Blogging the Infinite Static

Sat, 08 Jul 2023

Partner's Mom passed away early this morning.

Sunday 26 November 2023... Garden

Henrietta. And a lot of sticks!

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

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

Autumn trees with foggy hill in the background

Squirrel sitting in the fork of a mossy tree

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Frosty Favas

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

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

Oh, look how cute!

Golden Crown Sparrows standing on twigs

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



Saturday 25 November 2023... Day of Woodpeckers, Up Hidden Trail

Brrr! It got below freezing last night.

Frosty Oregon Grape leaves

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

Frosty Big Leaf Maple leaf

Sun beans coming thru Douglas Fir trees

Wild turkeys

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

the back of a Pileated Woodpecker

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

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

Pileated Woodpecker standing on the side of a tree trunk

Oh well. Another time, maybe! :)

Small path bridge strewn with fallen yellow leaves


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

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

This is NOT who I came up here for!

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

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

Golden Crown Sparrow

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

Acorn Woodpecker standing at the top of a snag

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

Acorn Woodpecker standing at the top of a snag, preening

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


Frosty Lupine leaves

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

Acorn Woodpecker standing on a dead branch

Certainly not today.

oh well. :)

Back at home, the African Violet is blooming!

Purple blooms surrounded by leaves

And that's the happy Spider Plant, too.


Friday 24 November 2023... Garden

Hi Henrietta!

Great Blue Heron standing in water, looking at the bank

He's busy looking for some breakfast.

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

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

Columbine leaves

And the way they catch the dew!

Columbine leaves with water drops

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

Favas sprouting from the base of damaged stalks

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

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

Fava sprouting from the base of a damaged stalk

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


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

Great Blue Heron


Thursday 23 November 2023... Garden

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

trees on the hill in the distance

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

Sparrow standing on a twig, looking away

Here's where I worked today.


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

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

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

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

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

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

Hawk standing at the top of a utility pole

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


Wednesday 22 November 2023... A Day with Birds!

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

Autumn trees on the hill

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

Female Mallard on a muddy bank

Poor Girl.

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

Female Belted Kingfisher standing on a branch

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

Cackling Geese walking in the grass

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

Two Rock Doves up on a wood beam

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

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

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

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

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

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

Autumn trees

Scrub Jay standing on a mossy branch

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

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

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


Tuesday 21 November 2023... A Walk to the West

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

Black Phoebe on a metal post

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

Aw, really?

Blurry Chickadee, taking off from a mossy branch

Hi Henrietta!

Great Blue Heron walking in the water

Great Blue Heron

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

Raised path past a tree, thru the grass

Cute lil Song Sparrow!

Song Sparrow standing on a twig, surrounded by other twigs

Oh my goodness! Do birds Sneeze?

Song Sparrow standing on a twig, caught in a sneeze

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


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

Henrietta is still hanging out!

Great Blue Heron

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

Sky over grass land with some autumn trees


Monday 20 November 2023... A Lovely Walk at the River

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

Pink rose bloom with trees and benches in the background

Pink rose bloom and fallen autumn leaves

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

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

foggy trees

The art pavilion at the Downtown Riverfront Park...

Which reminds me! The park won another award recently!

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

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

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

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

River with autumn trees on the far bank

I love listening to the river here.

river going over grassy rocks

I try to get artsy with the trees...

Mossy Oak branches

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

Tree with autumn yellow leaves and dark branches


Sunday 19 November 2023... A Beautiful Day

foggy trees in the distance

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

Lesser Goldfinch standing on a stalk of grass

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

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

American Robin standing on a branch

Autumn trees


Saturday 18 November 2023... Today. With Amusement.

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

Foggy trees along the bike path

Hi Henrietta!

Great Blue Heron, walking in shallow water

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

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

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

Hi My Cute Little Mergansers!

Male and female Hooded Mergansers paddling on the water

Female Hooded Merganser

Hi Robin!

American Robin standing in a tree

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


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

Female Mallard standing in shallow water

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

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

I think I'll call her Angle.

