Feeding Ducks

 

IMG_5759It was a lovely fall day….part of the time.  The rest of the time, it was showering violently. We took our daughter Patsy, and nephew, Jake, out apple picking.  That’s not where we ended up.  The first time we tried to go, the heavens opened up and a torrential rainfall fell on us.  So, we went on an errand instead, and we hoped it would quit.

We had very little time before we had to pick up one of our older daughters, but wanted the kids to have some fun. We stopped at a pond to look at ducks and let Jake run around a bit.

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The kids were joyful to see that some kind soul had put peanuts along the railings and on the ground.  They had the best time cracking them open and throwing them to the ducks.  Last time, we took some old bread, but didn’t have any today, so they were delighted that there was something to feed them.  They decided to leave some for the squirrels and ducks to eat on their own.

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After getting back in the car, we drove back towards home, hoping to pick apples and needing to pick up another daughter.  The closer we got to the apple orchard, the darker the clouds got, and again, the rain came down heavily.  We took the hint, and didn’t go to the apple orchard.   I was so glad the weather had cooperated long enough for the kids to get out for a little while, run around, and enjoy feeding the ducks!  We will have to try apple picking another day.

 

Detroit Lake State Park-Memorial Day 2017

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We went camping at Detroit Lake for Memorial Day weekend.  We stayed 3 nights, and were blessed with exceptionally nice weather.  It was especially welcome since we have had such a rainy, wet spring.

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The wild rhododendrons were in bloom.

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There were a couple of unusual strains of Scotch Broom–usually it’s just yellow.

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There were many ducks and geese, but not as many as we have seen in years past.

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Even this chipmunk was cooperative when I wanted to take a picture!

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Some geese had babies.

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Patsy and I had a great hike one day, circling the campground.  One side runs along the road, but they’ve done a great job of making you feel like you are more secluded than you are.  The other side runs along the lake, and that is always a treat.  We talked to people who were fishing, and some caught fish, but we did not this time.

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We did enjoy some quiet time next to the lake, though, in the early morning on Saturday.  It’s rare for Rob and I to get any time alone, so that was one of my favorite times of the entire trip.  I also enjoyed time spent with family members who came up to visit us later that morning, and enjoy the lake as well for the day.  Rob cooked chicken over the fire, which is a favorite of everyone.  People pitched in and brought some things, so we sat and happily munched on chips, veggies, and melon.  One evening, we roasted hot dogs and marshmallows over the fire.  On Sunday afternoon, I got a big nap.  All in all, the trip was just what we needed–some time to get away from the hustle and bustle that our life is, and just enjoy some time out in God’s beautiful creation.

 

 

A Strange Place for a Nest

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Today, when we took our daughter and niece to their Driver’s Ed class, we were amazed to see a mama goose had decided to make a nest right outside the office buildings where the class was held.  Nestled into the dirt of the flowerbed, this goose has decided that she is hidden enough behind the tiny, green bush.

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Daddy goose wandered the parking lot.  He wandered around the Driver’s Ed cars, the downed branches and trees from the recent wind storm, and away from my daughter and nephew, who were trying to get a closer look.  We were a bit early, but soon 20-30 teens arrived and filed past near the nest.  Mama goose put her neck out and looked a bit nervous, but stayed put.

We talked to a man who was waiting for his teen’s class to start, and he said the mama goose had stood up and there were eggs under her.

I can’t wait to see if she’s still there next Sunday afternoon.  Now, that’s determination!  Let’s hope we can show the same tenacity while teaching our daughter to drive:)

Raccoon Tracks

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Our recent snow storm seems to have brought out some furry friends roaming through the neighborhood!  Yesterday morning, Rob pointed out some rabbit tracks in the fresh snow, and these raccoon tracks.  They were still there this morning, although fading a bit.  This guy came up the driveway and cut across our grass.  Then, he meandered down the street, off to nameless pursuits.  Although we did not see the rabbit or the raccoon, it’s nice to see that there are some animals roaming our new neighborhood.  I will continue to think it’s a good thing until the day one of them starts nibbling on my garden…….Until then, I loved seeing the tracks from our new furry neighbors.

Fish Hatchery at Bonneville Dam

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Yesterday, we took 2 of our children, plus 2 cousins on an outing.  We chose to drive up the Columbia River Gorge, and ended up at the Bonneville Dam Fish Hatchery.

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First, we stopped at Crown Point where we almost got blown away, it was so windy!  In fact, only 1 child chose to even get out of the car.  That would be our brave niece, Alissa.  The view, however, was magnificent and was worth seeing.

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Then, we stopped at Multnomah Falls.  Part of us hiked up to the first little bridge, some stayed below, but everyone had a great time.

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Lovana was one of the brave hikers.  Our destination is that little bridge you can see in the background.

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At the fish hatchery, there were many large rainbow trout in various ponds and holding tanks.  These were oversized trout who were older than they would have been in the wild, for display.  There were also huge sturgeon fish in another tank, and many pleasant walkways to stroll around on the grounds.

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You could get fish food with quarters, and everyone had fun feeding them.

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Jake liked flicking the food into the water–each to his own!

We then went over to Bonneville Dam itself and went through the visitor’s center.  We were hoping to see salmon in the viewing windows, but there were none.  Still, it was fun to drive over a dam and look around.

The day was ended with a trip for ice cream at Cascade Locks, and a long drive home.  Everyone had a great time, and hopefully, it won’t be too long until we venture that way again.

 

A Day at the Pond

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Ja’Ana and Alissa (cousins) needed to collect some pond water for a science experiment they are doing for their homeschool.  We grabbed Lovana and went to a pond that was not close to our home.  I had other errands in the area, and I was a gorgeous day for a drive.

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I thought they were pretty cute when they took their ladle and one of the jars and pretended they were there to play golf.

They got water in 4 jars.  One jar had a little soil, one a little white rice, one had a bit of egg yolk and one some dried grass.  Now, we were see what happens in a few days.

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There were both ducks and nutria today, which offered us quite a bit of amusement.  The girls sketched what they saw in their notebooks and enjoyed the sunshine.

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It was a great day for these cousins.

Nutria

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Tonight, Rob and I went for a walk around a park.  At one end of the park is a little pond, and in that pond were nutria.  There were at least 2 large ones swimming around and I was trying to get close enough to get a good picture.  Imagine my surprise when I came across 3 young ones playing near the edge of the pond.  Rob soon joined me and we enjoyed watching their antics for quite a while.

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Pretty soon we started back to the van, but not before watching 2 ducks eating some bread someone had dropped earlier.  Much to my surprise, one of them got territorial and started charging me.  Thankfully, I was able to discourage him and we continued on.

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On our way back to the car, Rob spotted a wild rose bush and captured its beauty forever.

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