Yesterday morning I noticed my heat wasn't working, checked the thermostat and saw the batteries needed to be changed.  Somehow I managed to break the whole thing in the process, so now it's quite chilly inside, but check out this morning view!  A girl could get used to that sort of scene.

I've been in my new house for just shy of three weeks now.  I've racked up 27 yard birds (the lastest was a Ruby-crowned Kinglet this morning) and I really believe I bought the right house.  This feeling was cemented when I started researching the original owners of the house who passed away in '07 and '10.  She was a poet and he was a cowboy/sprinkler system designer and manufacturer.  No kids, but they were big on education (there's a Lewis & Clark College scholarship in their name).  Viola, the poet, even started her own publishing house called Prescott Street Press.

                         Viola Gale, photo found in my basement

Of course once I found out all this I had to track down her poetry books.  I found a couple online as well as The Prescott Street Reader which features other poets and authors she published over the years.  I am not a big poetry person, and wasn't quite sure what to expect with her writing, but what I found was rad:

Hell yeah!  She writes about a lot of things but almost always includes bits of nature.  She writes about the high desert and the Sisters, Cape Foulweather and the beach, the rain and the grey.  She has poems about swifts, herons, owls, and shorebirds.  She has a poem about her husband and his friends as deer hunters: "I'll try to think they cheat a brutal winter's kill."  I might not enjoy these poems as much if I didn't live in the northwest and have a bird obsession, though I still think she writes well. 

Anyway.  My car has been acting up so my birding has been a bit limited lately.  Last week I made it out to Smith & Bybee Lakes and Broughton Beach, so here's a few photos from those outings...

Varied Thrush in camouflage (Smith & Bybee)

 Bushtit (Smith & Bybee)

Triple date at Force Lake: Common Mergansers, Bonaparte's Gulls, scaup

                          Broughton Beach

 Foggy pipit dancing (Broughton Beach)

On the homefront, the Pine Siskins are really taking over.  I read on Tweeters that this seems to be happening all over the northwest.  I am hoping my Sharp-shinned Hawk is able to do some population control this winter or things might get ugly.

That's all I have for you, hopefully I will get my car fixed for real and will be able to get out on some real adventures soon...


  1. wow. what a lovely title (odd flowers and short eared owls). I'm so glad YOU bought that house, because you appreciate it and its former occupants. That, in and of itself, is poetic.

    Love that silhouette shot of the (presumed) thistle.

    Finally, Seagull Steve has posted about this, but it's so funny to me when the adjective "common" is attached to an uncommonly beautiful/handsome bird. I realize it has more than one meaning, but I see those regal, handsome creatures, and it just doesn't fit.

  2. That is really interesting info about your new home's previous owners; I'm sure it adds to the spirit of the place. That is pretty coincidental that her writings include birds...Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. How perfect! I wish my house had a cool history like that. Hope you get warmed up soon!

  4. That's wonderful that you found out so much about ol Vi. It's great when you can bond with the biggest purchase you'll ever make. Last year a guy came to our house and told us his grandma had lived there. He was visiting from CA and we chatted quite a bit and of course took him inside to show him how it looked now. He pointed out all kinds of things he remembered (our basement was definitely the cool rumpus room back in the 60s) and promised he'd email us some photos from his childhood visits. Alas, he never did, but it was fun chatting with him and his wife that day. Also brought to mind the Kids in the Hall sketch starring the Chicken Lady when she visits her old house...but that's another story for another comment square.

  5. Welcome to home ownership...no heat! IT doesnt get any better, its one broken thing after another..lol BUT the good side, your place has great KARMA...and Viola sounds like she would fit right in on the blog with the rest of us birdbrains!
    WE have no siskins yet, so send a few down this way..

  6. That is so cool about the old homeowners. How many people title a poetry book with an owl reference?! Love the Varied Thrush in the leaves....perfect!

  7. Wow, your new home has a cool history. Is it fate that the previous homeowner was a poet who loved nature and owls. That is really neat. I love your sky shot and the varied thrush. The beach shot is gorgeous. We have become overrun with Pine Siskins too and I am lovin it! Enjoy your new home and yardbirds! Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving and have a great weekend!

  8. Congrats on the new house. It's weird how that stuff works out. I bought a house about 3 years ago, and when I went on last years Christmas Bird Count, the former homeowner ended being in our group. Small world.

  9. That book of poems looks great. We have prints from the illustrator Liza Jones on our walls. Small world!

    1. Oh funny, I've been meaning to google her and see what else she had done. Very cool!

  10. Good luck with your car. I bought one a couple months ago...only problem is that the trunk has the habit of spontaneously opening while Im driving around. So annoying.

    1. Cars are stupid. It's looking like I might have to find a new one. Ugh. Your trunk situation sounds awesome, at least it's not the hood?


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