Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge

 

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Yesterday I came home from work and wanted to have some no-money fun, and we found some almost-no-money fun instead – we tossed the dogs in the van, picked up a dinner to-go, and headed out to the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge. Because it’s a refuge the dogs had to stay in the car, so we did the driving loop. We saw many of the usual inhabitants…

 

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Ducks! (yes, I know there’s a proper name for these guys other than ‘ducks’)

 

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Lots of Red-wing blackbirds.

 

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Bunnies!

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A big white bird! It’s a Great Egret. First time I’ve seen one during our visits here.

 

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Pelicans!

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It was a beautiful afternoon.

 

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Way off in the distance, I saw something watching us.

 

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We continued along the waterway, hoping to see something exciting around every turn.

 

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Part of the meadow was mowed, and at the far end of it I saw something, but I couldn’t tell what until I zoomed in…

 

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A family of coyotes! Complete with pups! How exciting! That’s a first for our visits to the refuge. We hear coyotes all the time at home, and occasionally see them (and we suspect they ate our cat a few years ago), but I’m much happier to see them here, where they are free to be coyotes.

 

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Well, the afternoon wasn’t going to last forever. They close the gates at 9pm, so we had to keep moving.

 

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The sun slipped below the treeline, and cast a beautiful golden hue over the landscape.

 

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We headed back across Lake River, and felt like we’d had a little adventure. Just the thing I needed after a long day at work.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Our own private meadow

 

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Photo club

 

This month we got together for a little meeting, and then headed out to the marina to take some pictures at sunset. It was fun to go out with folks for a change, usually we just get together and talk about photography and show off our photos.

 

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Old man fishing off the end of the pier

 

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We were hoping to get some of that nice sunset light on Mt Hood, but it just wasn’t cooperating.

 

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We did see some lovely clouds. See that in the middle?

 

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Heading for a landing at the Portland airport.

 

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As it got darker, the fishermen started heading back to the marina

 

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I would like to have seen these beautiful sailboats out on the water

 

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As we walked back to the car, the sunset had one more surprise for us as the light filteres through a contrail, and made this lovely pattern in the sky

Our club, the Camas Camera Club is having a gallery display in the Camas Library in July. I’m very excited to have three of my pictures on display. It’s not only my first public display, it’s the first time I’ve even had any of my pictures printed out, let alone framed! I’ll post some pictures of it once we have it all set up.

Downtown


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Just some guys working in a hole outside my building.

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I went for a walk at lunchtime (with my camera this time), and I started walking up the ramp just as the signal lights came on, so I hurried up to get some pictures as the Morrison Bridge opened.

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When it is full open it is positively surreal to see the road going straight up into the sky. The lampposts are what gets me! Crazy!

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The hard part is getting up to the bridge lately, because there is a tree growing next to the onramp by the sidewalk, and in that tree is a crow’s nest. That crow has been guarding the area around his tree for weeks! He sits up on the balcony and comes swooping down to attack walkers and bikers passing through his domain. But I risked it to get pictures of the bridge open!

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Taking back the yard

 

Today I spent three hours working in the yard, mostly weed-whacking, while Dave mowed everything that was mow-able.

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Before…

 

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After!

 

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I also got down the side of the house, and around the septic caps, which stick up too much to mow over.

 

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And I spent a bunch of time cleaning up around the tree in the front yard. A few years ago it was a little umbrella shaped tree (which was a pain to keep trimmed), but it fell over in a storm, and before we got around to propping it back up, a new tree sprouted up out of the base, so now it looks like a tree and a bush, so I guess we’re just going to leave it alone for now. The new tree is nice because it makes a shady spot on hot days!

 

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This is the front pond area. It is the site of an ongoing battle against bamboo that I stupidly planted there a few years ago. it just won’t die, and I can’t really do anything with the area until the bamboo is dead! The bamboo went under the walkway and comes up on either side, plus it went under the pond and walkway in the other direction and comes up under the deck and against the foundation of the house! Nasty stuff! Nothing kills it, all I can do is keep cutting it down until one of us gives up. I’ve been trying to kill it for at least three years now.

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This is a project I don’t know what I’m going to do about yet. Our swing chair fabric is falling apart, and needs to be redone. The metal is good, so I hate to throw it away when it just needs fabric. On a sunny day I love dozing off in the swing chair in the shade. I MUST get it fixed before summer is over!

 

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Saturday, June 02, 2012

Overgrown, overrun…

 

It has been a long, cool, rainy spring. We had a little dash of summer weather early on that got our hopes up, then it got dreary again. Of course there’s been a few nice days thrown in here and there, but with my new work schedule I’m mostly limited to working on the yard on the weekends, and many of those have been rainy.

This happens every year – it’s wet and rainy, and we can’t get out and mow the field because it’s a wetland. By the time it’s dry, it’s too tall. And are we ever there this year!

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We got a little mowing in, but the rest is too tall to mow now. We’ve already looked into renting a tractor or a walk-behind brush mower to knock it down with. As soon as it stops raining long enough for it to dry out a bit, we’ll go rent one for the weekend.

 

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The waving tall grass is actually kind of pretty, except every time I look at it I just see all the work ahead of us to get it under control.

 

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Here’s Navi playing in the grass behind the water trough. Yeah, it’s that deep.

 

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There she is!

 

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There’s Barclay, prowling through the jungle.

 

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The worst part is the garden. About a month ago I spent a couple hours cleaning it up, and it looked great. Now I haven’t had a chance to visit it for a few weeks, and when I went out there, I just wanted to cry Sad smile

 

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Nothing a couple hours of hard labor won’t fix! There’s still more to go, but I didn’t want to hurt myself trying to do it all in one go. I got my exercise for sure today!

 

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