Friday, July 28, 2017

A Summer Post

It’s been a while since I posted the last entry for the blog and it hasn’t been for lack of things happening. In fact, it’s been a quite busy month and a half.  Some things, like my Afib (atrial fibrillation) heart monitor, are not very photogenic, but many of the other activities of the summer are. There have been two family gatherings, one at the coast and one a camping trip in the Cascades. There have been two garden visits, one formal and one undiscovered in plain sight, and a visit to a wildlife preserve. And finally, there’s even been a little home-time. 
       First, while Anne attended a meeting in Silverton, Oregon, I drove over to the Oregon Garden to check out the blooms. I spent a pleasant two hours wandering around the garden and taking photos. If you've never visited the garden or it's been a while since you were there, I highly recommend a visit almost anytime of the year--lots of color, interesting plantings, and friendly staff make a visit a pleasure. Check out their website at

      Next was a trip to a different type of garden, a wildlife garden. Our friends Nick and Kathryn Delany guided us around the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge just north of Vancouver, WA. It's a drive-around tour with a couple of hiking spots. We visited the refuge in the early afternoon (best times would be early morning or early evening), but there was still plenty to see. This is spot to go back to in different seasons. More information can be found at
Red Wing Blackbird

Bluebill Duck (duh!)

Bolts on the bird hide.


       The first of our family gatherings (Anne and her sisters and families) was to the Oregon coast (Lincoln City) where we rented a large house for 18 of us right on the beach. It was a lively three nights with an 8 year old, 6 year old, 2 year old, 1-1/2 year old, and a six month old, plus a bunch of us old farts. The highlight of the reunion was a 40th birthday celebration for one of our nephews, Bradley Stryker, 

an actor, acting teacher, writer, and director. But for me another highlight was the location on the beach and in the flight path of myriad seagulls.
Yaquina Head Lighthouse

At the Oregon Aquarium: Eel

The gull who thought he was an eagle.

       The discovery of the summer was a small garden right along the main highway through Canby-- Hwy 99 East. It's not a real garden, but there is a profusion of wildflowers that grows between the highway and the rail tracks as you come through town. When in bloom it's certainly worth a look.

Cooperative swallow tail who landed just as I was getting ready to return to my car.

      Just before our second family outing Anne and I set up a booth at the Portland Highland Games (celebrating all things Scottish and Celtic). We spent a day visiting with other Scotophiles and selling books and photos. 

A very enjoyable pursuit, but it made prepping for our family camping trip a bit of chaos--load the car for the games, unload the car from the games, and the next day load the car for camping, and drive. Our family campout involved Anne's sister Charleen's family from Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho, and Texas. There were several motor homes, a couple of trailers, a few tents, and an active margarita bar in a semi-improved camp site. The family has been doing this summer campout in the same area for more than 25 years. For us it was an opportunity to visit around the campfire as well play a little golf. 

Black Butte Big Meadows course.

River's Edge GC, Bend.


     And finally, we did get a little time to be at home--at least enough to wash some clothes for wherever we go next. 
Our resident squirrel after enjoy a few of our blueberries.