Ridgefield National Wildlife Preserve

By: BriarCraft , 5:25 AM GMT on April 17, 2012

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Sunday morning dawned with bright sunshine and blue skies, but by the time we hit the road, high clouds had grayed the sky and eliminated most shadows. Still, the temperature was pleasant and the air was calm. We headed south, along the I-5 freeway toward Portland. We had a couple of errands to run first, before heading to our destination, the Ridgefield National Wildlife Preserve, on wetlands along the shore of the Columbia River about 50 miles south of home.

Heading south on I-5 along the Columbia River. Thank a fast shutter speed for this photo taken while driving 70 mph.

There are two sections in the Preserve and they are separated by the town of Ridgefield, Washington. One contains a replica of a cedar plankhouse of the type that Lewis and Clark found here in Cathlapotle Village of the Chinook people. There is also a 2-mile wetlands trail with views of nearby Carty Lake.

The other section and our destination was the 4.2 mile River "S" discovery auto tour in and around the wetlands. There is one 1.5 mile hiking trail in this section, open May-September. An auto tour is just the ticket for someone like me who has limited mobility and many perfectly fit people enjoy it as well.

Entry into the River "S" unit of the preserve is by way of a rustic one-lane plank bridge.

Fun signs are posted along the drive as a reminder to visitors to stay in their vehicle.

The first thing we spotted upon entering the preserve was a River Otter. He came bounding over a little mound of grass, slid into the water, dove and came up with a little fish, which he hardly chewed at all, then disappeared under the water not to be seen again. Unfortunately, the little fellow was moving too fast for me to get a shot on full zoom before he disappeared. Here is a photo I found on the University of Michigan website:

Some views of the preserve:

Every time I visit the Ridgefield National Wildlife Preserve, there are many different birds to see. Some are in residence year-round, others come just for the winter or to nest, and still others just stop off for a rest on their way to distant lands.

Great Blue Heron (BriarCraft)
Great Blue Heron
Western Painted Turtle (BriarCraft)
Western Painted Turtle
Northern Shoveler (BriarCraft)
Northern Shoveler

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55. zoyajack
8:46 AM GMT on May 07, 2012
Awesome pics!!! Wildlife photography is just great job.
Member Since: April 7, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 5
54. BriarCraft
8:03 PM GMT on April 29, 2012
Rob: ... and what a nice big smile it is. Thanks.

Sandi: Housework out of the way. Play time for sure. And, knowing you, maybe some fun baking thrown in for good measure. Have fun with your writing and don't get any crumbs in your keyboard.

Ggrrl: I'll pick you up at Toledo International Airport in just a few minutes. How was the bonsai event? Did you get some inspiration?

WTS: Consensus on the professorial black bird is pretty much a tie between Heckle & Jeckle and hazy memory. I hope to snap at least a few worthy photos to share.

Pros: Happy Birthday to Mr. Pros. I know you'll make sure he has a good one -- as soon as he's a good boy and does his exercises.


Well, DH, aka Mr. BC, has gone off to Portland for the day. He discovered a new game board haven, so naturally he had to go for an afternoon of gaming with new people. On his way back home, he'll stop at the La-Z-Boy showroom at Delta Park to pick up the new recliner he bought on Friday. Yep, he's been putting on the mileage. His old recliner finally broke and he's been shopping locally. While searching online for tall-man-recliners for him to test-sit, I discovered La-Z-Boy in Portland was having a 20% off sale Friday only. Add to that, no sales tax in Oregon, so another 8% savings. Worth the gas for two 150-mile round trips to Portland.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch... (just kidding; no critters here to make it a ranch)....
I'm home alone. With a car. And permission to drive.

Ggrrl got all excited about 500 acres of tulips, so she's tagging along (vicariously). In a few minutes, I'm going to carefully get behind the wheel of my dirty little blue Hyundai, go rob the ATM in Toledo for a little spending money, just in case. And then tulip farm, here I come. Who knows what I'll see along the way. I might even try snapping a quick pic while driving a la Sandi. It's a cloudy day, but dry, so we'll just have see.

