there. But, that's carnivores for ya. Herons can't go vegan... but we can! Think about it.

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Monday 14 March 2022... pics

Golden Crowned Sparrow standing on a twig

Anna Hummingbird on her nest

White Cherry Blossoms

Brown Creeper on a tree trunk

And back around to Mama...

Anna Hummingbird in her nest

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Sunday 13 March 2022... Hummer and Waterdogs

A bit of rain this morning. That's nice. Not sure how my Hummer friend feels about it!

Anna Hummingbird in her nest

Anna Hummingbird in her nest

Mama goes to get a snack... But we can't see what's in the nest...

Just the nest, we can't see what's inside


Here's a cool thing in today's comics...

Scan of todays Jump Start comic

Go Comics, Jump Start 03.13.2022

The Neuse River Waterdog was featured in the February edition of Scientific American, and I was totally fascinated by the article!!

Junk DNA Deforms Salamander Bodies

Their DNA is so very very long that the cells of the Waterdog are so big you can almost see them! Their DNA is 38 times longer than humans!

Turns out, having that much DNA really messes you up! It takes so long to copy the DNA, only to have to snip out all the junk to make it usable, that parts of Salamanders aren't able to grow up all the way... Their legs don't grow out and their toes are just buds, like a fetus, their brain stays in the embryonic stage, their optic nerves don't get myelin sheaths. There's craziness all around!

But because their growth stops here and there, before they are actually grown up, they're also filled with stem cells.

So, yep! Salamanders can re-grow any bits of themselves that get chewed off, or you know maliciously chopped off in the laboratory. (Scientists really are assholes.)

Good bits of their brains, grow back. Their heart gets chopped up, quits beating... but they live thru it and ha! that stupid broken heart grows back too!!!

Like I said. It's a really good article, and you should go read it! Because that Jump Start Comic is an invitation!

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Saturday 12 March 2022... at the River part 2 Everyone Else!

Cute Coots...

Two Coots in the water

(I like the birds with the red eyes!)

A Northern Flicker.

male Northern Flicker looking over a street lamp

He was drumming on the top of this street lamp, and it was a surprisingly beautiful and resonate sound!

Song Sparrow.

Song Sparrow standing on a log

My Manky Mallard friend...

female Mallard with white collar

A male Gadwall.

male Gadwall in the water

And a female Gadwall!

female Gadwall in the water

What an awesome day for photos!!

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Saturday 12 March 2022... at the River, part 1 Critter!

Spillover is still dry. :(

Dry Spillover between the river and the ponds

I'm walking along the bridge which raises the path over the Delta Ponds, and I look down at this creature...

Muskrat swimming

What in the world? But look at her cute face...

Close up of Muskrat face

Huh, turns out this is a Muskrat. They are native here in the Willamette Valley... and all across the US and Canada!

Muskrat

Here's something cool that you can kind of see in this photo. Muskrats tails are slightly flattened for swimming, but they are flattened vertically, in the opposite way that Beavers tails are!

Muskrat swimming

So Beavers can slap their tail, but Muskrats wave their tail side to side!

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Friday 11 March 2022... a Two Hawk day!

A Crow mobbing a Red Tail Hawk!

Crow mobbing a Red Tail Hawk in midair!

A pair of Mergansers.

A male and female Merganser in the water

Pretty pretty, Red Flowering Currant.

Pink flowers of Red Currant

Hey awesome, another hawk! This one is a Red Shoulder Hawk.

Red Shoulder Hawk in a tree

xxx And a hummer??

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Thursday 10 March 2022... National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers

Yay Abortion Providers!

Everyone who works and volunteers at abortion clinics is AWESOME!!

The last couple of years, I have sent out postcards to all the independent abortion clinics in the US. There's just over 100 of them, and it takes me around 9 months. :)

I did my first round in 2019. This postcard art was provided by Abortion Access Front, Thank Bank. (Unfortunately, the postcard art isn't linked any more.)

postcard art, Abortion Provider appreciation

In 2020, I made my own appreciative postcard...

Red Flowering Current and We Love Abortion Providers

And in 2021, I did a third round!

Tulips and pink Dogwood flowers and We Love Abortion Providers

I love sending out these postcards! I hope that sending a pretty picture and an encouraging and loving message, it makes people feel appreciated!

March 10th was chosen as Provider Appreciation Day because on this day, in 1993, Dr. David Gunn was the first abortion provider to be assassinated by an anti-abortion extremist. Since then ten more abortion providers have been murdered, and there have been 26 attempted murders. Not to mention hundreds of arson and bomb crimes and other threats to abortion clinics and the amazing people who work there.

Abortion Provider Appreciation Day at National Abortion Federation Send a Thank You Note to abortion providers.

Abortion Provider Appreciation Day at Abortion Care Network Links to some good articles.

AMSA Art & Appreciation for Abortion Providers Project Oh my gosh, this is awesome! Go check out this site!!


Back to the blurry birds. Here's a cute little Bewick Wren.

Bewick Wren standing on the ground, giving a look!

Oh! The Pacific Chorus Frogs are singing at this little wet prairie puddle!

a puddle in the grass

I've been worrying about our frogs... they usually start singing in December and I haven't heard any. Wikipedia puts these frogs conservation status at Least Concern... but I'm concerned!

Oh, nice. A Bewick Wren gave me a second chance!

Bewick Wren standing on a twig

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Wednesday 9 March 2022... covid numbers and pics

This House Finch caught my eye.

House Finch in the pussy willows

One of the many reasons why I don't usually bother trying to take pics of Chickadees. heh.

Chickadee behind some twigs, obscuring their face!

At least the nesting hummer likes me.

Nesting Anna Hummingbird

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Tuesday 8 March 2022... pics

Song Sparrow and pussy willow

Western Bluebird

I always say Hi to the nesting Hummer when I come in and she checks me out and then she half closes her eyes, back in nap mode!

Nesting Anna Hummingbird

I am going to start making a concerted effort to make my stay near the nest as short as possible... Today I was there for 1 minute 10 seconds. That's too long. I don't want to disturb Mama.

But also I don't want to have to explain myself to any humans who happen to pass by behind me. They would see how focused I am taking pictures, and maybe ask, "what do you see?"

I am usually happy to share information about nature and the birds I see. But in this case, I don't want extra humans knowing about a vulnerable nest, which is so close to the bike path!

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Monday 7 March 2022... pics

I stopped by the Community Garden today. I suppose this is the new Garden Supervisor... but he's messing with me!

Silhouette of a male Anna Hummingbird on an old Sunflower head

Because their beautiful red-violet feathers on their face only flash at a certain angle with the sun, male Anna Hummingbirds are very aware of sun position. They aren't going to get any girls if they can't show them how beautiful they are, after all.

So this male knew exactly what he was doing when he put himself between me and the sun so I could only see his silhouette! *laughs*

ha, Blue on Blue...

Bluebird sitting on a railing with a blue background

And that blue, blue sky... which makes me sad during the rainy season.

Bare tree and blue sky

Still making a few adjustments to the nest...

Hummingbird in nest, fixing something with her beak

She is just so sweet to let me take photos of her.

Hummingbird sitting in her nest

Daffodils

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Sunday 6 March 2022... pics

oh! haha. Not a great angle! But I don't get to take pics of Juncos very often... they mostly bounce around on the ground, in the deepest shade they can find!

Dark Eyed Junco up in a tree

Dark Eye Juncos are cool because they come in all different colours... there are 15 races across North America, and several of those used to be considered separate species! So interesting! Of course, ours are called Oregon Juncos. :)

Here's a male Greenwing Teal and maybe an immature male Hooded Merganser.

Teal and Merganser

And I walked by the Hummingbird nest. Check out those blue-ish fibers on the inside. The white on the left side, on the outside, that's actually spider web.

Hummingbird nest

Um, hang on... is that... ?

Hummingbird egg in nest

It is! Oh my gosh! An Egg!!!!

I had to hold the camera over my head to get that last picture, so it's pretty blurry because I couldn't see what I was doing! *laughs* But that is def the curve of a single egg.

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Saturday 5 March 2022... Continued... at the river

Little bit of rain, little bit of spillover...

Water trickling in from the river to the ponds

A Spotted Towhee, was singing right next to the path. He gave me a look! *laughs*

Spotted Towhee looking right at the camera

A cool bug on some Osoberry leaves...

Bee looking bug sitting on green leaves

Not sure who that is, but it was a bit chilly for them to be out and they weren't moving around like they should have been.

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Saturday 5 March 2022... Brown Creeper Series

I just love it when I'm able to watch a bird for a couple minutes and capture a little bit of their day!

Today I got to watch a Brown Creeper...

Brown Creeper on the trunk of a tree

They are cute little birds who bounce up the trunks of trees, finding bugs in the bark. They are beautifully camouflaged!

A Brown Creeper, camouflaged against a tree trunk

Oh! We found a bug!

Brown Creeper with a bug in their beak

Oh, hey, it's a spider!

Brown Creeper holding a spider

Choking it down!

Brown Creeper eating the spider

*laughs* So cool!

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Friday 4 March 2022... pics

Hooded Mergansers are winter visitors at our little creek.

A female and male, Hooded Mergansers

Hummer is still working on her nest...

Anna Hummingbird, working on her nest

Anna Hummingbird, working on her nest

And someone who's thinking about napping rather than working!

Close up of a Great Blue Heron, eyes half shut

Cool Clouds!

Clouds and blue sky

Anna Hummingbird sitting on her incomplete nest

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Thursday 3 March 2022... pics and the Free Press!

There was enough rain to put some water into the Wet Prairie Ponds... but this is nowhere near normal for this time of year. That puddle should be three or four times bigger.

Water in the grass

Our Anna Hummingbird friend was away from the nest today. But dang, look at how camouflaged that nest is! I had trouble finding it again! The thorns you see are of an invasive Himalayan Blackberry.

Camouflaged hummingbird nest

Squirrel! The green on the right is Camas Lily leaves... but it'll be a while before they bloom.

Eastern Fox Squirrel

But the Cherry Blossoms are doing their thing!

Cherry Blossoms

I've been thinking about how important Journalism and the free press is, and I've decided to contribute a monthly donation to The Guardian.

I already pay for my local newspaper... It costs about 35$/month and then I include a big tip for my delivery person. So I typically spend around 550$ a year.

It's a 6 day paper delivery... they are going to quit delivering the Saturday paper, tho they will publish it online. I'm a bit annoyed, since I enjoy the dead-tree version.

But every day, there's a good page of comics, and decent puzzles. It's part of USA TODAY Network.

But I also read a ton of news online. The Guardian being one of those news sites. I like The Guardian specifically because there's not a pay wall, but it does let you know how many articles you've read. I'd gotten up to 86, I think! :)

I can't afford another newspaper subscription... The Guardian is 20$/month, or 200$/year.

But, like I said, Journalism is important. I want more journalism in the world. And it's important enough to me that I want to support journalism financially, especially journalism without a paywall!

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Wednesday 2 March 2022... Pics

Rain today, YAY!

With the little bit we got yesterday, we got around 1.3 inches... a decent and normal amount for this time of year. But barely makes a dent in our super dry rainy season... We just had one of the driest Februarys in over 100 years, with less than an inch of rain falling during the month!

The 1.3 inches we just got brings our accumulation total to 6.36 inches. Normal would be 11.06 inches of rainfall. 4.7 inches behind. sighs.

I only got a couple of pics in the rain. So here's the rest of yesterday's photos which are not a nesting hummingbird!! :)

A pair of Brewer Blackbirds. These are the ones who hang out with the European Starlings.

Brewer Blackbirds, a female and male in a tree

Dark brown female at the top and the male in the background.

Cackling Geese...

Four Cackling Geese sitting in the grass

They are so cute. They always hang out with themselves in a huge flock... couple hundred maybe? And I've seen them many times out in the elementary schools fields! And then the children come out to play, and the flock rises up noisily to find a new place to hang out!

Daffodils

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Tuesday 1 March 2022... OH MY GOSH!

An Anna Hummingbird's Nest!!!

Anna Hummingbird on her nest

My brain made a Lot of assumptions when I saw her flying in...

I saw a red-violet flash, and assumed she was a male. Simultaneously, I saw something on her beak.

But when she came in for a landing, understanding dawned on me!

Anna Hummingbird sitting on her nest

She does have a patch of the shiny red-violet feathers, which happened to flash at me from her neck. This is a normal trait for Annas, but I don't think females of any other species of hummer have a flashy gorget. In male Annas, their entire face is covered with those iridescent feathers, tho it looks black if the sun is not in the right position.

Anna Hummingbird on a nest, flashing her gorget

And she didn't have something ON her beak! She was carrying nesting material IN her beak! The bit of fluff was placed as soon as she landed. And then she was off for more!

Anna Hummingbird fixing her nest

oh how awesome!

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Monday 28 February 2022... Red Tail Hawk series

oh wow. Look who's up on one of the street lamps along the bike path! a Red Tail Hawk!

Red Tail Hawk up on a street lamp

foo, I miss the pounce, but our Red Tail friend thought she or he saw somebody moving in the grass...

Red Tail Hawk standing on the ground in the grasses

Did we catch somebody? Nope... Empty handed...

Blurry pic of Red Tail Hawk taking off from the ground

And then we go to stand on the next street lamp. :)

Red Tail Hawk on a street lamp

And then, on the way home, two crows were cawing and swooping at a tree. Are they just goofing off, or are they mobbing someone in the tree? I can't see anything and I keep walking.

I pass the tree, and the crows start yelling again. I turn around and now I can see what's happening!

Silhouette of a Hawk in a tree being mobbed by a Crow

Wait. I'm pretty sure that's a Red Tail. Is it the same Red Tail??! *laughs* maybe!

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Sunday 27 February 2022... Pics + Countries and Capitals

Easter Fox Squirrel sitting on the top of a fence

Song Sparrow on a twig


In light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine that started last Thursday, I have been trying to learn the proper pronunciation of Kyiv.

The old way of saying it was Kiev... Key-ehv. But this is the stupid Russian pronunciation! I didn't know! (and it kind of amuses me that a country has a dead-name. ha.)

So, the Ukrainian way to write it is Kyiv, and it's kind of pronounced Krreeev. There's really two syllables, but they are jammed in so tightly it sounds like a single syllable.

How do you pronounce Kyiv
This was a helpful video!

Anyway. Countries and Capitals have been on my mind, and so when I couldn't sleep last night I started thinking about my old project to memorize all the countries of the world.

I had memorized all the countries and capitals in the Americas, including island countries of the Caribbean. And those were still firmly in place in my brain!

But I had forgotten almost all of the capitals of Eastern Europe. I remembered Poland and Warsaw. Sarajevo is fun to say, but I couldn't remember what country it went with.

I had a good visual of a Mink ringing a rusty old church bell... so the capital of Belarus is Minsk! *laughs* Too bad I can't make more visuals like that!

So I turned on a light and pulled out my atlas and I studied some maps in the middle of the night.

It's good to learn things!

simple grey map of the world

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Saturday 26 February 2022... At the River

Dry as a bone...

A dry spillover at the Delta Ponds

The Willamette River at the top, the first of the Delta Ponds at the bottom. You see that rocky bit of land in between? That is supposed to be where the river is filling up the ponds. It's our rainy season, and it should be pouring in water.

Spotted Towhee

What? Kittens at the river? Well, I guess technically they are kittens outside a river-side apartment complex.

Kitten
Kitten

Someone had set out food for them, so they'll probably be caught and homed soon!

A Red Shoulder Hawk, being mobbed by a Crow.

Crow flying above a Red Shoulder Hawk sitting in a tree

Red Flowering Currant, a native shrub and a lovely splash of colour on a dreary day!

Red Flowering Currant

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Friday 25 February 2022... Today

Sleepy boys...

Two male Green Wing Teals and a male Mallard, all with their heads tucked down

Great Blue Heron, standing on one leg

Cute Blazey, ruling his spot on the bike path...

Blazy the Bike Path Ambassador, tuxedo cat in the grass

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Thursday 24 February 2022... todays pics

... And here's what the inside of that Little Free Pantry from yesterday looks like...

Cans and boxes of food in the Little Free Pantry

Kinda empty today. On the bottom shelf is a package of menstrual pads, my contribution today. It's def something that people need, the package is always gone in less than 24 hours.

The Nutria is out again today. Maybe she's getting used to me... she didn't run for the water as soon as she saw me!

Nutria in the grass

Oh, awesome! A White Throat Sparrow!!

White Throat Sparrow on a branch

They are winter visitors here but I hardly ever see them! This one is a juvenile: stripes on chest and lacks the bit of yellow on their face.

And the first Osoberry blooms...

Osoberry Blooms

A native shrub, here in the Pacific Northwest. Since it blooms so early, it's an important source of nectar to our Anna Hummingbirds.

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Wednesday 23 February 2022... Little Free Pantry art

Covid numbers


Another clear and cold day. There's even ice in the wet prairie ponds!

ice covering a puddle in the grass

This month's writing topic for the Postcard Exchange that I run at Goodreads, is Little Free Libraries. I've been trying to get photos of the two that are in our neighborhood... no luck today... the sun is too bright and it turns the shady parts too black to see into.

Crow art on the side of a Little Free Pantry

Oh well. Try again another day.

The above crow art is actually on a nearby Little Free Pantry.

I tried to get artsy with it...

Little Free Pantry, seen thru the park

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Tuesday 22 February 2022... Today

Clear and Cold... and there's some snow on the hills.

Snow on a distant hill

Western Bluebird

Oh dang it!

Blurry pic of a Townsend Warbler starting to fly away

I always forget the name of this bird... Townsend Warbler! They are winter visitors here and I don't get to see them often.

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Monday 21 February 2022... Some Birds

Golden Crowned Sparrow

Great Blue Heron

Bewick Wren standing on a stick

Reading in 2022 with Levar Burton | The Daily Show
This made me laugh. Read banned books!!!

What doesn't make me laugh, is all the book bans in our schools.

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Sunday 20 February 2022... Out to the Community Garden

Crocus bloom

I like to visit my Community Garden throughout the winter. I check our plot for anything invasive: I yanked up some Creeping Buttercup today. Unfortunately, instead of coming out cleanly like I meant, the crown broke. So I'll be pulling up that plant again, soon! ha!

And there's usually something interesting going on there...

Unknown purple flower

Perhaps a new Garden Supervisor?

Anna Hummingbird

Daffodiles

You can see in the pics that the sun is beating down.

It's our rainy season and it's not been raining. We got just over 3 inches from the flooding at the beginning of january. But since then we've not gotten hardly any rain... at this point we are supposed to have 9.39 inches of rainfall, but we've only accumulated 4.33 inches. Five inches behind, and not looking to get better any time soon. sighs.

The river is low. The lakes are shrinking. The wet prairie ponds are drying up. I've not heard any Pacific Choral Frogs singing... winter is their mating season.

I'm scared for the future. How many trees are going to die? What will the wildfires look like?

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Saturday 19 February 2022... Out to the River

A big event out at the river this morning! A Polar Plunge...

group of people running into the water, more people watching from the beach

Well. It's chilly, but I don't think that water that's 46°F (8°C) really qualifies as polar!! *laughs*

The air temperature was around 50° (10°C) but there was a big of a breeze. So I'm sure those guys were cold. But lots of fun to be had by all!

Men running into the water

And then I went for my regular walk, thru the Delta Ponds and along the river!

A Double Crested Cormorant. These birds are shy and are usually too far away to get decent pics. But oh my gosh, their beautiful eyes...

Double Crested Cormorant standing near the water

I love the Manky Mallards I come across!!

Female Mallard with a white collar, next to a normal coloured female

You can read more about these crazy ducks at these websites:

Domestic or Manky Mallards
lists some of the breeds of Mallards and lots of pics.

Showcasing Manky Mallard Portraits, They Are Oddly Beautiful
Awesome pics here!

A Manky blond girl!

A blond female mallard

I like the Mankies because they stand out from the crowd. They become individuals!

And this weird looking boy.

Manky Mallard down in the water

You can tell he's a male from the curled feathers on his tail. Females don't have that.

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Friday 18 February 2022... Awesome!!!

Another Starling Gathering! Except...

Starlings and Brewer Blackbirds in a tree

In this section, almost all of these birds are somebody else!

Ha! They are Brewer Blackbirds! The black-black ones are the males and the plain, dark brownish ones are female. The Blackbirds are a bit more round, whereas the Starlings are more sleek.

There are a couple of starlings, just north of center, you can see his "stars".

But cool! Since I've never really taken pics of Starling Gatherings, I never knew that they were joined by Brewer Blackbirds. I'm so glad to learn new things!!

But here's someone even awesomer! A Turkey Vulture, on the ground, eating some dead creature!!

Turkey Vulture

He seems small to me, so I'm going to call him a male... I'm assuming, like raptors, the females are bigger.

When I first saw him, I couldn't figure out who he was eating. The creamy white fur made me think a cat had died, but I really couldn't see past the grass and stuff.

