Thursday, December 8, 2016

Changing Seasons

On Friday, Dec. 2, I picked the last of the corn from the garden. The next day, we scouted for the Upper Nestucca Christmas Bird Count, scheduled for Dec. 15, weather permitting. It was a nice enough day that we could picnic beside Clarence Creek Falls, while checking out roads in the count circle.

It's hard to tell where this waterfall ends as it tumbles down a rocky stream bed for a very long way...

 We came back via Yoncalla Creek road.

Since we had time before dark, we surveyed our American Dipper areas along Agency Creek. As you can see, Asinine Bridge curves the opposite way that it should... a little engineering mistake that made the road crew blast the side of the mountain to give the log trucks room to turn. A pair of Dippers nests near this bridge every year... they don't care which way the bridge goes.

And here is one. We found Dippers in most of the nest areas that we checked on.

The reflections in the rock quarry pond made it hard to tell where mountain stopped and water began.

I am always intrigued by the wavy lava flows here.

The next day, Sunday the 4th, we hiked around the farm. The weather was pleasant, but the mackerel sky told me that cold precipitation was coming soon...

This day, pretty red fungi were poking up through woodland leaves

But sure enough, on Monday the 5th, we woke to snow...

We had planned to run our Grand Ronde raptor route the next day, Tuesday, Dec. 6, but waited until morning to see what the weather would be. It turned out clear and cold, with snow mostly just at our place on our route and in the hills above.

Johnny spotted a white-looking Red-tailed Hawk in a distant tree in the area where we have seen White Wing, the lovely white-winged redtail, for many years... but not for months now. We are still not sure if this is White Wing or a descendant. My previous photos show him from the back with white wings and a brilliant red tail. These photos are from the front, more or less, magnified greatly.

Two white-tailed kites were huddled together in the area where they often nest. We saw them there last month, too, so we're hoping they nest again.

We also found two lovely Red-shouldered Hawks on our route. One sat for a photo.

We ate our lunch by Willamina's Huddleston Pond, where two Bald Eagles kept watch.

Having started late, we arrived home at sunset. It looked like there was a fire to the west, but it was only the setting sun.

 We spent the next two days running errands and picking up feed, having heard that more snow and ice were on the way. And so they were. It feels good to have feed unloaded and be safely indoors (except when doing chores) while the weather has its way... snow and freezing rain, coating every twig in ice.

Winter has arrived.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely post on a cold December day. Your images help us to see pieces of beauty in our beautiful Oregon. Used to live on Finn Road near Sheridan where we hired the famous Johnny Fink to plaster a new ceiling in our sitting room. As he was working I peeked in to see how the work was coming along. Johnny saw me and asked something like, "is this about what you were thinking?" with a twinkle in his eye that I didn't understand. Oh my achy breaky heart. All over the ceiling were hanging 6-8 inch icicles of mud! I quickly called my neighbor to see if I could spend the day with her. I couldn't imagine what was becoming of my home. Of course when I returned home what I found just being finished up was the most lovely brocade ceiling ever imagined. We've never forgotten Johnny's work, humor and professionalism. I looked you up in hopes you all would enjoy a trip to Canby. We moved here 25 years ago. Jim just removed the popcorn ceiling from our 15x20 sitting room. Sure would love those icicles hanging from the ceiling one more time. In any case, what a delightful find in Grande Ronde. Hope you are interested. Best wishes, Jim & Ginny Hartle. 503-651-2811.