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


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


Friday 17 November 2023... Garden Freebies and Henrietta Eats a Fish

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

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

strawberry plants and sunchoke roots laying in the grass

Strawberry plants and a huge SunChoke root!

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

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

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

Hole dug with SunChoke roots in it

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

Sunchoke roots in the dirt

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

Great Blue Heron with a fish in her mouth

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

Great Blue Heron holding a fish in her beak

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

Great Blue Heron

And then stabs him.

Great Blue Heron stabs a fish

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

Great Blue Heron holding a fish in her beak

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

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

Great Blue Heron, swallowing a fish

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

Great Blue Heron

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

Great Blue Heron

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

Autumn trees


Thursday 16 November 2023... dreary

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

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

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

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

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

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

foggy autumn trees

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


Wednesday 15 November 2023... Hidden Trail with Sun

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

Squirrel hanging from the truck of a tree

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

Wild Turkey standing on the grass

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

Water comeing down rocks

Water comeing down rocks

Oh! Here's something super cool...

Squirrel standing on the branch of a Madrone Tree

My Squirrel friend is standing in a Pacific Madrone Tree!

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

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

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

Acorn Woodpecker standing on a branch

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

I wonder if females ever have guard duty.

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

Blue sky past some autumn and fir trees

Fallen autumn leaves on the ground


Tuesday 14 November 2023... a New Bird

Scrub Jay standing on a twig, looking back

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

Bridge surrounded by trees

Aw, what happened to your tail, Little One?

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

And who's this?

Brown bird standing on a branch

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

Brown bird standing on a branch

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

Brown bird flies away

But that warm, cinnamon red tail gives her away!

Hermit Thrush!

Looks like they are another one of our winter visitors.

Orange Calendula bloom


Monday 13 November 2023... Work at the Garden

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

blurry  nutria swimming

Autumn trees and a foggy hill in the distance

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


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

skeletonized tomatillos laying on the ground

They are all skeletonized!

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

A beet with dark leaves growing in the garden

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

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

wikipedia, Beta vulgaris

It's good to learn things!

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

Fava in the garden

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

broken fava stems

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

Dead Nettle growing in the garden

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

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

garden ground

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

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

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


Sunday 12 November 2023... Sunday Stroll with a Hawk!

Pink Camellia blooms

Oak leaves on the tree in autumn colours

Autumn trees and a foggy hill in the distance

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

Cooper Hawk standing on a stick, surrounded by mossy twigs

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

I obsess over those trees out there!

Autumn trees

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Saturday 11 November 2023... River

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

river with a hill on the other side

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

muddy pond with a heron and the river behind trees

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

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

Cormorant standing on a log in the water

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

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

Pied Bill Grebe paddling in muddy water

Listening to the river at my meditation spot.

looking across the river

Yellow Calendula blooms

heron standing on an island, surrounded by the river

It is just so beautiful out here!

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


Friday 10 November 2023... a day

Autumn trees on the hill

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

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

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

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

Trees on the hill

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

Female Mallard eating bread on the path

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

Female Mallard standing on path

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

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

Crow walking on the path

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

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

Graffiti fish on a red building

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

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


Thursday 9 November 2023... West and Henrietta Mix-up!

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

I thought this was Henrietta...

Great Blue Heron in the water

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

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

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

I'm going out to the unnamed wetlands again.

Path thru the grass

There's nothing special here.

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

Path thru the grass

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

There's a little flock of Bushtits.

Bushtit standing on a twig

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

And a Spotted Towhee.

Spotted Towhee standing on a stick

Spotted Towhee standing on a stick

And some sparrows.

Golden Crown Sparrow standing on a twig

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

grassland with trees in the distance

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

Rain! Where are you, Rain?!

Far off Cackling Geese hidden in the grass

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

Great Blue Heron standing on a snag

I go clear back to the beginning...

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

Great Blue Heron

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

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

Great Blue Heron

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

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

Not-Henrietta back in July...

Great Blue Heron

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

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

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

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


Wednesday 8 November 2023... Sweet Potatoes!

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

trees along the bike path under a blue sky

Foggy trees

At the garden, I dig!

