Tualatin National Wildlife Refuge in late Winter

Visit date: March 12, 2022

I’ve had writer’s block lately. In March Henriët went to visit her family – whom she hadn’t see for 6 years – for three weeks and we took on more grandkid duties: get the two kids on the bus in the morning; greet them from the bus in the afternoon; play; make dinner for them and Andrew. So, I didn’t do much else. Henriët has been back for a couple of weeks now but I just can’t seem to get moving on my blog.

Before Henriët left, Carla and I took a late winter hike at the Tualatin National Wildlife Refuge (which we also visited on a sunny day last January.) Unfortunately during winter and early spring you are restricted to a short trail, so the sights can be a bit short of spectacular. Nevertheless, a big reason I blog is to keep a sort of journal of my life. It’s fun to look back at good times and, more often, helps me answer the questions “have I been there?, read this?, cooked that?”.

In addition, I have a couple of posts on cooking and reading I really want to get to so I have to push through this and the next post. Spoiler alert, once I got started it got to be fun. And an assist on bird identification from Frances was a big help.

One of (the many) things I like to capture in pictures is reflections in water. These trees on the Tualatin River bank are just beginning to bud and the still water provides a murky mirror.

Trees reflected in the Tualatin River

There weren’t a lot of birds out; maybe they are like me and don’t like to go out in public on the weekends – too crowded. But we did spy this pair of Hooded Mergansers paddling about.

Male and female hooded mergansers.

Of course I had no idea what type of bird they are so I asked Frances for identification. She got back to me immediately letting me know what they are and asked if I saw them with their cap fanned out. Nope, but I looked them up and WOW I need to get a picture of that. (Do a Google Search for “Hooded Merganser”)

With a lack of wildlife I took to photograph I tried this old tree stump.

Tualatin National Wildlife Refuge

I’m still learning how to get the best pictures with my Tamron 18-300 zoom with my Sony A6600. As we neared the end of our walk, we spotted this squirrel. I could really zoom in tight with the lens.

Squirrel at the Tualatin National Wildlife Refuge.

I imagine I’ll make it back there in May when the loop trail opens up.

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