Have a great Sunday, everyone. I'll be back in WUville tomorrow -- hopefully with some tulips for you to see.
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4696
53. Proserpina
6:10 PM GMT on April 29, 2012
Hi, how is life treating you? Feeling better? Walking more? I sure hope so.

We have had lots of rainy days but today is a sunny day, albeit cool. I am tempted to take a walk rather than work out on the treadmill. We'll see what I will actually do. It is hubby's birthday today and am trying to take him to a nice restaurant. He wants to go but first he has to workout as per doc's order.

I am enjoying the book I am reading by Follet. So my contribution to today's activities has been to sit and read.

Take care.
Member Since: May 6, 2008 Posts: 187 Comments: 19138
52. WatchinTheSky
9:15 PM GMT on April 28, 2012
Hey BC! Good news about the check up and continued speedy re-coup. Sunday's trip sounds nice, I'm expecting some good photos!
That much for bird seed totally counts! And 30 lbs for Rufus supplies is very impressive, I doubt I have used a cup for my Rufus population.
Don't know if there is a consensus yet, but I was betting on Heckle and Jeckle :)
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 143 Comments: 2977
51. GardenGrrl
10:11 AM GMT on April 28, 2012
Tulip Farm? In Bloom?
Oh, I need a plane ticket and another memory card for the camera.

Going to a Bonsai convention today in Dallas. Not attending any workshops, just going to see the exhibits of cool bonsais and shop the vendor area.

Have to put six hours in at work and then----------*
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 286 Comments: 11185
50. sandiquiz
9:29 AM GMT on April 28, 2012
I see you have been allowed to drive again - there will be no stopping you now :-)

I am back home for the weekend, and have already spent a couple of hours doing some general housework and laundry, so now am going to "play" on the computer.

I am planning to type up a couple of my stories, which are handwritten in an A4 notebook. I find I can write in a much more fluid manner if I write out my thought by hand, rather than type it.

Have a great weekend :)

Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 321 Comments: 29167
49. RobDaHood
12:55 AM GMT on April 28, 2012
Hey BC,
Good to see you out and about on the blogs, Good to see you released to drive.

Just checkin in on you to see how you and yours are doing.

Smiling a big smile for your progress!

Keep it up girl!
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 110 Comments: 37562
48. BriarCraft
12:17 AM GMT on April 28, 2012
Gamma: Thanks for finding the time to visit, and also for the comments and ratings on my photos. I know your life is chaotic right now, with your kitchen torn up and all.
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4696
47. seflagamma
9:33 PM GMT on April 27, 2012
Hello BC,

Well I had some catching up to do.. by the way I have your video of Black Birds by the Beatles playing as I type. Love that song.

So happy you were able to take a little road trip.. I really enjoyed your photos...
Like you mentioned, one of the pleasures of WU is getting to see pictures of so many places I will probably never get to see in real time.

All thru the mid south we have so many Red Wing Blackbirds..I grew up thinking they were just as common everywhere, but they are not common here in SE Florida.. maybe in Central or North Fla but not here...there may be some out in the Everglades, not sure.

but those Great Blue Herons we have all over the place, especially around lakes and ponds.
They are "regal"!

Sounds like you are getting out more and more... enjoy your trip to see the tulips on Sunday and I will expect to see pictures!!!

Have a great weekend!
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 306 Comments: 41068
46. BriarCraft
6:41 PM GMT on April 27, 2012
Ylee: Since I got the okay to drive, I haven't, but I've just hatched a plan. On Sunday, I'm heading for Mossyrock, about 25 miles from here. What's in Mossyrock? Funny you should ask. DeGoede Bulb Farm has about 500 acres of tulips, at least some of which should be in bloom now. Where's my camera??? With no gardening this year, I have a hunch there will be several short road trips in coming months.