But this photo (Warning: dead animal!) shows hands, not paws. Who has hands like that? It's not a raccoon... *thinking* OH! an Opossum. Poor Critter. I wonder how he/she died.

Turkey Vulture

Vultures are so cool, and they are def my favorite of the big birds. When they look at you, you can see that they are definitely a person!

They are kind of outside the food chain... They don't kill anyone for food, and one one kills them for food. And their role of cleaning up the dead is really so important for ecosystems.

Vultures are just awesome! :)

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Thursday 17 March 2022... Starlings and a Hawk!

A Starling Gathering! I love this and think I could stand under a Gathering Tree all day to listen to the Starlings chat with each other.

Silhouettes of a flock of Starlings up in bare branches.

I imagine they are having important conversations: String Theory, probably. And of course they are telling their friends where they found some new food. Or, Be Careful, there's a cat prowling over at our regular bird feeder. After that, it's just gossip until they come back around to String Theory!

I don't take pics of the starlings very often. They are always up in the tree, so the light and background is crappy.

But also, Starlings are invasive from Europe, and so many bird people hate them. I think this is sad. Starlings are beautiful and definitely have character.

Their populations are declining in Europe, so we should be happy to have them, even if the Starlings mess with other birds. That's the nature of Nature.

oh wow. a Cooper Hawk! So happy to see this species again! S/He was flying along just above the creek.

Cooper Hawk

Stupid sticks.

Cooper Hawk

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Wednesday 16 February 2022... Covid + Todays Walk

Covid Numbers


An even better picture showing the size difference between the little Green Wing Teals and Mallards...

male Green Wing Teal and male Mallard in the water

(Last comparison photo was on Wed 26 Jan 2022, Day of Ducks)

Green Wing Teals are the smallest ducks in North America!

Another Hawk! Red Shoulder Hawk, again today. S/He was being mobbed by a crow, and they made an inelegant landing in the tree right above me!

Red Shoulder Hawk up in a tree

Blazey, the bike path ambassador, sprawled next to his decorated spot on the path.

Blazey the cat

Pretty, pretty...

Purple Crocuses in grass

Western Bluebird...

Western Bluebird in a tree

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Tuesday 15 February 2022... a Two Hawk day

Hey! Helloooo? sighs.

Lesser Goldfinch, head turned away

Lesser Goldfinch eating

A Red Shoulder Hawk at the Community Garden!

Red Shoulder Hawk standing on a fence

Sees something moving in the grass? And Dives for it!

Red Shoulder Hawk flying down from the fence

But turns up empty handed. Bummer. (but nice for the mouse or whoever who got away!)

Red Shoulder Hawk

Pretty, pretty.

Cherry Blossoms

And then, on the way home... Another Hawk?! How Awesome! This one is a Red Tail Hawk.

Red Tail Hawk up in a tree

What a great day for photos!!

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Monday 14 February 2022... Blurry Birds

I walked quite a bit further today! Over two miles and the birds were def out to greet me!

A Downy Woodpecker. Look at the funny way she's sitting on the branch! But she was pecking a lot at the stick, so must have been getting good bugs there.

Female Downy Woodpecker

Male Anna Hummingbird mostly a silhouette

Western Bluebird

Is this the same heron I've been seeing for the last few days?

Great Blue Heron, standing on the grass

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Sunday 13 February 2022... Heron Naps

Same Heron as yesterday, standing on a different branch today! Naps in the sun.

Great Blue Heron, napping in the sun

American Robin

This was just a very short walk in the neighborhood, again today. Still sleeping in, in the morning, still need a nap in the afternoon, and walking still causes nausea.

The brain fog is terrible. For instance, today I got out of the shower, dried off. Then realized there was still shampoo in my hair. what the hell?! Little stupid things like that, all the time.

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Saturday 12 February 2022... Still getting better

Still so tired, but I've got more energy in between naps! This afternoon I went for a very short walk in the neighborhood. The walking sets off the nausea again. bleh.

Great Blue Heron, standing in shadow

I love this pic, below! The Song Sparrow is blurry of course, but the green building in the background is such a wonderful colour, and all the sticks are just perfect! *laughs*

Song Sparrow

Yellow Crocus blooming

I took a shower when I got home and then took a nap. But it was good to get out of the house, even if it killed me!

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Thursday 10 February 2022... covid recovery

Still with the headache and the nausea, tho it's better than it was. Mostly it's exhaustion.

I sleep in. Then get up and take a shower. then I have to lie back down for a while. I get up and read some news on the Internets. then I have to take a nap.

I'm a bit more lively in the late afternoon... I can get a bite to eat and maybe write a few postcards. A little more internetting and then I go to bed early.

It's not much of a life, but we'll get there!

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Tuesday 8 February 2022... Covid day 3

Sunday night continued to be terrible. In the middle of the night, and around hour five of the ibuprofen pills I'd taken, the body pain spiked horribly for about an hour.

That was the worst. The Worst.

Monday, I just felt regular sick. Exhausted, achy, still a bit with the nausea. Plus new symptom: sweating. I'd wake up, just soaked. Yuck. I stayed in bed all day, and was actually able to sleep for part of the day, not just lay there and suffer like I did on Sunday.

Today is Tuesday, and now I'm dealing with diarrhea. It's constant. I am just barely able to keep up with drinking water. But as the day goes on, I get really worried about my poor little microbes. You know, my gut microbiome.

The only fermented food I have is miso, and I will be happy to make up some miso soup. As a backup, I ask amz to bring me some vegan probiotics, a brand that I'm familiar with. I have no idea if I need them, and I have no idea if they'll help. But the pills will be here on friday, and I am fine about leaning on the placebo effect.

I stay in bed most all day, but get some energy in the late afternoon. I'm up and about for a few hours and feel like I'm coming alive again!

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Sunday 6 February 2022... Covid Misery

Yep, I've got break-thru covid and it is just terrible.

Saturday night I had a massive headache. I took pills and went to bed. I woke up a couple hours later, "I feel weird." Ha. That was the least of it!

Still felt the headache. Horrible body pain, especially my back and right shoulder and arm. Serious nausea. And chills, so I had a fever.

During the day, today: Minor chills continued along with all the pain. I thought I might eat something, in the afternoon... but I just threw it up.

It's just awful. Every part of it.

And yet, I feel lucky. My lungs and sinuses are clear. I'm not coughing or sniffling. But I can imagine how that would have added tremendously to the suffering.

I am fully vax'd with all three shots, and this is just a mild case of omicron covid. I may want to die, but I don't have to go to the hospital. Maybe non-severe is a better word...

Mild COVID Doesn't Mean What You Think It Does

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Saturday 5 February 2022... Todays Pics

Easter Fox Squirrel on a tree trunk

A very blurry Townsend Warbler! Such bright feathers, but he was bouncing around too quickly for the camera to keep up.

blurry Townsend Warbler

Oh, cool! A Red Shoulder Hawk!

Red Shoulder Hawk in a tree

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Friday 4 February 2022... pics at the river

A Western Grey Squirrel!! This is one of our native squirrels. While the Eastern Fox Squirrels have taken over all of the urban areas, Western Greys can still be found in the bigger parks!

Western Grey Squirrel on a fence

Oh! The Witch Hazel is blooming.

Orange-Red blooms of Witch Hazel

This is such a beautiful park! The Ruth Bascom Riverbank Trail runs 7 or 8 miles on both sides of the Willamette River, with several walking bridges going across.

Ruth Bascom Riverbank path, just past the Rose Garden

Alton Baker park is almost 2 miles from where I parked. I'm coming in on the walking bridge from the other side of the river.

Looking down into Alton Baker park from the walking bridge

The yellow ball on the other side of the bridge is the Sun! It's part of a scale model of the solar system... the inner planets are here in Alton Baker, and the outer planets are out along the Riverbank trail. The Sun is 4.5 feet in diameter and Pluto is a tiny dot over 3.5 miles away! The scale is 1:1 billion!

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Thursday 3 February 2022... Todays Pics

Todays clouds

A pair of Mallards hang out behind the tree the Beaver chopped down.

a pair of Mallards and a downed tree

*Laughs* ... Same Heron, same branch!

Great Blue Heron in a fir tree

And a ball of fluff, enjoying the sunshine.

A long-hair Siamese type cat with eyes closed in the sun

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Wednesday 2 February 2022... Covid numbers

Down to 3million new covid cases in the US this week... a total of 3,371,518 averages to 481,645 every day.

2,642 people died every day... slightly more that last week which was 2,506. Hopefully that number will start coming down next week?

Oregon seems to be swirling with new cases, rather than coming down. We had 7,379 new cases every day. 19 people died every day, and Oregon also hit 6000 total covid deaths last thursday.

In my town there are 2,422 active covid cases, 88 are hospitalized. 69.3% of those are unvax'd.

Unknown how many people died here in town... The newspaper reported that a bunch of deaths going back to October were added to the tally. So the numbers say 43 people were added this week, but normally only 3 or 4 actually die in a week.


The song sparrow might be nature's best DJ

Just a cool article about my favorite sparrow! :)


Eastern Fox Squirrel

Red Shouldered Hawk

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Tuesday 1 February 2022... Just some pics at Stewart Pond

A blurry Song Sparrow with a cool background...

Song Sparrow standing on a stick

Soaring Turkey Vulture

A Turkey Vulture? That's odd! They migrate outta here for winter... and February First still sounds like winter to me!

Huh. Well, I guess they know what they're doing! :)

Another Nutria...

Nutria in the grass

I'm a person who loves rodents, so of course I think Nutrias are kinda cute. Mostly people around here don't like them. I think they don't like them simply because they are rodents. And the tail. I think if they just had a furry tail, it would help their image. *laughs*

What in the world?!

Great Blue Heron, looking up

I could not see what s/he was looking at. And this was a hard stare, so I assume they are hunting somebody. weird!

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Monday 31 January 2022... Kinglet

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

Wheel barrows, shovels, and piles of wood chips

That's nice. We need more trees.

This kinglet Almost sat for a portrait!

Ruby Crowned Kinglet

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

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Sunday 30 January 2022... a duck and Comm Garden

Someone new at the creek...

male American Wigeon

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

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

Calendula blooms

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

Frost laid the Fava low

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Saturday 29 January 2022... Hendricks Park

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

A Spotted Towhee hiding in the dark

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Friday 28 January 2022... Books

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

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

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

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

Sighs.

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

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

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

What it is...

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

I apologize for ever praising this book!

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


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

Frost on an Oak Leaf in the grass

Hey, a Nutria!

Nutria in the grass near the creek

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

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

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

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

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

Cool! A Nuthatch!

White Breasted Nuthatch

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

White Breasted Nuthatch

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

Great Blue Heron in a fir tree

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Thursday 27 January 2022... Little Free Pantry

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

A Little Free Pantry

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

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

Inside the Little Free Pantry

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

Inside our Little Free Pantry

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

A blurry Red Tail Hawk, maybe

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

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

American Robin

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Wednesday 26 January 2022... Day of Ducks

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


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

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

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

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


Well, he was thinking about napping...

Northern Shoveler, head tucked down

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

Northern Shoveler

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

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

Male Mallard and a male Green Winged Teal

*laughs* Duck, duck, duck...

Male Mallard, male Green Winged Teal, female Mallard

Lead by the woman. As it should be.

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Tuesday 25 January 2022... Hidden Trail

a little waterfall along hidden trail

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

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

English Holly

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

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

English Holly and berries

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

Broken chair

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

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Monday 24 January 2022... pics of the day

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

Bright pink Flowering Quince

bare oak tree in the fog

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

Haha, someone needs to fix their hair-do!

Great Blue Heron

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

Downy Woodpecker looking for bugs

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

American Robin

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Sunday 23 January 2022... pics of the day

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

Eastern Fox Squirrel, eating a peanut

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

Small flowers of a Daphne bush

Great Blue Heron

Song Sparrow

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Saturday 22 January 2021... Blurry Birds at the River

A beautiful and dreary day at the river...

Looking up the Willamette River

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

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

Little Shorebird near the river

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

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

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

Female Greater or Lesser Scaup

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

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

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

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

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

Blurry Ruby Crowned Kinglet

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

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

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


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

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

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

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Friday 21 January 2022... Foggy Day

Foggy, dark and cold day at the bike path.

creek, trees, bike path in the fog

crow on a tree in the distance

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

Scrub Jay deep in twigs with a peanut

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Thursday 20 January 2022... White Crowned Sparrows

Yesterday's rainy day Sparrow...

White Crowned Sparrow in the rain

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

White Crowned Sparrow

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Wednesday 19 January 2022... Covid and masks

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

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

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


Apparently this article that I read yesterday...

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

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

postcard to Neil Gorsuch (text below)

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

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

Follow-up, 20 January...

NPR reporting on Supreme Court mask controversy merits clarification

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

Dang it...

Blurry photo of a Towhee

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

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

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Tuesday 18 January 2022... Hooded Mergansers

hmmm.

Two female looking Hooded Mergansers in the water

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

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

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

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

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Monday 17 January 2022... Munching

hmm. A Beaver, probably.

Wood chips next to a chewed tree

Two trees down.

Two Beaver chewed trees have fallen down

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

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

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

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

Blazey, the bike path ambassador.

Blazey the bike path ambassador

group of male and female teals in the water

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

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Sunday 16 January 2022... The Long Lost Cooper Hawk

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

Two Golden Crowned Sparrows in a bush

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

Juvenile Cooper Hawk up in a tree

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

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

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

A female Belted Kingfisher stands on a branch

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

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Saturday 15 January 2022... Shooting in Eugene

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

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

Eugene-OR.gov Wow Hall Shooting

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

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

Looking over the river

A juvenile Bald Eagle.

Juvenile Bald Eagle in a tree

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

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

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

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

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

Oregon Grape, leaves and small blooms

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

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

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

A bright orange Calendula

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

Anna Hummingbird, singing

uh. What The ??

a duck egg on the bike path

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

a brown egg on the bike path

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

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

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

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

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

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Thursday 13 January 2022... pics

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

Blazey the Bike Path Ambassador Cat

Eastern Fox Squirrel on a painted wood fence

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

Silhoutte of an Anna Hummingbird with sparse sticks and leaves

After the fact, I noticed...
Haha, everybody is facing left today! :)

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Wednesday 12 January 2022... Covid and Stewart Park

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Two Cackling Geese

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

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

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

Black Phoebe

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

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Tuesday 11 January 2022... Hooded Mergansers

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

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

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

Female Hooded Merganser

Two Female Hooded Mergansers

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Monday 10 January 2022... pics

A Golden Crowned Sparrow.

Golden Crowned Sparrow

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

Lenten Roses

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

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

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

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

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

Sighs.

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Sunday 9 January 2022... New Graffiti Artist

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

foggy, with trees in the distance

dew on a spider web, creek in the background

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

Graffiti by ET, elephant with butterfly ears

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

Graffiti by ET, blue, fire-breating dragon

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

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

*laughs* just kidding!

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

Graffiti, Suspish name and fish

And then even fancier.

Graffiti, Suspish name with mountains

*laughs* Isn't it lovely!

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

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Saturday 8 January 2022... not much

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

But here's a Pansy at the Community Garden.

Pansy

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

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

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Friday 7 January 2022... pics

Just some pretty colours...

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

Not Canada Geese...

Cackling Geese

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

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

American Crow

:)

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Thursday 6 January 2022... Insurrection

The Squirrels are watching us...

Eastern Fox Squirrel

And they are very disappointed in what they see.

Our democracy is coming apart at the seams...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It's all of this and more.

And I'll be fighting it.

And the Squirrels are with me!


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

clouds

clouds breaking up with some blue sky

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Wednesday 5 January 2022... Covid and squirrel

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

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

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

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


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

Eastern Fox Squirrel

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

It's more clear in this pic:

Eastern Fox Squirrel missing fur on his nose and face

Do squirrels get mange? ugh! Poor baby!

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Tuesday 4 January 2022... Bird Watcher's Digest

oh no.

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

This is so depressing, I cry.

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

Julie Zickefoose's eulogy for the mag...

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

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

My Book Review of The Bluebird Effect on GR

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

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

Sighs. So crying sad.

African Violet blooming

The African Violet is blooming!

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

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


Our Little Free Pantry has seen better days!

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

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

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

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Monday 3 January 2022... And Then it Rained

And rained and rained.

The bike path under all the bridges is flooded.

flooded bike path

That hand railing is about 5 foot tall...

close up of flooded bike path

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

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

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Sunday 2 January 2022... Some Sunshine

Eastern Fox Squirrel

a bit of blue sky over the bike path

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

Red Shoulder Hawk

The trees are coming alive already...

Unknown tree catkins

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

*laughs*

But this time I got proof of her existence!

a very blurry Belted Kingfisher

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

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

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Sat 1 Jan 2022... Review and Revise

Happy New Year!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, for future reference...

in 2018... 11,570 pics, avg 964/month
in 2019... 15,124 pics, avg 1,260/month
in 2020... xxx pics, avg xxx/month
in 2021... xxx pics, avg xxx/month

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Great Blue Heron

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

*Laughs*

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

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

Get back to writing book reviews at GR.

Ugh: Space Clearing, decluttering, cleaning.

Let's move forward!

Red Shoulder Hawk standing on a branch with blue sky

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Wednesday 29 December 2021... covid and elephants

Well, almost 2million new cases of covid in the US this week... 1,848,809 which averages to 264,116 new cases every day. And 1,502 people died of covid on average every day.

Oregon had 1,136 new cases every day on average... almost twice what it was two weeks ago! And two weeks ago was when omicron was first reported in Oregon. Just 10 people died every day.

In my town active cases almost doubled from 307 to 596, with 24 people hospitalized. Four people have died this week.


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Wednesday 22 December 2021... covid numbers

Yep, omicron is here in town, as of this past weekend... they found the first cases on Monday.

Back over a million new cses of covid again this week: 1,151,320... which is an average of 164,474 every day. and 1,724 people died every day, a significan rise from last week's 1,046. :(

Oregon had 805 new cases every day on average (up from 596 last week), but just 13 people died every day (down from 22 last week)!

In my town, we've got 307 active cases, 24 hospitalized. And 8 people have died in the past week.

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Friday 17 December 2021... Happy Friday

pic of me in the car with bandaid on my arm!

Oh yeah! Covid Booster Vax!

The drive-thru mass vax clinic had opened at 10 and I had a 10:15 appointment... and since there were just a couple cars, way up at the front, I needed help maneuvering thru all the cones! haha, fortunately there were a couple volunteers to tell me where to go!

I got to the first station where they hand you paperwork (and uh, remind you to put on your stupid mask! oops!) and then a guy directed me to the tents and I got to go to the head of the line! (Again! I got to do that for my 2nd shot as well!!)

I filled out the paperwork and got my covid card updated. And then chatted with the doctor for a minute. He asked how the first two shots had gone for me. I said the first one, I only had a sore arm and the second one I felt a bit achy the next day for a couple hours.

He replied, "To help with that this time, you gotta hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. And then you gotta drink..." he paused here, and I smiled up at him wondering if he was going to say something funny. heh, yep. "And then you gotta drink some water!"

*Laughs*

As I waited out in the parking lot to make sure I didn't have a bad reaction, I saw the coned lanes that I had sped thru alone, start to fill up. They only had 3 tents, vax'ing two cars at a time in each. The line seemed to be moving pretty quickly tho.

I was back home, and the whole trip was only half an hour!

And then I decided to go for a walk. And then I was like, what if I have ... ... ...

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Wednesday 15 December 2021... covid numbers

Well. The United states hit 800,000 dead sometime yesterday afternoon, according to the Johns Hopkins website. (The 1pt3acrs site hit 800,000 on Monday 6 December, and is now at 810,665 people dead from covid.) :(

And the local newspaper reports that omicron is in Oregon. They found a couple cases up in Portland. So it's not in Eugene yet... but omicron is so contagious I think it will be here in just a few minutes.

I've got my booster set up for Friday morning... I am mixing and matching my shots. I can't wait!

Okay, so on to the numbers...

There were 721,210 new cases of Covid in the US this past week, averaging 103,030 every day.

The US averaged 1,046 people dying of covid every day.

And since the omicron variant has been found here in Oregon, I'm going to start keeping track of our state numbers as well... Oregon had 596 new cases every day on avg, and 22 people have died every day.

In my town there are 238 active cases of covid and 27 people hospitalized. Four people have died in the past week.

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Monday 13 December 2021... Abortion Care

I have been freaking out about Abortion Care in Texas and all over the US since September 1, when SB8 banned almost all abortions in Texas.

The courts tried to fix things, but were bashed down by the 5th Circuit.

The Justice Department was no help at all.

The Supreme Court has turned evil, and so they made things worse.

Postcard sent to President Biden

Translation: Dear President Biden. The current Supreme Court terrifies me! Since when does the court take away rights? Since Sept 1st women in Texas have not been able to access full health care. It's just a matter of time before more states take away reproductive rights. Please! Do Something!

But, here, FINALLY, is someone who is going to do something! Yay California!

California Future of Abortion Council Report
(this is a direct link to a PDF.)

