We spent yet another day of glorious sunshine yesterday birding in Yamhill County, with the majority of our time and effort at Huddleston Pond in the town of Willamina. While we were busy identifying and photographing birds around the pond, this mature Bald Eagle kept an "eagle eye" on us. To see our complete observation list with photos click here.
A streak of dry weather and bright sunshine continues in Oregon, making our winter stay quite palatable. Everyday Buster is indulged with a walk, which is also aligned with a birdwalk for Jeanette and me. For the most part we select a local park and walk for a hour or more covering a mile or more. Jeanette is the one with the sharp eyes, and calls out the bird species and quantity, and I enter it into the eBird app on my iPhone. If it's a good enough view I take a photo. In all we have over 20 parks close by that we visit on a regular basis, rotating through them based on what sounds like the best fit for the day. We may catch lunch while we are out or return home lunch. My afternoon is spent double checking the list and working with the photos. This morning, Geer Community Park was our destination and where these photos were taken.
Every Wednesday I volunteer at the Salem Audubon Nature Reserve in West Salem. In fact this month marks the start of my sixth year. I have worked on a number of projects in those years, but my current responsibilities are basically wondering through the Reserve photographing the work of other volunteers and all the flora and fauna, and then posting it to Facebook. Last night as I was about to go to sleep, I was thinking about what I was going to do today, and it was a pleasant thought, volunteering at the Salem Audubon Reserve, and I wondered why that was. I sort of had an epiphany moment when I realized my great joy when I was growing up was just walkin' in the woods. We moved to the county when I was 10 years old to a 5 acre property on Golden Valley Road. A couple of years later my parents purchased an adjoining 80 acres. I suddenly had a big playground to explore. Old logging roads took me into the hills and forest, alongside streams and eventually several ponds. Connecting trails made for an unimaginable variety of routes and loops. I enjoyed every minute of my time walkin' in the woods. Many times when I walked out the back door, across the lawn and through the gate I think might have not have known where I was going, but I knew for sure I was going for a walk in the woods. That's sort of what I do now at the Reserve, just a walk in the woods.