Monday, November 25, 2019

Dallas Retirement Village

This past week we took the big step forward in the next phase of our life, committing to a unit in the Dallas Retirement Village. A year and a half ago, we started exploring the possibility of moving to the Dallas Retirement Village.  We liked what we found, particularly in The Lodge Residences, and went on a waiting list for a unit in a new wing to be constructed.  That time frame continued to be moved out, with a construction completion of April of 2021, but we have continued to wait patiently. Then, to our complete surprise,  this past week we were notified that a unit on the second floor of the present wing in The Lodge had become available. After meeting with Tawnya the Sales and Marketing Director, and touring the unit we signed up and are now in the process of acquiring unit 2204.

Our unit is on the middle floor

Yesterday we went to spend some additional time at Dallas Retirement Village to refresh our memory of The Lodge Residences layout, our floor plan, and the campus. After roaming the hallways,  checking out entrances, stairways, elevators and  services, and imagining placement of furniture in our unit, we had a picnic lunch at the  Pavilion. Of course we can't help noticing birds, and so right away I started making a list and taking photos. 

Golden-crowned Kinglet

black-eyed male Bushtit

yellow-eyed female Bushtit

After lunch Jeanette did some Thanksgiving shopping at the new Grocery Outlet, which is conveniently located just next door.  Buster and I did a little more walking though the campus.  I discovered this bird house, which was amazing in light of the fact that during our many visits this is the first bird house I have seen.  I found it quite encouraging to think that we will be meeting like minded people living here. 

Friday, November 15, 2019

The Magic of Digital Photography

While birding at Brush College City Park in West Salem yesterday we came upon a Pacific Wren.  We heard it first, and both Jeanette and I broke into smiles.  Years ago in our hiking days these little birds were called Winter Wrens, and were indeed one of our favorite brids along a winter trail.  I particullay remember them along the trail to Shellburg Falls.  Almost always they were heard before being seen.  They are busy little critters, and sometimes hard to photograph as they pop around just out of sight in the thick brush and ferns  I knew I might not get lucky enough to get a close-up photo, so I snapped a photo in the area where it was last seen. And here is where the magic of digital photograph comes into play.  The top and bottom photos are the same photo.  The difference is the bottom is a cropped version, and in it we can find our little Pacific Wren patiently hiding. Only a half dozen sightings have been reported to eBird here in this park, and this is the first photo.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Sunshine and Rare Birds

This is the view from the upper parking lot of Marys Peak out acrossed the fog filled Willamette Valley to the Three Sisters in the distance. Marys Peak at just over 4,000 feet elevation is the highest peak in the Oregon Coast Range. This was our destination yesterday for a couple of reasons, other birders had reported sightings of Snow Buntings, and we were also anxious to escape the cold fog that was continuing, daily to choke out the sun.  The drive alone was an amazing experience.  We drove in thick fog with drizzling rain from Salem to Corvallis and Philomath. Turning off Hwy 34 on the Marys Peak Road the tempurature was 39 degrees and still in the fog, but as we climbed up the winding Forest Service road the fog began to clear and at the upper parking lot the temps where in the 70s! We spent the rest of out time at the top in bright warm sunshine.  Although we did not find the Snow Bunting, we did get some other good birds, a flock of nine Western Bluebirds, three Horned Larks, and most notibly a pair of Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches, which were Life Birds for us.

Western Bluebird

Horned Lark

Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches

Monday, November 4, 2019

One More Reason To Stay Home

It didn't take long for us to come up with another excuse to stay home for the winter, - - our grand-daughter Madeleine. On Saturday son Michael called to say he was thinking of coming up to visit us on Sunday, his day off, but he was also thinking of going to the beach.  Jeanette was quick to respond that we could meet at the beach!  We discussed beaches and we agreed on South Beach State Park at Newport, kind of a half-way for us both.  On Sunday morning we arrived at the parking lot with-in minutes of each other, and soon Madeline was fixed up with her hat, coat, sandbucket, and towel. 

South Beach Fish Market was next for some lunch. We all shared our orders of clam strips, fish & chips and shrimp salad. It was warm enough to sit outside, and before we had finished our lunch our jackets were all off.  Jeanette and I had to leave to make a quick trip back to Salemtowne to lead a bird walk for the Salemtowne Birders, and Michael and Madeleine were going to make another beach stop.