I LIKE the recommendations of this council! In fact, I like them so much, I think my state of Oregon should join California in this!

Postcard to Oregon Gov Brown about Abortion Care

Translation: Dear Governor Brown, I am terrified at what Texas has done with SB8, and I'm terrified that the Supreme Court has let it stand. I think California has the right idea with it's Proclamation on Reproductive Freedom and aiming to be a sanctuary for abortion access. I think Oregon should follow in Calif's footsteps! We need to fund and strengthen Abortion Services here in Oregon -- Including for people out of state!!

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I've started archiving the October posts. You can see October 1st thru 10th right here:

October 2021







I've archived the September posts. You can see them all right here:

September 2021





Monday 30 August 2021... A Car

We rented a car from Enterprise for our Utah roadtrip. I was expecting a four-door sedan with a big trunk, but the rental car they gave me was a small SUV, a Kia Soul.

Kia Soul, the rental car, at Bear Lake

The extra space behind the back seats, was just barely big enough for our luggage and fun stuff. The cooler and Dawn the Guinea Pig's travel box took up the entire back seats. (Granted, the travel box was pretty spacious!)

That all worked out, but the seats weren't very comfortable. The drivers seat didn't have lumbar support, it may have been broken. It wasn't terrible, but it kept my back kinked up a little, as I drove.

There were five of us in Utah, including three men, and I felt bad for my Mom... being the smallest, she had to sit in the middle of the back seat. The seat belt latches on either side couldn't be moved and they were too close together. So you had to scoot your butt way forward to avoid sitting on them, and that was uncomfortable and probably unsafe.

Other than that, the car was fine, and it got us to where we were going, including up and down steep and curvy hills. But not a car I would buy.

I returned the car on Saturday... And I was immediately bereft.

It's been a couple years since I've owned a car. and I miss it!

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Sunday 29 August 2021... New Goals!

Okay! Starting to come alive!

I think a holiday is a good disruption of established routines. My regular schedule was great, but as I mentioned during my Porch Room Project, there is no set time for tidying or cleaning. Which really should be happening! And, there was no set time for blogging. Which I really want to be happening!

I had gotten a couple books over the summer, which I started reading but didn't finish.

Unf*ck Your Habitat: You're Better Than Your Mess by Rachel Hoffman

Decluttering at the Speed of Life: Winning Your Never-Ending Battle with Stuff by Dana K. White

Both books resonated with me and the first one actually got me to clean a surface. Yeah, it was a single surface, but still! :)

oh, I should mention that Marie Kondo is just not my thing... it's just too much. I have done Stephanie Bennett Vogt's Space Clearing in the past, including one of her year-long classes. And I'm more of a "slow drip" and "pick up one thing... even if it's just a paper clip" type person!! I will def be applying that philosophy in my new efforts!

So anyway. My goals are to do at least 20mins of chores every day. And One and a Half blog posts every day, and maybe do some back-end work with the Utah trip.

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Saturday 28 August 2021... Day of Exhaustion

Yeah, ugh. Yesterday's drive home from Utah just wiped me out. I slept hard last night, but I just can't get my brain to turn on today. And my patience is completely used up.

I did manage to get the rental car returned with partner's help. And then I crashed back into my bed!


The house plants survived a week on their own. I usually water the Peace Lily more than once a week, and so I had it on a dripper... And it was so happy with the constant water it made a flower while we were gone!

Polka Dot Begonia, planted with Golden Pothos

African Violet baby plant

The recently potted Polka Dot Begonia had started making leaves a couple weeks ago, and that's looking really good now!

And one of the African Violet leaves that I'm trying to clone, started growing!! This makes me happy!


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Thursday 12 August 2021... The latest heat wave

My new favorite pastimes are standing in front of the fan and drinking ice water.

Today's high temperature is 102° (39°C) but because it didn't cool down last night, the apartment is miserable... 90° upstairs, and poor Dawn the guinea pig has to deal with 82° in the downstairs.

And, yeah. I think this is the third heat wave... but really. when you only have one day of relief in between heat waves? Maybe it's just all one heat wave. And I hate it.

Just get an air conditioner (and quit complaining!) you say? But I say, this is just going to make climate change worse!! I refuse! I opt out!

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Wed 11 August 2021... covid numbers

Yeah, so I was wondering if my state or city was going to DO anything about these numbers... or just let the medical people and unvaccinated suffer. Hello? how bad does it need to get before we take action?

There's action today, according to the newspaper... We are going back to masking mandates on Friday.

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Wed 4 August 2021... covid numbers

Well. delta variant is really making a mess of things. Cases are up, hospitalizations are up, deaths are up. And break thru infections for people who've been vaccinated.
Thanks for all that, anti-vax Republicans.

I read today that if you have the alpha variant, you will probably infect two other unvaccinated people. But if you have the delta variant, you will infect 5 other people.

There were 606,806 new covid cases in the US this week, a huge jump from the 255,000 last week, which was a jump from the 134,000 the week before, and the 85,000 and the 68,000 at the end of June.

sighs. 86,687 new cases on average every day. (ha, an every day total that's so similar to the Entire WEEK total, just a few weeks ago!) 365 people died every day on avg.

In my town, active cases have shot up to 572 and 30 people hospitalized. Before vaccinations started in earnest, the worse we had was 526 active cases on 17 Dec 2020, and on that day we had 47 people hospitalized.

The local hospitals are restricting visitors, again.

And I'm taking a good look at the local numbers for active covid cases. Throughout this mess, we've had awesome, daily reports for cases, hospitalizations, ongoing active cases and deaths!

But mid-May, they started not reporting the sunday numbers. And then the entire Memorial Day weekend. hey. fair enough! But the next weekend, they also took three days off. And the next. After that it was random days of not reporting during the week, and still not reporting the three days of the weekends.

This is shoddy. and shitty. I really want better.

NYC Becomes Largest US City To Require Proof Of Vaccination For Indoor Activities
*thumbs up!*



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Sunday 1 August 2021... Raccoon, dinner and dessert

I saw a single Raccoon at the creek today... s/he was eating a crawdad. Which kind of amazed me, I didn't realize crawdads lived in our little creek!

When I glanced at one of the photos, pretty blurry, I was all, "oh, funny Raccoon! You've got a bit of grass on your face!"

But when I saw better photos, I realized that was not grass... that was a Dragonfly Nymph!!!

raccon crunching on a crawdad in the creek

raccoon with a half eaten crawdad

Poor, poor baby dragonfly is fixin' to be a light dessert after the meal of that poor, poor crawdad. :|

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Sat 31 July 2021... Happy Herons

Out at the river today, and excited to see a Green Heron. They are shy, and their camouflage is incredible, so I'm always glad to get their portrait!

Green Heron on a log in the water

So that's a normal position for a Green Heron.

All of a sudden...

Green Heron stretching out their neck!

Holy! Where did all that neck come from??! That's crazy!

And here's a pretty pic of a Great Blue Heron in the flowers...

Great Blue Heron hunting near the shore with tiny blue and yellow flowers

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Friday 30 July 2021... Bug Excitement!

So I'm on my 4 mile walk and there's this orange dragonfly, flopping about at the edge of the sidewalk.

I look and see the dragonfly has caught a European Honey Bee, who must be fighting back! The dragonfly is much bigger than the bee, tho, so I'm pretty sure about the outcome...

But then suddenly, it's over. The dragonfly sits for a second and then flies away. Wait! What just happened??!

looking down at a red dragonfly on the sidewalk

Did I not notice that the bee got away? Or was the bee eaten up in just a couple bites? oh Nature, why can't you let me see the end of the story! *laughs*


And this is my lunch! That's the third Lemon Cucumber I've gotten from our garden plot!!! LOVE!

Cucumber sandwich, with potato chips and thick sliced lemon cucumber

And yes, I'm having a store-bought cucumber on homemade bread... it's the black olives and the dollop of Yumm! Sauce that really makes this sandwich amazing. (Yumm! Sauce is a form of Goddess Dressing, but of course, yummier.) :)

And this is my front Lemon Cucumber patch, where that beautiful Lemon Cuc came from...

Lemon Cucumber plants with many little yellow blossoms

You can see, it's just getting started! Look at all those little yellow blossoms!!!

This year I have 10 Lemon Cucumber plants. This patch is four plants and it's grown quite a bit bigger than the back patch which has 6 plants. My goal is to have more Lemon Cucumbers than I can eat... which I'm pretty sure is impossible!! :)

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Thurs 29 July 2021... xxx

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Wed 28 July 2021... covid numbers

There were 395,979 new cases of covid in the US in the last week, averaging 56,568 cases every day. 239 people died every day, on average.

Active cases in my town have climbed to 309 today. And three people have died in the past week.

I'm glad that the CDC has updated their Masking Recommendations for the Delta variant... even fully vaxd people should wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of high transmission. Areas of high transmission doesn't include the entire United States... just most of it!

And I'll be thrilled to see more vaccine requirements! heck yeah!


Chicory blooms with Queen Anne Lace and Sweet Pea in the background

A pretty picture of invasive plants! :)

The purplish blue in focus is Chicory, a happy plant from Europe and north Africa. The roots can be roasted and ground and used like coffee (minus the caffeine) or as a food additive.

The white flowers are Queen Anne Lace, another happy invasive, from temperate Europe and southwest Asia. This is a member of the carrot family and the tap root can be eaten like carrots. Careful tho! this one has look-alikes which are toxic and will kill you if you eat them! Queen Anne Lace roots smell like carrots. If it smells like licorice, that's the toxic one!

Never, never eat stuff in the wild if you're not 100% sure what it is!! Seriously, 100% with major research and a naturalist who has helped you! NOT 90% sure! If you even have a single question, "wait. is this thing normal?" Do not eat that thing! You must be 100% sure! Nothing less! This is my public service announcement!! *laughs*

The pinkish purple is Sweet Pea... a toxic invasive from Sicily and southern Italy. A very pretty scent, that many people love! But toxic for eating, every which way!

two White Crowned Sparrows on a fence

um. Hang on! White Crowned Sparrows at the Community Garden? What in the world???!

White Crowned Sparrows are winter visitors here. In other words, they do nesting season up north, in Canada, then come down for some better winter weather. Since when is the end of July past the nesting season?!

They must have had a major, tragic nest failure to be down in their winter area in July! Or something else? What's going on?!

Hmmm... Studying the map. All About Birds: White Crowned Sparrow, Range Map

Maybe. You see that thin strip of purple "Year-Round" that hugs the Pacific Coast? Maybe the sparrows are expanding their year-round range further inland. Eugene is about 60miles from the coast. Not that far, for a little bird!

Will have to pay attention to the local sightings for this beautiful little bird!!

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Wed 21 July 2021... covid numbers

There were 255,033 new cases of covid in the US in the last week, averaging 36,433 every day. The delta variant is now over 80% of new cases. 232 people died of covid every day.

Active cases of covid are at 117 today in my town. Which can't really be referred to as "creeping up" since that's almost double of last weeks active cases (61).


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Friday 16 July 2021... ARG! + cuteness!

Lately I've just been meh. I seem to have lost my enthusiasm. I'm not really excited about my mailing projects. I've not been doing my daily drawing practice. I've gotten behind on sorting photos and the mail log. and I really, really can't be bothered to do any chores or housework.

And you can see I've not updated this blog at all... a few weeks ago, I thought by having a project, I'd want to type here more often. And the blogging lasted precisely one day: Porch Room Project! And the actual Project didn't last much beyond that. sighs.

Unfortunately, I don't really have a plan besides "Get It Together!" :)


hm... The same two I saw the other day? No, I don't think so.

Two small raccons wading in the creek

But definitely siblings... Not quite grown up and turns out there were a couple more in the bushes on the bank! There was a wrestling match, and general happy and well adjusted kid raccoon goings-on! So fun to watch!

and then... oh wait!

Five raccoons!

There's a fifth raccoon!! Is it Mum or another sibling? Dang it, I can't tell. And then they're gone, slipped away under the shrubbery.

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Wed 14 July 2021... covid numbers

There were 134,558 new cases of covid in the US in the last week, averaging 19,227 every day. 236 people died every day on average... Yep, Delta variant is starting to kill more people. (The average last week was down to 132 people dead every day.)

And the only people dying of covid anymore, are the unvaccinated.

In my town, Delta variant has officially arrived, there were two cases recently detected.

Which is unfortunate. Because we have gotten all the way down to 43 active cases last Saturday. We are now at 61 active cases. How high will Delta push our active cases, and for how long?

There are 54.8% people fully vaxd in Oregon and 48.1% of the total population fully vaxd in the US.


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Wed 7 July 2021... covid numbers

There were 85,084 new cases of covid in the US in the past week, averaging 12,155 every day.

The Delta variant is now the dominate strain of covid in the US and it's pushing the numbers back up... for new cases and hospitalizations. The Delta variant arrived in the US in March of this year, and was about 20% of new cases on 22 June, and is now well over 50%.

132 people died of covid on average every day in the US... But assume this will be back on the upswing with Delta.

Sighs.

Because of the holiday, the local covid website hasn't been updated. But we were still swirling around about 80 active cases of covid here in town.

Oregon has 54.3% of total population fully vaxd and the USA has 47.5% fully vaxd.


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Wed 30 June 2021... Covid and Porch Project 3

There were 68,642 new cases of covid in the US in the past week, averaging 9,806 every day. 242 people died of covid, on average, every day.

Active covid cases in my town have been swirling around 80.

And the governor of Oregon has lifted covid restrictions today! We aren't quite at 70% of the adult & over 16 vaccinated, but we are so extremely close... 69.9%!

So, restaurants and businesses can be at full capacity, and businesses can make their own decisions about masking. I think you still have to mask up in federal buildings... like the Post Office still has their Mask signs up. Also masks on public transportation.

52.6% of the total population of Oregon is fully vaxd, and 46.4% of the USA is.


Polka Dot Begonia and Philodendron in a pot

Today I cut up and re-potted a Golden Pothos, along with a lovely Polka Dot Begonia. I think they have similar water needs, so they should be fine in the same pot.

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Tues 29 June 2021... Porch Room Project Cont

So! Today I fixed up the African violets.

I dumped the dead pots... ugh, yeah, more than one that I managed to kill. Pretty remarkable, since all you have to do to keep African Violets alive is not over-water them! I don't know what killed them off, but I'm really bummed because one had such lovely flowers... white with purple edges.

I got cuttings from the last remaining living plant, played with rooting gel -- probably not necessary, since African Violets like to clone themselves at the drop of a leaf (haha! you see what I did there?! ;) -- and potted them up.

african violet clone starts

(Yep, you see one more dead one in the middle background there.) (sighs.)

Today's project, like yesterday, took about 40 minutes... so it's not digging too much into my scheduled happy time.


Artsy!

blurry sunflower with a gibbous moon

And, yep, there are sunflowers blooming at the Community Garden!

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Mon 28 June 2021... Porch Room Project

So. I've been living my best life for a while now. But my best life includes certain things like avoiding chores and any stuff I don't feel like doing. And it's starting to make me feel lazy! ha!

So I gave myself a project this week. What we call our porch room is probably technically called a breakfast nook. It's just the space on the other side of the kitchen, and it also includes the sliding glass door out to the back porch.

I have all of my house plants here. They are neglected and have been slowly dying out. So it's probably time to fix this. Not to mention the glass and floor are a dirty disaster, from water splashing dirt and other day-to-day accidents. And there's cobwebs.

Yes, it's pretty pathetic and if I could afford a maid or a cleaning service, that would definitely be money well spent!

So! Today I started with the Spider Plant. There is just one struggling mama plant, and a bunch of babies hanging off her. oh, hey! They are called spiderettes!

I dumped all the dirt... whoa! the roots!

Spider plant roots

Anyway. Some new dirt, the babies cut away and planted all around. And we've got a nice new pot... of grass-looking stuff!

Spider Plant re-potted with spiderettes

*laughs* Well, the new dirt will rejuvenate everybody and it'll be a pretty hanging plant soon!

Learn about spider plant stolons
This page says it's very unusual for a spider plant to flower and even more unusual for them to produce fruit. That's funny... My Spider Plant used to flower all the time, and it made tons of seeds. The seeds are kind of annoying too, because they would get everywhere!


Well, anyway. Look who I found at the creek today!

two raccoons wading in water

It's been years since I've seen Raccoons at the creek, so happy to welcome them back into the area!!

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Mon 24 May 2021... random

Looking up at a vulture flying, clouds and sky in the background

The camera can't keep up, but I always try to take pics of the Turkey Vultures as they glide past me in the sky!


Someone is offering some more freebies at the Community Garden picnic table!

Tomato starts

These are baby tomato plants, I nabbed one that had a tag that said Orange Plum! Sounds wonderful!! But I def have an excess of tomato plants now... 2 Sun Golds, 6 Brandywines, 1 heirloom Roma, 2 Aubrey Pinks, and this new one. I am very excited about tomatoes this year!


On the walk home... a new bird!!

blurry pic of a Western Wood Pewee

Yep, it's a crappy blurry pic. But I think this bird is a Western Wood Pewee. What a name, huh?!

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Sun 23 May 2021... Western Bluebirds

Last year, someone set up Bluebird nesting boxes at the Community Garden. A pair set up shop in one of them and I was thrilled to see them coming and going, feeding their babies. I didn't get to see the kids fledge, but the parents did bring their kids back around, and I got pics of the juveniles.

No one is using the nest boxes this year. A pair of Violet Green Swallows had started organizing a nest, but then the humans started showing up to garden. And the Swallows changed their mind and went elsewhere.

But the Bluebirds are still coming and going at the Community Garden! They must have a nest close by and use the garden as a resting point...

Three Bluebirds on a fence

Ha! I believe this is one family. The Mom on the left, Dad in the middle, and the chubby one on the right is the nest helper!

Crows do this... last year's child might help bring up their siblings! Since Bluebirds are sexually dimorphic, we can tell that the nest helper is always a male. Which makes me wonder if the Crow's helper is male, too!

I think the green caterpillar the helper is holding is a Cabbage White. These butterfies are fluttering all over the place, I saw the first one back at the beginning of March!

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Sat 22 May 2021... Countries and Creatures

From the Postcrossing Blog...

EUROPA Stamps
Endangered national wildlife. Oh my gosh, this is a Beautiful collection of art!!! Monaco has a seahorse, tho, and my vote would go there.


Speaking of random tiny countries... Monaco is a micro-state country surrounded by France on the Mediterranean Sea, near Italy!

Last year, I decided to memorize all the countries in the world. Check!

I tend to review the list when I can't sleep at night. There are around 180 countries (hmm... I've never counted!) so it does take a while. But it's not the best activity for sleepy time because it takes a lot of brain power. I really have to be *awake* to do the whole list.

Anyway. I've gotten bored with just the countries of the world! So I've decided to start memorizing all the capitals of the countries of the world!!

*grins* Ottawa and Washington DC and Mexico City! Yep!

But okay! This is a much more difficult project. Because I have never heard of the capital of Honduras, Tegucigalpa... and I def don't know how to pronounce it!!

Tuh-goo-see-gal-puh

Western European countries will be easier... because we all know London and Paris and Madrid. But I am really looking forward to more long and complicated capital names!

World Map

Dawn, a white guinea pig, on my lap.

Dawn the guinea pig has been munching on the first crops from the garden since mid-March! There are only a couple Dandelion plants in my plot, so this is a treat she gets once or twice a week.

Tho the sap makes it pretty bitter, all parts of dandelions are quite nutritious! Vitamins A, C, and K along with antioxidants and some minerals.

Now, check out this creature I found on the bike path!

Metallic blue Ground Beetle with bright orange thighs!

Wow! Just nonchalantly cleaning their antenna, in the middle of the bike path. Maybe not the place for that, Little One!

With those orange bits, I thought I'd be able to identify their species without any trouble. But I couldn't find them at all. bummer!

Fri, 11 Jun 2021
Yay! A friend identified this beetle for me! Thank you wombatlady!

He or she is a Flower Longhorn!!

BugGuide: Pseudogaurotina cressoni

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Fri 21 May 2021... Happy Garden Time

Columbine blooms

Mowing the grassy pathways at the Community Garden is a volunteer job... and it's a huge job because the Garden is so big. The path goes all the way around the Garden and then there are two main aisles going thru the center, and then a couple of shorter aisles on the west side.

Our Garden plot is on the 2nd aisle, and that one rarely gets mowed. Since it's a volunteer thing, I can't really complain... if I want it done I should do it myself, right?

heh, except the grass is about three feet high, now.

Well. It was three feet high... Some wonderful and awesome person weed wacked the grass in front of our plot!! Oh lovely person, I thank you a million times!!

Calendula

Calendula. The blossom petals add a spicey taste to salad and are used to add colour to other foods. But it's non-native, coming from southwest Asia and the Mediterranean. But very pretty!

looking down at an Anna Hummingbird.

*Laughs* This fellow was quite trusting, he stood on a tomato cage while I watered right next to him!

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Thurs 20 May 2021... River Walk

Getting desperate to walk any place else other than to the Community Garden every day...

