a place I’ve often dreamed of

Falling more and more in love with our little spot on the creek…creek_house-8877

Another neighbor stopped to say howdy!


After the storm, the creek is up enough to launch the kayak… I suspect Eric really needed the break after all the work he’s been doing.

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense. 
Ralph Waldo Emerson

more of the neighbors

I sat on these images for over a month because they weren’t as good as I might have hoped, but I can’t resist sharing these cute little fluff balls even if the pictures might have been better.

Callipepla californica
The valley quail is a native species originally confined to the counties bordering California and Nevada. They were transplanted to other areas of the state so long ago (beginning as early as 1870) that most Oregonians do not realize they were introduced in most of Oregon.


Mom (below) and dad (above) guarding their brood. There were far too many, moving way too fast to count. That’s one of the little chicks between the two adults.


These were taken near the end of August. By now they’re all mostly adult size. They peck away at the dirt and grass and never stand still for a moment.


A closer look.


I’m not sure if those on the left were siblings from an earlier batch, or cousins?


This little guy was right there amidst the quail contingent. I suspect I’ll have to do some serious thinking about what to plant and where. Maybe that’s where the easter eggs come from? Happy hump day!

There are two kinds of teachers: the kind that fill you with so much quail shot that you can’t move, and the kind that just gives you a little prod behind and you jump to the skies.
Robert Frost


our bit of heaven

We’ve been busy hoping to get the new windows in and perhaps start painting the exterior.


In the midst of work on the house, we were also anxious to get a closer look at the creek. Eric went to work with the machete and cleared the thicket of blackberry bushes, making it possible.


The first glimpse. There’s still some work to be done with some sort of stepping stone arrangement for easier access.  This is where he dreams of launching the kayak…


The bird highway. It’s still a bit low, but a couple of days of rain did add some noticeable water flow.


A view from below…

creek-1227Perhaps some fish somewhere in here, too?


Signs of some beaver activity.


Perhaps some day I’ll get a look at a real live beaver neighbor.

creek-9875Last, but not least, the quail covey enjoying the meadow grass seed that Eric planted.

Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be. 
Shel Silverstein

the new neighbor


Competition for the blackberries.


Though he probably gets to the ones I can’t reach.


He’s such a lovely little guy. We’ll call him Spike. Pity the camera wasn’t handy the one time we spotted the bobcat.

A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. 
Albert Einstein

The teardrop monument

To remember the initial outpouring of sympathy around the world.

seeds of change

artichoke_seed-9139It’s that time of year when the artichoke goes to seed…

If the day and the night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, is more elastic, more starry, more immortal- that is your success. All nature is your congratulation, and you have cause momentarily to bless yourself. The greatest gains and values are farthest from being appreciated. We easily come to doubt if they exist. We soon forget them. They are the highest reality. Perhaps the facts most astounding and most real are never communicated by man to man. The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening. It is a little star-dust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched. 
Henry David Thoreau, Walden

murder in the wand flower

Not for the faint of heart…

spider-9124At first I couldn’t make out what was going on here, but on closer inspection it turned out that the white spider (Misumena vatia or Goldenrod Crab Spider) had captured a honey bee nearly twice its size. This predatory spider sits patiently in some flower poised to attack any insect unfortunate enough to venture near. As if the bees didn’t have enough problems with herbicides already.

Solitude is a human presumption. Every quiet step is thunder to beetle life underfoot, a tug of impalpable thread on the web pulling mate to mate and predator to prey, a beginning or an end. Every choice is a world made new for the chosen.
Barbara Kingsolver, Prodigal Summer


a sense of scale

Cape Blanco is reported to be the westernmost point in the state. Wikipedia

Blanco-8858It’s a pretty impressive spot. I was lucky to catch some visitors in my shots this day to give a sense of scale to this impressive headland. Those points off in the distance might look like they’re sticking farther out, but that’s just a matter of the angle of view.


Looking down at this sea stack rock formation with the cooperative folks on the beach gave me another opportunity to provide an idea of just how huge these rocks can be.

You may not feel outstandingly robust, but if you are an average-sized adult you will contain within your modest frame no less than 7 X 10^18 joules of potential energy—enough to explode with the force of thirty very large hydrogen bombs, assuming you knew how to liberate it and really wished to make a point.
Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything

still here

Oh my! Can it really be August already? The summer has flown by with work on the new/old house picking up and then there was that evil gremlin who took over my computer for awhile. I’m quite happy to be rid of him


Heceta Lighthouse a bit north of my usual travels.

Then they gave me a camera, a mechanical eye to replace the mind’s eye, and after than, much of what I remember is what the camera managed to snatch out of time. No longer a memorist but a voyeur. I remember photographs.

Salmon Rushdie- The Ground Beneath Her Feet.

the eaglets have fledged

aerie-8757We stopped by the aerie, as has been our habit lately, to check on the eaglets. I wish the nest had been built in a better location. Without their eventual white heads, it’s hard to spot the youngsters up in the nest- even with the 300 mm lens. They tend to blend into the messy nest and branches around them. A good thing perhaps to keep them safe, not so great for photo ops. This first shot was taken around 6 pm as we headed into town.aerie-8759An hour later, we stopped again and found the adult in the nest and the two young ones on adjacent branches. Proof positive that they have fledged (taken flight) and that our pair successfully raised two.aerie-8765A closer look at the adult apparently having dinner.aerie-8770

I’m guessing this is the dominant one. I can tell by that ‘stink eye’ as seen during the earlier feeding sequence.aerie-8771

The other one also working on some stink eye. It took awhile to figure out what that white patch was. It looks like the wind was blowing the feathers around on the side of his/her head, revealing the white fluff underneath.

You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this. 
Henry David Thoreau

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