Monday, March 24, 2008

Spring Un-break

It is spring break time in Oregon, which means more work for me and my wife. Sarah directs a spring break camp at the Audubon Society of Portland and this involves monitoring the welfare of dozens of children and their instructors all week. Last year, she had a last minute cancellation of an instructor, so I was unexpectedly hurled into environmental education. With some help, I led a camp called Animalology for twelve first-graders for seven hours a day. It was more exhausting than any field work I had done before, but a lot of fun.

This year, I am not leading a camp, but I will be trying to work as hard as Sarah. I plan to finish a draft of a paper on Black-chinned Hummingird nest survival following fuel reduction in a riparian forest.

I recently received another stack of nest sheets from Mourning Doves in post-wildfire forests and I hope to make a good dent in their data entry.

This weekend, we took a trip to the beach to relax before our big work weeks. We stayed at our friend's house at Twin Rocks near Tillamook Bay. We enjoyed great weather on Saturday and, at Cape Meares, I saw my first ever gray whales on their northward migration!

I hoped to see a pair of crows building their nests on my in-laws property like they did last year, but no luck. We finished the day by helping with beach house building and removing nasty blackberry canes and ivy vines from the duneside forest behind the house. It looks like it will take constant work to keep the exotics from taking over the salal and evergreen huckleberry thickets.

On Sunday, the weather turned stormy and made beach walks a little less pleasant, so we returned home to prepare for work.


Kathryn and Ari said...

Wow--I'm so envious you were able to see the gray whales. What a wonderful experience that must have been!

Max said...

Very cool! Of course, all we could see were the water spouts and a few inches of shiny whale back.

JP said...

Very neat about the whales. They're frequent visitors to the south Puget Sound area, too, though I never saw them. Ugh, I'm green with envy over your stormy beach day. Constant sun and blue sky can be so oppressive.