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

Sweet Potatoes gathered

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

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

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

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

Close up of a Peace Lily bloom

In the evening, I get back to the soybeans.

Shelling Soybeans

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

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

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


Tuesday 7 November 2023... Right Past the Garden

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

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


Tree covered hill in the distance

American Robin standing on a branch, surrounded by autumn leaves

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

American Robin standing on a branch, surrounded by autumn leaves

Oh! Pigeons!

Rock Doves standing on the ground

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

Rock Dove walking in very short grass

Back at home, I decide to do some shelling!

Shelling Soybeans

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

Hopefully I will get faster!

Shelling Soybeans


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

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

Western Grey Squirrel standing in a tree eating a peanut

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

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

Autumn trees over a street

Autumn leaves in front of grey sky

Hiking trail steps next to a small creek

Water coming over mossy rocks

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

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

Acorn Woodpecker standing onthe side of the trunk of a snag

Acorn Woodpecker standing on the side of a snag

Acorn Woodpekcer standing on the side of a snag

They are just SO interesting!

Granary tree with many holes filled with acorns

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

Acorns in granary tree holes

Artsy ferns


Sunday 5 November 2023... Cackling Geese

Good Morning, Friend!

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

Henrietta is busy hunting. (Yep, it's Henrietta!)

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

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

Clouds over the bike path

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

Cackling Geese standing on the grass

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

Cackling Geese standing on the grass

The clouds are starting to break up.

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

Autumn trees

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

Looking at the creek, some ducks in silhouette

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

Spider in her web


Saturday 4 November 2023... Trees in the Rain

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

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

Today, still it rains!

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

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

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

Autumn Red Maple over the bike path

Autumn trees, a hill in the distance

Autumn trees, a hill in the distance


Friday 3 November 2023... Gathering Soybeans! and Crime.

Hello Young Fellow!

Eastern Fox Squirrel standing on the side of a tree trunk

Eastern Fox Squirrel standing on the side of a tree trunk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Woman climbing over the Community Garden fence

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

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

Gathering Soybeans

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

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

Gathering Soybeans

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

Ziplocks filled with soybean pods


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

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

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


Autumn trees and a hill in the background

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

Drying soybean pods

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


Thursday 2 November 2023... Garden Work

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

Eastern Fox Squirrel standing on the steps

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

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

Eastern Fox Squirrel standing on the steps

Trees along the bike path

Autumn trees with a hill in the background

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

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

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

Empty sunflower head

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


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


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

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


Someone else's kale.

close up of kale

American Robin standing on a stick


Wednesday 1 November 2023... Turkeys Up Hidden Trail

Autumn trees with a tree covered hill in the background

Blow up Jack-o-lantern

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

Halloween Decorations, Blow up Skull Spider

Halloween Decorations, skeletons and a hurse

Okay! Up the hill!

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


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

Two turkeys walking by, Deers hiding behind a bush

Hiking trail thru the trees, over a small bridge

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

Doves standing on dead branches of a snag

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

They are too far away again. SIGHS!

Woodpecker at the top of a far away snag


Blurry Acorn Woodpecker standing on a dead branch

Well. That's not a woodpecker! haha.

Blurry Varied Thrush standing on a pine tree branch

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

Acorn Woodpecker at the top of a broken snag

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

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

Wild Turkeys walking on the ground

And checking out the patios!

Turkeys standing on patio furnature

So Cool!

Wild Turkey walking on the ground


Tuesday 31 October 2023... Garden Work

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

Trees with a hill in the distance


Juvenile White Crown Sparrow standing at the top of trellised beans

Juvenile Golden Crown Sparrow standing at the top of trellised beans

Dark Eye Junco standing on a wood post

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

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

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

Green and red tomatoes, scattered on the ground

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


Monday 30 October 2023... Oh my gosh! An OWL!!

Halloween decorations

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

Trees and hills in the background

Trees and hills in the background

Golden Crown Sparrow standing behind frosty green leaves

Female Hooded Merganser paddling in the water

Frosty wildflower leaves

Frosty wildflower leaves

American Robin standing on a twig

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

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

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

two crows, in silhouette, and an owl

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

two crows and an owl

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

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


That beak! Those ears!

