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Oregon Mini-Vacation, Day 3-6

Roseburg

By day three we had reached our friends for the Fourth-of-July weekend. Our first day there we drove down just south to visit to the drive-through Wildlife Safari. We went in the afternoon and it was a pretty warm day, so I don’t think the animals were as active as they’d be in the morning or late evening. The ranger said that I could even hold Chloe on my lap, which was a nice change. Really fun to have the animals so close! I was kind of afraid the camel was going to do some damage to our car as he walked by, but he was just rearing his head and smacking his hump. Strange, but fascinating!

McKenzie River Area

I don’t know why, but after this I put my camera away for a few days. Then on day 5 we left and headed to the McKenzie River so David could do some fishing. We camped at Riverside Campground, so he could throw his line into the Santiam as well. Barkley, Chloe and I just sort of hung out. Barkley’s leg is almost perfectly healed, thank goodness. You can hardly see the demarcation line where his fur is growing back (although he still has a bald spot on his back by his tail, where they shaved him WAY too close). And here’s a trial self-portrait with my slr, much harder than with a point-and-shoot!


Self-portrait with the SLR, much harder than with a point-and-shoot!

Barkley relaxing by the river, finally back off-leash


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Little Chicks and Weird Weather

Has it really been a week since I posted last? Sorry about that. One good reason was because I lost my camera. I tend to be such a visual person myself, that I guess I feel that my words are just not enough. I could not find that camera anywhere. David and I looked and looked. A little over a week ago, I finally got fed up with my messy desk and dumped everything into bags (to be sorted later), so I thought for sure that’s where I’d find it. But no. We looked in my purse, in the car, in the office, under the sofa cushions, in all my bags, everywhere we could think of. See what great shots I’d be missing?


Downy and adorable, huddling for warmth

Caught in the act of eating

Nap time for this little chick

Luckily, we still have our old digital camera. I’m so used to my newer camera that I found it harder to use, heavy and bulky. But I was able to get these adorable pics of Marcy and Alex’s new flock of chicks. Aren’t they so sweet? I think they said there were two Americanas, two Rhode Island Reds and two Australorps. We’d have chickens in a heart beat if it weren’t for our home owner’s association. I was entranced just watching them eat, then sleep, then eat again. There little chirp! chirp! sounds were especially innocent and endearing. They’ll be producing almost an egg a day in about 5 months.

The same day we got to see their new chicks, the weather went a little crazy. First it was sunny, then it would snow, then it would be sunny again and then it hailed! Big, gravel-sized balls of hail pounding everywhere and accumulating rapidly. Here are a couple pictures of that.


A shot with David’s shoes, for perspective

With a fresh-picked camellia blossom from M & A’s tree.

Lastly, I thought I should mention that David was the hero who finally found my camera. And guess where it was? In my purse. Where we BOTH had already looked, and which I carry around almost everywhere. Turns out it fell into the small zipper compartment that I hardly use. And David was all Are you sure it’s not in your purse? So he looked again and there it was. Safe and sound, right beneath my very nose the entire time.


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Butterfly Pavilion, Westminster, Colorado

A few days before we left Colorado, Aundrea and Andrew suggested that we all stop into the Butterfly Pavilion. It’s a neat place, great for kids, where you can see all kinds of insects up close, hold a tarantula in your very own hands, gently pet a few objects of sea life like starfish and horseshoe crabs and see all kinds of butterflies. We were lucky to be on time to watch one of the two daily butterfly releases. A speaker comes out with a small cage of butterflies, picks them out individually (by their wings, which surprised me because I thought you were never to touch a butterfly’s wings), gives a short educational lecture and releases them to fly away freely in the tropical conservatory, which is like a plant-filled rainforest-like room.

It was neat to walk around slowly looking for butterflies hidden amid the foliage, or see them flutter by high above. Sadly, I saw several butterflies with torn wings, due careless children, despite the warnings of the speaker. David’s dad mentioned that the place was showing its age, which is true, but I still found it to be a worthwhile and unique experience.


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Neighborhood Coyotes

barkley on hike

Barkley on a hike at Stub Stewart State Park

As I sit down to work at my computer, I hear a fire truck siren going off in the distance, followed by a clear, harmonious howl. David and I turn to each other and smile because we know the howl is coming from Barkley, who is outside at the moment. I’ve only seen him do this a handful of times, but it is simply adorable to watch and it doesn’t last long. I barely get a glimpse of him through the window (never long enough for me to get my camera, argh!). It’s heartening to see a shelter dog who used to be so shy and quiet, feel free to express himself like that.

This reminds me of that coyote I saw on my street last week. A pretty strange occurrence since I don’t live all that far from the city. And no, I wasn’t just seeing things, and no, it wasn’t just a dog on the loose. I know it was a coyote. I’ve seen the signs by our neighborhood lake, and I’ve heard about them from a neighbor, but I never in a million years expected to see one myself. I was just driving home one evening and turned onto our block to find it right in the street. It took one quick look at the car and then trotted away, out of sight. Wow! It was really cool.

Here are some interesting articles from the Audubon Society of Portland on Living with Urban Coyotes and a story from a neighboring community website.

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