Showing posts from October, 2017

Klickitat County

For Jake the dog's 12th birthday this week I wanted to take him on a little adventure somewhere, just the two of us like the old days.  I decided we should head east through the gorge and do some exploring in the farmlands and wind fields of Klickitat County.  Highway 14 is stunning right now with fall colors, and when you throw in a pumpkin muffin and a hot chai it is pretty much perfection.

Tip of Mount Hood with its shadow

 View from Cape Horn

I turned up Old Highway 8, passed Catherine Creek, and stopped at random pullout with a view and spot to walk Jake.

My first planned birding stop was the cemetery on Balch Road but as I pulled up a dude and his giant off-leash dog appeared, coming out of the gate of the cemetery.  After staring me down (both the dude and the dog), they went back into the cemetery and disappeared.  Nope.  Nope nope nope.  I kept driving to the Centerville Highway and took a turn off there.

A series of abandoned structures were begging to be explored, but as …

Future 5MR: Arnold Park and Columbia Springs

Last week I decided to start exploring my future 5-mile-radius, beginning with a couple of hot spots I found on eBird.  The first, Arnold Park, is a little over a mile stretch of the Burnt Bridge Creek bike path.  Google told me little beyond the fact that someone had been murdered there this summer.  Fun.  I parked on Arnold Road right off NE St Johns Rd, across from what looked like an abandoned car.  Light rain fell and things definitely felt creepy. 

View from where I parked

Arnold Road (above) dead ends beyond a lone house and a gravel trail leads to the actual bike path.  There was no one around. 

I was hoping an owl would appear in the open window of that barn, but no luck.  There was a sleeping bag below the overhang that may or may not have contained a body. 

The bike path winds downhill, past some open areas, before heading through some woods.

The shrubs in the open areas contained some birds, and I stopped for my first Fox Sparrow of fall.

Near the sparrows were all these co…

Recent things.

Birds are back.  At work, customers have been talking excitedly about the chaos in their yards, how they are seeing more finches than they have seen before.   Goldfinches and siskins are keeping us in business right now.

The fall weather has also brought Chestnut-backed Chickadees to the yard.

These handsome devils inspired my recent junk mail creation for Portland Audubon's Wild Arts Festival:

Anyone can donate a 6x6 canvas to be sold at the festival for $45 with the money going to Audubon.  More info here.  Jacob also made one by printing one of his photos onto regular paper, then using Mod Podge Photo Transfer goo to transfer the ink to the canvas.  It came out pretty cool:

I visited Blue Lake yesterday to see if anything new had shown up for fall.  First off was a decent-sized flock of American Pipits.  I counted 16 at one time, though there easily could have been more.  Possibly the biggest flock I've had in Portland, but no rarities that I could pick out.

At one point I …