Monday’s Meander: A Refuge of Autumnal Beauties

A month ago, the rains fell only sporadically; now it blows in and hammers, drizzles, mists and sweeps over the Pacific Northwest. Winter. This morning there was freezing fog, and when the fog dissipated, the cold remianed strong. But that’s November; it’s our wintry rainy season. So I decided to look back at October and share some last fall scenes. Photos were taken at Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, a place we return to 2-3 tmes a year. Riparian forest, lowlands, wetlands: 1800 acres of wonders to explore. The trails are just over 3 miles when all are open–but worth even a shorter walkabout. I hope you enjoy the shots.

We end up at our starting point having enjoyed a couple of hours observing birds and skittering creatures we can’t quite find. And listening to wind sweep over grasses, play in branches and bring to us birdsong. And watching the river flow with its quiet power, smelling fecund earth mand fallne leaves– and walking, walking, walking. It is always a privledge to move about nature’s surprises and designs.

Monday’s Meander: Chinook Landing Marine Park

Just a turn off winding NW Marine Drive, close to the suburb of Fairview, you will find Chinook Landing, one of the largest boating facilities in Oregon. It is a 67 acre marine park with six boat launching lanes into the muscular Columbia River, which rushes and skims by Portland on the way to the Pacific Ocean. Besides boating and fishing this is a good park for picnics, wildlife viewing and archery, and there is also river patrol station here. I came across these photos taken in 2015 that encourage me to return… while the sun beams down and river breezes are cool but dry. What a sweet place to sit and watch the boats go by, to walk and daydream.

The houses seen to the west in foothills of the Cascades are on the Washington side (likely Camas), a short drive over the Interstate Bridge.

Because I live among so many rivers and not far from the sea, I am constantly enlivened and delighted by the varied bodies’ daily changes and a plethora of water activities. It makes a difference, as I grew up surrounded by the Great Lakes in Michigan (and over 62,000 inland lakes, as well!), so would feel forlorn without water near by. In my hometown, I also played by the pretty tinkling Snake Creek and the swift Tittabawassee River (prone to flooding).

I stood on the long, usually rocky shores of Lake Michigan and never saw the other shore, it was/is that gigantic. As a youngster I’d stare toward the horizon and think: this is just like an ocean but fresh water, how amazing is that! In the Pacific Northwest we are lucky enough to enjoy both fresh (but only about 1400 lakes here–but there are 110, 994 miles of rivers) and saltwater of the Pacific Ocean. (I need to rent a kayak and get out there before winter rains arrive!)

I hope you enjoyed the photos. Chinook Landing at the Columbia River is a good spot for river lovers.