Yes, I am happy to transplant new veges every couple of days. But since the rain quit months ago, I've got to go out and water those baby plants every day to keep them alive. The Community Garden is one mile away, so it doesn't really make sense to drive there all the time. So I'm walking.

But I need to look at something else!

Down at the river, I'm seeing a phenomenon with the ducklings and goslings that I also see at the creek near my home. Very small families, not very many older babies.

Last year there were goslings all over the place. Hundreds, of all different ages.

This year? um... I think there's a couple families, waaay over there. And the Mallard families are small at the river, too.

Weird and interesting! Are the families small or nonexistent because of the lack of rain this spring? Or is it because there were so many babies last year, they just need to take a break? A combination? Something else?

A Mama Mallard and her blond baby.

Female Mallard and her baby

Aw, I just love this photo. The duckling, an only child, is not the usual colour and I wonder what they will look like as an adult.

Looking across the Willamette River

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Wed 19 May 2021... covid numbers

There were 227,673 new cases of covid in the past week, averaging 32,525 every day... that's over 5,000 less than last week, EVERY DAY!!! 598 people died every day.

The active cases in my town have come down steadily from 251 last wednesday to 189 today. It looks like a good trend!

Also, 40.66% of the people in my county are fully vaccinated! Oregon has 39.3% and the USA has 37.3% fully vaxd.

center of a wild rose

The Wild Roses are blooming and the cherries are ripening!

Cherry hanging from its tree, not quite ripe.

And the sky is being beautiful.

Blue sky with pretty clouds and green trees

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Tues 18 May 2021... pic

Starling fledgling and adult standing on twigs

Starling fledgling and parent.

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Mon 17 May 2021... just a pretty

Benjamin Button bloom with California Poppies in the background

Bachelor Button. Native in Europe, invasive here in the Americas.

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Sunday 16 May 2021... Vax Reaction

I woke up this morning feeling fine, and I went for a 3mile walk without trouble.

But a headache snuck up on me in the afternoon, with some major brain fog. Ugh. And then my shoulders and neck got achy and sore. ha, I couldn't turn my head properly for a few hours!

But by the time I went to bed, I felt better! (And Monday morning, I got up feeling fine!)

Male Mallard duck standing on a roof top!

haha... he looks so regal up there on the roof top! But when you think about it, ducks are down in the water, never in the trees... they are in the lowest places. So it must feel very strange to stand on top of a building and look down at the world!! :)

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Sat 15 May 2021... Vax Time!!

Yipee! I got my second vaccination shot today and I am on my way to being immunized!!

times written on car window

:) After you get your shot at a drive thru mass vax clinic, you need to wait in the parking lot for 15min to make sure you don't have a bad reaction. They write down the time you can leave on the car's window. The times on the left are mine and the heart time on the right is my partner's first shot... he'll be up for his 2nd next week!

This clinic was similar to my first one, except it seemed like they had more volunteers and they were jamming thru cars faster! I drove in at 10:14am and went straight to the head of the line in my lane. haha, the other lane had six or seven cars in it!

I didn't have an appointment, and they directed me off to the side where some people would help me start the digital paperwork. They then directed me to the tents and I had just enough time to fill out my paper paperwork.

They only had 8 drive-thrus, rather than the 12 they had the last time I was there. But they were doing two cars at a time at each tent, so it was actually going much faster!

The first tent got the medical portion of my paperwork filled out and my vax card updated! And then at the 2nd tent, the doctor got my paperwork and talked to me and gave me the shot.

I had turned away from the shot the first time. But this time I made sure I watched!

I got my time written, but had to wait a couple minutes before driving out to the parking lot... the car in front of me had a couple people being vaccinated. Haha... Car pooling to the vax clinic! How awesome is that?!

Everyone I talked to was Super nice and so happy when they learned I was there for my 2nd shot! *laughs* It just gave me a very good feeling and I was happy too!

purple flowers

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Wed 12 May 2021... covid numbers

There were 264,714 new cases of covid in the past week, averaging 37,816 every day... still coming down, thank goodness. 632 people died every day.

Eugene remains in the High Risk category and we are still swirling between 250 and 300 active cases. Unfortunately, our test positivity rate looks like it's rising... we are now at 5.4% where we had been holding pretty steady at 2-3% since the end of January. sighs.

But a good thing: we are a bit above the national average for getting people vaccinated! The national rate is 35.1% and our county is 38.9% fully vaxd!

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Wed 5 May 2021... Covid numbers

The United States added 310,532 new cases of covid in the past week, averaging 44,362 every day. 720 people died every day. Good to see both of those daily averages coming down!

My town is still swirling between 325 and 350 active covid cases. Not coming down yet, even tho we're pretending to do lockdown again. I say pretending, because we're supposedly in Extreme Risk and there's no indoor dining, but there are restaurants that are ignoring the rules and there have been some college parties.

College party

The photo of one of the college parties... is just claustrophobic. And of course, not a mask in sight.

Gah!

Despite all this mess, Eugene is downgrading from Extreme Risk -- No indoor dining, but we were only there for one week -- back down to High Risk -- indoor dining at 25% capacity and indoor entertainment at 10%.


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Wed 28 April 2021... covid complaintings

Well, Eugene is moving to Extreme Risk, after being in the High Risk category for just a week! Indoor dining from 25% in the High Risk, down to absolutely prohibited in the Extreme Risk!

And I'm horrified to report that Oregon now ranks first among the 50 states... on a New York Times analysis of where cases are increasing the fastest. Remember when we were 48th or 47th, ALL LAST YEAR??! What the heck just happened, people? People???!

So. There were 408,046 new covid cases last week, averaging 58,292 new every day. Again, still coming down from last weeks average of 63,600 per day!! 814 people died of covid every day, a bit higher than last week's 684.

Eugene hit a high of 373 active cases on Sunday 25 April, and now we are swirling around 325 again. That's something, I guess, if that number continues to come down.

And another point of hope... The county had a couple of incredible vaccination days! Over the weekend, they added 5,326 and 7,294 people fully vaccinated!! An ordinary weekend is around 1,500 people. So, this is an awesome thing and we are currently above the national rate... USA is at 29.1% fully vaxd, and my county is at 31.1%!

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Sat 24 April 2021... Awesome Awesome Day

Haha, I never take photos of myself... but today is such a proud day!! Covid vaccination has begun!!

Me in the car, showing off my vax bandaid

I arrived at the mass vax clinic at 11:07 for my 11:15 appointment. There were two lanes of cars queued up and we moved forward several car lengths every 10 to 20 seconds.

It didn't take long to get to the head of the line. I showed my confirmation email that I had printed out, and they typed the number into a tablet. I got a clipboard and pen and paperwork and then got directed to one of 12 vax stations. There were three cars in front of me, I think. I filled out the front and back of the paperwork, sat for maybe 1 more minute and then got to the first tent.

They checked my paperwork and fixed it (oops! I missed a line!), answered questions and filled out my new vaccination card. And told me do NOT lose this! :)

The next tent had been empty for a minute or so, they were waiting for me. I drove in, turned in my paperwork. They quadruple checked who I was. (Verbally. I never had to show my ID.)

I got my vaccination at 11:29am... 22 minutes after I showed up.

The shot itself was almost nothing. That didn't hurt at all! I said, Did you even do anything??

The lady laughed. Yeah, the needle is really small, she said. And check this out! She showed me the syringe. The needle retracts into the syringe when you're done! huh! Technology! *laughs*

She told me to go wait in the parking lot for 15 minutes to make sure everything was okay. If I had trouble, I was to honk the horn and open the car door, and there were people going thru who would help me. She wrote the time I could leave on the back seat window, 11:44.

And I was driving out at 11:45am. 38 minutes after I'd arrived.

So happy!

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Wed 21 April 2021... covid numbers

I'm so, so, so, VERY Excited!! I managed to get a covid vaccine appointment for this weekend!! Yipee!!! It was just a fluke that I happened to be online right as they opened up the appointment schedule. Incredibly lucky! and I can't wait to do my civic duty!! I'm just thrilled to pieces!


Now for this week's covid numbers...

There were 445,788 new covid cases in the US this week, averaging 63,684 every day. 684 people died every day. Both these averages are down from last week: 70,600 and 982!

In fact, it has been long ages since we've seen daily deaths under 700 people per day... According to The Covid Tracking Project that hasn't happened since 16 November 2020, and even then the daily death count was swirling around randomly between 500 and 1,500 people dying every day.

Locally, it's a different story, unfortunately. We are now well over 300 active cases.

And we are falling behind with getting people vaccinated! Arg! The national rate is 26.0% fully vaccinated, and our county is at 24.65%. We aren't that far behind, true. But seeing that, just makes my heart sink.

And because we've had so many cases, our town will be moving from the Low Risk catagory, back up to High Risk on friday. Indoor dining and recreation is going from 75% back down to 25% capacity. Blah, blah, blah.

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Wed 14 April 2021... Covid Numbers

There were 494,198 new covid cases in the US this past week... and 70,600 on average every day. Significantly higher than last week, which was 64,500 daily. sighs. 982 people died every day, also higher than last week, which was 796.

Covid cases in my town continue their slow rise, since we opened most everything up. We are now swirling just under 250 active covid cases.

Our vax website finally came back online, and it was good to see that our county has been keeping pace with the national vaccinations... The USA is at 22.7% fully vaxd and Lane county is at 22.4%

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Mon 12 April 2021... Community Garden Score!

There were freebie vege starts on the picnic table at the front of the Community Garden today!

Vege Starts! Yay, exciting! Good size and healthy looking. Let's see... Cabbage? um, no thanks. Collards? yuck! Cauliflower? Oh my gosh, how many can I have??!

*laughs* I took two trays with 6 plants each. Which did put a dent in the freebie stock. But it was monday, and I wasn't sure that very many people would see them since the weekend had passed.

So, we have 12 wonderful Cauliflowers happily growing in our plot!!

Baby Cauliflowers planted in the garden

I love cauliflower... but to buy this many plants from Saturday Market would cost a pretty penny!

Last year I had tried planting cauliflower seeds directly into the garden.

Um. Why did I do that? Seeds don't grow in our garden plot. I wasted an entire packet of seeds. Nothing even tried to come up and grow!

bah. Also in the past, I've bought a started cauliflower or two at Saturday Market. But when there's only one cauliflower in the whole garden... it's hard to cut it down for eating!

I have not tried starting cauliflower on my own, at home. The tiny townhouse means there is not much room for such things. Peas do okay. And this year I am experimenting with wax beans. But anything that comes up tiny... like beets or tomatoes... has trouble. There's just not enough light for the little guys, and they just start leaning towards the sun and then they don't really grow anymore.

So, yeah, I'm a terrible gardener. That's okay... I'm mostly just there for the photo opportunities! But I do hope, hope, hope to eat some vegetables, as well!

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Wed 7 April 2021... covid complainings

There were 451,661 new cases of covid in the US this past week, 64,523 on average every day. 796 people died of covid, on average, every day.

Local covid cases are now swirling around 200 (up from last week's 100). I'm really wondering when we will shut stuff down again. What does it take?

On top of that, I am very ashamed to report that Oregon ranked 36th among the states where coronavirus was spreading the fastest on a per-person basis. ALL last year we were between 49th and 46th of the fastest spreading. And look how we've ruined that, just at the last minute.

Incredibly frustrating!

Oregon has 19.2% of our population fully vaccinated, which is right at the national rate of 19%.

My county vax website has been down for a week now... I'm not sure what to think of that.

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Sun 4 April 2021... Wow, a nest!

Walking out to the garden today, I found a pair of Bushtits building a nest just a few feet from the bike path! Wow!

and dang! this is a terrible spot for a nest! It's too close to the bike path, there's a road right there, and the bush it's buried in is completely bare. The exposure to humans is not ideal.

I watched them come and go for a while. They didn't seem concerned about the situation at all! *laughs* first time parents, probably! :)

male Bushtit on a branch with a few budding leaves

This is the male. They look exactly alike except the male has dark eyes and the female has pale eyes. Except for nesting, Bushtits travel in flocks, so I usually find a small bunch of them, flitting and bouncing quickly thru the bushes.

Female bushtit, behind branches, looking at the entrance at the back of the hanging nest

And here's the female. She's looking at the entrance into the nest, on the other side.

The nest is maybe 8 inches tall, including that top bit and 3ish inches diameter. It is really cool when they go down into it because you can see them squirming around down at the bottom. Trying to get the interior decorating just right!

For most birds, only one sits on the nest at a time. But both Bushtits will spend the night in the nest! Also, they sometimes have a helper, usually an adult male. With crows, sometimes last year's child will help bring up their siblings... I couldn't find any info if the Bushtit help is related or just some random guy they commandeered!! *laughs*

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Sat 3 April 2021... Planting at the Garden

The year's first Saturday Market! And I'm heading to the Farmers Market for some vege starts...

The beets are tiny, but I get three trays of them anyway. The lettuce looks good! And, even tho I've started some Sugar Snap Peas at home, I buy one more.

two different kinds of leaf lettuce

Yeah, I don't even know what kind of lettuces I got. I'll just call them Leaf Lettuce. Green Leaf Lettuce. Pink Leaf Lettuce.

Yay Gardening!

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Fri 2 April 2021... umm... a chicken!

On the way back home yesterday, aw, I caught sight of this one.

a Chicken!

An escapee! And definitely nervous and wondering, "oh great. Now what do I do?"


And just something pretty that caught my eye...

Tulips and a Calendula in lovely green leaves

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Thurs 1 April 2021... New Park to Walk

I had gone by this grassy area a few times when I was riding my bike earlier this year. There was a wet prairie pond and a few ducks and even some kind of sand piper-type, and I wondered if there was a park there.

Eventually I looked it up, and sure enough, beyond the ponds, there was a city park, Stewart Pond, with a Frisbee Golf course and some paths thru a tiny forest. That's where I was headed today!

Just minor trouble... the head of the trail is over 2 miles away. Just getting there is a walk in itself!!

The first part of the trail lead thru the prairie, a good place for hawks! Sure enough, a hawk flew by and I had to back track because they landed in a tree and I needed to know what species. ha!

A couple of bad pics is all I really needed...

Red Tail Hawk in a fir tree

Oh cool! I think it's a Red Tailed Hawk, light morph. After all those Red Shouldered Hawks, it's good to see someone new!

I walked down to the forest and was delighted with all the bird songs here! And is this Stewart "Pond"?

a puddle of water in the forest

Laughs! More like a Wet Prairie puddle! Will probably disappear in a couple days unless we get rain. How funny to name a park as a pond which is only there half the year!

(oh. Actually I had walked by the pond named Stewart, on the way in... it had already dried up into it's dry prairie phase!)

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Wed 31 March 2021... covid numbers

Another tragic milestone... Yesterday the United States hit 550,000 dead, according to the Johns Hopkins site. (The 1point3acres site hit that number ten days ago on 21 March.)

There were 458,587 new cases of covid in the US this past week... averaging 65,512 every day. 996 people died every day.

Numbers coming down, and having less than a thousand people die every day is ... better? But still! A Thousand people are dying every day!

Active covid cases in my town have been swirling around 100. Yep, it didn't take long to ruin our numbers... we had fallen to 58 active cases two weeks ago, and then we opened most everything up, and look what happened: active cases shot right back up. sighs.

And while we do have 16.47% of our local population fully vaccinated (slightly better than the national average, which is 15.5% of the population)... The actual daily vaccinations have plateaued for the past month or so.

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Wed 24 March 2021... covid numbers

Just 379,501 new cases of covid in the US this past week... an average of 54,214 every day. 1,020 people died every day.

Yes, the numbers are coming down. And vaccinations are going up. My town is right with the national average of 13.7% of population fully vaccinated. The next question is, will we be able to avoid one last surge?

In my town, active covid cases have been creeping up... last wednesday we had 53 and now we have 73.

But, yesterday in the newspaper New COVID-19 cases plummet in Oregon. And today they announced our county would be expanding re-opening and moving from Moderate Risk down to Lower Risk. Restaurants and indoor entertainment will be 50% capacity.

Well and good? or are we just setting up that last surge? Or will the happy maskers continue avoiding risky situations? I guess we'll find out soon enough.


Wow, the colour...

Pink Saucer Magnolia blooms in front of a blue sky

Saucer Magnolia.

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Tues 23 March 2021... Bird Bounce

I often complain that the little birds bounce around too quickly, and the focus on the camera can't keep up. That is just the nature of some birds.

and I am absolutely sure that some birds are just messing with me.

Like this Spotted Towhee. He sees me... and it's GAME ON!

Spotted Towhee on a branch

Bounce!

blurry Towhee bouncing away from the branch

Bounce!

blurry Towhee bouncing again

Hahaha!!

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Sun 21 March 2021... Just Ducky!

A pair of Green Winged Teals...

Male and female Green Winged Teals

They are just here for the winter. I wonder when they'll be moving on.

Now here's somebody new!!

Ring Neck Duck in the rain

This is a Ring Necked Duck. And what a stupid name... you can barely see that chestnut collar. Why not name them for that pretty outlined bill?!

Here's the female.

Ring Neck Duck in the rain

The range map at AllAboutBirds says Ring Necks are winter visitors here... but we are very close to a little bubble where they are Year-round (Scarce). So it'll be interesting to see if this pair sticks around!

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Sat 20 March 2021... Mixed Up Manky Mallards

Wild Mallard drake with Duclair bib, female behind him

Just like dogs and horses, Mallards have been domesticated and have several interesting colour breeds. This one, with a white bib, is called Duclair.

Because there's such a wide variety of breeds, and they tend to escape into the wild on a regular basis, people refer to them collectively as Manky. Manky is a British word which means filthy and worthless...

Yeah, nice, huh? Humans create them and then disparage and insult them. sighs. What is wrong with people??

So, I'm going to say Manky actually means something more along the lines of Mixed Up.

Here's the website where I got some of my info. It's a great page with lots of pics, and the blog there looks to be interesting as well...
Domestic or Manky Mallards at 10,000 birds

Now, this one...

Mixed up Mallard in the water

A different breed? or something else entirely? With a black head and the reddish along the body, but with the signature Mallard feather curl on his tail... ??? Who Knows!! Only the duck knows his parents! haha!

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Fri 19 March 2021... Birds

Aww! Poor baby. Their foot is messed up...

Golden Crowned Sparrow with deformed toes

Why do I keep running into creatures who are hurt? I wish I could wave a magic wand and make them better! sighs.

Red Shouldered Hawk

I keep wondering if this will be my last sighting of a Red Shouldered Hawk, for the year. I just assumed that they would migrate out of here. But it turns out the Pacific Coast Red Shoulders do not migrate at all!

But, they have expanded their range... the range map on AllAboutBirds shows Red Shoulders in southern Oregon. But Eugene is in the middle of the state. And since I've been seeing Red Shoulders on a regular basis since this past winter, they have def moved in.

You know, climate change is bad. And shifting populations aren't always a good thing, either. I've not seen a single Cooper Hawk in the time I've been seeing the Red Shoulders, even tho Coopers are here year round. Maybe just a coincidence... but I want to see diversity!

Daffodil next to the path

Not a bird. Just pretty colours!

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Thurs 18 March 2021... First Garden Treats!

At the end of the season, last year, I was forking up the weeds in the garden plot. Technically, I was also putting down some clover seeds for a cover crop... but they never grew. yep, my prowess as a gardener is making sure stuff doesn't live! haha!

Anyway. As I was forking, I found some of the crocus bulbs in the front of the plot. I put them in a ziplock, thinking I'd replant them once I got the area done.

But the rain started! And there was an 8foot section at the front where I keep my flowers -- Columbine and Oregon Sunshine along with the Crocuses -- that I never finished.

And I forgot about the bag of bulbs!

But then I found them... and there had been enough moisture in the zipped up bag that they were growing. And a couple even made flowers in there!!

So, yesterday, I took the bag to the garden and I put those poor, neglected Crocuses back in the ground. I hope they live!

And while I was there, I picked a couple dandelion blooms for a certain white furry person...

"You got something for me??!"

Dawn the guinea pig

"Gimme that!"

Dawn the guinea pig, taking a dandelion bloom from my hand

*laughs*

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Wed 17 March 2021... covid numbers

The US added 386,053 new cases of covid in the past week, averaging 55,150 every day. 1,283 people died of covid every day.

Glad to see both those numbers continue to come down!

Active cases in my town have steadily come down from the 90 of last wednesday, to 53 active cases today!


Squirrel, partially obscured by sticks, eating a corn chip

*laugh* Yep. That's a squirrel. Up in a tree. Eating a corn chip.

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Tues 16 March 2021... lovely colours

Fawn Lily leaves

Clouds and a blue sky

oh little bird! If you could just sit there for a couple seconds, this could be an amazing photo! Please?

... *Laughs* Are you kidding me??! ...

a Bushtits butt, up in the cherry blossoms

Okay... That's more like it... Thank You!!

Bushtit in the cherry blossoms

Bushtit!

