Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sunny Days

What beautiful weather we're having! The last two days have been sunny and warm and I've had a wonderful time. I feel a bit guilty about this since several of my friends seem to be having bad mood days. But it wouldn't help them if I were gloomy, too, would it? No, of course it wouldn't. So I'm not. Sorry, friends. I hope you, too, get to take a nap in the sun someday soon.

Yesterday we went to the coast for the first time in ages. A hike up The Thumb at Road's End revealed no Black Oystercatchers this day but it was lovely anyhow. Johnny scanned with our spotting scope, took a nap, and measured a huge Sitka Spruce along the trail.

Our next stop was Short Beach where we hit a bonanza of Black Oystercatchers (BLOY). Nine of them were in view at once. Who knows how many more were around the corner by the Lost Boy Cave. These flamboyant black shorebirds with the huge red bills love to bathe in the fresh water of Short Creek that flows down to the beach from a concrete flume. It's fun to watch them cavort in the water. I put a video on youtube of the action.

Next, we enjoyed the view from the lighthouse at Cape Meares, looking back toward Short Beach and 3 Arch Rocks. (And saw three more BLOY from the viewing platform by the parking lot.) We concluded the day with a dinner with friends in Tillamook. It doesn't get any better than that.

Well, today came close. It was so nice out that our little group of horse friends were able to ride in Karen's outdoor arena, trotting and cantering over poles. I was happy to see when we watched the video of our rides that Mr. Smith and I are making progress, albeit slow progress, on bending and using our back end. Well, his back end. Mine needs to stay put. My elbows need to give more, though, and my outside rein and leg need to be steadier.

After the poles, Nancy and I had a short pas de deux practice. She is creating a freestyle for us. Mr. Smith and I need to work on leg yielding (along with bending and relaxation and giving to the bit and a hundred other things). Next time we'll add canter to the mix and see what happens. Hey, why not?

Rain is supposed to return tomorrow so I'm glad I played outside the last two days. Life is good.


  1. We're having lovely days too--- park, hiking, sitting in the sun in Pioneer Courthouse Square, ice cream.... these are the city versions of these beautiful days. If I didn't need to buy high heels and a bra for a wedding, my life would be PERFECT.
    We got the bird identifying book and promptly saw a red breasted sap sucker on a pole outside our house. Score!

  2. Hi Linda,

    What nice photos. I love oyster catchers. I'm not sure if we do have the black ones too, but there are some black/white oystercatchers in the village were I live in The Netherlands, miles form the coast.

    I'm Hazel's friend from the Netherlands, she gave me the link.


  3. So glad to hear from a birder across the seas, Neel! I would love to see your beautiful Oystercatchers. The Eurasian birds are so much more colorful than our Black ones, found only on the Pacific coast of North America. The American Oystercatcher, on the east coast of North America, looks much like yours. I hope you were able to go to my youtube link and see the Black Oystercatchers having fun bathing. If that link didn't work, search for FinkLinda videos. It should be the first one. Cool that you have Oystercatchers in your village! Unlike your Eurasian ones, ours are only on the coast, never inland.