Some of our friends and family may still wonder what it is that draws people away from the East Coast to live so far away, on the other side of the continent.
Yesterday Eli and I ventured out to Powell Butte, an old volcano bump in the Southeast corner of Portland. I had never been there before so we were exploring new territory. Powell Butte appears to be the remnants of farm land with a nut orchard in the middle. There's a large series of trails the loop around and intersect each other, covering open grassland and densely forested areas. Currently there is some major construction happening at the main parking area which appears to be a significant development of parking lot, bathrooms and who knows what else.
The park is home to coyotes and black tail mule deer, one of which we spotted towards the end of our walk. The sun was mostly out and I carried my jacket for the entire visit and was still uncomfortably warm. In the forested section we spotted the first trilliums we've seen so far this year. That means winter is gone, we're into spring. Also seen were many stellar jays, a soaring red tailed hawk, American kestrel hovering above a field in search of rodent, a yet unidentified woodpecker, and a rufus sided towhee perched in a blossoming cherry tree.
When we returned home I rolled the lawn mower out of the garage for the first mow of 2014. After much priming and pleading I got it cranked up was able to cut the weeds down to a nearly consistent height. Our lawn currently consists of about 80% intended grass, a sub layer of moss and also a good amount of some weed/flower thing that spreads quite successfully popping up here and there. I also spotted the first dandelions.
Today Eli and I spent the majority of the day weeding our garden beds, pulling each tiny brassaca plant out before it could broadcast it's tiny seeds across the yard. that was a lot of work for about 6 square yards of garden. Somewhere during the weed campaign I had to take a break to photograph the plum tree full of beautiful blossoms. You'll have to wait to see the results. Eli has staked the brass bed head into one of the beds and is planting sugar snaps as I write.
It is true we do miss our friends and being by the ocean, driving a few hours to visit family. But being in Oregon has its benefits. Good luck with all that snow...