Friday, November 16, 2012

A Computer Vacation

My computer took a nine day vacation while it waited for a new power supply. Fortunately, my camera did not go on vacation and I have now uploaded the hundreds of photos that were waiting for my computer to revive.

So what did I do with no computer? The usual... milked goats, cleaned barns, trimmed horse hooves... and birded, naturally. Johnny and I and friend Dawn did my Grand Ronde Raptor Run on Nov. 6 wherein I took photos, not of birds, but of some of the Oregon Wildlife Center's antelope. (We also found raptors there but not as easily photographed as the hooved creatures.) The handsome striped fellow with the long curly horns is a Greater Kudu. The two-toned brown antelope is an Impala.

On the weekend, Kevin came down from Washington to help Johnny with projects. Ian was scheduled to come but stayed home sick instead. We were sad to miss him but are glad to hear he's okay now. Kevin is a master with the tractor and cleaned out the pond overflow, llama and sheep shed, and piled steaming barn cleanings into enormous stacks. Also, he and Johnny and friends made cider on Saturday. Sunday noon we sent Kevin home so we could take naps.

Having no computer meant no writing. I sorted the mess on my desk instead. Or some of it. It will take several more computer vacations before I find the desk beneath the clutter.

And, of course, I went birding...

Johnny and I ran my North Santiam raptor route on Wednesday of this week. That night we picked up the repaired computer. Thursday, I joined friend Dawn on her North Lincoln raptor route. Tamara Quays, part of the Salmon River estuary, in the first photo, is included in her route. Water had reached the huge log that floated in on a higher tide years ago. The second photo has Dawn surveying the high tide waters of the Salmon River from the old Pixieland site, which is a part of her route she gets to hike. It was a Peregrine week for our raptor routes: one on my North Santiam route and two on Dawn's North Lincoln route... all too far away for photographs.

I could not leave the coast without visiting a Black Oystercatcher site in hopes of seeing them. They turned out to be on rocks far away but I could see them with binocs and hear them when they flew. A lovely sunset over the rocks where those delightful birds were foraging made for a perfect ending to the day.

At home, I took lots of photos of birds that hang out closer, including a White-throated Sparrow. And, of course, dozens of California Quail. I'll put those photos on my Birds Blogs when I get another bit of time. I did post my photo of a Pileated Woodpecker and a link to the video I took of him working on a snag in the woods behind the arboretum:

I'm glad I have now been able to put all those photos into the computer and share some of them. Life without a computer was challenging but it made me pick up the phone and talk to friends to let them know why I wasn't answering their emails... and I even wrote letters! And read books. And started the tedious job of sorting my desk... But I hope my computer does not go on vacation again for a very long time.  

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