Jeanette looking out on Huddleston Pond
The stress that coronavirus is putting on peoples lives is tremendous, and I believe that it requires some effort and discipline to be able to continue living happy healthful lives. We have found that we have a couple of built in daily practices that are serving us well in this crucial time of the coronavirus. Number one, is that we truly love to go birding. This puts us out in the fresh air, provides us some exercise, and for the most part, keeps us away from other people. Number two has to do with the weather. For around 15 years we traveled to Arizona for the winter, where getting outside on a daily basis was a no brainer. But here in the Northwest, with lots of cold and rain, it is a different matter. Years ago I came up with the concept of looking for the "sweet spot" in each day. That is, looking at the weather forecast, figuring out the best time of day to be outside in regard to temperature and rain, and then plan your day accordingly. It's amazing that each day normally has a window of fairly nice weather, and that's when we jump into action. Yesterday's trip to Huddleston Pond in Willamina is a good example. There were some morning dry hours in the weather forecast, so we left home first thing in the morning with the expectation of getting in a bird walk. It was true, we got in a nice walk of around a mile and a good bird list and some photos. You can see it here. Afterward we stopped at a drive-thru coffee shop for some hot chocolate, and then drove over to Sheridan where we picked up a Subway sandwich which we took to the Sheridan Southside City Park and Pond. We noted a few more birds, then enjoyed our lunch in the warm comfort of our van. On our way back to Dallas we were pleased to spot probably a dozen American Kestrels on the power lines, a few Red-tailed Hawks, two Northern Harriers, and a Rough-legged Hawk. We arrived back at Dallas Retirement Village just as the rain started. We had gotten outside for some fresh air and exercise, avoided close contact with people, and most importantly enjoyed a sense of adventure.
Great Egret with a male Hooded Merganser