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Mon 15 March 2021... I obsess

Yesterday...

cherry blossoms

And Today....

cherry blossoms

The ephemeral Cherry Blossoms.

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Sun 14 Mar 2021... More pics from the River

Some pretty Red Flowering Current, by the Willamette River.

Red Flowering Current blooms with river and blue sky in the background

And the usual spot where I love to listen to the water...

Willamette River

I met a California Ground Squirrel (link doesn't work!) at the river last year. An intrepid explorer into the city. And apparently s/he decided to stay...

Ground Squirrel up in a tree

*laughs* A Ground Squirrel up in a tree? yep!

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Sat 13 March 2021... Invasive Turtles

Invasive is bad, but turtles are so awesome!

six turtles on a log partially submerged in the water

A warm day at the Delta Ponds and most of the available logs are covered with turtles!

Unfortunately most of them are the very invasive Red Eared Sliders...

Red Eared Slider

These are pet store turtles who have been abandoned in the wild. It doesn't take long and they will over populate the pond... First pushing out our native species -- Western Pond Turtles and Western Painted Turtles -- and then becoming so numerous that there's not enough food to go around for anybody.

It's sad. Sad for the wild places and sad because people don't take care of their pets.

But, the turtles on the log in the top photo? The turtle on the right is obviously a Pond Turtle -- no markings on the head or tail. But I looked a little bit more carefully. hm! I think the turtle on the left AND the third turtle with her hands on the big one -- I think they are both Western Pond Turtles as well.

Unfortunately, three Western Pond Turtles, does not a population make.

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Fri 12 March 2021... birds

Singing Song Sparrow and some Willow Tree catkins...

song sparrow singing around willow tree catkins

And, oh! I don't get to take portraits of Juncos very often...

Oregon Junco standing among budding yellow twigs

And then there's my friend, the Red Shouldered Hawk. I've been seeing them so regularly, I start to worry if I don't see them for a few days! :)

Red Shouldered Hawk in a tree

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Thurs 11 March 2021... Botanicals!

A hike up Hidden Trail yesterday revealed some lovely plants! The Red Flowering Currant is um flowering! :)

Red Flowering Currant blooms against a green background

This is an important native in our area, which provides food for all kinds of wildlife! Birds, Bugs, and the Furry Ones.

And the Fawn Lilies have come up... not long and they'll be blooming!

Fawn Lily leaves

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Wed 10 March 2021... Covid

The US added less than ½ a million covid cases again this past week! We averaged 58,271 new cases every day. 1,633 people died of covid every day.

And Texas, which opened up completely and dropped all mask mandates last week, is killing about 270 people with covid every day.

Unfortunately, The COVID Tracking Project has come to an end. That was where I was gathering my state data from: covid cases, deaths, and current hospitalizations for certain states.

I am bummed that they had to quit. It was nice to have all the information organized on one page!

I'm now using the NPR Map but they don't have numbers for current hospitalizations. And I am not sure how long this page will last.

And unfortunately, I found a huge discrepancy in the numbers between the old Tracking Project and the NPR map... The number dead in New York was 39,029 on the last day of Tracking, and it was 48,401 on NPR.

There are minor variations in the numbers for other states that I've been tracking, but nothing else like the New York number.


Active covid cases in my town have been under 100 for the past two days! And we will be coming down from High Risk -- down from Extreme Risk just a couple weeks ago -- and will be going to Moderate on Friday. Masks and social distancing will continue, of course. But, indoor eating is allowed at 50% capacity.

We have 9.46% of the county fully vaccinated, which is right at the national average of 9.4%!

How the White House Got 2 Pharma Rivals To Work Together On COVID-19 Vaccine
This gives me so much hope, you don't even know!! Companies working together? Speeding up the vaccination schedule in the US??! Every adult by end of May -- bumped up from end of July! Awesome!
Kudos to Johnson & Johnson and Merck and the Defense Production Act, finally invoked by President Biden (pres#45: F* You for doing nothing!)


What a sweet face! I just love my wild turkey neighbors!

close up of a wild turkeys face

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Tues 9 March 2021... bath time

*Laughs* I seem to have a surfeit of crappy pictures, but I do love sharing them anyway!

Pine Siskin at a muddy puddle

A group of Pine Siskins was happily using this tiny rill for bath time!

Oh my gosh, they are cute...

Two fluffy Pine Siskins wading in the puddle

And then they wondered how many Pine Siskins can fit into one frame...

Six Pine Siskins bathing plus a blurred bird

Six Pine Siskins and a blur! :)

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Mon 8 March 2021... pic

This is a terrible photo of a Lesser Goldfinch...

Lesser Goldfinch in a blooming Red Maple tree

But the overall picture makes me happy. Just look at all those wonderful colours!! I think this is a blooming Red Maple.

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Sun 7 March 2021... Stupid People

And today I took a walk down by the river. But instead of going to the wildlife area, I decided to hike up Skinner Butte. First, I go past the Rose Garden... where the only thing blooming is the Rhododendron bushes around the border of the park...

a row of pink blooming rhododendron bushes

Then across the street and up the hill! Oh sheesh, there's a lot of people! It's sunday and the weather is nice, so it's to be expected, even on the less popular trails.

And this trail is narrow. Very narrow. Every time I see a human coming the other way, I mask up. And so do they! It's 100% masking and I'm so proud of everyone!

For all the humans, there were still a few birds bouncing around...

Little bird mostly hidden behind Osoberry blooms

GAH! Yep, this is the evil Ruby Crowned Kinglet, again. *laughs*

And those little white flowers were on shrubs all over the place...

Osoberry Blooms

They are Osoberry blooms! An important native in our area, the small "plums" are food for many birds and animals. Not to mention the very early nectar... I saw an Anna Hummingbird visiting the flowers!!

And the first Trilliums...

two Trillium blooms in the forest

So I went to the top of the hill and then I came back down and I was happy with all the birds and botanicals! I skipped the trail head that I came in on, and kept walking at the base of the butte and the edge of the forest. Which meant I could walk along the river for a bit further, on the way back, too.

There was a couple with a cute dog at the trail head where I was going to get off and go across the street to the river. A black Cocker Spaniel, I love cockers!!

I put my mask on ... but they did not. I wasn't worried about it, they were obviously just starting out, and maybe hadn't noticed me in time.

With my mask on, the lady probably didn't see me grinning big at her dog, but I did give her a nod and a Good Morning. The guy had paused a few paces behind, and he was looking down at his phone, so I didn't bother him. I walked a few more strides, and then...

The lady started cussing me out about me wearing a mask. F word like there's no tomorrow. Something about she has to breathe my f-ing air over here where I hadn't masked up yet. ??? Yeah, completely contradictory, since she wasn't wearing a mask, at all!!

And, as I mentioned, loads of people around. She was making a big scene, and apparently had no idea of how ridiculous she sounded!

Lordy. I didn't feel threatened, since stupid lady was well behind me and I was way more fit than she was! And I didn't respond... I looked back once and then I kept walking. I didn't know what to say, and it's probably best I said nothing! I wondered if she was going to shout at everyone she encountered on the trail.

And the walk back was ruined because I had to think about the stupid people in the world. The anti-maskers. The anti-vaxxers. The trump worshipers and their golden idol.

I stopped and took in the Willamette River, but all that water flowing past couldn't heal me.

I need to know how we can bring these people back to the light!

Song Sparrow says Huh?

Song Sparrow says, "I don't know, either!"

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Sat 6 March 2021... Nuthatch

Hiking at hilly Hendrick's the other day!

White Breasted Nuthatch

This is a White Breasted Nuthatch, in the classic Nuthatch pose. :) They go up and down the tree trunk upside-down! This is a female... the males have black on their heads, and are more blue, rather than grey.

This species is common across most of the US. In addition to finding bugs in tree bark, they also visit bird feeders for suet and seeds.

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Fri 5 March 2021... Cherry Blossoms

pink Cherry Blossoms

Yay Spring!

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Thurs 4 March 2021... Hawk, Again

I was on the last leg of my walk home, the other day, when a hawk flew by me! I noted where she landed in the Lookout Tree. And then I had to walk fast, to get past a bunch of trees in the creek that were blocking my view.

When I finally saw her, it was obvious she was eating somebody. No messing around or playing with her food this time! I took pics from several different angles and was eager to zoom in on the computer to see if I could tell what she was eating.

Red Shouldered Hawk in a tree, eating a garter snake

She's eating a Garter Snake!

AGAIN!

What the heck?

Is Snake the only thing on the menu when the sun is shining?? Or is this the favorite meal for this particular Red Shouldered Hawk?

Either way, it's crazy that I've witnessed two separate hawk dinners and they are both snake.

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Wed 3 March 2021... Covid

Less than ½ a million new cases of covid Again this week, here in the USA. Yay masks!

The US averaged 65,666 new cases every day. and 1,980 people died every day.

Active cases in my town are swirling around 180 to 160 people sick with covid... A far cry from when we were swirling around 400 active cases in November and December. and had our high of 526 on 17 Dec.

The local newspaper reports that 5.91% people are fully vaccinated in my county, on sunday. As of yesterday we are at 6.13%. We are a bit under the current national average, which is 7.9% of population with both doses. So that's disappointing! We have been vaccinating since 21 Dec.


Texas and Mississippi To Lift COVID-19 Mask Mandates And Business Capacity Limits
We must now do more to restore livelihoods and normalcy for Texans by opening Texas 100 percent. Make no mistake, COVID-19 has not disappeared, but it is clear from the recoveries, vaccinations, reduced hospitalizations, and safe practices that Texans are using that state mandates are no longer needed.
Huh. No longer needed. I guess the 1,625 people who died of covid in Texas in the past week... don't matter? That's 232 people every day.

I just cannot understand. What is wrong with people??!

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Tues 2 March 2021... Spring

The focus is bad on this pic, but I still love it. Little bird standing next to a budding Willow branch... Yay Spring!

White Crowned Sparrow with a budding willow branch

White Crowned Sparrows are winter visitors here. But where the Golden Crowned Sparrows are wonderfully human-friendly, the White Crowns are a lot more shy. I'm glad I got a half decent pic before they fly home!

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Mon 1 March 2021... Migrating Birds

Our Turkey Vultures fly south for the winter, and it's always nice to see them return! There were four, flying high, high above the Delta Ponds this past weekend.

Tree Swallows also go south for winter, but I was surprised to see a group zipping above the ponds... it seems terribly early for these little bug eaters.

But I got my local Audubon newsletter, over the weekend. The Quail has a list of all the current bird sightings along with where they've been seen. and it says there have been small numbers of Tree Swallows at the Delta Ponds since January!

Maybe just our super mild winter. Or maybe they are starting to move their winter range to the north. It's not too far... they are seen year round probably less than 100 miles south of the Oregon border.

But the field notes also mentioned that Barn Swallows have also been seen. And they usually spend the winter in south Mexico and down into South America... way, far away!

crazy!

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Sun 28 Feb 2021... Botanical

Oregon Grapes are starting to bloom...

yellow blooms and holly-like leaves of Oregon Grape

These flowers will turn into small, waxy-blue berries. They are edible, ie not poisonous, but very tart and mostly pit. I've never had Oregon Grape jelly, but apparently it's pretty good.

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Sat 27 Feb 2021... River Meeting

I met someone at the river today...

male Spotted Towhee missing his tail feathers!

Yikes! Poor, poor fellow! He's got no tail.

What happened?! Did the feathers get ripped out by a predator in a very narrow escape? *cringe* probably was Very painful. or was it disease or malnutrition when the feathers were growing? Something else?

He probably doesn't steer well when flying. And another major problem... He won't be growing the tail feathers back any time soon. Probably not until Autumn, if he makes it that far.

Birds molt and replace their feathers on a strict schedule. It takes a lot of energy to make new feathers, so it happens before or after the breeding and migration seasons.

Fortunately, he doesn't particularly need his tail in order to get food... Towhees eat on the ground, they toss the leaf litter to get at bugs underneath. They also show up at bird feeders. So this guy is good for food!

And he was singing his trilling song as I was taking his portrait... So he apparently has high hopes for himself during the breeding season! :)


side note. My awareness of bird molts comes from Saving Jemima: Life and Love with a Hard-Luck Jay. A beautiful book of art with an amazing story... And relevant here: Jemima lost her primary flight feathers. She survived and lived to tell the tale!!

I only hope for the same for my Towhee friend.

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Friday 26 February 2021... Floating along in my Rut

UGH. I'm in a rut.

I'm doing all my favorite things... I'm drinking coffee :), I'm going out walking every day, I'm being good about sorting my photos, I'm reading good books, I'm sending out mail every day, and I'm colouring a tiny drawing most days!

But I feel like I've been floating along, avoiding all the small annoyances of life.

A good bit of this is because it is physically difficult for me to do things with my messed up right hand. But I ditched the wrap protecting my broken finger last weekend, since it had been 6weeks. I'm doing exercises, and it is healing tho I still can't curl the fingers to make a fist. But we're getting there.

Another bit of the rut is stupid writer's block. I am actively avoiding all kinds of writing opportunities.

And another bit is the rain. I like to walk in different places. But if it's raining, it's pointless to drive to a walk... There's not much wildlife out to take photos of, and raindrops on the lens isn't really ideal!

So I keep to the neighborhood when it's raining. It's not Always raining. But it's fixin' to rain. Or it just stopped raining but we're not sure it's actually quit. or it's misting. or it's 50% rain after 10am, or 40% or 60%, and it's probably just going to rain anyway!

*laughs*

So I've been walking thru the neighborhoods very often and I'm a little bit bored of it. Even tho I usually find something interesting to take pictures of. And the exercise is good. still. just a little bit bored.

So. What to do?

I think I just need to write!

Well. And maybe do some chores and Space Clearing. Because I've been avoiding tidying up as well, and the piles are interfering with my life!

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Wed 24 Feb 2021... covid

Less than ½ a million new cases of covid this week, here in the US! But we hit ½ a million dead, on Monday night.

We averaged 67,740 new cases every day. 2,201 people died every day.

Active cases in my town have been swirling around 190 to 160.

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Wed 17 Feb 2021... covid

Over 1.5million new cases added this week in the US, averaging 224,406 every day. 2,800 people died every day of covid.

And, AGAIN, over 5,000 dead in a single day. The COVID Tracking Project says 5,427 people died of covid last friday, the 12th of Feb.

Active cases in my town are around 250 to 230 people sick with covid.

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Wed 10 Feb 2021... covid

Less than 775,000 new cases added in the US this week!

We averaged 110,432 new covid cases every day. 3,043 people died every day.

We had over 5,000 people die of covid last friday... According to the COVID Tracking Project 5,212 people died on 4 Feb.

The active cases in my town are wobbling from 350 down to 270 today.

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Sun 7 Feb 2021... Wow! Eagles!

(place holder for a cool post)

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Sat 6 Feb 2021... Too Quick

Jeez, these little birds annoy me...

blurry and bad photo of a Ruby Crowned Kinglet

*laughs*

This is a Ruby Crowned Kinglet. (Their crown is hidden!) They are common here in the winter. They've migrated down from Canada and Alaska, or they've moved down from the mountains.

They annoy me because, just like Chickadees, they bounce around way too quickly. They don't give the camera enough time to focus and most of the time I'm taking a pic of an empty branch! ha!

They are def cute... but sheesh, maybe switch to decaf?

:D

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Fri 5 Feb 2021... Day of Squirrels

The invasive but cute, Eastern Fox Squirrel...

Eastern Fox Squirrel standing on a wood fence

And our native and cute, Western Grey Squirrel...

Western Grey Squirrel standing up on a moss covered rock

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Thurs 4 Feb 2021... Red in Tooth and Claw

Or rather, Nature: Red in Beak and Talon. oh, circle of life.

I saw a Red Shouldered Hawk in a tree on my walk home... they were giving a hard stare at the ground. Then they gave me a stern glance, telling me to stay put...

Red Shouldered Hawk

And then they swooped to the ground and obviously got somebody! Whoa, maybe 25 feet, right in front of me! They flew back up to the tree, with a mouse-sized somebody in their talons!

But as I was looking, I could see a tail hanging down. And that tail looked a lot longer than a mouse's tail. huh? I had only seen a silhouette as they flew back to the tree, but it didn't seem massive enough to be a rat with that length of a tail. so, what the heck?

When I got home, zooming in on the photos...

the Hawk has caught a snake

Oh my gosh! A snake!

Poor little Garter Snake. And obviously still alive in this pic. ugh.

Yeah, everybody has to eat, even the carnivores. But I do feel bad for the prey when I have to watch them die.

Dear Snakes: Please stay tucked away in February, no matter how bright and warm the sun looks! It's just not going to end well.

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Wed 3 Feb 2021... rant

Some flowers for Piper.

bloomoing Yellow Crocuses

Less than 1 million people caught covid this past week in the USA! There were an average of 142,066 new cases every day and 3,185 people died every day.

In my town, a person died of covid yesterday, but that was the only death since 22 Jan. Active cases are coming down from 300, randomly swirling around 280.

So it seems like things continue to improve in covid land.

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Tues 2 Feb 2021... unconsolable

We lost a family member. Piper the guinea pig died.

Guinea Pigs Piper and Dawn peeking out from their tent

This is Piper and her daughter Dawn, being cute under their tent.

sighs.

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Sat 30 Jan 2021... Bluebird

Western Bluebird

Western Bluebirds in January?

Yep! There is a tiny area in Oregon where they live year 'round!

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Fri 29 Jan 2021... sky

blue sky with puffy white clouds, and winter trees

Dang, look at that sky!

ha! It's the rainy season here... almost constant grey skies and probably sprinkling. So a bit of blue when we look up is cause for celebration!

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Thurs 28 Jan 2021... Feb LetterMo?

February's Month of Letters is coming up quickly... and I have zero enthusiasm. :/

A little bit is that the LetterMo web site has almost no functionality. You can't record your outgoing mail anymore and you can't post pictures, except publicly on the forums. You can't DM anyone on the site. And it looks like Friending on the site is even an issue this year. I'm sure that most of the action happens on their private facebook page, but I'm anti-facebook! (Ha!)

And then the other part is my stupid broken hand. Writing is awkward and uncomfortable... And I still have over a week before I can take the wrap off and start gentle exercises. and I'm not sure that the way I write will be classified as gentle. *laughs*

All that being said... I'm still sending out mail every day! And I'll continue to send mail out every day. And I might even send mail to LetterMo friends. I'm just not that keen on actually participating in LetterMo.


Two street-side US mailboxes with broken posts.  One box is on the ground.

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Wed 27 Jan 2021... Covid

Global Covid cases hit 100 million today... and the USA has 25.34% of those cases, despite only having 4.22% of the world population.

The USA added 1.2 million covid cases during the past week, averaging 171,284 new cases every day. 3,441 people died of covid every day.

I've seen a couple of articles say that we've passed the peak of the current outbreak in the USA. And it does seem to be true, cases and hospitalizations are come down across the country! Yay Masks!

Gum Balls hanging from a tree

Lots of big coronavirus! haha.

I'm not sure what this tree is... these fruits are not like the normal Sweet Gum trees that we have around here.

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Tues 26 Jan 2021... just a pic

a pair of Canada Geese

All dignified, looking off into the distance.

oh, except I have to stretch out my leg! *laughs*

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Mon 25 Jan 2021... Thank You Notes

The least we can do: How you can thank custodial staff who cleaned up after Capitol riot

Okay, this is just brilliant!

Thank You Postcards sent to the Capitol Cleanup Crew!

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Sun 24 Jan 2021... Rosalie Edge

Book Cover: Rosalie Edge, Hawk of Mercy

The book I'm currently reading is Rosalie Edge, Hawk of Mercy: The Activist Who Saved Nature from the Conservationists

A very slow beginning, but I'm almost 40% in, now and oh my gosh. There is a bit of a history about an early version of the Audubon Society, then called the National Association of Audubon Societies... and dang, they were seriously corrupt and evil!

I am glad that Rosalie Edge will step in and save the day. In the meantime, I'm so interested, I'm doing a bit of research online about it...

The Nature Lover's Book Club

WHAT?! This is Awesome! How did I miss this? How have I lived without this? I've not paged thru the entire website yet, but along with Rosalie Edge featured in Sept 2020, I've also recently read Buzz, Sting, Bite: Why We Need Insects featured in March 2020.

I recognize only about ½ the titles listed there, and I am so eager to go thru and read many!!

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Sat 23 Jan 2021... January Blooms

Pink and Purple Lenten Roses blooming

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Fri 22 Jan 2021... My Other Neighbor

Scrub Jay on a branch holding an unshelled peanut in their beak

I have a peanut, and I'm not sharing!

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Thurs 21 Jan 2021... My Neighbor

Easter Fox Squirrel

Do you perhaps have a peanut you'd like to share?

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Wed 20 Jan 2021... Covid Rant

According to the Johns Hopkins dashboard, covid has killed over 400,000 people in the USA. The US can claim 19.5% of the world's deaths by covid, even tho we only have 4.2% of the world population.