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl standing on a branch in a tree

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

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

Ha! See me embracing imperfection! :)


Sunday 29 October 2023... Frozen Garden

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

Autumn trees and hill in the distance

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

Halloween decorations

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


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


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

Red berrys in pods

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


Saturday 28 October 2023... River Loop

Steller Jay feather on the sidewalk with fallen oak leaves

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

A bridge spans the river with trees on either side

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

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

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

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

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

And she doesn't stick around very long.

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

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

Not _good_ photos, but photos! *laughs*

Great Egret standing in water

River with trees on the opposite bank

River flowing over rocks

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

Echinacea bloom and the river in the background

Coreopsis blooms

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

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

A bridge spans the river with trees on either side

Upriver with Skinner Butte in the distance

Cormorants sunning on a tiny island in the river


Friday 27 October 2023... West and Wetlands Past Stewart

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

Siamese cat standing on a book

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

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

Persimmons on the tree

Song Sparrow standing on a blackberry vine

Oh, Henrietta! Do you hunt all up and down the creek? (Nov9 note... Yes, this is Henrietta!)

Great Blue Heron standing in water

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

walk way thru grass with some trees

Downy Woodpecker behind sticks

Back to Stewart Pond Park.

grasslands with trees in the background

Ha! Artsy!

silhouette of a bird on a branch

Juvenile Golden Crown Sparrows bouncing around just outside the park.

Golden Crown Sparrow standing on a stick

Golden Crown Sparrow standing on a blackberry vine

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

Squirrel standing on the ground surrounded by fallen leaves

stone steps going up from a grassy area thru the trees


Thursday 26 October 2023... The Last Day of the Veggie Garden

Eastern Fox Squirrel standing on the sidewalk

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

Autumn trees with fog on the hill in the background

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

Red Shoulder Hawk standing on a mossy stick in a tree

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

Red Shoulder Hawk standing on a stick in a tree

Red Shoulder Hawk standing on a stick in a tree

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

Lesser Goldfinch standing on a sunflower stalk

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

And on to my plot...

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

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

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

Yellow Zucchini squashes on the plant

The Striped German.

Green tomato growing on the vine

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


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

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


Hey! Wait a second...


An aphid! Ha! Munch away, little bug!

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


Wednesday 25 October 2023... Bad Day

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

Clouds over the bike path

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

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

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

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

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

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

Great Blue Heron standing in water

And the clouds are nice today.


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

blurry and part over exposed hummingbird at a flower

Black cat sitting on a porch

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

And a sweet squirrel stops to have a conversation.

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

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

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

Eastern Fox Squirrel eating a peanut

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

Starling standing on a wood nesting box

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

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

Go Vegan for the squirrels!


Tuesday 24 October 2023... Up Hidden Trail


Blurry Siamese cat looking up

Little Free Pantry Cat!

Siamese cat standing inside a Little Free Pantry

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

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

So please just keep your kitties inside!

Siamese cat

Looking up at Persimmons ripening on the tree

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

hiking trail winding thru trees

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

Halloween decorations

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

Halloween decorations

Ferns and moss on a rock, surrounded by fallen leaves

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

Acorn Woodpecker on the side of a tree, far away

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

Tree trunk with holes, some filled with acorns

Acorn Woodpecker standing on a branch

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

Acorn Woodpecker standing on the side of a granery tree

This is a fun article!

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

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

A Woodpecker's acorn stash in a granary tree

Back down the hill.

Mushrooms growing on a fallen tree trunk

Lupine seed pods, open and empty

Didn't know dragons were Halloweeny!

Blow up Halloween decorations in a yard


Monday 23 October 2023... Neighborhood Observations

Autumn colours of trees on the hill

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

Purple Geranium bloom under leaves in the grass and clover

Still some signs of our busy Beaver at the creek!

Beaver munched tree on the other side of the creek

Neighborhood sidewalk

Halloween decorations

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


Sunday 22 October 2023... Garden

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

Nutria standing in the grass with dandelions

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

Nutria standing in the grass with dandelions

Okay, on to the garden!