Sp: It is my right hip. The reason I wasn't allowed to drive before was that I couldn't move my right leg fast enough to react to freeway speeds; a month ago, I couldn't walk faster than a snail's pace. Now I can walk at a normal pace (no speed walking quite yet) and I can lift my foot to step on the brakes quickly.
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4696
45. sp34n119w
6:05 AM GMT on April 27, 2012
Hurray for the great checkup! I am surprised they're letting you drive, but, now I can't remember if it was your right or your left hip. I was thinking right.
Anyhow, if you're ready, you're ready, and that's awesome :)

I also looked at Heckle and Jeckle and am not surprised that's what shore came up with. Kind of surprised no one had suggested it before. Anyway, like you, that isn't quite what I envisioned. Maybe black & white, for one thing. Well, it may be years before I see it again, but, when I find it, I'll remember to bring it here, lol

Thanks for the tip on Tips and I hope you see some Spring soon - it's only fair, if you have to deal with the weeds, anyway!
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4360
44. Ylee
8:28 PM GMT on April 26, 2012
That's great news on the update, Briar! Now you can go do things when you want to, like traveling and taking pictures!

Malbe he'll release you to do more stuff when the next appointment arrives! Take care!
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 113 Comments: 19363
43. BriarCraft
5:38 AM GMT on April 26, 2012
Rob: That's a great Great Blue shot! Thanks for sharing it here.

Puget: Today was one of those days when it's too warm for a jacket and too wet out not to wear some protection. Saturday looks like it might not be too bad -- only a 20% chance of precip. here.

Sandi: A burro was my best from when I was a child, the sweetest companion I could have wished for, but that was when I lived on a farm with 80 acres of forest to ride in. I'm afraid I've outgrown any desire to deal with any critter larger than a cat. Think I'll stick to pulling my little cart with the Round-Up sprayer.

Ylee: You're right. Life is tenacious. And sometimes the only difference between a treasured flower and a weed is where it chooses to grow.

Karen: I'd be happy if the rain all headed south for awhile. You'd appreciate it a lot more than Puget and me.

YCD: I thought I was joking when I mentioned a flame thrower as a possible solution to weeds. And here you come proving that such a thing exists. Knowing me, I'd end up causing a brush fire or burning the house down. Then again, maybe if Attila comes riding through one of these days....

Shore: My brother sent me an email earlier today suggesting Jeckle, too. Not quite what I remember in my mind's eye, but my vision isn't as good as it used to be. 8-) After watching the cartoon you posted, I think it must be Jeckle that SP and I were trying to recall. Thanks!

Skye: (You snuck in while I was typing this.) Looks to me like that "lazy man" would require some degree of ambition. I used a scythe in my younger days, and could work up quite a sweat doing it. Summer round 2 for you. Meanwhile, I'd settle for spring to settle in with some more 70 degree days.


I had my 6-week check-up with the surgeon today. I now have permission to drive!!! He instructed me on some new exercises to help strengthen the abductor muscles (on the outside of the hip at the incision location). I also have permission to gently move beyond some of the previous range-of-motion limits, as long as I don't cause myself pain.

Interestingly, I learned that, while exercises certainly do help, different people simply heal at different rates and I just happen to be healing faster than average. Also, people who were in long-term, severe pain before surgery, tend to progress faster after surgery because the pain is less than what they were accustomed to; I certainly feel that is true in my case. I'm not pain free, but I'm much more comfortable now than I was before the surgery. So, I go back one more time, in 6 weeks, and then probably not again for a year.
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4696
42. Skyepony (Mod)
4:55 AM GMT on April 26, 2012
We use a lazy man aka grass whip on the few weeds the ponies & chickens don't eat. Those weed torches are fun too.

I linked that pic back to a site. That guy didn't have the hang of swinging something & letting slice when he tried the lazy man. Seemed he got the technique on the scyth.

