Frosted Newt

A rough-skinned newt covered in grains of sand peeks over a branch lying on the ground on the Intertie Trail at William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge in Corvallis, Oregon in April 2006

My favorite creature of the Pacific Northwest, a rough-skinned newt, is covered with grains of sand making it look like it was frosted with powdered sugar. Predators with a sweet tooth should take note of the bright orange coloring however as it is a warning the newts can be toxic if ingested. Taken in 2006 on a return trip to William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge, a favorite hiking spot when we lived further south in Oregon. With today’s cameras I could have both gotten this shot much more easily and with more depth-of-field, but it’s still a nice reminder of my longtime home and neighbors.

Converted Farmland

An old barn in a fruit orchard at William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge

The wildlife refuges near me are converted farmland and to my eye this is most evident at the William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge in Corvallis, Oregon. There are several barns around the property, such as this one near the old fruit orchard, and the headquarters is in the old pioneer house. Or at least it was, I can’t say for sure if it still is today. We used to live near Salem and driving to Finley was reasonable, but since we moved to Portland over a decade ago it would now be a two hour drive (four hours round trip). So I haven’t been in many years, but perhaps I should make the pilgrimage one day to get reacquainted.