Sunday, May 28, 2017

Basking turtles and baby waterfowl

Nothing special going on today, but the sun emerged after a morning of overcast, I needed a walk and the river called. On the way, passing this pond full of wildlife, I spotted the basking turtles and the proud mama duck and her babes. I don't think it's actually a duck, perhaps a merganser? But my knowledge of swimming fowls is rather limited.

Nice to see the river running full and blue-green, rather than the dull brown of rainy winter months.

A nice look back upriver before I needed to turn toward home, away from the water. Nice walk.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Sunshine, and the beauty of simple nature

Spectacularly bright and beautiful day at the ponds this morning. Not the first sunny day we've had, by any means, but the first day of any kind that I've felt like walking down there for about 6 weeks now. Whatever that virus was, it was a doozy. But I began to notice the return of energy and the departure of malaise and depression a couple of days ago, and it continues. My legs still feel weak, and I don't walk fast, and I begin to feel tired before I get home, but still..... progress! I'll take it. So soul-satisfying to be walking these favorite paths on such a beautiful day and not ONE human encounter the entire time. They will be out in droves as the sunny days progress, but this morning the ponds were all mine. Mine and the birds, that is. Lots of those, too!

Lupine blooming everywhere, in great clusters like this and swaths of sunny hillside. One of my favorite wildflowers.

Then there was this. Way over on the far side I noticed these tracks and scratches in the gravel. I put my foot in there intentionally, to show the size of that print. Could be a big dog, I guess -- a really big dog. There's a matching one in the shadows to the right. Seems like too much of an urban area for big cats, as in cougars, even with all the acres of wetland and nature. It also seems possible that the one nearest my foot could be a human hand, so maybe not so mysterious.

So -- a wonderful walk to start my day. I see more to come, as my body continues to recover from the onslaught.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The garden grows

My garden, taken yesterday afternoon. The peas are growing! Put the 4 new stakes in, but didn't get the supporting twine in place until today.

It's really looking good, though I noticed this afternoon that the chard is suffering from the mysterious leaf-wilting issue I've had before. Not sure what causes that. Planted some nasturtiums around the edge, and some creeping rosemary in the corner beside the regular rosemary. I hope it'll all cascade over the sides, though we're not allowed to let it go very far over the sides.

Temp got up to 90 today, and it was sunny all day until late afternoon. Gotta say, it was glorious. Repotted my orchids, outside. Hung around talking to people, or just walking around. Random and possible thunderstorms moving through tonight. Kind of odd, unpredictable spring weather, which includes cooling off a bit. And that's ok -- happy to have ONE really warm, sunny day, for now.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A walk in the park

Hard as it is to believe, it's been about 10 years since I last spent any quality time in this beautiful local park -- Hendricks Park, with its fabulous rhododendron garden. There was a time back in 2007, between jobs once, when I'd walk up here 2-3 times a week for a few weeks. From where I lived, downtown Eugene, it was about an hour's walk, largely uphill, to reach the park. Once here, I'd spend another hour walking the various paths, stopping to sit and enjoy some places I found particularly delightful. Then I'd walk an hour back home. These 3-hour walks are among my best lifetime memories. From start to finish, walking through campus and quiet neighborhoods and into the park and back home, it was one long, productive meditation. They were magical in a way I've never been able to re-create, anywhere. And I've tried!

This morning I was drawn by the promise of warm weather and sunshine, plus many local news reports that the rhodies are in full bloom at the moment. I found that to be not quite true -- many are in bloom, but many are also just budding out.  Sun was fleeting, at best, while I was there but it really doesn't matter. It's beautiful and peaceful and serene with our without sunshine.

The 'top' of the park. Parallel paths are terraced off to the left and right, with many smaller trails that connect and lead to hidden corners.

From the entrance I headed -- unerringly, as it turned out -- toward where my favorite little nook is. This fountain sits off the main trail and is a lovely place to just sit and contemplate. I was surprised, but not really surprised, that after 10 years I could still find this place so swiftly.

I didn't sit for long -- too anxious to wander all the trails and see the place once again. I've been up here at least once since my return to Eugene, but only for a few moments, never took the time to wander all the paths as I once did so regularly.

Another favorite 'off path' sitting spot, though this one is not so private as the first one.

This is -- or was -- another of my favorite places to sit. Looks as if some recent step construction has interfered with some of the old charm, but I suspect that'll return in time. Those big rocks in the foreground were home to many (and constantly changing) balanced pebble stacks and maybe a stray gnome or two. People leave little things all over the park, as gifts, and the maintenance people leave them be.

Rhodies aren't the only things blooming up here, ever.  Azaleas, too, plus lots of low-growing groundcover and trees of all kind. Dogwood is blooming up there at the moment, tho not in this photo.

So that was my walk. This entire property is maintained by volunteers, and they do a fabulous job of it. Some of you might remember that I went up there one day a couple of years ago to work with them, and it wore me out. I'd planned to become active regularly with the weekly maintenance, but that just didn't happen. I still love the place however, and still appreciate all the work done by others.

Hope you enjoyed this walk, too. I sure did!

By the way -- I guess I've officially entered the digital age. A few days ago on Woot! I saw some Amazon Fire kindles for $30 -- reconditioned, but in good shape. I couldn't resist. It arrived yesterday and I was instantly addicted. Spent many hours playing with it. Wi-fi enabled, so it works without a service fee. Worst thing about it is that I spent so many hours with it that my eyes hurt, and still hurt today. I have to say, I can understand why people are so easily addicted to these things. šŸ˜‰