Sunday, August 24, 2008

We'll Miss This Place

We are really going to miss this RV site at White River when we leave in a week. It has been the absolutely most wonderful place to stay we have ever been in. We will miss the privacy, the quiet, the cows in our front yard, and the birds. We have our own private laundry 100 yards or so away.

The cows have been a lot of fun to watch. There are still some small calves that run and jump in the field. At five or six in the morning we could hear the cows waking up and bawling. Sometimes one cow will start and soon others throughout the herd talk back. Once or twice a day they all parade from one part of the field to another.

Three times we have had cows on our side of the pasture fence. The first one finally found her way back in by herself. The second and third times John opened the gate and was able to herd the cow back. One day this week we walked around their pasture to explore the irrigation ditches out there. When the ditch water is running, the herd's owner comes several times a week to change the direction of the irrigation water so the field remains green and lush. We have never before understood how that works or appreciated the work it takes to make it happen.

We will miss our view of Mt. Hood. The mountain dominates the horizon throughout north central Oregon, much more than Pikes Peak does in Colorado.. It is only 11,239 ft high, but it towers over the surrounding mountains in the Cascade Range. It is beautiful.

The sunsets here are also spectacular.

We watched a family of California Quail start to learn about the world just outside our RV. All too soon, the babies were able to fly and the whole family moved away.

But it was fun to watch the little ones walk in single file and feed on whatever they found on the ground. Then they grew to where they could fly away, instead of running, when we walked outside. As we drive the nearby roads, we see other quail families crossing the road.

One of the nest boxes on a nearby tree hatched a family of Western Bluebirds. First we saw the mother and father flying in and out with food for the babies. It wasn't long before the babies were learning to fly. Bluebirds have a distinctive flight pattern, dipping down then flying up again. For a while all of the birds—six or more—flew in and out of the same nest box. We aren't sure if that family is still around, but we often see bluebirds in the surrounding trees.

We also have House Wrens, Savannah Sparrows, the Black Throated Gray Warbler, hummingbirds, a pair of American Goldfinches and Chickadees in our yard.

The weather here has been mostly mild and comfortable. Some days have been too hot, too cool, or too windy, but on the whole it has been very pleasant to sit outside and watch the wildlife and enjoy the quiet. The RV is small enough, we like being able to live outside as much as possible. At Gnat Creek, where we volunteered in May and June, it was usually too wet and/or too cold to sit outside. Here has been almost perfect.

On Labor Day we will be leaving, re-entering the world of commercial RV parks and other travelers. We have missed all of the summer family vacation time, but it will still be an adjustment to be close to other people and their RVs. However, we have volunteered for four straight months and it will be good to be back on the road.

By the way, we won't miss the diggers when we leave here.

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