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Sunday, February 1, 2015

When I started thinking about what I would post for this month, I was pretty sure there would not be much to post.  It seemed like there was pretty much nothing remarkable to say.  But then I went through the photos and realized that there really was a whole lot that did go on this month.  On the first of January, I took a walk to the park.  I had not walked there since before my surgery in November.  It seems like so far it was our coldest day of the year.  The wind was really blowing, which was hard to walk in either direction, going it was pushing me ahead and coming back it was pushing me so hard it was hard to step forward. It really made for a nice work out. There were tiny waves on the lake.  There was ice covering the rocks and drops frozen in action dripping from the sticks.  Puddles had been turned to a fine layer of ice and leaves frozen to it.  The little pond behind the lake was so pretty with a layer of skim ice on it, it just shined.  I like how the bare red branches of the vine maples brightened it all up.

But as cold as the New Year began, we had one of our warmest Januarys.  We even took the grandkids, including little Lina wrapped in her Mommy's carrier for a walk to the lake. 

January is our biggest birthday month of the year.  Johnjr, started out the month, then Johnsr had his 60th!  After that came my Dad's 80th.  Emily celebrated her Sweet 16 with some friends and her brother ice skating and Ariel finished off the month.  

Since the weather has been so unusally warm, there have been plenty of the usual birds hunting food at the feeders.
I just wish they would not take off so fast and hit the window!!  These two left perfect marks.  Lucky for them they revived and flew away.

This fat guy was just sitting staring in the window.  I think he was in a food coma.

The Canada geese are flooding the park.  They are there by the hundreds, maybe thousands. They fill the sky, the lake and the grassy areas.  One day I spotted a white bird out in the middle of them.  He was the same size and I was Sure it was a swan.  I love swans.  I have never seen a swan here, I got so excited.  But I knew I had to be stealthy in order to get close enough to capture a shot of it.  As I got closer, I realized it wasn't a swan but a huge white goose.  Once I got the photo on my computer I noticed it had a black tail.  I Googled 'geese of Oregon' and found out it is a Snow Goose.  The black that I thought was its tail really was the tips of its wings.  Somehow he must have become separated from his own flock and these guys just let him hang with them.  He hasn't been there since that day.

One day, the geese were celebrating the warm sun, I guess.  I have never noticed them having such a splashing time.  They were actually rolling over in the water.  At times they would all have their wings out and I was all ready to hear them bust out with the YMCA song.

Besides the normal ducks that I always see in the summer, I have spotted a few new guys that I have not seen before.  The left top and bottom are called Buffleheads (top is a male and female).  Bottom right is a Ring Necked duck, but I don't understand why they named that because the ring is actually around his beak.  The top is a Merganser.  AHHH!!!  I can't believe it!  I used to make fun of my parents when they started knowing the names of the birds and getting so excited when a new one came around.

One day at the park, I spotted a Red Breasted Sapsucker.  He turned and looked me over, which was great for me to get a shot of him.

One of the Blue Herons that hangs at the lake was up in a tree.  I took a few shots, and then he flew away.  Once I got home on the computer, I saw he was only on one leg...even after he had turned around on the branch he was standing on, I could not see the other leg.  I know that they pull one up to rest, but it seemed weird that even after he turned, he didn't put it down.  I will keep an eye out this spring to see if I can find him again.

The fall was so warm, the leaves didn't really turn color and fall off some of the trees.  They are still hanging on.  I wonder what will happen when the new ones try to bud out this spring.
The camellias are blooming already!

Most of the time the lake is full of ripples and some days it is practically waves, from all the gorge wind, but now and then it is so calm...just like a mirror.  

My favorite shot of the lake since we moved here.

So the weather reports said it was going to be rain, lots and lots of rain for a few days.  I decided it would be a good time to work a puzzle.  I love working them, it has been a while since I have done one, so off to the store I went.  I found a good one, came home and set it up.  I decided it would be best to do it up on the counter so that Josiah and Arianna would not be tempted to play with it and also I didn't want the table covered on it for days and days while I worked it.  I set to work...and did not stop for two days!  I could have easily have worked it at the table, it was done before the grandkids came to visit and I barely took time to eat anyway.  I was obsessed.

So I put the obsessive part of me to work on something that I have been putting off for years.  I pulled everything out of one of my old trunks.  This trunk is where I saved all my old letters, cards, newspaper clippings...that sort of thing....for the last...40 years!!!  Now you know why I have been putting it off!  Would you believe that I even had Every email that the kids wrote to me when email came to be?  That was in the middle of Dennis' college days, about the time Jessi left for college.  Argh!  I could not just pick them up and trash them!  I read every one!  and then decided to keep or toss.  It took me a full week to complete my task.  It was tough, believe me.  I ended up with 3 laundry baskets full!  Once I had gone so far to sort them out, I still could not take them right out to the recycling.  They sat in the corner for a few days, just so I could be sure.  Then one more time before I dumped them, I sifted through them just in case something had been put in there by mistake.  Finally the night before the bin had to be at the curb, I patted them goodbye and let them go.  Seriously, it was a hard thing to let go of.  But really what good is it to have all those memories stored in a trunk?  Someday, somebody will have to go through them and I sure would not want to have to sort through somebody else's memory trunk, so I decided that I would take care of it myself.  I now have a bundle of the really special ones, each tied with a ribbon for each of my kids, along with a few bundles of other special cards and memories.  It is up to them someday to decide to keep or toss.  At least I whittled it down, right?