Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge, October 2017

 My husband is the greatest! He went to this favorite refuge with me in spite of the many things he still needed to do for his trip to Eastern Oregon the next day. We had a delightful day together enjoying the beauty of the area and the fascinating birds and wildlife. We went there mostly to see the Sandhill Cranes, and we were not disappointed! This time of year you must remain in your car, so I had to take all of my pictures out of the window. This was a beautiful bejeweled spider web.
 Usually you can hear the "purring" of these cranes long before you see them. Their silhouettes are gorgeous.
 I cannot tell you why this is my favorite bird, but I love to hear them and watch them.

 We also saw a couple of young 4-point bucks.
 The lesser yellowlegs is a sweet little shore bird that is common to the area.
 We saw many adult female Northern Harriers on this trip. You can easily identify them by their white rump patch that can be seen when they fly.
 This is a Pied-billed grebe on a a bed of algae. I am not sure if it is a good thing to see this pink algae forming!
 I love the dance of the Sandhill Crane. It can be a mating dance, establish social relationships, involve teritorial claims, accomplish the bonding of pairs, or at times it may just be play!

 In a group of cranes you can often see individuals jumping above the crowd.

 Adult female Northern Harrier eating a mouse

 Nutrias originated in South America, and their feeding and burrowing behaviors can be quite destructive. However, they are still interesting to watch.

 Sandhill Cranes are not beneath a tromp in the mud!

 These cranes can have a wingspan of over 5 feet. They are beautiful in flight.

 I have many pictures of the Great Blue Heron and I am always fascinated by this slow-motion bird. Usually they fly away, and this one kept a very close eye on me.

I love the contrast of the cranes with the dark red grasses.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Our Last Summer Adventure at Ankeny Wildlife Refuge, 2017

 We had one final excursion before the rains came. Bill and I hadn't visited the Ankeny Wildlife Refuge for some time, and we really enjoyed the boardwalk and grassy trail. We saw two green herons as we walked the boardwalk.

 The grassy trail went past a few ponds, and the scenery was stunning. The day was beautiful and we were so glad we took the time to go for a walk.

 Great blue Heron
 Juvenile Gold Finch sitting on a teasel (that does NOT look comfortable!)
 Egret on the bank and Canada Geese in the water

 White Egret
Soaking up the sun as we walk the loop

Hosmer Lake Near Bend, Oregon

 Bill and I camped at Tumalo State Park in Bend, Oregon near the end of the summer. The smokey fires around Bend made an eerie sunset.
 We kayaked Hosmer Lake which was a wonderful experience! The waterway between the two bodies of water is especially beautiful as it is very clear and you can see schools of fish.

 Fun reflections

 The whole lake is shallow and clear with light peat on the bottom.
 We found a stream at the north end of the lake and followed it to a waterfall.

 Trail to the waterfalls

 Bill by the waterfalls (a horse bridge in the background)
 Our orange kayak can barely be seen in the background.
 Bill on the horse bridge

 Walking the trail

 "Ahhhh, that feels great!"
 Heading back

 Beautiful, clear, stream
 We noticed it became even more smokey as we continued on.
The smoke grew thicker and thicker as we returned to the boat dock at the other end of the lake. We were finally happy to leave the area because of the smoke. We learned later that more wildfires had started in the area and everyone was on alert for possible evacuation! We were going to stay another day, but we headed home early the next morning due to so much smoke in the campground and all around Bend. We drove right past one of the fires on our way home.