Home Again

We had a very enjoyable weekend in Eugene, Oregon. Eugene is the home the University of Oregon and the U of O Ducks (insert gratuitous hissing and booing here). Generally, we would not deign to set foot in this town since we are OSU Beaver fans all the way. (Go Beavs!) For this fundraising event by the Cascades Raptor Center, however, we lowered our standards.

We were staying at a nice park...nice, if you don't mind having trucks and traffic whizzing by on Interstate 5 all night long. We're used to being close to freeways and railroad tracks. It's one of the drawbacks of RV travel. Even by RV park standards, however, this was very close. To give you some idea, I snapped this picture of our own rig as we exited the freeway.

Here's a different perspective. You can see a truck passing by just above the bed of our own truck.

Aside from the freeway, however, it was a nice park, and we were right next to a pond. You can see the little fishing dock just across the way.

Sadie did very well for her first RV trip. 

She was a little nervous at first, which is kind of her normal state of being. But she found the potty box right away. Smitty was using it.

Smitty, I really need to go. Are you going to be long?

It's all yours, my young furriend.

Oh, thank goodness. Did you warm up the seat for me?

A good potty and some kitty treats, and all was well in her little world.

For the first couple of hours, this was all we saw of her.

Or you might also see her rear end as she headed behind the couch.

But then, we opened a can of cat food, and she was all about that.

Oh wow! You guys have got Spiderman bowls?

If I'd known that, I'd have come out a long time ago.

The food tastes purretty good from these, doesn't it, Sadie? There was a cat here befur us named George. He picked these out. He must have been one cool dude.

Smitty showed her the ropes about looking out windows and doors, and he was a purrfect gentleman, being very sweet to little Nervous Nellie.

They both were out on the catio together the first night. During the day, this was as close as she got to going outside.

Smitty, are there woofies out there?

What about over there?

Do you see any woofies?

Okay, look, my young furriend. You have to chill a little bit. Just lift your nose, breathe deep, and repeat after me, "Ommmmmmmmmmmmm".

Like this, Smitty? Am I doing it right?

Keep working at it, Grasshopper. You'll get it.

Aside from minding the cats, we did some other things while there. We did find a quilt shop, and I'll tell you about that in a separate post. Also, we visited the Cascades Raptor Center on Saturday afternoon. 

What a fabulous place! They are doing some wonderful work there. Aside from being an education center, it is also a hospital for injured raptors. They treat between 200 and 250 birds per year. You can read more about the center at their Wikipedia page. This is their brochure.

The backside contains information that can be found on their web page right here. The first stop when visiting is to stop off at the visitor center to pay admission and to pick up a map. The area in the center marked "staff only" is all hospital. The exhibits are the green areas surrounding.

It is permanent home to about 30 birds of all different species of raptors. All the pictures I took this weekend were taken with my iPhone. Unfortunately, the birds at the raptor center were all in enclosures with small gauge fencing, and so the pictures aren't very good. Nevertheless, I'll show you a few of them.

The one non-raptor bird is an American Crow who seems to have gotten herself into some trouble with the public.

Her story is both amusing and sad.

The first exhibit we came to was this one of Dmitri, a Eurasian Eagle-Owl. 

Here is Dmitri's story.

It was amusing to note that Dmitri has his own Facebook page. I friended him right away. Yeah. Dmitri and me...we're tight.

Also, I found a better picture of him there.

It was a very hot day. Fortunately, the exhibits are mostly shaded, and so we were comfortable spending an hour or two there.

A few of the birds had their wings spread cooling themselves. 

Here is Atticus the Bald Eagle's story. There were several Bald Eagles on display.

We were able to see a couple of ospreys. I'd never seen one up close, but we often see them when we're boating on the Willamette River.

Danu decided to call out while we were there, and I was able to capture a short video of her.

If you can't see the video, click right here.

Most of my pictures aren't worth sharing, and this is really a place worth visiting in person. Still, the white-tailed kite was so beautiful I wanted to share this rather poor image.

Here is their story.

We attended the fundraiser later in the evening, and I was able to get some better pictures. This is a Peregrine Falcon

She was very photogenic. Her trainer explained to us that her talons are designed for catching smaller birds. Her long toes make it possible for her to reach into a richly feathered bird and catch the "meat" beneath the feathers. A bird with shorter talons would come back with just a foot full of feathers.

This is an American Kestrel, one of the smaller varieties of falcons. We sometimes see these at our bird feeders.

I believe this is a Swainson's Hawk.

