A Nice Quiet Weekend

The past few weeks at work have brought added stress even though my workload was usually not bad, as we knew layoffs were coming. I survived the axe once more but can’t say the same for some of my friends. A nice quiet weekend was just what I needed.

The weather here in Portland was projected to be beautiful so I got up before dawn Saturday morning and headed out to Ridgefield. No great pictures as the best subjects came after the first hour of sunlight when the light wasn’t so good, but it was an enjoyable morning nonetheless. The yellow-headed blackbirds have indeed returned, they stayed in the interior of the marsh but their singing could be heard from the road. Hopefully I’ll catch them near the road sometime over the next couple of months before they leave us.

The savannah sparrows were out singing in the meadows as well but I didn’t get the good looks I got last year. Two coyotes were out and about but just out of reach, one had something dark and duck-sized in its mouth. Red-winged blackbirds were numerous and singing, and while watching them I noticed a young bittern just a few feet away at the edge of the marsh.

As I was about ready to leave I spotted a river otter nearby in a narrow channel. I waited to see if it would resurface but they swim fast and can hold their breath for a long time, so it was probably already off fishing somewhere far away.

The rest of the day was spent in yardwork, as was Sunday afternoon. I can barely move but it was lovely weather to be outside. I moved a blueberry bush that was struggling due to lack of sunlight, as well as some strawberries that were too close to the fence. They are both survivors from when I weeded the forest of weeds that was growing under the grapes when we moved in, and from when I dug up the grapes as well.

The strawberries in particular have done well since I sent the grapes on their longest journey, there were only a few straggly plants but with the grapes gone they get a lot more sunlight and now there’s a whole patch of ’em. The berries are surprisingly delicious so I hope the transplants will survive.

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