Monday’s Meander: An Oregon Riparian Wildlife Refuge

On Saturday we returned to a place we explore each season, the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge. The riparian forest, wetlands, and lowlands comprise over 1800 acres that are home to over 200 species of birds, 50 of mammals, 25 of amphibians and reptiles and a large assortment of insects, fish and plants.

We had our ears attuned to birdsong as eyes sought out critters among lush greenery. We heard more than saw wildlife–a snort of a black tailed deer, the sleek fat body of a river otter, the rustlings of perhaps a snake through the tall grasses. I was hoping for a bobcat but have never seen one, and may have sighted a coyote and beaver.

It was a peaceful mosey among groves of old great white oak trees, which support 800 kinds of creatures there. We missed the bigger groves but there are many other trees to enjoy along the paths. Small lakes amid the wetlands were luminous, dramatic as the sky darkened and brightened with sunshine alternating with rain clouds. The river itself was hidden much of the time–several areas are off-limits to humans to protect migrating birds.

Rain became a fickle companion, the sky feeling low and then high again.

Rain increased but it was a mild day and we are Oregonians…we kept on. At the end of our walk, the small lakes and swooping vocalizing birds captivated me. I could have set up camp there right through dusk and nightfall.

Clouds scudded off; the landscape flushed with honeyed light once more.

It was a soothing while also stimulating afternoon, and I always feel happy photographing nature. We will return when more paths are opened to our eager feet.

Friday’s Photos: Under a Brief Pretense of Spring

Photos by Cynthia Guenther Richardson copyright 2019

We are currently under a winter storm warning in Portland. I await enchanting first flakes– very few of which we have had so far this year. Perhaps it seems much ado about nothing for someone who grew up with four foot snow drifts to rollick about in, to play the brave explorer with three layers of clothing– but we will see. I know may parts of the USA have suffered very recently the bitter cold and dangerous snowfall.

In the meantime, enjoy a few photos that not long ago indicated a different change of temperature–as it often does here this time of year. I will have patience–both for a velvety swath of snow and for a flourishing of flowers.

A park where we will soon be walking more after our March move

And there have been hints of an unfolding of tender jewels of springy blossoms amid more hearty wintery ones…

Marc and I were going to the beach for a mini break before we move– but nature changed our plans. We are now immersed in the many and sometimes arduous tasks that go along with packing and preparing to leave one place for another–but there are hot teas and tasty treats to keep us going.

Daphne–what a fragrance!

Wherever you are, may your week-end bring safety and satisfying–even happy–moments!