Wednesday, January 8, 2014

2014: The Year of the Horse

The first week of the new year has already come and gone and I lost a day. All day Friday, I thought it was Thursday. I could not understand why the person who gets milk from us on Friday came on Thursday, or why the postmaster wished me a good weekend a day early. Finally, two days later, I realized that the day I thought was Thursday was really Friday. So what happened to Thursday?

To untangle my brain, I'm recounting my first week of the new year in photos.

Since 2014 is the Year of the Horse, I rode Mr. Smith on New Year's Day.

January 2nd was the first ever Yamhill Valley Christmas Bird Count. Johnny and I and friend Loree spent the first part of the day counting birds in the Gopher Valley area of the 15 mile diameter count circle. Then Johnny and I headed for McMinnville, met friends Sue and Marilyn and counted birds in Marilyn's old stomping grounds within the circle. What a great day! Here is Marilyn (posing for me back at Hillside since I forgot to get a photo of her while we were out). She was excited to participate in this inaugural bird count, (along with at least 40 other birders), organized by her good friends Paul and Carol. The total count from all the teams was 109 species. Marilyn's team saw 22 in the 1 1/2 hours we birded together.

On Friday, Jan. 3rd, the day I thought was Thursday, I went to Dallas for feed. But first I took photos of the Great Blue Heron atop the goat barn roof. Johnny says having a heron on your roof the first week of the year means you'll have good luck all year. I hope that means I won't lose any more days.

 Of course, whenever I go to Dallas for feed, I stop at Baskett Slough to see what birds are around.

distant swans

Northern Pintails

Pintail upside down

On Saturday, January 4, Johnny and I drove our North Santiam raptor route. It wanders back and forth across the North Santiam river and includes Dad's farm, now owned by friends, and also the cemetery where Mom and Dad are buried. So our route includes a visit to their graves each month. This month Johnny spotted a white dot on a distant hillside that turned out to be a Bald Eagle. Then we found a second eagle not far from the first. Might they be nesting? We'll check again next month.

Although we don't see many raptors on this route in the North Santiam canyon, the scenery is lovely. Here Mt. Jefferson lifts out of the fog.

On Sunday, since this is still the Year of the Horse, I rode Jessie Anne. We played Pick Up Sticks, an exercise from a book I got for Christmas. The object is to teach a horse to pay attention to where her feet are... a good idea for Jessie Anne. To my surprise, she was quite good at this.

Monday, January 6, was an off-the-farm day, getting feed in McMinnville, visiting Marilyn in her new room at Hillside, and getting a haircut in Sheridan. It was Betty, who cuts my hair, who helped me figure out what happened to the missing Thursday.

New Year's Day, Betty said, fell on Wednesday. Therefore the day after New Year's Day was Thursday, January 2nd. I knew the day of the Yamhill Valley Christmas Bird Count was Jan. 2nd, but somehow, it did not register in my brain that Jan. 2 was a Thursday. Shouldn't January 1st, the start of a new year, be Sunday?

Relieved that I had not missed an entire day, I finished the first seven days of the new year on yet another raptor route: our Grand Ronde route. It was a foggy, rainy, dark day but we (Johnny and I and friend Dawn) saw lots of raptors anyway. The biggest surprise was finding a Red-shouldered Hawk in Grand Ronde, in the field where we see two White-tailed Kites most days. They were there that day, too, on the opposite side of the field from the lovely Red-shouldered Hawk. It was much prettier than these photos, taken at a distance, through the fog.

And so the first week of the Year of the Horse is in the history books.

Happy New Year! May we all enjoy... and remember... each day.

1 comment:

  1. I have just learned that the Year of the Horse begins with the lunar calendar year on January 31. So I am one month early in my Year of the Horse proclamation: the first time in my life I've been early for anything.