Trees with autumn colours and foggy hill in the distance

oop, gotta move somebody off the bike path!

Woolly Bear caterpillar on the sidewalk

I gather what veggies there are!


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

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

Tomatillo on a wood board

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

Yellow blooms

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

Orange Dahlia bloom and some clover

Eastern Fox Squirrel standing on a wood post


Saturday 21 October 2023... Interesting Things on a Dreary Day

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

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

oh my gosh, the colours!

Beauty Berries surrounded by red and yellow and green leaves

and the vines!

Song Sparrow surrounded by vines

And more colours!

Japanese Anemone with Beauty Berries in the background

purplish-pink rose bud

Silver Lining is def my favorite!

purplish-pink rose

Yellow roses with blooms and autumn colour in the background

Yellow rose

Orange rose covered in dew

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

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

Colourful banners

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

Colourful banner

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

Cultural Currents Artist Highlight, Coda Stone
Everyday Bears!

The second artist has a way with wonderfully bright colours!

art banners along the bike path


art banners

Cultural Currents Artist Highlight, Pattrick Price
The Colors of Formline

art banner

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

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

Hawk standing on a snag, holding all their feathers out

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

Hawk standing on a snag

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

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

hawk standing on a snag

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

She notices me watching her!

hawk standing on a snag

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

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

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

lots of humans on the bike path in the forest

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

Green Olives hanging from the tree

And they look like Olives?!

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

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

This turned out to be an awesomely incredible day.

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


Friday 20 October 2023... Dreary and Blurry Day

Another foggy and misty day!

trees along the bike path

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

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

Nutria standing in water close to the muddy bank

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

Great Blue Heron with a crawdad in her beak

Great Blue Heron with a crawdad in her beak

Great Blue Heron walks in the water

Female and male Mallard sitting on the bank of the creek

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

Golden Crown Sparrow standing on a thorny stick

Cosmos blooms in front of a chain link fence

oh foo.

Blurry Varied Thrush on a metal fence

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

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

Robin standng in a shrub surrounded by leaves and red berris


Thursday 19 October 2023... Two Crow Stories

Extremely heavy fog this morning, visibility is hardly anything.

Halloween decorations in a downstairs entry way

Magnolia cone

Yellow Nasturtium blooms

Zinnia blooms in red and orange and pink

Zinnia blooms in orange and yellow

Halloween decorations surrounded by flowers

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

Sun Choke bloom with a snail

Sun Choke blooms

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

Nine Crows standing in a tree

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

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

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

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

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

They're not heartless, after all.

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

Meantime, I've been gathering...


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

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

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


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

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

Falkor! But look!

Crow standing on a street lamp

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

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

Crow standing on a twig in a tree

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

Crow standing on a twig in a tree

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

But it must be her! It has to be!

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

Crow standing in a tree

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


Wednesday 18 October 2023... Today

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

Trees next to the bike path

Trees next to the bike path

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

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

Misty tree in the distance

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

squash plant with a bloom, surrounded by other plants

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

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

Rose hips on the plant

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

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

red maple leave in the grass


Tuesday 17 October 2023... Wetlands and Stewart Pond and Happy Birds

I'm walking west today for something different.

Green and red leaves

Ha! I found a tiny skateboard!

miniature skateboard on a concrete block

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

Song Sparrow standing in a blackberry bush

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

Bike Path art

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

path thru grasslands with a couple trees

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

wooden bridge

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

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

juvenile Cedar Waxwing standing on a twig

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

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

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

Rose hip

My public service announcement...

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

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

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

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

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

grassy area and then trees

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

Juvenile Golden Crown Sparrow standing on a twig

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

And she's all What? *snort*

Juvenile Golden Crown Sparrow standing on a twig

Golden Crown Sparrow standing in a dead Cow Parsnip plant

Golden Crown Sparrow standing in a dead Cow Parsnip plant


Monday 16 October 2023... Rain

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

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

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

Oak leaves, most green, some tan

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

Plants and flowers

Pink and white flower

Dark Leaf Dahlias

Dark Leaf Dahlias

Plants and flowers


Sunday 15 October 2023... Garden

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

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

Squirrel standing on a wood post of a fence

Western Bluebird standing on a wood fence

Cosmos with other flowers in the background

Garden Pinks with other flowers in the background

Dark Leaf Dahlia blooms

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

Snap Dragons, Cocks Comb and Red Amaranth

Here's something different! A tiny little Violet!