The cool here was a reprise from pulling overheated winter plants. Waiting on summer seeds round 2 to germinate.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 321 Comments: 41696
41. shoreacres
1:59 AM GMT on April 26, 2012
Persistence! From the Wiki regarding the cartoon characters Heckle and Jeckle:

. In Rival Romeos (1951), the magpies, after being simultaneously smitten by the same female, race home to get dressed. They are shown to occupy two sides of the same tree, and each character's home is marked with a sign—Heckle is clearly designated as the Brooklyn magpie with his jaunty porkpie hat, and Jeckle dons an English-looking bowtie, monocle and straw boater.

This video just was posted a few days ago - it's the only copy of Rival Romeos I could find. It's not the best, but it'll do.

Another possibility is the group of crows from the movie "Dumbo". I haven't watched the whole clip yet to see if one of them shows up with a monocle, but in any event, here's a pic of one of them.

Now that I've got that out of the way, back to my regularly scheduled evening! I don't know if these are the birds other folks remember, but I'm satisfied!
Member Since: October 4, 2004 Posts: 205 Comments: 15288
40. ycd0108
11:39 PM GMT on April 25, 2012
Hi BrairCraft:
I meant to post this when I read in your post #32 about the weeds in gravel: there is a propane fueled torch that has a long wand so you can walk around and burn each offender right off:
http://www.flameengineering.com/Red_Dragon_Propan e_Torch_K.html
There is also a much smaller version which uses the small disposable bottles but it sounds like you need Attila the Hun to ride through.
Can not find it but i read Attila said something like:
"Where my horse treds no grass will grow!"
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 200 Comments: 5177
39. SBKaren
10:59 PM GMT on April 25, 2012
Beautiful pictures! And look at that mirror reflection of the turtle in the water! Wow!

Glad to see you are getting out. Right now it says you have light showers. We are expecting some good rain tonight. It's been a truly mixed bag today. Clouds, sun, actual warmth, clouds, cooling down, and rain expected this evening!
Member Since: February 21, 2005 Posts: 200 Comments: 14881
38. Ylee
8:10 PM GMT on April 25, 2012
Hi Briar, glad you're getting along well! What is it about weeds growing in rocks, anyway? There's no dirt to be seen, but somehow, they still manage, lol! Life is more tenacious than we give credit for, I believe!

Take care!
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 113 Comments: 19363
37. sandiquiz
9:21 AM GMT on April 25, 2012
Morning BriarCraft,
I see you had your thinking cap on when you needed to weed the gravel. Perhaps you need a little donkey? It could pull your cart and munch on the grass to keep it down:)

I must do the same - I mean weed the drive and not invest in a donkey!

Hope you have a good Wednesday :)

Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 321 Comments: 29167
36. PugetSoundPost
3:55 AM GMT on April 25, 2012
I'm impressed with your outdoor activities already! You must be recovering well - good to hear! And you got out into our nice weather too - doubly nice. But, we, too, had a drizzly day today. Such a change from yesterday - almost a 20 degree drop in temperature. But, it will be back one day, someday! I enjoy your photos of your trip to the Columbia River also! Looks like a wonderful outing, and a nice one to stay in the car for, per the sign's intentions, when you weren't quite ready for a grand walk-about!
Member Since: October 8, 2001 Posts: 196 Comments: 1088
35. RobDaHood
12:26 AM GMT on April 25, 2012
Don't have river otters, but occasionally lake otters.

Do have herons!

Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 110 Comments: 37562
34. BriarCraft
12:06 AM GMT on April 25, 2012
Sp: I found P & G at the English Tea Store which happens to be located in Pennsylvania, not England.

While 86 was predicted, it only got to 77 here, which felt very nice.
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4696
33. sp34n119w
10:05 PM GMT on April 24, 2012
Oh, can you get P&G Tips here? Used to be (20-odd years ago) they had to be smuggled in from England. Must be the internets at work again!

