I heard an unusually big sound of wings between me and the creek this morning, and looked up to see a pair of Bald Eagles!! I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen this bird before ever, and were they actually right here a few steps from my own house?
Yes, they were. They were leaving the branches of a tree as I walked by, and flew low through the creek bed a little farther, lit again briefly, and then lifted up into the blue sky above me where I got a movie with my phone, of them circling around me and the treetops. They are not too high and small in the movie to recognize their markings and confirm who they are. I can’t get over my astonishment, but I don’t mind it hanging on to me longer….
Also down by the creek many of the trees have colonies of mistletoe like this. One day I counted several dozen “decorated” trees, and when I went back in the evening the light was perfect for documenting the clumps that I normally don’t pay attention to.
Much prettier sights are also to be seen looking up:
I heard a lovely choral Christmas concert performed in our church last week. Beforehand all the electric lights were turned on, and looking up there one could see the dome brightly even though it was night! For the winter liturgical services we still only use candles, even at night, so it was different to get this view:
I have started cleaning up the garden in preparation for the dormant season. The sunflowers are still blooming, but I don’t want to wait until a frost hits to try to stuff them all in the bin, so I am filling it with sunflowers weekly. These Delta Sunflowers are the best! The birds adore them, too — Every time I go out the front door, a dozen are under the thicket, where a million seeds must have fallen by now and are still dropping.
I brought in the last bouquet:
In the back garden, Christmas is more obviously on the way!
Yes, another road trip! My first stop, as often works out best, was at Pippin’s. The children doted on me and I on them, and well, I like the parents a lot, too!
I drove through the rain the last couple of hours of my first day, up through the top center of California, and arrived in town just in time to catch the last ten minutes of Ivy’s ballet lesson. She is a beginner ballerina but was fun to watch.
Everyone was surprised that all three children and I could spend so much of the next morning coloring pictures I had brought, as we watched birds at the feeders. We colorers chatted about how it is way more fun to do coloring with other people, and we were proving the principle.
Between rain storms and frost the next two days we went on a couple of splendid nature walk expeditions, first to Lake Siskiyou where the Sacramento River comes into it.
Pippin remarked at this point, “From here we tend to make slow progress because there are so many rocks to look at.” Indeed. And to bring home!
On my second morning I stood at the kitchen window while eating my breakfast bowl, and watched four deer eating their breakfast of willow leaves off the back lawn.
And that afternoon found most of us along the Sacramento River Trail near Castle Crags. The last time I’d been here my husband was still feeling healthy and we were here together with Pippin’s family.
This time was lovely, too, nearly four years later, during fall instead of winter, with bigleaf maple leaves covering the paths, oaks and firs and Port Orford Cedars and more kinds of trees…. The children had a ball on the rocks jutting out into the river and Scout named one spot after me: Pearl Point, because I had told him the day before that Gretchen means little pearl.
Jamie was missing his nap but you would never know it by the way he marched along the trail and climbed cheerfully for hours up and down banks and over countless large river stones.
On our drive back home Scout’s mind was busy planning the evening’s activity and chattering about all his ideas. His mother and I were not enthusiastic about the first ambitious projects he came up with, so he said, “Well, then, Grandma, what would you like to do?” It shows a developmental leap, I think, that he was showing this willingness to consider what other people’s preferences might be.
I thought a bit, and answered, “I would like to do something that wouldn’t require thinking or talking, or being on my feet.”
“Is reading considered talking?”
“Well, then, would you like to read that book about Kit Carson that you gave me for my birthday?”
I surely would love that, and I read three chapters while dinner was being prepared by other people on their feet, and Scout colored another picture while he was listening.
Now I’ve moved on to Oregon, where Walt has found and started restoring the truck he was only dreaming about back in September when I was here.
Oregon trees and their knock-out gorgeous fall colors
are competing for my designation of Favorite.
So far I think I like the last one best.
I’m not halfway through this road trip. Before I get home I’ll have slept twelve nights not in my own bed. I’ll have seen five friends and ten family members, staying in five homes. It does feel like a little much for an old lady, but I’m enjoying myself and will try to check in at least once more to tell you more about my northern adventures.