A single Violet bloom on a small plant

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

Lots of green plants

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

White Crown Sparrow standing on a metal trellis

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

Gathered Tomatillo fruits

The neighbor has some pretty peppers.

Red and green Peppers growing on the plant

Red and green Peppers growing on the plant

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

Red seeds coming out of black pods

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

Bird standing on a post, eyeing a small sunflower head

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

Bird standing on a wood post

Bird standing on a wood post


Saturday 14 October 2023... A Walk After the Eclipse

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

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

21 crows flying

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

Great Egret standing in water, hunting

Looking across the river

river flowing around rocks

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

Calendulas blooming with the river in the background

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

A Yellow Rump Warbler...

Yellow Rump Warbler standing on a twig

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

river flowing over rocks

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

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

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

shorebird paddling in the water

I think this might be a Long Billed Dowitcher.

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

American Coot on the water


Saturday 14 October 2023... Eclipse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eclipse, 9:06am


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

people on the bridge

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

Eclipse, 9:07am


Eclipse, 9:08am

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

Eclipse, 9:08am


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

Eclipse, 9:12am

Eclipse, 9:12am

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

Eclipse, 9:13am

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

People standing at the rails of the bridge

Oh, nice! The view is lovely here!

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

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

Eclipse, 9:17am


Eclipse, 9:17am

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

sky over the river

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

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

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

Looking upriver

And then on with my walk.


Friday 13 October 2023... Flowers and Garden

the path with trees and sky

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

Grassy field with Grass Spider webs

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

Grass Spider web

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

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

Cloudy sky above tree lined hills

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

Curled up Woolly Bear

Pink Zinnia with yellow flowers in the background

Milkweed is setting it's seeds free...

Open Milkweed pod with seeds coming out

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

Bug inside the milkweed pod

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

Blue flowers

Orange Zinnia with red and pink blooms in the background

Sun Choke blooms

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

Pine Siskin standing on a wood post

Several small zucchinis growing on the plant

Soybean pods on stalks

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

Orange Nasturtium blooms

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

Downy Woodpecker standing on the side of a post

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

Downy Woodpecker standing on the side of a post

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


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

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

Small, green tomato growing on the vine

And of course the SunGolds continue.

Green cherry tomatoes on the vine with a tomato bloom

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

Great Blue Heron standing in water, with her reflection


Thursday 12 October 2023... Up Hidden Trail

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

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

Persimmons ripening on the tree


Wild Turkeys standing on the sidewalk

Their cute lil frowny faces!

Close up of a turkey

Wild Turkey walking on the sidewalk

More Turkeys! Ha, they are every where!

Two Turkeys standing in the grass

Close up of a turkey

Halloween display with human skulls, skeletons and grave markers

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

Scary Clown Halloween decorations

Okay. Here we are at the hiking trail!

small waterfall surrounded by logs and leaves

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

Three deers walking away

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

Three dees, one turned to look back

Leaves caught in the sunlight

Small waterfall surrounded by mossy rocks

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

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

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

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

Acorn Woodpecker at the top of a broken snag

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

Granery tree with acorns stuck in holes


Wednesday 11 October 2023... Rainy Day with Playing Crows

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

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

Cloudy sky above trees

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

Two Crows standing on twigs at the top of the tree

Two Crows, flying, just taken off from the tree

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

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

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

Two Crows standing at the tops of two trees

And then this one decides to play a different game.

Two Crows flying, one has just dropped a small twig

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

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

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

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

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

So. Much. Work!

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

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


Tuesday 10 October 2023... Todays Wildlife

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

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

Slug on the path

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

The ducks are happy too.

Female Mallard duck standing near the water

Oh Cool! A Cooper Hawk!!

