Forest Park again…

May 15, 2020 – Wildwood Trail: Newberry Road/BPA Road Loop

We returned to the Wildwood Trail in Forest Park on the west side of Portland for another pandemic hike. It had been raining off and on all week, and the forest was a little drippy. Clouds blocked the view of mountains we saw from the BPA Road last week, but there were lots of new wildflowers this week. (Hike #40, 6.5 miles, 1250 feet)


Newberry Road trailhead


Fern-lined trail




Powerline cut – no mountains this week.

In other good news, nearby forests and state parks are gradually reopening, so we will soon have a wider geography available.



A finish!  Patons Kroy Celestial Purple traveling socks.

Neighborhood walks-






Porch parade


Porch pig


Tethered horse


More words of encouragement!

Addendum – Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge, May 5, 2020

When Washington State reopened some public lands, we went to the driving loop at Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge. The wintering birds – swans, geese, and sandhill cranes – had flown on. Today we saw turtles, redwing blackbirds, egrets and herons. This was our first foray out of our neighborhood in two months, and it was great just to see some wide open spaces from the safe space of our car!


Egret in the distance.





Red wing blackbirds in the meadows.


Ridgefield birds, and darning success

11/30/2019  Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge, WA

On a cold morning we walked the Oaks to Wetlands Trail in the northern unit – the best views are from the railroad bridge. (Hike #55, 2 miles)



Swans in the lake…



Frosty leaves



Bird, oak galls.

We then drove the Auto Tour Route in the southern River ‘S’ unit and saw many more birds than were here in early October.


View from the bird blind – swans and geese will be closer on the far side of the driving loop.


Beyond the lake, a large flock of tall birds…


Zooming in-


sand hill cranes, a heron,


and an egret.


A great blue heron landed right next to the road.

Meanwhile, in the lake:


Lots of geese and swans,



and a black swan.

Knitting and the darning pile:


Fingerless mitts – just need the thumbs. Malabrigo Arroyo in the Jupiter color way.


Darned and depilled – three pairs of socks and a sweater!

Two wildlife refuges, Indian Heaven, and trying to keep up with fall colors, Sept-Oct 2019

It has been a busy couple of weeks – a quilt show, a fiber festival, hikes at two wildlife refuges and Indian Heaven Wilderness. Meanwhile, the Mac hard drive is off at the Genius repair shop. I am learning blog work-arounds via iPad.

Friday, September 27 – I attended the Northwest Quilt Expo, admired all the quilts and photographed many. This vintage Tile Friendship Quilt (circa 1900, maker unknown) from the Latimer Quilt Museum, was very interesting. Seemingly random shapes are appliquéd to a plain background, each signed by a different maker in true Friendship Quilt style. It looks very modern, but it is old and entirely hand stitched!

I bought a few fat eighths to add to a batik quilt in my mental UFO list.

Sunday, September 29 -I visited the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival in Canby, Oregon, just long enough to buy a lighter weight spindle and more fiber to practice drop spinning.

Then we went to the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, our first visit there, and walked around the perimeter. Not many birds have arrived yet, but there are great overlooks and a nice winter trail for future visits. (Hike#44, 3.6 miles)

Great Blue Heron

Hawthorne berries

Looking across the refuge – soon this will be flooded with water and birds.

Great Blue Heron on the return trail.

Saturday, October 5 – We went to the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge in Washington during their season closing bird fest. We walked the Kiwa Trail and part of the newly opened Carty Lake trail, and also went inside the Chinook Plankhouse to look around. (Hike#45, 3.2 miles)


Sand Hill Cranes

Sand Hill Cranes in flight.

Great Horned Owl

Carty Lake

Chinook plank house

Inside the plankhouse.

Chinook Salmon trap

Sunday, October 6 – We joined friends for a hike in Indian Heaven Wilderness – from the East Crater trailhead to Junction and Lemei Lakes. Late fall colors, thawed mushrooms and blueberries, very pretty. (Hike#46, 8.8 miles, 1000 feet)

East Crater beyond one of many small lakes along the trail.

Junction Lake

Lemei Rock

Lemei Lake

Neighborhood walks – Meanwhile, in Northeast Portland, the days grow shorter, the light angles lower, the leaves more colorful.

Katsura trees


Neighborhood witches hunting…

More witches…

Ash trees reflected in nearby windows.

Rain chain shadows

Knitting – I am making progress on my Meris cardigan….

Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge birds, a lunar eclipse, and new knitting projects

1/19/2019 Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge, WA, in the fog

We drove the auto tour in the southern, River S Unit, to see if anyone was out today.



We saw several bald eagles through the fog all along the route.

It was a great day for Great Blue Herons near the road.



Great blue heron standing in the field beyond a flock of Canada geese.


We also saw swans and more geese,


lots of nutria swimming, and this one crossing the road:


lots of ducks,


We watched a hawk take a bath on a sign near the exit.


1/20/2019 Lunar Eclipse

The clouds cleared for about 10 minutes. We saw the moon just as it was entering totality. My camera could not see it once it went dark, but we briefly saw the orange glow of the blood red moon before the clouds closed in again.


My best image, hand held and zoomed in.

New knitting

I cast on another pair of socks from Berocco Sox yarn – plain vanilla with a 3×3 cable down the sides.


And a Brioche Watch Cap from  Berroco Millifiori yarn – this makes a cushy and shiny fabric, and works up fast!


Good deeds for the week – I cleaned out my sewing cabinet and organized my threads and notions, so now I should be able to find things and get back to sewing. And I enabled a new sock knitter!

Neighborhood Poetry Posting


Rest In Peace, Mary Oliver. Your poems will live forever.

12. Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge

Kiwa Trail   7/4/2017  (#36)

We celebrated 4th of July with a midday stroll along the Kiwa Trail at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington. The  one and a half mile loop trail crosses through treed areas, open fields and wetlands.

Birders love this trail – we were surrounded by much birdsong and glimpsed a few, including redwing blackbird sentinels.  The trail is closed during winter nesting season, and I can easily imagine the fields full of swans and geese. Today was warm and dry with only a few clouds, so not much wildlife viewing.  We appreciated the vistas, the quiet,  the ambient sounds, and the splash of color from the midsummer wildflowers.


  • bullfrog – a deep bass mooing,
  • birds – higher pitched tweets, warbles, pips and chirps,
  • train – periodic horn blast and thrum of wheels on rails,
  • breeze in trees – intermittent light percussive ruffling,
  • country band – occaisional wafts from the Ridgefield 4th of July celebration, less than a mile away as the crow flies,

Critters: tree frog, turtle, butterfly, redwing blackbird, other birds.

I noticed wapato plants with acute triangular leaves and three petaled white flowers growing in one of the wetlands.  The bright green leaves reflect the sunlight in an array of pointed spaceships, ready for takeoff, and also shadowed transparency with interesting intersecting shapes in the bright sunlight.

The wapato blooms are  bright white with three petals.


Other blooming wildflowers/weeds were mostly dry season holdovers – many noted for growing in disturbed areas.  The refuge is a reclaimed pastureland, after all.

Preserving time by catching shadows behind leaves and light on grass, on water, and on a butterfly in a freeze frame photo.