Did it get to 86 degrees, BC? Because right now it says 57 and overcast :(
I'm sure you'll keep busy but you'll run out of cans eventually! LOL
Wishing you sunshine soon!
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4360
32. BriarCraft
10:02 PM GMT on April 24, 2012
Sandi: The purple heather covering the hills in your photos must take your breath away with its beauty. Thanks for satisfying my curiosity. Have to go check out the garage and undertakers now...

GGrrl: Yes, I did find P&G Tea Tips. I stocked up on plenty of tea before my surgery, but do I have it in mind to try P&G the next time I order tea. which will be in a couple of weeks. It's fun trying different brands and varieties. I've even found that there is a world of difference between the Earl Grey teas offered by different vendors; some I like and others not at all.


We had gorgeous weather Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. During that time, I took the riding mower around to all areas dry enough to mow. The orchard is still pretty soggy and Lake Boda, while getter smaller, still has a foot of water in it. Meanwhile, DH worked on taking off some low-hanging branches and cleaning out a compost bin for new additions.

Every spring about this time, a gazillion weed and flower seeds sprout in gravel areas and between paver bricks. Way, way, way too many to weed by hand. Application of Round-Up is the only solution, short of using a flame-thrower, which really would be extreme. There was just one problem: I'm really not ready to tote around a 2-gallon sprayer yet. What to do???

Then I remembered a little tool-caddy/garden-seat that has been gathering cobwebs and generally not earning its keep for quite awhile. It should be about the right size to carry the sprayer and not too heavy for me to pull around with a bit of an assist from my cane.

I'm happy to report it worked just fine. The muscles on the top and inside of my thigh were a bit sore afterward, but I felt good about my accomplishment. I emptied that 2-gallon sprayer on countless weed and flower seedlings and covered about half the area that needed it. Another day, another sprayer full and the job will be done. It's been drizzling all day today, so that will have to wait for the next dry spell.
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4696
31. GardenGrrl
4:33 PM GMT on April 24, 2012
Hey great to hear one can "save the Earth" and do re-hab excercises :-D
Tell you what, since starting this tea thing I have been going through more tea boxes than I ever did with coffee cans.
Have you found the P&G Tea Tips yet? May be best if you don't I am positively addicted to it with milk and sugar.

The pentas are starting to sprout :) Okay two more blogs and it's outdoors for me. Another beautiful day before working tomorrow.
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 286 Comments: 11185
30. sandiquiz
8:07 AM GMT on April 24, 2012
Thank you for the comments you made on my photos.
In one you asked about the brown vegetation.

The photo is of the "Moors" and the brown growth is actually heather. This time of the year it is dormant, so is a brown mass but come the late summer it will be covered by a purple haze.

I found this shot on the internet. I also found a photo for you that I posted into my blog to explain the confusion of the garage and undertakers! lol

Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 321 Comments: 29167
29. BriarCraft
6:21 PM GMT on April 23, 2012
Poppy: I'll be looking forward to some baby guinea fowl pics over on your blog pretty soon. And bullfrogs making their presence known = tadpoles. It's too bad you missed your weather window for another desert day trip. I'll miss that. Hope your garden grows well. Is it inside that big cage you showed us last year?

Shore: I'm glad you remember that cartoon bird, too. Sooner or later, maybe one of us will run across him on the web. If not, we'll have fun looking, as we did with Bogon. And you're right, those fox kits are way off the scale on the Awwww-o-meter. I know what you mean about memories blurring on a long road trip. I'm the same way about driving from Portland to Fairbanks once upon a time. So much awesome scenery, I remember views but not where they were.

Bogon: Red-winged Blackbirds have quite a range. As long as there's open grassland, they seem happy. And I'm always happy to see them. They always look and sound happy, or at least it seems that way to me.