Here's our friend, Dmitri again. He was featured in a flyover during dessert.

While it was fun to stand next to the birds during the fundraiser, it was a little crowded for our comfort levels, and so we stayed just long enough to devour some appetizers, down a couple of glasses of wine, and then we left. We'd had a long day, and we were ready to head back to the trailer.

We were able to get Smitty out for a walk after dark. We'd tried earlier that morning, and although he'd begged to go out and stood patiently while we put on his leash and harness, he was not happy at all being outside during the daylight hours. Too many people, and too much noise.

Do I have to wear this harness? The woofies are calling me names!

Can't we go back inside?

Yes, I am still mad at you.

No, I will never forgive you.

And now we're back home. We had a good time, and we were very glad we went. Everything is unpacked and put away. The weekend was unusually hot, and so I watered everything yesterday and harvested more tomatoes and baseball bat zucchinis. Even though I harvested all the zucchini I could find on Friday morning, there were still four new baseball bats on the plants when we arrived home on Sunday. It's amazing, really. And since I already have several in my refrigerator waiting to be shredded, I took the newest ones and heaved them out into the field. Enough is enough where zucchini is concerned, and we have way more than enough at the moment.

It's a busy day ahead. I need to drop off a sample of "you know" at the vet from Sadie McWormypants. She's doing so much better, but they want to make sure her worming treatment really got all of her parasites. 

After that, I'm making tomato jam from these tomatoes harvested from our plants. 

While I'm doing that, I'll also be boiling up some salsa verde. My recipe only makes about three pints, and so it's already time for more.

Block #17 "Bee Happy" was finished over the weekend.

Although I haven't started stitching Block 18 yet, Block 19 is out now. This reminds me of my grandfather's old pick-up truck. His was a dark green, and so I'll probably stitch mine like his.

There is just one more to go, and I've kept up pretty well. It feels like the pressure is off a little, and so I might start putting these into my regular embroidery block rotation.

With all that going on, it's time to get a start on my day. Hopefully, I'll have some time to tell you about the quilt shop after I've done my canning. It was a good one, and I picked up a few little things, as you might have already guessed.

11 comments from clever and witty friends:

Sher S. said...

OK, Eugene is a beautiful town even if it is the home of the DUCKS!!!! my school. Not too fond of the Beavers either. The raptor center is very interesting. They have one up in Alaska that we have seen and really enjoyed learning about them.

SJSM said...

Eugene is a lovely town. We visited to watch our Duck niece graduate. (Our daughter graduated from Stanford so a big rivalry there, too.) I see you have a Jura machine. Don't you love the coffe from that machine? Drinking a cup as I write. It's an amazing cup of Joe that was worth the investment. Wished we bought one sooner.

Nice to see both cats survived the weekend. You will be ticking off your to do list very quickly. Having the trailer cleaned out and put away gives you the freedom to sew!

Dorothy Finley said...

Glad to see that Sadie did well on her first road trip. Birds are beautiful----will we see an owl portrait in the future ??? Hope Ms McWormypants gets a clean bill of health

NancyA said...

If you enjoy raptors and have the time, you should check out the World Center for Birds of Prey near Boise, Idaho on your trip next month. Here is a link so you can check it out: http://www.peregrinefund.org/visit

DeeDee said...

Glad to hear Sadie did well on the trip. She's a beauty. And Smitty, well he's just as cool as can be.

Beth said...

I enjoyed seeing the pictures of the raptors, but I was especially touched to see the shots of Sadie on her first trip--she looked so tense at first, and then settled in. Good for her! I'm sure Smitty's soothing presence helps; he's quite a guy, that Smitters. Thanks for taking all of us "homebodies" on your adventures.

Quilting Babcia said...

Thanks for taking us along on your Eugene adventure. We never made it to the Cascade Raptor Center, very interesting.

Dana Gaffney said...

I'm so glad Sadie did so well on her first trip, she's so adaptable. Maybe Smitty heard there were raptors around and that's why he didn't want to go out, has he seen Jurassic Park?

Kate said...

Wow, the Raptor Center looks like a very cool place. It's good that Sadie is well on her way to becoming a champion road kitty. What a fun weekend.

quiltzyx said...

Looks like you had a wonderful time at the Raptor Center. Interesting stories about all the different birds too.
Thanks Smitty for watching out for Sadie on her first big roadtrip & sharing the Catio with her.

Brown Family said...

THe Raptors are beautiful birds. I am glad that they have a center to provide for them and to educate the public. Sadie will be an old pro next time out!