Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Grandson Ian started out our marathon company summer when he arrived from Seattle with Johnny via Amtrak on Thursday, July 10. Except Ian is not really company. He cooks all the suppers, has his menus prepared and food bought upon arrival, helps with everything we're doing, and is a joy to be around because he's always cheerful, even when I'm cranky. All this at twelve years old, soon to be thirteen. I just wish we could steal him for the whole summer.

The first night of his visit even the heavens were delighted to have him here. They put on this glorious show at sunset.

Johnny's prime objective for Ian's visit was to teach him welding and to weld together a garden gate for Traumhof. They watched instructional videos on youtube, then welded. Here they are in their protective gear. Ian, on the right, is holding the torch.

Ian cut a piece of fencing for their wire gate.

Why I have no photo of the finished product is a mystery.

Nor do I have photos of the dishes Ian prepared. Here he is cooking.

Together we made ice cream with our goat milk and his coconut sugar, topped with the fudge he made.

 And we picked blueberries.

Amazing Graze horse feeders arrived while Ian was here and we tried them out on the horses. I was hoping it would occupy Jessie Anne and keep her from chewing down the fences. Ian and Johnny also put up a chew toy for her and Ian tried to show her how much fun it was but she was not interested. However, the roll-around horse feeders were a hit. Mr. Smith learned immediately that he did not need to chase it all over the paddock. He only had to roll it one way with his nose, eat the hay cube that fell out, then roll it back the other way and another treat would roll out. It did not slow his food consumption down much nor give him much exercise.

Jessie Anne and Nightingale also learned quickly how to minimize expending energy.

On Monday, July 14, we went to Road's End to survey Black Oystercatchers. Johnny and Ian climbed up to The Thumb, while I headed for the North rim to look down on the North Rock BLOY with their chick. For once, they cooperated quickly and I was able to get this photo of the family group.

I also took a photo of The Thumb, with Ian on it, although I could not see him until I zoomed up the camera.

Ian took this photo with Johnny's camera of their view looking north. The North Rock, with its BLOY family, is the little offshore rock that the scope is aimed toward.

I took a photo of this always-lovely view that I can see on my way back.

Alas, I left my fanny pack at my observation post and did not discover it was missing until half way back to the car. I had to retrace my tired steps. We were all ready for lunch at the Thai restaurant when I finally made it to the car. But, since the day was not over, after lunch we drove on to Neskowin and looked for BLOY on Refusal Rock... no hiking involved. Found none but Johnny took this photo of me looking.

On the next day, Ian and I cleared brush along the driveway.

But it was not all work and hikes and cooking for Ian. We also played games, watched movies, and played in the creek.

Ian spent much time with the goats, petting them and just watching them. He loves the goats.

On July 16, Johnny and Ian drove to Portland to pick up Johnny's nephew Jeff at the airport, who was flying in from Illinois to help with some concrete projects of Johnny's and to attend the local music festival. But first, we all went to the coast on Thursday, July 17, to survey sea stars and BLOY at Short Beach.

Ian and I working on the Sea Star Wasting Disease survey

 Although the nesting Oystercatchers are far away and hard to see, non-nesting BLOY bathe in the creek and are close and easy to see. We saw twelve of them that day... and lots of gulls.

We also went to Cape Meares and saw one of the two Peregrine youngsters... at a great distance... and discovered a pair of nesting BLOY. We took the short hike to the Octopus Tree where Jeff wanted the three Fink boys to act like octopi with many arms in front of the Octopus Tree. It's hard to tell that's what they're doing here...

The next day the three Fink boys went to the Wildwood Music Festival while I stayed home to catch up on mowing, watering, weeding, etc. Jeff camped there overnight. Johnny and Ian came home in time to see two of the Night Blooming Cereus (or whatever they are) open in the jungle room... and smell their intoxicating perfume.

These beautiful flowers last only one night. The next day, Saturday, July 19, they were wilted. And I had to take Ian to Devonwood and deliver him to his parents at their Theraplate vendor booth. It was good to see Kevin and Jessica, but I felt a little wilted myself, having to say goodbye for now to Ian. What a wonderful grandson.

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