The US added 1.46 million cases of covid in the past week, averaging 208,939 new cases every day. 3,114 people died every day.

And it looks like total deaths in Texas (32,394) will be over taking the total deaths in New York (33,224) before too long. (California over took NY on Jan 16th, but I don't have family there, so I'm not watching their numbers as closely.) 311 people die of covid in Texas every day.

And in my town, active covid cases are still swirling around 350 to 400. And there have been some blunders? bungles? with distributing vaccines within Oregon... last week Lane County Public Health got 100 doses, when they were expecting over a thousand, right when they were trying to do a mass vaccination clinic. ha, the local hospitals shared, and so all was not lost: 1,670 medical people were vaccinated in two days!

And then, even worse, so much worse...

After the federal government promised to release a stockpile of vaccine doses to states, [Oregon] Gov. Kate Brown announced early last week that seniors and school employees would start getting vaccines Jan 23.

However, a few days later, Brown and other governors found out that federal stockpile did not actually exist.

Did not actually exist. AND AND AND! Someone PROMISED to send out from the nonexistent stockpile. WTH?

The Biden administration is taking over from that twice impeached monster, today. It will take a while to get things turned around. And they have many many other things to fix.

But I have hopes.


Some happy things...

World Leaders Express Hope As Biden And Harris Are Sworn In From Europe: The United States is back. Yay! And the image from China has been deleted, but I laughed when I saw it. Good Riddance, Donald Trump!

In D.C., A Traditional South Indian Welcome Awaits Joe Biden And Kamala Harris Oh my gosh, this is awesome!

One Day More, of President Trump - Les Mis parody I am such a sucker for anything Les Mis.... but this is really, actually beautiful! :)

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Fri 1 Jan 2021... Review and Revise

Happy New Year!

Oh where to begin.

Through 2020, I extended my temporary retirement and I'm still a jobless bum from being laid off in 2019. There was covid in the world and more covid in the US. But with all the time I had, I accomplished a few things.

Walking in 2020
I figure I walked about 1,000 miles! *laughs* that's a guess-timate, but a realistic one... Walking most every day between 2 and 5.5miles, usually more than 2.

I discovered the Hidden Trail last January and added it to my limited walking places. Besides the neighborhood and the nearby bike path, I've walked most of the Ruth Bascom Riverbank trail and all of the Ridgeline at Hendrick's Park.

I blew out my knee in Aug, and I got tendonitis in my heel in Dec. And so the bike got dusted off and I happily headed west to the end of the bike trail. Along the way is a tiny park, Tsanchiifin Walk, with a few new birds!

Photography in 2020
in 2018... 11,570 pics, avg 964/month
in 2019... 15,124 pics, avg 1,260/month
in 2020... xxx pics, avg xxx/month

In the past I've been extremely bad about going thru my photos to pull out the good ones (or the interesting ones!) for the web site and the great ones for printing. But thru much of 2020, I've been sitting down and sifting thru the days photos. It's pretty tedious, and I don't particularly enjoy the process. but it's nice to have pics ready to go for a blog entry.

Mailing and Postcards in 2020
in 2018... averaged 104 bits of mail every month
in 2019... averaged 76 bits of mail every month
in 2020... I sent out xxx total and averaged xx bits of mail every month.

I kept up with the monthly postcard exchange that I host at GoodReads. I sent 43 PostCrossing pcs. I joined 101 swaps at Swap-Bot and hosted 50 TGIF swaps and 2 Photo and a Note swaps. I completed another round of the postcard project I started in 2019... I might chat about that another time.

The Epson SuperTank Printer that I got in 2019 is still printing. And I'm much happier with it, now that I've figured out how to deal with it's issues.

Community Garden 2020
I guess I continue to be a terrible gardener...

Because of covid, I tried planting seeds last spring. That has NEVER worked, but I had such hope! A couple Sugar Snap Peas came up, but nothing else did. sighs.

Also, I couldn't even get the zucchini, or ANY summer squash to do their usual excessive thing. sighs some more.

But I did have lots of Lemon Cucumbers for a while, so that made everything good! :)

Experimented with a couple different types of tomatoes... The Santiam set a ton of fruit, very early, which then ripened all at the same time. It was good, but too much, all at once and eventually I got tired of it. And the Garden Peach Tomato... yuck. heh.

Brandywines are my all time favorite, and I actually grew my own from seeds in pots! They did well in the garden, after a long time under row covers... but I started them too late and not all the fruits ripened before a couple chilly nights. Will need to time that better, this year!

Writing and Drawing in 2020
I wrote at the blog a good deal more than I usually do! Yay! But I quickly get frustrated with writer's block, and I wish I could be more consistent with posting.

I have continued with almost daily ATC sketches and I've filled up a 3 ring binder with 9-pocket sheets! Can't really say that I've improved, tho, *laughs*! But it is nice to look thru my pages.


I accomplished most of my intentions in 2020... I'm better about keeping up with my Mail Log, I blogged more, I kept up with drawing and of course, I made and sent mail most every day!

The one thing I didn't manage: keeping up with my GoodReads book reviews. I only posted 19 of the more than 50 books that I read. Which is better than the 7 books I posted in 2019. But I really need to have all my books listed there!


So... 2021 intentions: GR book reviews! Keep writing at the web site! Keep drawing! Keep up with the Mail Log! And keep going thru the photos!

My one major resolution for 2021 is to get more tidy. I am still thinking about how to implement this, tho, so I will talk about that later!

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Thurs 31 Dec 2020... End of the Year!

Today's forecast said it was going to be warm enough for a bike ride, and just a tiny chance of rain. So I was thinking a ride out to Tsan to see the birds there would be a wonderful close to the year.

haha! It started misting right before I got out the door! And it continued misting or sprinkling for most of my ride. Not exactly fun, not being able to see because the eye glasses are beaded up with wet.

*laughs* oh well. I tried to get good exercise, but it's been a while since I've been out on the bike. hard going! and I finally decided to bump it down a gear to make it a little easier. I know: such a wimp! :)

But I did stop at the Tsanchiifin Walk... oh weird, someone had dumped a little pile of bird food at the viewing area path. Golden Crowned Sparrows and a pair of Towhees were chowing down!

Golden Crowned Sparrow

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Wed 30 Dec 2020... covid rant

The US racked up 1.2 million cases of covid in the last week, averaging 183,449 new cases every day. (Not as much testing during the holidays means cases are under-reported.) 2,215 people died every day.

Florida hit 6,000 people currently hospitalized today, and still climbing. 95 people die in Florida every day.

Texas has 11,775 people hospitalize and 165 people die there every day.

Of course California takes the cake with 21,240 current hospitalizations. 229 people die every day. They don't have enough nurses, and are beginning to ration care.

And still nothing from the federal government... that impeached monster is moping on the golf course. (haha, remember the stupid old days when monster was annoyed that Obama golfed ... Trump Golf Count. jerk.)

But in better news, the active case count might finally be coming down in my town!! This wave of covid hit 200 active cases after the 2nd week of Nov, peaked on 25 Nov with 473 and peaked again on 17 Dec with 526. We're now down to 250 active cases... but I'll assume it's a temporary lull before it gets really bad from Christmas travel and parties. sighs.

Toxic Individualism: Pandemic Politics Driving Health Care Workers From Small Towns
Yeah, good job people. Let's harass and threaten our health care workers and then be surprised when they quit and you've got no one to take care of the entire community. GAH!

Which reminds me... our local newspaper had an article about pandemic fatigue and our amazing health care workers... And it included addresses to our local hospitals where your can send happy cards of support and encouragement! How cool is that?! Beginning the postcard proliferation! :D

Two female Hooded Mergansers

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Mon 28 Dec 2020... Just a pic

Golden Crowned Sparrow

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Thurs 24 Dec 2020... Merry Christmas Eve!

An American Robin, perched amongst some berries

Been a while since I've had a wildlife photo to show... I tried another walk today, even tho I've still got a tendonitis ache in my heel. I'm still pretty slow, I can't take a full stride yet.

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Wed 23 Dec 2020... covid rant

The USA added over 1.6 million cases of covid this week, with an average of 239,711 new cases every day.
2,905 people died every day.

And still the federal government does nothing... because that impeached monster is still -- Still! -- trying to overturn the election that he lost. Seditious is a good word, and hopefully someone will follow up with that.

Texas hit 10,000 hospitalizations yesterday. 209 people are dying there every day.

New York hald the record for most hospitalizations... 18,825 on 13 April. Bad times. but now California has broken that record, beginning yesterday, and continuing to add 100s more people to the hospital every day.

Active cases in my town hit a new high of 526 on 17 Dec. It's come down since then, but still hovering in the 400s.

Oh, and this...

Travel From U.K. Shut Down As Nations Assess Threat Of New Coronavirus Strain
U.K. officials warn the new variant of the virus could be as high as 70% more contagious than the various strains already circulating. However, there's no evidence so far suggesting the new variant is more deadly.

Um. Yeah. There's this thing called Math. Here's how it works. 70% more people getting covid, means more people are going to die of covid.

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Tues 22 Dec 2020... Little Free Pantry update

The tendonitis is letting up a little bit... instead of the shooting pain, there's just an ache. So I decided to experiment with a walk today.

contents of the local Little Free Pantry

Our Little Free Pantry is about a block away and I check on it every time I walk that way. There's usually some kind of bread, a couple cans of stuff, potatoes, fruit like oranges and apples (grapes and dried fruit today!), pasta, dried beans. (not sure what's in today's tupperware!)

The things in there that warm my heart... Dog food that has been packaged in zip locks. And wrapped servings of homemade cookies, or made up sandwiches. ♥!

So far, I've not met anyone else who fills the Pantry.

I dropped off another package of menstrual pads, today.

I'm never sure if I should open the package, to make the individual pads available, or keep it sealed. Either way, they are gone in 24 hours, so I know someone is appreciative!

And by the way, Scotland is awesome!

Scotland first in world to make period products free

<sing song> Awe-Some!!!

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fri 18 dec 2020... Tendonitis, arg

Yep, Wednesday night I started feeling tendonitis pain in my left heel. fah.

I've never had tendonitis in my heel before, but even with that first little twinge, I recognized it and knew I would not be able to walk. So I knew I'd need a plan to help me get thru the usual 2hours I spend walking every day for the next... few days? week? more? who knows.

That's kind of the thing. Tendonitis is one of those things where medical science has little to say.

You can take drugs, or you can avoid drugs.

You can do physical therapy, or not.

You can ice it, heat pad it, both, or neither.

And the tendonitis either goes away or it doesn't. There is no real treatment, except rest. And, let's get real here. You want to avoid those spikes of pain at ALL costs! No doctor type has to tell you that.




So anyway. No walking means I've got an extra 2 hours every day. And without the exercise, it's really important to do something ... meaningful and happy.

I decided to dust off my CSS skills and work on some back-end stuff here at the web site.

Last year I had taken a couple HTML and CSS classes, with the goal of cleaning up my web site and upgrading from HTML Transitional to HTML 5. I learned good stuff, and I finished my classes. But then I didn't actually work on the web site.

Yesterday, I re-familiarized myself with the codes. And put the finishing touches on an archive template that I had started last year, with my class.

I had trouble figuring out how to place images, those darn floats. But it turned out I was screwing up the requirements for the Width attribute! ha, a simple thing I was ignorant of! Being sloppy was okay in HTML Transitional, not so much in HTML 5!

And today, I started clearing out some of the entries on this main page. It took a while, for a relatively small chunk I tackled... There's the physical cut and paste, and then all those random Transitional codes to repair!

And again, I am learning good stuff! This project def keeps me occupied for a couple hours at a time. And there's plenty to do...

Once I get all the super old journal entries moved to the archives, in theory I'll be able to clean up this front page: Moving to HTML 5 and giving it a new design!

I don't know how many millions of years I've had this sunflower thing. But it would be nice to move on!

A new design is, of course, a lot more involved than just archiving stuff. So, we'll see what happens...

(and if you scroll to the bottom of this page, you can see the changes!!)

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Wed 16 Dec 2020... Wednesday Rant

The US added almost 1.5 million new covid cases this week and averaged 210,374 new cases every day. 2,402 people died every day. And we hit 300,000 total deaths yesterday, according to the Johns Hopkins web site.

Florida hit 4,000 hospitalizations at the end of Nov, has now hit 5,000 hospitalizations. And just over 100 people die in Florida every day.

Iowa Is What Happens When Government Does Nothing

oh poor, stupid Iowa. The hospitalizations there have been coming down... but case count and deaths are starting to look more like Colorado, a state with almost twice the population of Iowa.

And the covid in my town has just been hovering around 450 active cases, altho we did hit a high of 500 last Thursday. We have 55 people hospitalized, which is a current record high.





Okay, this is kind of funny. My order has been on a Merry Go Round for a week, coming and going from the Kansas City Distribution Center! making me laugh!

Except... I kinda need my stuff!


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tues 15 dec 2020... Mink!

Wow!

Very blurry photo of a mink

Walking along the creek, I saw this mink swim across to my side! She or he was nosing around so quickly, I knew the camera didn't have a chance. ha, I just pointed down and clicked as fast as I could, hoping for the best.

Of course the best obviously did not happen, laughs, but that's okay!

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Mon 14 Dec 2020... GRRR!

<Not a link> Is There a Doctor in the White House? Not if You Need an M.D. Jill Biden should think about dropping the honorific, which feels fraudulent, even comic. by Joseph Epstein (nope, not dignifying this with a link)

I am fuming over this. Dr Biden has two masters and a doctorate in education, EdD.

Sexist jerk, JE has a Bachelor of Arts. Because he's a white man in a position of authority, he occasionally gets called Dr Epstein. And he apparently can't be bothered to correct the mistake, instead he revels in it.

But Dr Biden shouldn't claim the Dr title for the doctorate that she actually earned ... because it sounds and feels fraudulent?

WTF? GAH!

Just a comparison... A Bachelor of Arts takes 4 years of collage. After that, it takes 1.5 to 2 years to get a Masters. (A Masters. as in, ONE Masters Degree.) and then it takes another 3 years to get a Doctorate in Education.

And yes. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Bigots can have an opinion. Racists can have an opinion. Sexist jerks can have an opinion.

But bigots should not have a platform to spew their opinions. This should never have been published! And it def should not have been defended by the responsible editor. (Yeah, another article I will not dignify with a URL.) (But Wall Street Journal? You Suck!)

The editor says: Northwestern University, where Mr. Epstein taught for many years, did its part by denouncing him in a statement and appearing to purge his emeritus listing from its website. This is how cancel culture works.

Um. Yeah. Do I have to tell you? Misogyny is NOT a culture. It's a blight on civilization.


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Sun 6 Dec 2020... Heron Yoga

Okay. This is pretty awesome. I was walking at the river today, and on the way back to the car, I realized I hadn't taken pics of any herons, for whatever reason.

So, here's a heron, in the last side pond. And I decide to take a moment to breathe.

Great Blue Heron

And the Heron decides to breathe with me and do some stretching exercises! We start with the left wing and leg...

Great Blue Heron... stretching wing

and then our neck...

Great Blue Heron... stretching neck

and then the other wing and leg...

Great Blue Heron... stretching wing and leg

Wow! I am so pleased to be invited to the Heron Yoga session!!

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Sat 5 Dec 2020... Another Misidentification

So. funny story. (um?)

Remember how I mis-identified the hawk to the mail man the other day? Yeah. Well, I did it again!

Pine Siskin on a Teasel flower head

I saw the flash of yellow, and made my assumptions.

And a person walking on the bike path behind me, asks what's up. And I'm all, "Oh, I'm just looking at some Goldfinches!"

And, again, at home, I'm looking at the photos on the computer. And again, "What the Heck is This??!"

bahaha!!

Nobody I know has stripes like that! So I def have to go searching.

Pine Siskin!

Pine Siskin

And the flower head that they apparently love to snack on is Teasle, invasive from Europe and Asia. But very pretty and useful when it's not taking over everything!

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Fri 4 Dec 2020... Foggy Day

Foggy trees

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Thurs 3 Dec 2020... Heron Hunter

Walking along the creek today, and found a heron. For some reason, I pulled out the camera, even tho it was a terrible angle, looking almost straight down.

And just as I was getting a couple pics... the hunter strikes!

Great Blue Heron with a minnow

They caught a minnow! how cool is that?!

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Wed 2 Dec 2020... Wednesday Rant

Again, well over 1 million new covid cases added this week, at 168,808 new cases every day on average. and 1,476 people died every day.

Oregon has been in a "freeze" shut down for the past two weeks, and today we are transitioning to a county by county shut down based on risk levels.

My town, Eugene is still in the midst of a covid breakout that started at the end of Sept, so we will continue in the Extreme risk level... Outdoor entertainment will open up a little bit, but stores go from 75% occupancy down to 50%. Socializing remains capped at 6 people from 2 households. It goes without saying: Masks are mandated everywhere. Several businesses have been fined for not following the rules!

The outbreak in Eugene, which topped on 8 Oct with 288 active cases, and then again on 25 Nov with 473 active cases. Today our active cases have come down to 217... however we have a record number of hospitalizations, 39. I wonder if they've expanded the covid wing at the hospital.

And I'm shocked to see the testing positivity rate in Oregon is 40%. What the heck? This is terrible. What will it take to get some extra testing in here?!

Texas hit 9,000 hospitalized today. The daily deaths there are extremely variable -- in the past week it's gone from 22 on one day to 170 the next -- so it's difficult to see what's going on, except the big numbers are def getting bigger. And obviously it'll be easier to die with the hospitals full.

Florida looks ready to hit a million cases here, very soon. They've got over 4,200 hospitalized and that number has been steadily rising for a long time.

And back to Oregon... this is utterly shameful:

An Oregon nurse bragged on TikTok about not wearing a mask outside of work. Shes now on administrative leave.
Oncology nurse... Salem Health has the highest employee-related [covid] count of any hospital in the state. And this lady was contributing.

painted rocks!

Found this next to the trail, yesterday! *happy!*

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Tues 1 Dec 2020... A dreary day

Hiking up the trail on a foggy day

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Mon 30 Nov 2020... Hawks are Hard

So I was staring up at this beautiful hawk... and trying to figure out what was up with the tail, because from my angle, it seemed to be missing...

Everything's perfectly fine! There was just a stick behind her/him, and they were resting their tail feathers up on that!

Red Shouldered Hawk

The mail man was walking on the bike path behind me. Well! he says. What do we have here?

A Cooper Hawk! I replied.

Wow. That's cool. Yes, it is!

Except, no. No, it's not!

*Laughs*

At home, I was going thru the photos, and I zoomed in and saw the colour of the head... oh shoot. That is def not a Cooper Hawk!

Cooper Hawks have a dark grey hood over their head. And this one has a stripy brown and red head.

Ah ha. Red Shouldered Hawk, just beyond the very northern edge of their accepted range!

But dang it! Hawks are so difficult to figure out, even when you think you know what you're doing!!

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Sunday 29 Nov 2020... one more

Golden Crowned Sparrow

Golden Crowned Sparrows are another winter visitor in our area.

Every single year, I am surprised at how human friendly these sparrows are. I can get within 4 or 5 feet, and they give me one "over the shoulder" glance like this... and then they pay me no mind! :D

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Sat 28 Nov 2020... Happy Migrations

A trip out to the river today, and I was glad to see some of our winter visitors. There are lots of birds who migrate down from Canada and Alaska, to spend the winter in our ponds...

Today I saw Cormorants, Hooded Mergansers, Green Wing Teals...

Northern Shovelers:

Northern Shoveler

And some American Wigeons:

American Wigeon

I just love the squiggles that the feathers make... so artsy! :)

My favorite bit of the river

I tried to stand in the approximate same place to get this pic of my favorite spot on the river. I should collect these pics into a single post so you can see the seasons and the weather! :)

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Friday 27 Nov 2020... Show Off!

These two Northern Flickers were on the other side of the creek, so I wasn't really sure what was going on at the time. But they were talking to each other, and dancing around...

Two male Norther Flickers

Looking at the photos, I realized they were two males (they both have a red mustache, which females lack) ... They are showing off to each other! It's just practice, at this time of year. But..

May the fittest for survival, win! :)

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Thurs 26 Nov 2020... Thanksgiving

Some happy Turkeys who didn't get murdered for a crappy holiday.

Wild Turkeys!

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Wed 25 Nov 2020... Wednesday Rant

Sighs. The US added more than 1.2 million cases in the past week... 177,541 new cases on average every day, here in the US. and 1,646 people dying every day.

Oregon has been in freeze for a week now, but today we have over 500 people hospitalized for the first time, and a record 21 people died yesterday.

Eugene has broken records for active covid cases on last wed (307), thurs (375), friday (420), saturday (450), sunday (456), monday (469), and we skipped tuesday because it was the same, and today with 473 active cases.

The forest floor, ferns and fallen oak leaves

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Wed 18 Nov 2020... It's Wednesday and we're doomed

Well, the US hit 11 million covid cases this past weekend. And it seems like just a couple days ago we hit 10 million. oh. yeah. That's 'cause it was...

