Blogging the Infinite Static


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 probably about 8 inches tall and 3 or 4 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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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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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 MisÚrables 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!!

Tag:



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!

Tag:



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

Tag:



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 Piper 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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rift vegan
PO Box 23724
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