Mom’s 90th

Yesterday would have been Mom’s 90th birthday. I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t have been too thrilled to hit that milestone; I can hear her voice saying “I’m so old!” Still, it’s impossible to see this date on the calendar and not think of the many positive milestones in her life. There’s no way to tell her whole story in just a few pictures, but here are some of my favorites.

This is the earliest picture of her I’ve found. She’s probably 2 here, with my grandparents, Anna and Morris Rosenblum, and her big sister, my Aunt Selma.
Here she is as a young mother of 3 boys, during the Kennedy era.
Mom and Dad, more than 50 years into their marriage.
Mom as a very happy mother-in-law, grandma, and great-grandma (GG).
Mom’s last birthday, in 2019. This was a really good day: a sing-along at her residence that got her dressed up and out, and after a rest back in her room, a clandestine takeout dinner of her favorite treyf.

Tualatin Hills Nature Park, and Beaverton Creek Wetlands

The Tualatin Hills Parks and Recreation District covers more than 50 square miles and serves over 200,000 people just west of us in Washington County, making it the largest parks district in Oregon. They have 95 park sites, 70 miles of trails, and 1,500 acres of natural areas, in addition to their rec centers and programs. I recently spent a morning exploring two of their sites: the Tualatin Hills Nature Park and the nearby Beaverton Creek Wetlands Natural Area.

(Click on the image to visit the full gallery.)

Lo De Marcos 2018

As much as I’ve been enjoying my local explorations this winter, I’ve also been reminiscing about not-cold not-gray winter warmth travel in years past. Here are a few photos of some different birds from our trip to Lo De Marcos, Mexico, back in January of 2018. These are from two cameras ago — a Panasonic FZ28 that I had used for years in Santa Barbara. That camera is still plugging away, as Rosa’s first camera. Hoping for a guest blog some time soon!

The house folding guide to Birds of the Pacific Coast of Mexico called this a Colibrí Piquiancho — Broad-billed hummingbird.
Perhaps a Mosquero — a Flycatcher
An Ibis resting in the treetops
Garza-nocturna coroniclara – yellow-crowned night heron
OK, it’s not a bird, it’s an iguana. But it was in a tree.

Whitaker Ponds and Smith & Bybee Lakes, January 2022

Portland and the surrounding cities do a great job providing urban access to nature. There are greenway paths between developments, wetland trails linking parks, more than 30 city “natural areas”, and more than a dozen Metro nature parks. Many of these sites were created by protecting undeveloped spaces, but there have also been many projects to reclaim areas that had been previously impacted by industrial activities. I recently visited two of them: Whitaker Ponds, and Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area.

Whitaker Ponds is a mile away from the Columbia River, with the airport in between. It is adjacent to the Whitaker Slough, which connects to the 19 mile long Columbia River Slough. Part of the area had been a dump, and they say over 2000 tires were removed to create the park. A trail runs between the ponds and the slough, surrounded by cottonwoods and shrubs, passing through a variety of environments supporting many different creatures,

We’ve visited Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area several times in the past few years to walk the nature trail. At 2000 acres, it is one of the largest protected wetlands within city limits in the country. Near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers, it is surrounded by warehouses and port terminals. There are two seasonal lakes, a riparian forest, sedge meadows, and a landfill that has been converted to a grasslands habitat. The Interlakes Trail has two viewing shelters, which on this visit were pretty distant from most of the waterfowl action. I heard a bald eagle, and saw an empty nest, but didn’t see one perched or flying in the Natural Area. But I did see a bald eagle at close range on the drive from Whitaker, flying at stoplight height through a nearby intersection.

(Click on the image to visit the full gallery.)