The following is my “original” first column that I turned in. Because they wanted to add a “Bio” they chose one of my shorter entries for the newsletter. I hope you enjoy …
I woke this morning to a light snowfall. I bundled up and headed out for my morning walk. Two does were walking along the ridge on the hill across the river. I got to watch a male and a female Salmon courting in the water above the rapids. She would swim up the rocks with him following close behind before they would disappear into the shallow pool to the east. They did this over and over many times before the final loud smacking of tail fins against the rocks and the laying of eggs.
I watched a doe with her two yearlings walking in the willows across the river. Every time I would put my binoculars up to see them, the doe would be staring right into my binoculars, never taking her eyes off of me.
Heading east, I walked around the bend to see yellow heart shaped leaves gently falling from the big Cottonwood tree. I stood in awe as I enjoyed hearts floating around the tree in the cool morning breeze. A Great Blue Heron came flying in from along the creek and continued west along the river. Yesterday two Great Blue Heron came flying right at each other and in mid air smacked right into each other with one of them letting out a loud call. Territories are being established and defended as autumn comes to a close.
The mornings have been filled this week with Night Heron, Night Hawks, Mountain Chickadees, Northern Flickers, Song Sparrows, and the occasional Belted King Fisher. A few days ago several Wood Ducks came through on the river before leaving the next morning. A flock of Canada Geese were flying east above my head this morning. The male Common Mergansers are replacing their summer colors for their more stately mating colors. I have heard a Horned Lark singing twice from the thicket across from the goat pasture.
As I walked past the pasture the geese were lined up and taking turns bathing in the water troth. Each being patient and waiting their turn as the one in front splashed around and preened its feathers. The black goat is even bigger this week. I have finally seen her from behind, oh goodness, she has to be pregnant. Her right side is twice the size as the left and her belly is hanging low.
As I stood on the rivers edge the sun poked out from above the clouds and lit up an American Robin who was sitting in the top of a tree. It was beautiful to see its chest the exact shade of orange as the tree it was sitting in. A mink swam along the shoreline as I was turning to leave. The rains have stopped, exposing the path that takes me to the boulders that I like to sit on. I sprang up quickly after an ever so brief respite on one of the boulders … Brrrr
Heading west I looked across the river to see one of the yearlings eating berries or leaves from a low hanging tree. I looked a little south just in time to see the mother and her other yearling getting a drink of water from the river.
Not having seen the fox in over a week I got excited when I saw a flash of orange and white across the river and up the hill. I laughed out loud as I focused in with my binoculars to see a clay colored rock with bird poop on it. Oh well, maybe next time.
link to my article in the Pendleton Bird Club Newsletter http://www.pendletonbirders.org