A Little Jealous

A self-portrait in Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon

I had to laugh when I looked at this self-portrait from fourteen years ago at Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge, judging by the youth in my face I initially assumed it must be older than it was. I’m a little envious of him, a little for his youth, but especially because he was on the other side of a move. My wife had changed jobs a couple years prior and we moved to Portland, I’m not sure why I went back to my old stomping grounds on this day but it was one of the rare times I’d visit the refuge again. I must have sensed that I wouldn’t be coming back often, both due to the distance and new favorite parks to the north, since I took the time for a self-portrait on the trail. As I recall this was the first park I visited in Oregon, but either way I spent a lot of time here when we lived nearby.

I believe the job search will be over soon, I’ll say more when I know for sure, but I will be glad to be moving on to the next phase, which will be moving. Of the two opportunities I’m considering (one is an offer, one is an upcoming interview) both require a move, either to California or Arizona. Not that I’m looking forward to moving, getting the house ready to sell, figuring out where to rent or buy in the new city, and actually packing and moving, but rather that I’m looking forward to being on the other side.

Moving the pets will be a challenge. Ellie had a health scare yesterday, while I was waiting on a phone call about the job offer I noticed she couldn’t stop panting and was really restless, so when I got off the phone we were off to the vet. X-rays and blood tests didn’t show anything surprising but the vet noticed she was sensitive around her back and stomach so she’s on extra painkillers for now that also keep her somewhat sedate and if she doesn’t improve will have to go in for more tests. She just had her yearly checkup a couple of weeks ago so we’re not sure what is going on.

Sam and Trixie also had their checkups recently but this time, when I put her in the carrier, Trixie began slamming her body against the sides of the carrier and howled like a banshee the entire way there and back, even upsetting the normally docile Sam. The move will require a two or three day drive, so …

Resting, Hiding

A black-tailed deer rests in the shadows, hidden by the tall grass, along the Rich Guadagno Memorial Loop Trail at Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon

A black-tailed deer rests in the shadows, hidden by the tall grass, along the Rich Guadagno Memorial Loop Trail at Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. I’d frame this a little differently today, I took this in the summer of 2001 during my first full year with a digital camera, although to be fair to my past self I was working around hot-spots created by the bright sun. I think the trail back then was known as the Baskett Butte Trail, as the trail leads up to Baskett Butte, but the trail is now named in Rich’s memory. He was a former manager of the refuge and would die two months after this photo was taken in the attacks on 9/11. There is a plaque dedicated to him atop the butte.

Winter in the Willamette Valley

Fallen tree branches covered in moss sit amongst wet leaves on the forest floor

Winters in Oregon’s Willamette Valley are generally cool, not cold, and more wet from rain than white from snow. This allows many plants to stay green throughout the winter, with my favorite green that of moss which almost glows in the soft overcast light. This picture from 2002 is from the forested section of Baskett Butte, where moss covered the branches that had fallen to the forest floor.