Ylee: Yes, 86 is predicted. Hard to believe for here at this time of year. Meanwhile late snow in the NE. And weren't you having hot weather just a week or two ago? It certainly felt strange not to turn the heat on this morning when I got up. Bizarre weather all around.
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4696
28. Ylee
9:08 AM GMT on April 23, 2012
Is the forecast right that it's supposed to be 86 in Toledo today? You'd better get some more sunscreen! :)

Enjoy the warmth!
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 113 Comments: 19363
27. Bogon
3:32 AM GMT on April 23, 2012

Saw this bird the last time I was at the beach. Didn't get as nice a picture as yours, but the red wing is the same.
Member Since: June 26, 2008 Posts: 85 Comments: 4384
26. shoreacres
2:29 AM GMT on April 23, 2012
I remember the bird! I can see him! Now I just have to find him. But maybe not tonight.

I did bring you a little treat for earth day. A blogger I follow in Michigan has a friend who roams around and takes pictures. Her latest find was a group of fox kits - mom went off, and she could shoot pictures to her heart's content. You can see them here. They're pretty high on the Awwww-o-meter.

I love your pics - and I'm really surprised you have nutria, too. They're a horrid pest down here. Lots to eat, plenty of warm water, etc.etc. They multiply like - well, like rats.

I've forgotten to tell you, too - if you check out the pics on my blog entry, the one of the magenta blooms that look like little pom-poms are called "sensitive briar". I laughed when I saw that, and though of you, just because of the name. They're a mimosa, and have the name because if you touch their leaves, they close up.

I've actually driven I-5 along the Columbia River. I don't remember much of it at all - maybe because I'd come across the top of the US on 2 - from Minnesota. I have no memory whatsoever of where I went after the Columbia River Gorge. I must have been on my way to California - I guess. I'll have to think about that, too, while I'm looking around for the Blackbird. ;)
Member Since: October 4, 2004 Posts: 205 Comments: 15288
25. calpoppy
7:40 PM GMT on April 22, 2012
A Happy Earth Day to you, Briar!! I celebrated by planting my veggie garden a little early this year. I am hoping I won't regret it!!!!

Your trip to the reserve looked like fun. We have missed the spring window to go out for another desert day trip. Getting way to hot now.

All out trees have leafed out and the bullfrogs in the pond at work have come out of hibernation and have been making their presence known.

We are expectant egg parents, as we are waiting for a dozen guinea fowl to make their appearance. I am sure the little silky hen that is sitting on the eggs can hardly wait also, since guineas take longer to hatch then chickens.

Have a fun day!
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 69 Comments: 4600
24. BriarCraft
7:13 PM GMT on April 22, 2012
SP: I am kinda proud of myself about the can-crushing idea. And it fits right in with Earth Day/Earth Week. Of course, I'm also old enough to remember when everybody got their exercise by doing practical things. Now, too many people pay money to drive someplace to exercise, then pay more money to hire someone to come do their chores.

Bogon: I don't recall that Minah, but I sure do like him. He outsmarts the little boy and the lion.

YCD: Wouldn't it be great if we could have a tax system like that? If we did, I might even ask to have my taxes raised.

Sandi: Love your Earth Day graphic, especially the sunrise and the little red star marking your position. That really is beautiful and touching.


Yesterday was the first day above 70F here since September 29 last year. We had 74F and today might be even warmer. I have dusted off my sunscreen and slathered some on, even remembering to do my ears. Now I'm off to mow some foot-high grass. At this time of year, that never fails to please insect-eating birds. I can think of no better entertainment for today than watching swallows swoop in to catch flying insects while other birds poke through the fresh-mown grass looking for more bugs.

Take a moment to appreciate Mother Nature today and every day. Happy Earth Day!
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4696
23. sandiquiz
10:34 AM GMT on April 22, 2012

Happy Earth Day from the middle of England:)
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 321 Comments: 29167
22. ycd0108
3:41 AM GMT on April 22, 2012
#19: Oh my.
Just some more tears
for that one
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 200 Comments: 5177
21. Bogon
12:50 AM GMT on April 22, 2012
I remember this black bird.

