Friday, October 8, 2010

BirdFest in Ridgefield

This weekend (October 10 & 11) Friends of Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge presents BirdFest and Bluegrass in Ridgefield, WA. I have not yet gone to one of these, and I will be unable to attend once again due to moving, but it sounds like a lot of fun! Someone needs to go and tell me all about it.

In honor of the festiveness, I decided to post even more photos from Ridgefield, taken on my latest visit a couple weeks ago. I really love visiting this place and this time I got some nice surprises.

An egret stands in the water, looking for lunch.

A hunt in progress. Seeing these egrets so close is a real treat!

A bittern?! !!! These elusive heron-like birds are a rare delight since they are so skittish.

Late summer seems to bring these pipers to the waters at Ridgefield. I never see them any other time of the year.

A Frog! This time of year is also great so spying frogs hiding in the ponds along with turtles sunbathing.

Nutria seems to take over in the summer. The water ways are filled with algae and these critters munching on it all day long. Along a walking path open to the public during the summer, tons of nutria were seen eating along the grass edge. This one was the last to leave, distracted by a flower.

Bees and crickets and other tiny critters were fun to spot. I also saw tree frogs which were fun.

These flowers grow all over in different stages of growth, and always make beautiful subjects to photograph.

Even blooms with less color can create a beautiful display.

Wild flowers take over a part of a grassy field.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


When I mentioned to a friend I wanted to stop at the Alpaca farm while visiting San Juan Island, she was not convinced. She thought we could see alpacas anywhere. I promised her we'd just make a quick stop. I love this place since the alpacas are fairly close and so cute! I don't know if I've actually seen them anywhere else either. Luckily my friend agreed the visit was worth it!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Cascade Raptor Center

A hawk enjoys a water bottle spray on a hot day.

I volunteer at the Audubon Wildlife Care Center and get to see amazing birds of all sorts every week. A bird handler I work with mentioned one day about Cascade Raptor Center in Eugene and told me it was remarkable and I had to go there some time. For someone like herself to say that, I knew it was a must see! Every year I take the girl I have mentored since she was 12 (she is now 19) camping somewhere. This year I decided camping near Eugene would be fun so we could enjoy the outdoors, visit the raptor center and eat at my favorite place in Eugene, Pizza Research Institute who has the best vegan pizza.

Ki, a Red-Shouldered Hawk stands patiently at an education talk.

I timed my trip to the Cascade Raptor Center to correspond with the education bird talk and got to meet a red-shouldered hawk named Ki and a Turkey Vulture named Kali. They were both so fascinating and the bird handlers who very informative. The woman handling Kali was especially enthusiast about her privilege to be a part of the vulture’s life and even had an amazing vulture tattoo on her wrist. It is great to see such enthusiasm! These birds are in a facility such as this due to injuries or other issues that make it so they can not go back to the wild successfully. The raptor center gives animals a second chance at life while being able to educate the public. In conjunction to the center, they also run a rehabilitation center for raptors.

This Turkey Vulture Kali has attitude and I love it!

A Kestrel

A bald eagle enjoying some sunshine.

A Snowy Owl who just had a drink of water.

This Northern Goshawk mesmerized me.

Saw-Whet Owls are just adorable!

A Western Screech Owl tried to hide. They are my favorite!

A Long-Eared Owl displaying her namesake.

More Bald Eagles! Beautiful!

A White-Tailed Kite! Wow!

These White-Tailed Kite sisters were rescued together.
I was pleasantly surprised by the number of native birds and small mammals that visited the center, making the visit exceptionally unique.

A Western Grey Squirrel, which you never see in Portland anymore.

A deer surprised up roaming the streets in Eugene, just below the raptor center.
These photos really do not do the raptors justice. I highly recommend that if you get a chance, check this place out in person. You will love it!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Swallows and Ducks at Crystal Springs

The Crystal Springs Rhododendron Gardens are really my favorite place in Portland. I got to introduce a new friend to the area, which is always fun since everyone enjoys it. Where else can you be greeted with so much wildlife and flowers and trees in such a small area? I was surprised to see a family of barn swallows concentrated in a tree. They are so adorable. Of course there were ducks, still some ducklings and flowers as well. Anytime of the year you will find something unique and delightful to see here!