US Hits 11 Million Coronavirus Cases, Adding 1 Million In A Week

And Texas hit 1 million cases on the 13th. That's Friday the 13th. And California followed suit on the 14th.

New York has the most deaths of all the states, with 26,189. A lot of people died in the first wave this spring because the hospitals were full -- 18,825 people hospitalized in New York on 13 April 2020 -- and they didn't have treatment options yet. But it looks like Texas wants to challenge all this... 7,841 currently hospitalized and 19,696 people dead.

Poor, stupid Iowa has a 51% positivity rate and they hit 1,000 people currently hospitalized a week ago, on the 10th. And 1,500 currently hospitalized today. And they are Finally doing something about it...

Iowa Governor Reverses Course, Issues Mask Mandate As COVID-19 Cases Rise

Oregon ranked No. 45 among the states where coronavirus was spreading the fastest. But the state has 13.7% positivity rate and increasing hospitalizations: 445 currently hospitalized, 100 more than last week.

And we are doing something about it! You know, something a bit more serious than a mask madate, which we've had in place for a while now. We've gone back to a partial shut down starting today! A Freeze...

Social gatherings are capped at 6 and limited to two households. Restaurants are take-out only. Indoor and outdoor entertainment and recreational facilities (gyms and more) must close. Etc, Etc. There's a good list, and there's a fine or arrest for those who aren't on board!

And the little outbreak in my own town continues on it's merry way. Active cases broke the old record of 288 on Sunday the 15th with 306 active cases. And again today with 307 active cases.

We'll see how long it takes for the shut down to have an effect.

The 7-day average for the US... 159,691 new cases every day and 1,291 people died every day last week.

The current record stands at 187,957 new cases on 13 Nov, according to WoM. Or on the Covid Tracking site, it was 171,376 new cases.

A few states are returning to partial shut downs, but there's no reason why we won't be breaking all the records a few more times!

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Sat 14 Nov 2020... Autumn Baby

After the rain and wind of Thursday night, I woke up and the trees outside my window were denuded. Poor naked trees. All the leaves were down in the parking lot.

You know, autumn is my favorite season... But I'm missing the summer already. The tomatoes from the garden are long gone and the house is all closed up and it's too chilly for an early morning walk.

But then I came home from my late-morning walk... and found a baby squirrel lookin' at me!

Young Eastern Fox Squirrel

*laughs* okay, Not a baby... a Youngster, and out on her own. But how cute can you be?

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Fri 13 Nov 2020... Steller Jay

Nothing scary today for Friday the 13th! oh well. :)

Steller Jays are our other blue-coloured jay, here in western Oregon. Scrub Jays: blue and white... are a common theme on my postcards, tho I don't post pics here very often for some reason.

But the Stellers? They are so beautiful with their black fading down to blue, with a few decorated bits on their wings.

And they are shy and bouncy. So the few times I do get to see them... they jump too fast for the camera to focus.

But today...

Steller Jay, with a cheeky glance!

*laughs* What a cheeky look! Ima gettin the side eye!

of course, that look could only come from a teenager! :) You can tell this is a young one because they've still got a little bit of gape left at the corner of their mouth.

I fell in love immediately. And then they flew away.

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Thurs 12 Nov 2020... Garden

There's a 100% chance of rain, starting tonight and going thru tomorrow! So I wanted to get another patch of the garden forked and weeded and seeded with cover crop.

Yes, I'm still working on that. (Started 20 Sept!) Did I mention our garden plot is 600sqft? Maybe next year I'll rent a tiller or something!!

Anyway. There's little baby clovers coming up in patches here and there. There was also a patch of Nasturtium seedlings, but they died off on the first cold night. It's not quite cold enough to kill off the Borage seedlings, yet. There's also some Love-in-a-Mist seedlings coming up, I think. Not sure what they will do in the cold.

There's another plant coming up in droves that I feel like I should recognize...

a small Dead Nettle plant

I just couldn't place the leaves at all. But today I touched it.

oh, haha! There's no mistaking that wonderfully velvet softness! Dead Nettle!

Purple Dead Nettle is an invasive from Europe, but they are easily chopped down and I don't think they present much of a problem in gardens. And, since it can survive cool temperatures, it can act as a cover crop! Yay!

It's quite pretty, I think, with it's greens and purples and it's little purplish-pink flowers. And if you ever get a chance to run your hand thru a patch of Dead Nettle... Oh, it's totally luxurious! :)

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Wed 11 Nov 2020... It's Wednesday

Hospitals are filling up across the country and WoM reports records set for new cases of covid on...

Thursday 5 Nov with 123,952

Friday 6 Nov with 132,836

Tues 10 Nov with 144,807

sighs.

We are adding 123,371 new cases every day on average. 1,018 people died every day.

The covid outbreak in my town is getting worse again. After dropping to 126 active cases last Thursday, we've been climing again. Today there are 251 active cases.

Our record is 288 active cases, I suppose that will be broken soon.

sighs.

My brain is producing some serious snark when I am out and see people without masks. It's starting to affect my well-being, so I need to think nicer thoughts. After all, if you're too stupid to believe in science (or apply that science)... well, that's karma that'll catch up with you eventually.

And that's sad. So my brain shouldn't be so harsh. There should be some pity. And that's it.


From Obscure To Sold Out: The Story Of Four Seasons Total Landscaping In Just 4 Days
Apparently Four Seasons has an amazing marketing team!! *laughs*

3 Ways To Get Your Point Across While Wearing a Mask
Good Stuff!

Veterans And Gold Star Families Granted Lifetime Passes To National Parks
What?! This is awesome! Great idea!

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Sun 8 Nov 2020... Political Mail

My anxiety about the election kept me from forming coherent thoughts. (laughs) But, now I'm back at it.

I couldn't find an office address for Joe Biden, and I couldn't get his exact home address. So I put down what I knew and I'll trust that the US Postal Service will get my note to where it needs to go.

Because USPS is AWESOME!

postcard to Joe Biden: do NOT pardon trump

Text reads:

Dear Mr Biden,
Congratulations!
I know you're going to be busy once you get to the White House ;) But here's something you don't need to do... Please do NOT pardon Donald Trump. I'm sure he'll try to pardon himself - Don't let that happen either. That guy needs to face the music for all the evil he's done.
Thanks and Happy Day,
rift :)

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Wed 4 Nov 2020... Rant and something cool

So, as predicted a new record was set for new daily cases. Saturday 31 Oct we had 101,461 new cases in the US, according to WOM. and the next record day... coming soon.

87,492 new cases added every day on average in the US. 874 people died every day on average. New cases exploding, hospitals filling up, and the death toll will continue to rise again.

Still coming down from our covid outbreak here in town, but it's a very slow process... 8 Oct was our highest count, with 288 active cases. Right now, we've got 142 active cases with 18 hospitalized.


And the results of the election are still pending, but it looks like Biden will probably win. But why is it so close? Why are people so loyal to that impeached monster? I just cannot understand.


Cooper Hawk with two non-mobbing Crows

Haha, this Cooper Hawk has a close audience!

(11.30 oops! I think this is a Red Shouldered Hawk! ha. see my 30 Nov, Hawks are Hard entry!)

Crows mob hawks, but the crows aren't so worried about it right now since they don't have nestlings to protect. But they are keeping an eye on the situation.

Funny how close they are. But great for size comparison!!

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Tues 3 Nov 2020... vote.

Today is the day. And I've got some major anxiety about this evening. AND the next couple of months, because that lame duck is dangerous.

So I went out to the river for a good walk. :)

pics!

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Sat 31 Oct 2020... Thank You

Please DONT Say Youre Welcome! Better responses to THANK YOU

The other month, I happened to run into the generous human who was re-filling their sidewalk food pantry. I gave them a very enthusiastic Thank you for doing this!

And they replied, Of Course!

I'd not heard that response to thank you before, and I really liked it. It acknowledged that they weren't doing this for me, even tho I was the one thanking them. And it implied that their action was inevitable!

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Fri 30 Oct 2020... Garden

I've been going to the garden every day this week to water. We've not had any rain, and I'm trying to give my little clover seeds the best start on life... I think they turn the water off on 1 nov.

The lack of rain is distressing because our rainy season starts in October. And we've had nothing but dew and high humidity. Which is something, but not really... the dry cracks in the dirt that I don't water are about 2inches wide!

That damn cat is still hanging out at the Garden, scaring the birds away, and I am very annoyed at his human family for letting him out. I like to listen to the Goldfinches twitter while I fork, and it makes me sad when they aren't around.

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Wednesday 28 Oct 2020... Its Wednesday

Looks like TX and CA are competing to get the first 1 million covid cases. sighs.

So, yep. Covid cases still rising, rising in the US. And, yes, WorldOMeter says we got a new record of 81,422 new cases in a day last friday, 23 Oct. (The old high of 79,024 happened 24 July.) All the websites have different numbers, of course, but I think they all hit a high within a day or so. For instance, NPR just says more than 83,000 new cases, they got their numbers from the Johns Hopkins site.

And these numbers aren't leveling off, they continue to rise. So will be hitting new records for the next, what? few weeks?

So anyway. There are 74,299 new cases added every day, on average, in the US. 844 people died on average every day in the US.

My town is slowly coming down from its outbreak... we had almost 300 active cases on 8 Oct, and now we're down to 175.

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Tues 27 Oct 2020... All the Countries in the World

Last night, I pulled out my atlas to do some reviewing. You remember I've made it my quest to memorize all the countries in the world.

I'm almost done... I'm currently committing the South Pacific Islands to memory. Several of those I had to look up pronunciation, so I'm taking my time to learn them correctly! But, not all of the islands are actual countries, so it's a little bit easier than it looks, at first glance.

And then I need to go back and catch all the island countries in the Caribbean. And then I'm done!

Anyway, back to my atlas review. I thought I was mixing up Sierra Leone, in West Africa and Sri Lanka off the coast of India. But I had that right.

I was def mixing up a couple countries in Eastern Europe, tho... Belarus is in the north, and Bulgaria is in the south.

Yeah, one of my memory tricks is to think about groups of countries by their first letter. GINS is a good one: Greenland (okay not a country!), Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and then Finland and Russia are easy to tack on to the end!

So you can see how I might confuse the SLs of Sierra Leone and Sri Lanka. And the B countries in eastern Europe!

But I think I got it, now! :)

WorldOMeter, 195 countries in the world

Very close to having all those in my head!

Map of the world

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Friday 23 Oct 2020... Garden

This one has been stalking in the Community Garden, this past week...

Kitty in the Community Garden

He is very beautiful, and there's def some mice to catch in the Garden. But the birds have been avoiding the place because of him.

We had our first below freezing night on Wednesday, and the Nasturtium and remaining summer squashes promptly died. Hopefully the Nasturtium didn't crowd out my baby clovers too bad... I need those clovers to live!

The tomato plants are mostly dead now, as well. But look how lovely these last few Brandywines look!

Green Bramdywine Tomatoes on the vine

I had 4 different tomato plants this year... two that I always love: Sungolds and Brandywines. And two new ones: Garden Peach and Santiam.

The Garden Peach was... okay. but the "delicate" flavor bored me quickly and I stopped eating it after the first couple batches. Insipid is a word to use with this one.

The Santiam, on the other hand... set a ton of fruits when it was still chilly in the spring! That was exciting to see and I looked forward to them ripening. And I loved, loved them at the beginning. But, I did get tired of eating them, at some point.

There was a break before the Brandywine tomatoes started ripening. The Brandywines are my favorite, and I wondered if I would get sick of them like the others.

But I did not get tired of eating those Brandywines, once they started happening. In fact, I could eat more, and I miss them even tho I've got a couple ripening in the kitchen!

https://www.gardenrant.com/2020/10/between-the-covers-what-goes-into-writing-a-gardening-book.html

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Wed 21 Oct 2020... usual covid rant

736 people died every day this past week, in the US.
And we are adding 60,016 new cases every day... that number is still jumping up from last week's 51,761 new cases.

The covid outbreak in my town has plateaued, and is not getting better. We currently have 209 active cases and a couple more people have died, bringing our total to 26. On monday we had a high of 19 people hospitalized.

I am watching the numbers for several states, and they've all been going up... more cases, more hospitalizations. And what are we doing about it? As far as I can tell: nothing.

Even in my town, after hitting a high of almost 300 infectuous people on 8 October, then hovering around 220 active cases for a couple weeks since then... nothing. We've been put on a "Watch List" by the governor, and they tell us to wear our stupid masks. But no actual action has taken place to do anything about the problem!

Ridiculous! Worldometers says the US hit a high on 24 July, with 78,971 new cases. It looks like we are trying to break that record.


Propublica published an article about how the CDC has become corrupt...

Inside the Fall of the CDC

It's long and it's depressing. and it just makes me cry for the USA. It is despicable that this happened!

Of course, that impeached monster has corrupted every agency of government... from Betsy DeVos destroying public schools as Secretary of Education to Louis DeJoy destroying the Postal Service. And soon the Supreme Court will be added to the list.

Oregon Junco

Oregon Junco at the community garden.

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Mon 19 Oct 2020... Urban Wildlife

Walking home from the garden today...

Momma Black Tail Deer with three offspring on the bike path

A Mom with three children. Not the most flattering pic... Mom's got her tongue out, and poor human is messing up my shot. ha. But it's the only pic I got with all four of them together!

I immediately wondered if Mom had adopted one of the kids. Because 3 seems like a lot to carry to term with crappy urban nutrition.

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Sun 18 Oct 2020... River

Walking out by the river today...

Looking across the Willamette River

This is one of my favorite places to stop and listen to the river. The water is tripping over some rocks, and it just sounds so lovely.

I took a pic here, last month as well. The little oak tree in the front was a bit more green back then. :) Thurs 24 Sept, River

American Wigeon

American Wigeons are winter visitors in our area, and this was my first sighting of the season.

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Sat 17 Oct 2020... cute little mushrooms

three little mushrooms amongst the clover and green grass

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Fri 16 Oct 2020... pic

Ha... This one has been greeting me as I walk out the front door, this week. Not every day, but it's so surprising when she's there! We are about three feet apart in this pic.

Female Squirrel in my front door entry way!

I've encountered her so often, I decided to name her. Grace... courteous goodwill or as the verb do honor or credit to (someone or something) by one's presence I am def honored by her presence! :)

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Thurs 15 Oct 2020... just a pic

Great Blue Heron with bridge in the background

I just kinda like this pic... it's a bit more Landscape-y than my usual! The bridge in the background is for train tracks.

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Wed 14 Oct 2020... the usual

51,761 new cases of covid added every day in the US this past week.
and 738 people died of covid every day

The new daily cases have sky rocketted this week...

9 Sept36,808 new cases every day
16 Sept   39,309 new
23 Sept42,923 new
30 Sept43,845 new
7 Oct44,822 new
14 Oct51,761 new

And maybe this time the covid breakout in my town has leveled off? We had a high last Thurs 8 Oct with 288 active cases and 15 people hospitalized.

Today we're at 210 infectious people, and it's been steadily dropping. But there are 14 people hospitalized. Our testing postitivity is down from last weeks 8.6%... now at 7.6%. Still higher than the state of Oregon at 5.9%.

Two Lesser Goldfinches at the Community Garden

a pair of sweet Lesser Goldfinches! awww!

(yep, that guy on the left might be familiar if you're on my postcard list!!)

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Sun 11 Oct 2020... Spelling

It is not generally known that I am a bad speller, but I don't try to hide it. Since I'm a reader, I know when I've mis-spelled something. Between the spell-check and the dictionary I keep next to my bed, I can usually get things right.

Spelling has always been a problem for me. Some of my not-so-fondest memories from childhood are of me struggling with this problem... I must have been 7 or 8 years old? Studying for spelling tests with my Mom, and then getting so many words wrong, despite all the studying.

I am frustrated with myself, even now, 40 years later!

There are words that I consistently mis-spell... Like consistently!! *laughs* I spell it with an ANT instead of an ENT. Also label usually comes out first as lable, I have to look it up every. single. god. damned. time. (yep, even this time!)

Another good one is accidentally. I pronounce it without the Tally, it's accidently and that's not a word and it's never going to be a word, despite all the stupid people spelling it that way on the internets.

But, yeah, I still think it should be a word!

Accidently or Accidentally
Oh, wow! this looks like an awesome website... just look at all those Confusing Words in the right sidebar! Nice! A good rabbit hole to fall down!

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Wed 7 Oct 2020... the rant

Schadenfreude is the word of the day when it comes to that impeached monster getting covid. He spent three days in hospital, where the doctors apparently threw every experimental treatment at him...

And then that piece of shit says Don't be afraid of Covid. Don't let it dominate your life.

(I am angry beyond words about this.)

44,822 new cases of covid added every day this past week... still steadily going up, up, up.
698 people have died every day of covid this past week.

And the covid problem in my town hasn't gotten any better... We currently have 262 active cases, a new high. But we hit a new high every couple of days. And our Test Positivity rate is up to 8.6%, horrible!


I Can See Clearly Now, Singer Johnny Nash Has Died At 80

Aww. :( this is another Rain song that I love and know most of the words to. There's a video embedded on the NPR page, if you care to listen. RIP Mr. Nash.

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Thurs 1 oct 2020... Draw!

How to Start Drawing

This Pocket Worthy article caught my attention, the other day! But I don't really follow any of the tips, except the "Start Small" one.

I have been drawing ATC or baseball card size, for about a year. I'm keeping the drawings in 9-pocket pages. My first three-ring binder is mostly full, with 30 pages!

a page of ATC sketches

Yep, I draw humans sometimes. I'm not very good, obviously. But I think I'm getting better. or at least most of the drawings aren't hideous. heh.

And the Grosbeak was giving me trouble... I just can't get that big beak right!

Anyway. I usually draw from photos, sometimes my own, sometimes pics out of calendars, magazines, newspaper. I probably should branch out and Draw from life every once in a while, like the article says.

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Wed 30 Sept 2020... the usual rant

The Johns Hopkins website shows that the world hit 1 million deaths from covid yesterday. sighs.

Here in the US, we've been adding 43,845 cases every day, and 775 people are dying every day.

And it looks as tho our little problem with covid here in town has topped off. Monday we had 202 active cases and it's fallen to 179 today.

Unfortunately, the test positivity rate has jumped from 1 and 2% that we had thru the end of August, to 7.1%... this is bad! and This is the first time that our percent positivity has been greater than the state [Oregon], which is at 6.3%


And we've had steady containment on the Holiday Farm Fire... they've got it 65% contained, and report only 6 minor injuries!

I can't remember if I've mentioned, but they did find all of the 250 people who were unaccounted for. Just one person died in the fire. Which amazes me, since the fire blew up so incredibly quickly the first night, which was Monday 7 Sept 8:20pm.

As far as I know, they don't know the cause of this fire yet. But I would assume that it was downed power lines, from the terrible wind storm that happened at the time. It is standing at 173,094 Acres and has destroyed over 700 buildings, including around 430 homes.

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Mon 28 Sept 2020... Shoes, ha.

Let me just say, I hate buying new shoes. I like my old shoes. I don't want to get used to new shoes. I don't want to spend 60$ on new shoes. I don't want to lace up new shoes.

Unfortunately, with the amount of walking I do... well, the comfortable old shoes eventually fall apart. sighs.

Comfortable old garden shoes

These were sooo comfortable! Yeah, they had holes in the bottoms. Walk thru a puddle and my socks were wet. I didn't even care! Yeah, dirt got in thru the holes in the sides. Still didn't even care!

But last monday, the right heel lost it's attachment. It dragged all the way home. Okay. That's one insult too far. It's time to retire these.

I pulled out another old pair of shoes while I looked to order a new pair. These were not so comfortable. A bit tight, and they gave me a blister on my toe.

And I didn't realize how close to falling apart...

Crappy old shoes

Yesterday, as I was leaving the garden, the tread fell off the left shoe.

*laughs* Well, this is ridiculous! I had to walk on my tippy toes in order to keep the inner lining in place!

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Thurs 24 Sept 2020... Out!

After working very hard at the Community Garden plot for three days, trying to break up the concrete which is the dirt... there was actual sweat involved and a pulled muscle and everything! After all that, it rained on the tiny section of cover crop seeds and I rewarded myself with a trip out to the river.

I was actually giddy that I was walking in a beautiful setting, and not forking myself to frustration!!

Unfortunately I didn't really get any good photos. Sometimes it happens like that, just gotta go out again another day! No problem, that! :)

Red Wing Blackbird Nice place to listen to the river

There were Red Wing Blackbirds bouncing around all over the place.

and a favorite place to stop and listen to the river!

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Wed 23 Sept 2020... the rant

Deaths in the US have gone down, but cases have gone up... 731 people died every day, and we've been adding 42,923 new cases every day.

And the Johns Hopkins Covid Dashboard reports 200,000 dead in the US, as of this morning.

Serious issues in my town... our active case count is 125, we've been bouncing up steadily with no end in sight. Newspaper says small gatherings are to blame and there are now three assisted living facilities involved. We hit 1,000 total cases yesterday.

