What a weekend here! We had it all. Heavy Rain, Mud, SUN, BIG Pillow cumulus clouds, drying breezes, colder nights, warmer afternoons, a Classic Northwest SPRING………and to top THAT all off, had fun with Rodger’s new terrific Canon EOS Rebel Camera with an extra zoom lens.
So there’s TWO stories going on in this weekend adventure. Driving around for photo-ops, and the fabulously and luckily observed changes in the bird world here at the end of April. Let’s set the scene.
We got up Saturday morning to rain. Working in the yard was no longer a consideration. Somehow both simultaneously decided “Trip to Tillamook for Cheddar Curds!!!”
That means a dog in the back who swims in the fabulous rapids of the Wilson River while we pass through the Tillamook State Forest, and a stop at Alice’s Country Restaurant 10 miles east of Tillamook…. Yes, a drive through the rain forest.
We get ready in minutes, throwing towels in for what we know will be a wet dog later, new camera, I-tunes, ice chest for curds, and raincoats….and we’re quickly headed down the hill on Germantown Rd, then Cornelius Pass Road, right on West Union Road to U.S. 26 for a few miles then a bend to the left a bit to find yourself on U.S. 6 on your way through the Coastal Forests. Yahoo! It rained lightly all day.
On a bright but gray wet spring day, this drive is beautiful. Everything you pass is bright in rich layers spring green….. You finally reach the summit and meander back down where you end up in the lush green rolling pastures of Tillamook where dairy farming is King.
SO. You like Cheese? How about a few Cheese Recipes….. Here’s the entire list of cheese recipes at Tillamook’s Recipe Page.
We chose the right day to go to the Cheese Factory….no crowds so we grazed on more than a few of the curd samples, a taste or two of the fudge types, got a couple rich Ice Cream cones, made our purchase of 10 Curd packages and left! We head back on Route 6 again and get to the first Wilson River turnout that’s wide and shallow in spots so the dog won’t get swept under:
After that romp, we get into Alices and had a great lunch. Alices Country House Restaurant is a classic old diner shack in the woods with waitresses that’s give you a little lip if you try to show your city sophistication while they serve you up food that’s ALL made from scratch.
Even the Salad Bar is varied and all homemade goodies.
After that, we loaded back up, rode a few miles and let Mac have one more romp near Lee’s Camp where he chose to fight rapids and at one point, was washed downstream completely unaware of anything other than biting the rapids, paddling, turning, yelping, and displaying thrilling and complete JOY of life.
SO. We arrived home and the dog soon fell asleep until the next morning.
Today we made another trip to Sauvie Island to see that most of the birds WE have been watching have moved on.
SO. . . . that was the people side of this weekend. Now we can go to Part TWO of this Weekend adventures called: Grosbeaks, Hawks, Eaglets, and other Bird Things
The songbird migration is in full swing. The trees are loudly alive in the morning and evening with birds calling beautiful songs and setting up territories. I came to a realization that I HAVE learned a few things at least in the last few years. There are a few birds I can now recognize by their sound even if I don’t see them. Early last week I heard the single whistle call of the Evening Grosbeak…I know… it’s just a one note whistle, but it’s distinctive in its timber and pitch. I was right at Baird and Karen’s driveway when I heard it, so looked and looked until I saw the bird. Karen quickly got some binoculars, but we got too close. He was frightened off…..BUT as he flew off, there was no mistaking the markings. Yep, it was an evening grosbeak.
THEN. THIS morning, we were both in the family room when the first “flock” of these gorgeous birds landed and began to feed. 5 males and 3 females stayed for quite a while then spent two hours in the maples above calling out their little whistle. What a thrill. These are birds that often move around a lot…. Some summers you hardly see them. It’s only been TWO summers we were lucky enough to have them nest near us and visit all summer. In hopes of encouraging them to stay, we’ve got every sunflower feeder out there as bribery:
**Not to forget the hummingbird feeders out there….we’ve graduated from .1 quart a day to .4 this week.
Also this morning, I am certain I heard a Blackheaded Grosbeak calling in the neighborhood…..and expect to see them at the feeders soon.
At the Island, we stopped near the Eagle Nest that we’d been watching for a while now….Karen & Paula will remember our stopping there a month ago this week watching the parents bringing large sticks into finish the nest (that must BE 6 feet across). THIS time we got a thrill. We watched one of the parents carefully and slowly feeding a chick. We got only faintest movements of the chick since it was so low in the nest, but I’ll never forget that majestic bird so delicately giving up food for her baby. We got a fantastic view only using the Spotting Scope that even showed layers of the feathers…..I can only WISH we could have preserved that view in a picture.
We’re having an unsettling bird watching experience right now as well. A beautiful part of nature are the hawks, but they can affect your experience. a Sharp Shinned Hawk has decided we have quite the buffet here and has been stopping by regularly for the last four nights between 5:00 & 6:00 pm. Here he is sitting on a chair..yes, hah hah:
Rodger is writing about this wild nature experience on his blog page…….Check my link there on the right to “the other bloke’s blog”……………and see more pics and the REAL story of what is happening.
NOW………….for the LYNX bit.
***A couple months ago when I â€œthoughtâ€ I saw a lynx but got talked out of it by everybody saying LYNX ARE NOT HERE and no CLOSER than Canadaâ€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦..I said Iâ€™d seen a bobcat.
THIS weekend we were AT the Audubon Rescue Place and I told a volunteer what Iâ€™d seen and that I was STILL convinced Iâ€™d seen a BIG LYNX up hereâ€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦Well. Guess what?
Some macho wild guy up here OWNS a PET LYNX and it HAS gotten out of its cage beforeâ€¦.last time was two years ago. THEN….it was captured from under a house after it nearly attacked someoneâ€™s dog.
THEN I got a call from a neighbor last week saying HE TOO thought heâ€™d seen a lynx…. who, like the one I’d seen was chasing squirrels DURING DAY HOURS. There’s no mistaking the difference between a puny yellow spotted bobcat and this huge footed sleek animal:
The Audubon society is going to track down the LYNX OWNER and ASK whatâ€™s up. Maybe there’ll be MORE to report, eh?
What a weekend.