Fall Grouse

A sooty grouse on a rainy fall day on the Sourdough Ridge Trail in Mount Rainier National Park

I had just arrived at the Sunrise area of Mount Rainier National Park and was taking a quick exploratory hike on the Sourdough Ridge Trail late in the day, as I had never been to that part of the park before. It was cold and raining but I found first a hoary marmot and then a group of sooty grouse on the way back to the car. My hands were soaked and cold so I was fumbling with the camera, but I watched them for as long as I could stand before continuing back to the car.

In Memory of Sari

My sister's dog Sari rests on my mom's bed underneath a picture of my sister

In memory of my sister’s sweet pup Sari, who had to be euthanized today after a long illness. These pictures are from 2009, Sari was sleeping on my mom’s bed. In the first picture I angled the camera so the picture of my sister hanging on the wall was looking over her pup. The picture below is my favorite of her, she seems so happy in her sleep, and look at those wonderful ears. She was a real sweetheart, she even got to meet Ellie one time when my sister came to visit us in Portland, I saw her for the last time this summer when I was in Atlanta.

Rest in peace little one.

My sister's dog Sari sleeps on my mom's bed

My sister's dog Sari sleeps on my mom's bed

My sister's dog Sari rests on my mom's bed

Ellie’s Path

A sign indicates no thru traffic on the leaf-covered Klickitat Street in the Irvington neighborhood of Portland, Oregon

Ellie wanted to head east out of the dog park this morning instead of her traditional south, so we headed out along the leaf-covered Klickitat Street. This part of the street is closed to car traffic except for people with driveways here, so it’s a nice place to walk with your aging pup, especially when paved with fallen color. Eventually Ellie turned south and we continued all the way to her buddy Steve’s house. He wasn’t out so we took a detour west past America’s Noodle and then past the dialysis center with the mural, then doubled back to Steve’s (still not out) before heading home.

A graffiti-covered truck is parked outside America's Noodle in Portland's Irvington neighborhood

Is It Dinner Time Yet?

Our cat Sam stares at me with his eyes wide open

No Sam, dinner is still 40 minutes away. He gets hungry about 60 to 90 minutes before dinner and climbs into my lap and studies my every move, sometimes making biscuits on my stomach to suggest dinner must have been hours ago and I have clearly forgotten to feed him.

Sun & Rain

The sun shines on leaves covered in large raindrops

After a heavy rain, the sun peeked out briefly early in our walk after Ellie and I left the dog park on this Thanksgiving morning. The rain returned for the next hour as we meandered around Irvington, but that’s OK, we both love the rain, and we both enjoyed the walk. Ellie made two passes by Steve’s house but he wasn’t there. She tried bolting up the stairs, presumably to ring the doorbell, but I made her move along.


Leaves sit on artwork of flowers in a sidewalk

Ellie and I came across this example of life imitating art imitating life on our walk on a rainy November morning. I’m thankful for this old neighborhood we’ve lived in for over fifteen years, for the pup who’s led me out to explore it for nine, and to all those who’ve installed art around their homes for us to enjoy. We’ll likely have to move as I look for a new job but there is still some hope we can stay. Regardless I’m thankful for our time here, we’ve been blessed.