Fernhill Wetlands gave me a little taste of summer love, clear blue skies overhead with only the wispiest of clouds, calm reflective waters, languid herons, and fading flowers. Though I've visited here three different times, it was always winter, with grey skies, cold misty fog, winter birds and plants, and the godawful nutria.
I walk outside to the garden early most mornings, and with a loud squawk our resident scrub jays fly in. They perch on a trellis or tree branch across the yard but in plain sight, and cock their heads at me. I sigh, go back in to grab the peanuts I'd forgotten, and scatter a few on the patio.
Going to Ridgefield Wildlife Reserve is all about birdwatching really. But flowers and landscapes are what my camera can do.... Also BBQ, writing, the backyard, and more.
I never tire of crossing over the Columbia River into Washington. It has everything: a bridge, a river, another state, and another point of view. I hear constant birdsong during my four hour hike at Steigerwald Refuge. My troubles dissapate, and float away with the river.
Spring colors have been vamping it up all over town. The gaudy celebratory technicolor blossoms bring unfettered joy. You can't not notice, no matter how grumpy or anxious you're feeling. Then I began noticing the backdrop of the quieter plants, the greenery, the natives. They're doing a happy dance of their own, their desire on parade, just not as flashy as the flowers...
Training Scrub-Jays to trust you is time consuming work. I've been tossing peanuts to them from the doorway all winter. Now the couple waits and watches from their nearby home in the back shrubbery, and even if I pass the doorway, they come out to watch and wait.
Powell Butte has wide open spaces alongside forest that gives you big sky and a fat dose of trees and meadows. An oasis amidst gritty city commerce for birds, animals, and humans. And clouds. So many clouds.
Washington in February may have been a misguided vacation plan. Sub-freezing temps, every layer of clothing I own, more miles of walking and more sitting in the car than is good for me - I kept hearing Little Feat's Old Folks Boogie: "And you know, that you're over the hill, when your mind makes a promise that your body can't fill."
We went for another glimpse of Sandhill Cranes, but everything was submerged in an opaque fog, and we could have been anywhere.... I listened intently for that bugling call, or the cry of the geese. Apparitions rose from the fog as I peered around, and my ears strained to hear
We spent a cold, rainy afternoon looking at birds, most especially, the migrating Sandhill Cranes. To watch them majestically take off and soar, or wheel around for a landing, is to stand in awe, rooted.