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Monday, January 31, 2011

Sunny Weekend Adventures

This past weekend we emerged from our entrenched fog to sunshine and mild temperatures. That coincided with a planned hike Saturday morning and when we woke to bright skies Sunday, I insisted we get out again, and find a sunny place to explore. I believe this is somewhat a reflection of my upbringing. When I was growing up, I loved nothing more than curling up with my latest book and flying away into my imagination. That would come to an abrupt halt when my Mom would insist I put my book down & go outside and play - it was sunny! Since we lived in Oregon, the land of rain and little sun, the appearance of that brilliant orb was a rarity. Mom must have had an inner belief we needed sunshine, before all the benefits of vitamin D were even realized. She was ahead of the times as she'd nudge me out the door. Now, I feel a bit guilty if I'm indoors on a rare sunny day, so this weekend, we made sure to get out and enjoy it!

Saturday morning I met up with a couple of friends and we took an ambitious hike from one friend's house to Fitton Green, a lovely natural area that is west of town and has a terrific view of the Cascade mountains and the neighboring town. Here are a couple of photos I shot that morning. The first was just starting out on the trail, the last 3 were at Fitton Green.

This is a great place to hike in winter, with plenty of open areas and terrific views.

Sunday, we headed to Snag Boat Bend, a part of Finley Wildlife Refuge on the east side of the Willamette river. It's about a mile south of Peoria and we decided to go there for the open fields and abundant sunshine we hoped to find. We'd stopped there before, but had never walked the trails. We had the place to ourselves - well, almost... Ducks flew off as we came upon the waterways, a heron squawked as it headed skyward, upset at being disturbed, several hawks soared overhead, calling out to one another, 3 small nutria scampered under a duck blind and a bunny froze hoping to be camouflaged in some blackberry bushes. As you can see from the photos below, we found sunshine!

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