We didn't know we were celebrating until we were eating supper at the Marco Polo restaurant in Salem. (They have a gluten free menu.) We had spent the day on my North Santiam raptor route and it was a good day. So I came up with the idea that we should call this day our anniversary celebration day. Johnny agreed that picking a day that had turned out well was a good... and safe... way to honor our marriage. And surely, he said, we will have at least one good day a year.
It was not that we found hordes of raptors along the route to excite us. But the weather was lovely, snow-covered Mt. Jefferson spectacular in the sun (why oh why didn't I stop and take a photo?), and lunch that we ate in warm sunshine at John Neal park was delicious. Best of all, our hike around that park after lunch to find the Red-shouldered Hawks we located last month for the first time resulted in one of the Red-shoulders posing nicely for as long as I clicked the shutter and after. What a handsome bird.
Plus there were scores of birds of all kinds along the trail and in the ponds and sloughs, like this colorful Wood Duck. What a lovely park and wonderful wildlife habitat!
A cool bridge (above), an impressive beaver dam (below)...
...and the North Santiam River bordering the park made for a scenic anniversary day (even though we didn't know at the time it was our celebratory day.)
After finishing our route and a bit of shopping, we ate a gluten free meal with huge servings that will feed us for another day or two. And then it was off to Farmer Rd. near Baskett Slough Wildlife Refuge to see if any Short-eared Owls would be performing at dusk. We saw none, but enjoyed a lovely sunset with geese flying across the fiery sky.
Homeward bound, we drove via Coville Road through Baskett Slough, of course. In the darkening sky, a Great Horned Owl sat on a telephone pole alongside the road and ignored us. It was too dark for photos, but I took one anyway.
What a wonderful anniversary day... until we got home and discovered both livestock guardian dogs frolicking outside the fences instead of inside. So today I closed the gates to the outer fields in hopes they will stay in the near fields until I figure out where they're escaping from. But no life and no marriage is perfect so I will try not to complain about one small irritation in an otherwise very good day.