White Crowned Sparrow

White Crowned Sparrows are winter visitors in our area... and this is the first sighting of one this season!

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Mon 21 Sept 2020... Garden Work

The food coming from the garden is def starting to slow down. The Cucumbers gave up the ghost ages ago. A couple of tomato plants died in the cool and smoky weather. Still some Brandywines ripening, tho. And a couple of Crooknecks are still on the vine, and some tiny Patty Pans, too.

I've got my cover crop seeds, and a promise of rain on wednesday night... Let's see how much of the garden I can clear, till and seed!

I started in the back corner, where I know the dirt needs some serious help. Letting the cover crop grow the longest there, will do it good!

I cleared the weeds with no trouble. Grass goes to the community compost, as does the bind weed and the other creeping vine that makes a bajillion seeds that I've not identified yet. And borage stays since it will break down quickly and return nutrients to the dirt.

But when I tried to fork the soil... haha, it was like concrete! Even tho we had gotten good rain before the weekend, the dirt was hard as a brick. sighs. But this is exactly what I meant: this dirt needs Help!

Well, I finished and seeded a tiny 2 square feet and then had to call it quits for the day! *laughs*

It's a start. I don't remember how long it took me to complete the cover crop last year... 3weeks? a month? I'll have to look it up!

Blue sky Cosmos

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Sat 19 Sept 2020... rip RBG

I was shocked and devastated to hear of the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, last night.

Our world has lost an amazing woman. And the US has lost a significant power for good.

I am terrified about her replacement in the court.

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Fri 18 Sept 2020... Rain!

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Thurs 17 Sept 2020... Maybe...

There's a 100% chance of rain tonight. So this might be the last of the wildfire smog photography.

When I headed out this morning, the visibility was so much better and the air quality was at 260. Still "Very Unhealthy" but not "Hazardous"!

I was happy to see a little group of Bushtits. They are too bouncy for my camera... I can't focus before they are several branches away!

Raggety looking Bushtit in the smog

But then a little breeze kicked up. And suddenly the air is smoky and yucky again. Probably up in the 400 range again...

Wildfire Smog at my leaning tree

The smoggy tree near the center of the photo is my Leaning Tree. A White Oak, almost 2 miles from home, at the end of the bike path, going east. One of it's branches swoops down and is horizontal right at a good writing desk level. :) Yep, I've been known to pull out my little "Idea Journal" that I carry in my jacket, to write there for a few!

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Wed 16 Sept 2020... the usual wednesday rant

6,735,588 USA cases of covid, adding 39,309 new cases every day.

199,561 people have died, 913 every day this past week.

(Numbers are from the 1pt3acr site, and are slightly higher than the numbers from the Johns Hopkins site, which were 6,609,770 USA cases and 195,962 USA dead.)

And my town has a bit of a problem... we've got 65 active cases right now. And 14 people have died, half of whom have died in the last couple of weeks! Yikes! What the heck is going on??!

And my state hit 500 dead on Saturday. :(


HHS Official Michael Caputo Admits Warning Of 'Sedition' At CDC, Riots If Trump Wins

So, this guy is obviously not right in the head. Like, maybe we need some Mental Health time. And maybe we need to not be in charge of millions of dollars of advertising money for an agency that needs to be saturated with science!


Okay, this got my goat...

Trump administration has not paid USPS for COVID-19 postcards featuring Trump's name

uh huh. I remember that postcard. In fact, I scanned it in at the time. The file name I gave it...

20200327_AreYouFuckingKiddingMe.jpg *laughs*


Looks like I might need to subscribe to a new magazine...

Scientific American Endorses Joe Biden

ha!


Back to local news, the Holiday Farm fire, just east of town is now 6% contained. It covers 166,503 Acres and we now have a whopping 767 fire fighters!


Female Anna Hummingbird

Aww! Sweet girl at the Community Garden! :) Plus you don't hardly notice the wildfire smog in this photo. The air quality was at 320 when I took this pic!

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Tues 15 Sept 2020... Update

Web site update

It occurred to me that having separate current pages for the newest blog posts was stupid. *laughs* It was fine when I was actually catching up with the older posts. But I quit doing that. And it's dumb to maintain all those separate pages.

So! This is the place! if I bother with filling in some older posts, I'll be sure to let you know! :)

The Knee

I am starting to walk more... further and more often. Did I tell you? I walked 4.5 miles on Saturday!! Yay!

Since I've gotten used to riding my bike down the bike path, I really enjoy going out to the Tsanchiifin Walk. I'm still finding different birds there!

And then I ride the bike a bit further out! The bike path ends about 5.5 miles away from home... I've not quite gotten to the end, yet, but got to around 5 miles today!

There's more prairie, and not as many trees. But I can hear Red Wing Blackbirds singing, so that's something new and different. :)

Smog Photography

Well, let's see... today the air quality is at 330. Still in the Hazardous category. But still looks better than it has been.

Smog at the creek

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Mon 14 Sept 2020... still smoggy, but...

Okay, this is just a fun photo...

Goldfinches in the Basil

I count 12 Goldfinches! I've made this pic a bit bigger than usual so you can see them all. (Right-Click for "View Image". Then hit the back button to return.)

And I think they are eating the seeds of Basil! I had no idea it was such a popular meal!! I'm not a huge fan, but apparently I need to have a good patch of basil next year!! :)

Smoggy sun

This morning's Air Quality is 475 (Hazardous is 300 to 500), but it actually looks a lot better than it's been.

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Sun 13 sept 2020... the air

sad sunflower in very bad air quality

Yep, this is the air I'm going out into. Air Quality is 423 this morning.
Hazardous is 300 to 500.

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Thurs 10 Sept 2020... Smog Photography

Okay, this Smog Sun didn't turn out as well as the one the other day with the tree leaves... But this is a new endeavor, so you have to cut me some slack!

bean vines and blossoms with a wildfire sun

Here's a cute smog squirrel for ya...

invasive Eastern Fox Squirrel in the wildfire smog

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Wed 9 Sept 2020... Covid Rant and Local Wildfire

752 people died every day this week in the US and we're adding 36,808 new cases of covid daily.

My town has 57 active cases, bringing our total count to 803. Three people died recently, unprecedented, bringing a total of 10 people who have died.


And the wind storm of Monday night has kicked up a horrific wildfire, east of town. It's huge and completely uncontained, so they're evacuating the eastern edge of town. They don't have enough fire fighters, since they're spread all across the state, and helping California.

Scary stuff. I live on the western side of town, so I can't imagine that I'd be in danger. But so many hundreds of people escaping the fire... :~(

Crow in the wildfire smog

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Tues 8 Sept 2020... Update

There was a good wind storm last night. That was exciting. And this morning we woke up to a dark red sky and ash covering everything.

The responsible wildfires aren't new, but the wind direction is. Up until now, we've been very lucky about avoiding the wildfire smog. But now we've got it in droves.

Yucky wildfire sky


I walked 3½ miles today!

I blew out my knee at the beginning of August. After two weeks of trying to take it easy, it felt better and I started walking again.

But after a 4 mile hike up the hill, the knee was inflamed again. Back to square one.

So when the knee started feeling better again last week, I didn't take the bait! I continued biking and only walking short distances.

I started walking a bit over the weekend. Oh, it's nice to walk without having to think about pain! But I'll try not to push it. Tomorrow I'll bike, instead of walk, and hopefully I'll keep the knee in one piece.

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Wed 2 Sept 2020... Covid Rant

The USA hit 6 million covid cases yesterday, according to the Johns Hopkins website. Some of those people have gotten well, of course... but how many have to deal with serious complications? How many Long Haulers will there be?

And in my hometown, cases are peaking again, with 46 active right now. There is an outbreak at an assisted living center.

And in personal news, my partner just got his first covid test today. So exciting. He's negative.


What the hell?

U.S. says it won't join WHO-linked effort to develop, distribute coronavirus vaccine

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Mon 31 Aug 2020... Continuing Tsan

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sun 30 aug 2020... Garden and RND

https://www.gocomics.com/pearlsbeforeswine/2020/08/30

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Sat 29 Aug 2020... Listening at the Tsan...

Yep, I biked out to Tsanchiifin Walk yet again today... hoping to meet some new birds.

Yes! There were some! Strange new song, strange new bouncing around in the tree. And suddenly flying away, before the camera can focus. heh. oh well. maybe next time.

Far away I hear another new bird: "La La La, Chew Chew Chew". huh, that's interesting! I hope I get to meet them soon!

A Spotted Towhee was calling their rusty door, "creeeeaak". Several Goldfinches twittering, along with some Chickadees "dee dee dee"ing.

And this scruffy one...

Juvenile Song Sparrow

I knew the species when I was taking the pics, but I'd forgotten when I was going thru my photos. Separate from my experience, I couldn't figure out what this bird was!

Female House Finch? hum, doesn't really match up. So, not female... is juvenile! Ahhh! The stripes on the face are so faint, that's what tricked me!

A juvenile Song Sparrow. And then I remembered what this one was saying as I took her/his portrait, "jeep. jeep."

Birds say so much! Sure, it's fun to learn their spring time songs. But knowing their communication words is much more important!

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Fri 28 Aug 2020... A Frog!!

Yay! Wildlife success at my new Tsanchiifin Walk, on the 2nd day I've been...

Pacific Chorus Frog

Oh my gosh, so tiny! This Pacific Chorus Frog was teeny tiny!! Around ½ inch! (Adults are normally almost 2 inches.) I can't say she was a baby because of course baby frogs are actually tadpoles! *laughs* But dang. So cute.

Plus she let me walk around so I could have the sun behind me. So patient and kind! :D

So, she's a girl... you can't see it in this pic, but males have a dark vocal sac on their throat. My other photos show that her throat is entirely creamy white.

And it looks like she's starting to change into her autumn brown colours! Summer frogs are bright green, Winter frogs are grey and brown.

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Thurs 27 Aug 2020... the knee and the bike

At the beginning of the month, I blew out my knee. I took it easy and after two weeks, it was cured.

Getting back to my usual walking, I started out slow: I walked less than a mile, for a couple days. I walked 2 miles, no problem. A couple of 3 mile days.

And then I walked up to the Hidden Trail. It's a four mile walk and the trail is short but steep. And it killed the knee.

So, I'm back where I was. Except now I don't have any hope: as soon as the knee gets better, I will still have to take it easy. And for how long should that be? *shrugs*

At some point in this saga, my partner fixed up my bike. I've been biking to the garden every other day... to water and bring home veges.

the bike

Biking doesn't bother the knee at all! There's no pain, other than the usual ache, when I'm riding. And I don't think there's any extra pain in the afternoon, either.

So I've decided to experiment with a longer bike trip... Yesterday, I headed out with the bike to a park on the bike path about 3 miles away.

oh it was good to see different things!

But the park itself, Tsanchiifin Walk, was rather boring. *laughs* This is to be expected...

The park is a wet prairie, which means it's a shallow pond in the winter and a grassy prairie in the summer. I much prefer to walk in forest or along water. And since I am familiar with those ecosystems, I also know what kind of wildlife I'll encounter, and their behavior!

I am not familiar with the prairie. I don't know who I will come across, and I don't know what signals to look for if someone is nearby!

This is fine. And good. I can learn.

the view at Tsanchiifin

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Wed 26 Aug 2020... Covid Rant

USA has had 5,907,397 covid cases as of this morning, we've been adding 43,095 new cases every day this week.

181,468 people have died so far, our current rate is 1,000 people every day.

My town has dropped down to 14 active cases, after hovering at 35 to 40 for several weeks!


That impeached monster is touting his latest miracle treatment, and has forced the FDA to push blood plasma.

*rolls eyes*

97,000 People Got Convalescent Plasma. Who Knows if It Works? treating 98,000 people with plasma and not having conclusive data if it worked is problematic, and we should have a more robust data set before we give 98,000 people a product Yeah, no studies, no science. :/

Oh, and the CDC and HHS have also become compromised and corrupt...

Officials change virus testing advice, bewildering experts
Good idea! Let's NOT test people who have been exposed to covid! Yeah!

??? um. GAH!

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Fri 21 Aug 2020... New Dragonfly!

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Thurs 20 Aug 2020... Little Free Pantry

The park behind our apartment complex got a Little Free Pantry installed recently!!

At the beginning of July, I learned that we were getting a Little Free Pantry. And at first I was excited because the boxes had some amazing art on them.

But then I discovered that the group who is working to get these food boxes set up... is Vegan!!

Burrito Brigade
providing nutritious vegan meals to hungry individuals in Eugene and Springfield, and has since expanded to Portland.

Yay! This is just all kinds of awesome, all the way around!

Little Free Pantry #23 in Eugene Oregon

Our Little Free Pantry is #23 in Eugene. And our artist is Wendi Kai...

Moon Maiden Tattoo: Wendi Kai's paintings
Aww! she's arted a vulture!! All her art is beautiful!

Anyway. When I first learned about the Little Free Pantries back in July, I had just finished re-reading Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men.

There is a ton of info in that book, including the hardship of not including menstruation products in any services for the homeless, refugees, people in jail, and kids in school! You'd be hard pressed to find free products even in specifically womens' spaces like domestic violence shelters or Planned Parenthood.

It's crazy! Like crazy-crazy, not just plain crazy!

And when I learned about the Little Free Pantry, I knew exactly what I wanted to contribute to it! :D

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Mon 17 Aug 2020... Political Postcards

I have been sending weekly postcards to Moscow Mitch ever since Representative John Lewis died. I've been requesting that he get the Voting Rights Advancement Act passed in John Lewis' name.

He's not responded, or done anything. so I keep sending postcards to him.

I try... I try my best. To be respectful in my writing. I do not call him Moscow Mitch. I use cheerful language. I say please.

But, I must admit, some snark has wiggled into my writing.

After I wrote this week's postcard to MM...

postcard written to Mitch McConnell about the Voting Act and the USPS

(heh.) I decided to have some words with the Postmaster General...

postcard written to Louis DeJoy the Postmaster General about mail

Begone, DeJoy!


Update (Tue, 18 Aug 2020)...

Post Office Chief Suspends Controversial Changes Until After Election

I assume this is a good thing. But I also assume that guy is a lying sack of shit... so who knows.

Oh, was that out loud? I'm sorry. but...
(Updated Thu, 20 Aug 2020)...

There have been several reports of mail sorting machines being broken down and tossed. Wai! How much money is he just throwing away? How much efficency is lost without those machines? why, why, why?!

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Thurs 13 Aug 2020... Knee

So it's been a week and a half since my knee started hurting.

I've TRIED to rest it by staying home and not walking... but it kills my soul. So I've been walking a little, not every day, and less than a mile.

It is getting better. I'm still taking aspirin and ibuprofen constantly, but it's easier to get around the house. And the walking pain is no longer "oh no I'm going to die." It's more like "well this sucks." heh.

And you'd think, oh, not walking 3 or 4 miles in a day means I get an extra two hours to do stuff! So what have I been up to?

Napping.

Yeah, like I said, my soul is dying here!

But, my little walk around the neighborhood today lifted my spirits...

pic!

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Wed 12 Aug 2020... Covid and rnd

The USA has 5,262,241 covid cases as of this morning and we've been adding about 54,692 new cases every day.

167,028 people have died of covid, at a rate of 1,064 every day.

And my town is still hovering at 35 active cases, a level we've been at for a couple weeks now.


giggles...

Florida Sheriff Orders Deputies And Staff Not To Wear Face Masks any individual walking in to any one of our lobbies ... that is wearing a mask will be asked to remove it.

Because? ...

We can debate and argue all day of why and why not, Woods added. The fact is, the amount of professionals that give the reason why we should, I can find the exact same amount of professionals that say why we shouldn't.

Oh, Florida. There's this thing called Science.


And from the other end of the emotional spectrum...

oh thank goodness. That impeached monster had rolled back the protections of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act back in Dec 2017...

Yesterday a judge upheld the intent of the MBTA... a law which protects more than 1000 species of birds and has been on the books since 1918!!

Victory! Federal Judge Rules Administration's Bird-Killing Policy is Illegal

The process of suing to get the government to follow the laws -- or not change laws randomly -- is tedious and time consuming. And why should we need to?? But the monster has a scorched earth policy... so I'm sure this scenario will play out again.


And, finally...

Yay, Kamala Harris!

We need more than a victory on Nov. 3; we need a mandate that proves the past few years do not represent who we are or who we aspire to be

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Tues 11 Aug 2020... ABCs of the geography project

A project that I started this year is memorizing all of the countries of the world and knowing where they are on a map! I started with Central and South America, then got Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and now I'm into the rest of Asia.

It's kinda funny to say, but I love doing this! Sure, it makes me feel smart. And also, when something happens in the news, in some random country most Americans have never heard of, I'm all, Oh! I know exactly where that is!

*laughs* okay, that might just be me being smug! But, seriously, having this knowlege really does make me feel good that my brain is still working!

Another game that I play, now that I've got over half the world memorized, is naming countries alphabetically! The distribution across the alphabet is a little bit surprising to me.

For instance, there are a bunch of countries that start with the letter E -- Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, there are 8 altogether. I is another surprising letter, also with 8 countries.

There are 3 F countries -- Finland, France, Fiji.

And 3 J countries -- Japan, Jamaica, Jordon.

And 3 R countries -- Rawanda, Romania, Russia. This one seems odd to me, you'd think there'd be more Rs!

There's one Q -- Qatar. And one O -- Oman. A couple Ys, and a couple Zs.

And there are zero Ws!!

Technically, there's Western Sahara, which is disputed territory mostly controlled by Morocco. And there's Wales, but that is part of the UK. (And of course, there are probably other places like this that I don't know about!)

Map of the world

And, yeah. Since I'm well into Asia, I realize it won't be long until I run out of countries!! ack!

But there's a bunch of islands in Southeast Asia.

And it turns out I was pretty sloppy when I only memorized the bigger islands in the Caribbean.

So there's still stuff to keep me busy with this for a bit longer!!

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Friday 7 Aug 2020... Sunchoke

Our left side neighbor, at the Community Garden, has been a no-show this year. But she did plant a winter cover crop which has done well. The Fava got nice and tall, went to seed and is now dying back.

In the back of her plot, I am interested to see some Jerusalem Artichokes or Sunchoke. I've never grown or eaten them... so I was excited when I saw one of the tall plants had fallen over into our plot!

Yep, I took it. There were a couple, small tubers that I nabbed, and asked google what to do with them.

You can eat them raw or treat them like potatoes with roasting, steaming or boiling. Many people love them and after the first frost they will have a sweet nutty flavor.

Also thrilled to learn that this plant, a species of sunflower, is native to North America and was cultivated by the Native Americans.

I cooked up the smallest ones with my pasta. Literally, three bites... I have learned my lesson about trying new veges! ie Fennel Root, meh. Dandelion Blooms, yuck. *laughs*

I liked the texture of the Sunchoke, but they didn't have much of a taste. I guess you have to wait for the frost. And they don't store well, so I'll have to eat the other one soon!

They do store perfectly in the ground tho... so I'm really interested in growing them in my own plot, next year. Stealing from my neighbor, wasn't very nice of me, after all!!

Pic!

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Wed 5 Aug 2020... Doom and Gloom

The USA has 4,879,399 reported cases of covid, and we've been adding 60,088 every day. (Yay, We're Number One!)

159,582 people have died of Covid in the US, 1105 every day.

My town has 40 active cases today, we've kind of leveled here for a week or so.


This opinion article kind of struck a chord with me...

The Cult of Selfishness Is Killing America By Paul Krugman

What they call freedom is actually absence of responsibility.

With great freedom, comes great responsibility.

Wear your mask!

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Tues 4 Aug 2020... Knee

I have somehow managed to blow out my right knee.

Sighs.

I don't think I specifically injured it. But when I walked to the garden, yesterday, it was a bit annoying at the beginning, tho I was able to ignore it after a half mile or so.

And today, every single step was painful.

Contemplating a life without walking in nature, terrified me. But even taking a few days off, frustrates me to no end!

I guess I'll do it... I'm taking aspirin and I'm set up with cold packs... but, gah!

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2019... BLOG POSTS

(Posted 22 Dec 2020...)

The new archive is HTML5, and completely validated!

2019 journal entries

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2018... BLOG POSTS

(Posted 18 Dec 2020...)

I have managed to move all of the 2018 journal entries into an archive page. I did not write very much in 2018, so I decided not to divide them up into months, like I usually do.

The new archive is HTML5, and completely validated!

2018 journal entries

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2017... BLOG POSTS

(Posted 19 Dec 2020...)

I have managed to move all of the 2017 journal entries into an archive page. And again, I didn't write very much, so the posts for the entire year are on one page.

The new archive is HTML5, and completely validated!

2017 journal entries

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Welcome
rifts avatar
I am rift vegan!
I live in the Pacific Northwest of the USA, with my Significant Other (SO) and Dawn the Guinea Pig. I am vegan for ethical and environmental reasons, my love for animals and nature is a very important part of my life.
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