Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sciatica, Heart of the Valley, and BLOY

Johnny's back really rebelled last week, sending shooting pains down his leg. He's still in bed most of every day. A massage therapist friend came yesterday and helped considerably. Mostly, it just takes time for the swelling to go down. We know from the MRI several years ago, when Johnny was out of commission for months, that he has herniated disks and arthritis in his spine. That's why he retired from roofing. But it's hard to keep a good man down and Johnny has probably been doing more with his back than he should. After this bout, he'll likely behave for awhile before he forgets again...

With Johnny on bed rest, I escaped during parts of three days to the Heart of the Valley horse show at nearby (one hour away) Devonwood to watch Jessica's horses and others from Traumhof (Kevin and Jessica's dressage facility in Washington.) It was fun to spend time with grandson Ian, who is so bright and articulate at 8 that my friends who came to watch the show raved over him more than over the horses. Elisienne (Lily) won her Grand Prix freestyle class so she deserved some raving over. Rudeau, Lily's son, conked himself on the stall door, burst a blood vessel in his mouth, and bled horrendously. Rudi went home without showing on Sunday. Fortunately, there is no permanent damage, just a lot of traumatized people. Here is handsome Rudi in the warm-up ring, a couple days before conking himself.

Although I took lots of videos of dressage rides, I only managed to take a few stills at the show and mostly not of horses. Here is Doug the rubber ducky mascot with his diminutive friend Howard in one of the new Traumhof chairs.

With torrential rains forecast to come again, I spent the two afternoons after the horse show doing follow-up Black Oystercatcher (BLOY) surveys. It's tough surveying Cape Kiwanda on my own. I couldn't tell if the pair I saw on the north side was the same pair I saw on the south side, after trudging up and down dunes to get there. When Johnny goes with me we head different directions and keep each other updated by cell phone. Road's End was not so bad because I can see all three BLOY territories from the same spot... the top of The Thumb. But hiking both sites on the same day was a bit exhausting.

Here's one place where I spotted BLOY at Cape Kiwanda.

There was a lot of hill and sand between me and the other sites.

Today I surveyed Fishing Rock and checked Boiler Bay as well. By then it was getting blustery and misty so I was glad to head home with only one more site to do next weekend, with friend Marilyn. We'll be hiking Cascade Head, weather permitting, to try to find BLOY on 3 Rocks where Johnny and I canoed last week when his back went out.

Of course, there are still future treks to the beautiful Oregon coast to determine which pairs are nesting... and then weekly nest checks. It's a fun job. I just hope Johnny is able to join the fun soon.


  1. Why don't you ever call me for stuff like this? I would love to go count the birds and tromp around. :(

  2. Okay, will do once I start nest monitoring once a week. Today I dragged another friend up Cascade Head. How about doing Cape Kiwanda with me next decent weather day? It's not so much tromping around as tromping up... nearly straight up at times...

  3. OK just let me know when and what I need to bring with me :)