Cooper Hawk standing on a branch

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

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

Cooper Hawk standing on a branch, hunched over

Cooper Hawk standing on a branch

Okay, time to leave.

Cooper Hawk taking off from the branch

Western Bluebird standing on a post in the rain

Northern Flicker standing on the muddy ground


Monday 9 October 2023... Neighborhood Walk

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

Trees showing autumn colour

This one was bouncing around happily!

Towhee standing in a bush

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

Towhee standing in a bush holding a leaf in her beak

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

Towhee standing in a bush holding a leaf in her beak

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

Towhee standing in a bush

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

Buckeye nuts and hulls laying in the grass

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

Skeleton and grave marker, Halloween decorations


Sunday 8 October 2023... Garden

Trees showing autumn leaves

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

Squirrel hanging from a sunflower where the blooms are droopy

Eating that way cannot be good for your digestion!

Squirrel hanging from a sunflower where the blooms are droopy

Squirrel hanging from a sunflower

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

The Zucchini plant is trying so hard!

small Zucchini squashes growing on the plant

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

small Crookneck squashes growing on the plant

The Soybeans are still doing their thing.

Soybean pods hanging from the plant

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

Ladybug hidden in a Sunflower leaf

Sunflower bloom surrounded by spent heads

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


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

Spider Plant bloom

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

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


Saturday 7 October 2023... River and Lots of Wildlife!

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

Dry spillover

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

Turtles on a log in the water

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

Gadwall duck paddling on the water

Red Wing Blackbird standing on a twig

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

Great Egret and turtles standing on a log in the water

We are totally STANDING on that turtle! Haha!

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

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

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

Great Egret stands on a log with turtles

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

American Coot walking at the edge of the pond

My place on the river to listen to the water.

Looking across the river at the trees on the other side

River water flowing around rocks

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

Shorebird walking in shallow water

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

Shorebird walking in shallow water

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

Wilson Snipes.

Two shorebirds looking for food in the mud

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

Turtle swimming in the water


Saturday 7 October 2023... Green Heron Photo Series

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

Green Heron standing in water with a frog in her beak

Poor little frog.

Green Heron standing in water with a frog in her beak

Frog squirms! He wants to live!

Green Heron standing in water with a frog in her beak


Green Heron standing in water with a frog in her beak

Frog is less lively now.

Green Heron standing in water with a frog in her beak

And now he's mostly dead. Eee.

Green Heron standing in water with a frog in her beak


Green Heron standing in water with a frog in her beak

Mmmm. Tasty!

Green Heron standing in water with a frog in her beak


Green Heron standing in water with a frog in her beak

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

The river, lined with trees


Friday 6 October 2023... Hendricks Park

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

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


Maiden Hair Fern

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

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

Sparrow standing at the edge of a stone bird bath

Birds splashing in a stone bird bath

Sparrow standing in shallow water of a stone bird bath

Pink Hydrangea blossoms, drooping

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

Thimbleberry leaves

Song Sparrow singing on a mossy branch


Ferns and English Ivy

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


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

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

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

Kiosk on the trail surrounded by forest

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

Trail with trees on the hill and blue sky

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

Hiking trail in the forest, with a white paper sign

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

Woolly Bear standing next to some seedlings


Thursday 5 October 2023... Neighborhood

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

Tortoiseshell cat sitting on the pavement, looking away

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

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

Trees with autumn colour

Bewick Wren standing on a tree branch

Oh! It's damp enough for mushrooms!


Mushrooms surrounded by fallen leaves

And these are pretty, with their little twirly thingees!

Red flowers

Red flowers

Mimosa tree leaves and seed pod

You gotta be careful walking under the Buckeye Trees!

Buckeye fruit and empty husks on the sidewalk

Bright yellow Dahlia blooms

Orange Dahlia blooms

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

Two female Mergansers, paddling on the water


Wednesday 4 October 2023... Flowers and Garden!

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

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

There's Zinnias galore at the Community Garden!

Orange Zinnia bloom with dots of colour in the background

Red Zinnia bloom with Cosmos in the background

Purple Zinnia blooms

And these Mini Zinnias are happy to look at!

