--the familiar product of sugar and heat. Yesterday I had an experience that was particularly annoying: In a Starbucks I saw a big, hand-lettered chalkboard sign promoting the latest coffee drink. The concoction was described as being "carmelly smooth." Have people started spelling it as if it were two syllables, too?
(Photo by Evan-Amos, from Wikipedia.)
Friday, July 15, 2011
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Next I set out to find Shevlin Park, a large wooded park north of Bend with a fast stream through it that came recommended for birding. It was very badly signposted. I was about to give up on finding it when I accidentally came across it on my GPS (it wasn't there the first time I looked). I took an hour's walk through pine woods and scrub and then along the river on my way back. It turned out to be an excellent spot. Got a new life bird--Green-tailed Towhee. In places the trees were alive with chickadees--both Black-capped Chickadee and Mountain Chickadee, I believe, and nuthatches. Got a good close-up look at a Hairy Woodpecker. The Northwest subspecies is distinctly buff-colored where ours are white. I saw a Lewis's Woodpecker and a wren and a flycatcher I'm still trying to figure out. More life birds?
The rest of the day was spent driving through scenery that was pretty, but not up to the level of yesterday. Dinner tonight at Caffe Mingo (503 226-4646, serving until 10:00PM weekdays, 11:00PM weekends), in northwest Portland (807 NW 21st St., the "Alphabet District"), where I write this. Not too expensive, excellent food. Citrus-marinated olives (some of these are Castelvetrano olives, some taste like they've been marinated in hazelnut oil); artichokes crusted with garlic; braised chicken and mushroom risotto; washed down with a glass of Garofoli Verdicchio. Friendly, neighborhood atmosphere, a number of communal tables, an excellent wine list. About half the customers appear to be regulars--always a good sign--with the waiters and waitresses calling customers by name. There is no Wi-Fi connection here, but the connection is good from the restaurant next door, (Serrato, which also looks interesting). Recommended. Now, it's time to look for a place to sleep.... I may stop here again on my way back--if that works out.
Hit the road fairly early, heading first for a place called Honey Lake Wildlife Area, along the northeast shore of Honey Lake. I walked around a bit and saw some birds, notably, dozens of Nighthawks both flying around the way they do, looking for insects on the wing, but also perched in trees, which I've never seen before. Nighthawks are one of my favorite birds. I used to love to watch them at dusk in Ohio, behaving like bats. They don't live where I live now, so it was a lot of fun just to see them. There were many Western Kingbirds (very noisy), a couple of Kestrels, many Brewer's Blackbirds and Red-winged Blackbirds, including at least one that appeared to be a Tricolored Blackbird. There was a Yellow-headed Blackbird as well, and a solitary Spotted Sandpaper.
The rest of the day was mostly spent driving north on Hwy. 395 and then Hwy. 31 and Hwy. 97, to Bend--a long haul, but vastly more interesting than equivalent drives through Nevada or Kansas. At least the scenery was varied and interesting. It was rough and parched in some areas, with exposed rock seams pushing out from softer, eroded rock, looking like gigantic fossil bones. In other places there were lush-looking grasslands and wildflowers--many purple lupines--and always mountains in the distance. About half way along the route, I passed a second large lake, which appears to have been Lake Summer. As I approached Bend, a snow-capped volcanic cone appeared, which may have been Mt. Bachelor. In several places along the route I dodged thunderstorms like then one pictured above.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
For more found art, see my blog Serendipitous Art.