Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Bottomland Birds and Goatwalkers

On Sunday a break in the weather allowed us to move Indigo from the Scooner Creek boatyard on the Columbia back to our moorage on the Multnomah Channel . We traveled down the Columbia to St.Helens, then back up the Multnomah Channel. The banks along both the river and the channel are mostly diked, so that distant vistas are few, and the day was overcast and gray. But even though we couldn't see very far, this is an area of rich wetlands, and in a few places the larger members of the bird population made us sit up and take note.

First we discovered these colonies of large, messy nests in the tops of stands of alders on the shore. Our bird book told us that Great Blue Herons nest colonially.

Next we were overflown by three Sandhill Cranes, which the captain told us was very good luck.
Oh, yes, and gazing at the Sauvie Island shore, we noticed some people walking along the beach with their...goats. Three goats.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Sauvie Island Abstraction

Portland, Oregon: We watch the winter rains - only one dry day in the last thirty. We also watch the river levels, which are fluctuating just short of flood state. This is of interest because we need to move Indigo back from the boatyard on the Columbia to our moorage on the Multnomah Channel, and high water means that Indigo's mast won't fit under the Sauvie Island Bridge. So someday soon, probably in the rain, we will return to Scappose by circumnavigating Sauvie Island - downriver to St.Helens, then back up the channel.
Thinking about this route, I revisited a painting begun several years ago based on maps and satellite photographs of the Portland area. The geography of the waterways and the variety of land uses all got turned into paint. A new experience for the wintertime, armchair sailor.