Many Zinnina blooms in reds and yellows

Yellow SnapDragons, Cockscomb blooms and Zinnias

And then you've got the Dahlias!

Pink Dahlia bloom

Pink Dahlia blooms

And here we are at my garden plot.

Snail sleeping on a leaf

The Tofu patch is getting increasingly yellow!


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

Soybean pods hanging from the plant

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

Spaghetti Squash hidden under leaves

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

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

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

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

Tomatillo husk

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

Tomatillo husk

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

Small Sunflower bloom on a dying plant

Small Sunflower blooms on a dying plant

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


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

Bittersweet Nightshade berries.

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

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

Blue coloured berries


Tuesday 3 October 2023... Stewart Pond

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

blurry Western Grey Squirrel standing against the base of a tree

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

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

Unripe Persimmon fruit hanging from the tree

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

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

Grassland with trees in the distance

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

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

American Robin standing on a power line

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

Path thru the forest

looking up at the trees in a forest

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


Monday 2 October 2023... Today

Another bit of sprinkles today. It's nice!

Trees in autumn colours

Spent Teasel blooms

Berries of Red Osier Dogwood surrounded by green and purple leaves

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

Pink snowberries draping over a wooden fence

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

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


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

Crow standing in a tree

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

Hi Henrietta. Long time, no see. You should stop by more often!

Great Blue Heron standing in water


Sunday 1 October 2023... Today

Trees with autumn leaves

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

Woolly Bear walking on the path

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

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

Woolly Bear, rolled up on a leaf

Sunflower bloom with blue sky

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

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

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

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


Hello my little Grasshopper friend.

Grasshopper standing on a borage stem

Hawthorn pomes


2023... Archived Blog Posts

February 2023 (partial)

March 2023

April 2023

May 2023 (partial)

June 2023 (partial)

July 2023

August 2023

September 2023

October 2023

November 2023


Saturday 16 July 2022... New Osprey Nest!

So I've looked at a map, and I hope I get around the new Downtown Riverfront Park without getting lost this time. It's closed because they are using it for the World Athletics Championships, which started yesterday and runs until the 25th.

This amazing mural just outside the Rose Garden was finished just in time for the Championships.

Mural of birds and roses

And, of course, you can't go by the Rose Garden without obsessively taking photos of the roses.

Strike It Rich, Grandiflora rose

Grande Dame, Hybrid Tea rose

And then we gotta check the Osprey nest on the other side of the river. There's one child there today, and she takes off ... only to make a loop and come back to the nest.

Osprey flying back to the nest platform

Osprey lands in the nest

XXX... Goal: Finish this post!


I'm archiving the 2022 posts...

January 2022

February 2022

March 2022
Story of nesting Anna Hummingbird begins here!

April 2022
... And the nesting Hummer story continues here, until the babies fly away in mid-April!

May 2022

June 2022

July 2022

2021... BLOG POSTS

(completed 28 May 2023...)

January thru July 2021 Archive

August 2021 Archive

September 2021 Archive

October 2021 Archive

(No entries for November 2021)

December 2021 Archive

Goal: revisit August 2021... Road Trip to Utah!

And then keep filling in posts from there thru the end of 2021.


2020... BLOG POSTS

(completed 27 Dec 2020 thru 5 Jan 2021...)

2020 Archive... January thru July

(posted 21 Apr 2023...)

2020 Archive... Aug thru Dec


Revisit the Aug thru Dec archive page and add photos and clear out the xxx!


2019... BLOG POSTS

(Posted 22 Dec 2020...)

The new archive is HTML5, and completely validated!

2019 journal entries


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


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


rifts avatar
I am rift vegan!
I live in the Pacific Northwest of the USA, with my Partner in a tiny townhouse. I am vegan for ethical and environmental reasons, my love for animals and nature is a very important part of my life.
        The blog is currently a place for my the photos I take while out walking. Topics include...
Everybody in the Animal Kingdom!
Plants! especially Native Plants
Veganic Gardening
Books & Reading

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Yep, you can email me. and you can write to me.

rift vegan
PO Box 23724
Eugene OR 97402



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