Member Since: June 26, 2008 Posts: 85 Comments: 4384
20. sp34n119w
9:50 PM GMT on April 21, 2012
teeheeheehee ;)

I just spent too much time looking for the bird. I found several off-hand references to birds with monocles but nobody has a picture or definitive identification of said bird. It's like many people understand the reference, like it's part of cultural memory, yet nobody has it nailed down. At least it isn't just us, lol

So happy to hear of your healing progress - that's fantastic! And I really like the idea of can-crushing as a rehab exercise. Just ... be careful!

Love the Haldeman short story. Thanks for posting it :)
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4360
19. BriarCraft
8:33 PM GMT on April 21, 2012
I forgot about this on Tax Day, when I had intended to post it, but oh well... It's still a good short story and fun to think about and maybe wish for... We, The People


Photo taken without violating my movement restrictions, one-handed at arm's length. Not bad, eh?

Recovery update:

I managed to get in another session on the riding mower this week, between rain storms, with no ill effects.

I came up with a new rehab exercise: flattening empty cans for the recycling bin. It may sound funny, but it requires me to raise my foot at least 6 inches and then exert downward pressure. Both motions gently work healing muscles and I accomplish something productive.

I can now walk 5-6 steps without a cane and without a limp. More than that and I start to limp, so I still use the cane when doing anything more than crossing a room.
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4696
18. BriarCraft
9:51 PM GMT on April 20, 2012
Ggrrl: No car trips in the works for now, but it doesn't take much to give me an excuse.

WTS: You're not the only one who like that toitle, so I turned him into the series cover. I do like that about the only color in that pic is his yellow stripes; everything else is shades of gray.

SP: I've been poking around in a new website someone told me about: ravelry.com 8-} And searching the interwebs for some hint of that silly cartoon bird we've been trying to recall.
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4696
17. sp34n119w
8:16 PM GMT on April 20, 2012
WTS :)

Hey BC where have you wandered off to now? It's too chilly at your place to be outside. Well, too chilly for me, LOL
Any plans for getting more pics this weekend?
I'll see if I can't hunt down that funny blackbird. Would be easier if someone else remembered the thing's name!
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4360
16. WatchinTheSky
8:39 PM GMT on April 19, 2012
Hi BC, sounds like a great outing! It's all very nice and fine with the bird photos - but that toitle relaxing on the log is awesome, ;) to sp.

Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 143 Comments: 2977
15. GardenGrrl
10:20 AM GMT on April 19, 2012
I'm still vicariously tickled you got to see a river otter. Wahington is such a pretty place to live. Do you have anymore carpacking trips planned?
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 286 Comments: 11185
14. BriarCraft
7:31 PM GMT on April 18, 2012
Ylee: I agree, he was not a leading character and I maybe only saw him a couple of times. Oh well...

YCD: It's nice that you've got Great Blue Herons in your area. They're quite an interesting bird to watch. Funny thing about lions -- they don't seem to care much about shoes or cameras.
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4696
13. ycd0108
4:39 PM GMT on April 18, 2012
Morning BriarCraft: Can't believe I haven't commented yet. We had lots of Blackbirds in the Okanagan Valley and I think I've seen the occasional here. Great Blue Heron sometimes light down by the pond and now and then fly with a bright orange fish in their bill.
In R.S.A. there are Game Parks where guests are invited to stay in their cars. The lions will generally leave the shoes and the camera. We were adopted by the police chief in Kruger Park and he took us out in the "Paddy Wagon" to areas tourists were not allowed. I had a video of a couple of mating lions somewhere but this blog is "P.G."
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 200 Comments: 5177
12. Ylee
2:43 PM GMT on April 18, 2012
I vaguely remember the cartoon blacbird you speak of; was he Disney, or Hanna-Barbera? Either way, I think he was not a leading character.

Hope you have a good day today!
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 113 Comments: 19363
11. BriarCraft
12:31 AM GMT on April 18, 2012
RE #6: DH says, "No, no, a hide is what you get when you skin a critter!"

SP: I've been wracking my trying to remember about the cartoon blackbird, too. I remember the monacle and wings/hands clasped behind his back while he strutted around acting like a professor.

Ring any bells with anyone?

Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4696
10. sp34n119w
11:46 PM GMT on April 17, 2012
What a wonderful outing! What a beautiful place. I would love to see a river otter. Cutest critters ever.
The Red-Winged Blackbird has put me in mind of a character ... can't think who, though. The way his head is held high over his chubby body. Hmmm... he needs a monocle, I'm thinking. Well, it's a great pic and a lovely bird, whatever it brought to my mind.
Having seen what folks can do to wild spaces, particularly in very fragile areas like the desert, I tend to think that there are places that must be kept separate. It's tough when you're standing at the edge of such a space, though, and desperately want to see more.

Sandi's mention of mink reminded me ... the other day I was wandering the web-o-sphere and saw a yarn that includes mink! It comes from combing the critters instead of killing them. How cool is that? They get a long life of luxury (one hopes) and people get to use the fur they were done with, anyway.
Okay, I'm a little obsessed with yarn, at the moment - blame it on calpoppy! ;)

Thanks for sharing your trip. It's great to know you are out and about and enjoying the views as Spring continues to approach the PNW.
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4360
9. BriarCraft
9:25 PM GMT on April 17, 2012
Ylee: We have some off-limits wildlife preserves in the NW, too. Intellectually, I understand the reason, but I also feel it's important to allow the public to see at least one small corner just so we can appreciate where our tax dollars are going.

Sandi: DH and I were speculating that it was simply a matter of different names for the same thing. It is endlessly amusing how we have come up with so many different names for peoples who supposedly speak the same language. Someone should write a book...

GGrrl: I confess I was more concerned with seeing the otter than photographing it. Grabbing the camera was not my first priority. I'm sorry for your spouse that his second love met with an untimely (to him) demise. You're being so supportive by struggling to keep your opinions to yourself and letting him find a new second love. That way, you'll be sure to remain his first love.

Pros: Like you, I very much enjoy vicarious wandering in WUville. It's the reason I fell in love with this website in the first place. So much better than TV travelogues because we get to enjoy the local person's perspective. Glad I was able to give you a taste of the Columbia River.

Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4696
8. Proserpina
8:46 PM GMT on April 17, 2012
Wonderful blog! Enjoyed taking the trip to the wildlife preserve. Your blog is the closest I will ever get to the Columbia River.

The photos are outstanding! Great job all around!

Today was my Discovery fun day!
Member Since: May 6, 2008 Posts: 187 Comments: 19138
7. GardenGrrl
8:33 PM GMT on April 17, 2012
Hooray! So far, been to three blogs and all three have good news! Really tickled you got out to see some nature.
Getting to see a live river otter had to of made your day.
I don't much worry about getting shots of animals that are awesome while they are moving. Have learned it is hard to get the capture and I miss the moment getting frustrated with the camera.

Kind of good news. We are getting a new truck. The '95 had many miles and was needing frequent trips to the repair shop. Someone ran a red light and put the truck out of it's misery. No one was hurt.

The spouse was very attached to the truck...but...it really is time for a new one. Have looked at a couple really nice ones. My favorite is the red GMC Sierra. The hard part is acting nuetral and letting the spouse find a new truck to fall in love with.
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 286 Comments: 11185
6. sandiquiz
7:55 PM GMT on April 17, 2012
Thanks Briar and Ylee for your descriptions of a viewing blind.

It is another example of how the English language has changed as it travelled over The Pond. We have the self same thing here in the UK but we simply call them "a hide" :-)

Your river rat is a very similar story to the one of the American mink, brought into the UK for their skins and kept, initially, in mink farms. Then in the 60/70's the animal rights groups began to storm the farms allowing the mink to escape. They bred voraciously, becoming a pest, their only enemy, the otter. Thanks to the "Clean River" campaign, the otter population is growing, and consequentially, the mink is declining.
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 321 Comments: 29167
5. Ylee
6:27 PM GMT on April 17, 2012
Oops! Briar types faster than I do, lol!
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 113 Comments: 19363

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