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!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Another Visit to Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge

I have a love/hate relationship with wildlife refuges. I love all the wildlife I see on them, but I hate the fact that they allow hunting some times of the year. Not much of a refuge, huh!? Driving through Ridgefield you always see wildlife on the ground, in the trees, on the water and up above soaring through the sky. In the fall, these visions are interrupted by gunshots which make the visit not so peaceful at all. Although fall is the best time of year to see swans and migrating water birds, any time of year is a good time to visit.

Unless you want to walk around and the mosquitoes are out for revenge, which is what I experienced this go around. I did not get to walk on the trails and explore more outdoors and potential wildlife sighting since just a couple minutes out of the car I was surrounded by the nasty biters. I am so susceptible to their bites and they seem to love me, so I ran back to the car and hope to try again later this summer. Luckily, I did still get some great photos. I need to practice for the photo contest, but looking at past winners, I not only need more practice, but a better lens as well. Regardless of any missed photo opportunities or disturbing noises in the background, this place is a great place to visit.

The first wildlife sighting of the day and the first racoon I've seen at Ridgefield.

Red-winged Black Birds on common along wetlands and their songs are always pretty to hear.

A Great Blue Heron was spotted on the road by my friend in her rear view mirror. What a huge heron as well!

Obviously I got a little intrigued by the caterpillars that were hanging all over some plants along a little waterway...