Friday, September 8, 2023

Fall is creeping up ever so slowly in the fields around us ..

It has been a very quiet week, nothing much has happened and I've only been able to scramble just a few pictures together.

Here's one of some of our yearly visitors around this time .. Canadian geese, getting out of dodge and on their way south!

Their honking calls when flying over and landing in the fields remind me of a Swedish childhood TV-series I used to watch called 'Nils Holgersson", an animated adaptation of the classic story of Nils Holgerson, a naughty boy who is transformed to a very little dwarf together with his pet hamster Carrot but granted the ability to talk with animals. He goes through many adventures, flying with a band of wild geese.

The water level in the little collection pond in the fields behind us is now low enough (because of the drought) that I can walk around it.
It's a little muddy and I have to be careful not to get stuck in the muck but it adds a fun new walk to my repertoire.

I often encounter this little Ringed Plover at the lake's edge all by him/herself. They usually come at least in pairs .. I wonder if it's lost it's partner somehow?

The swallows are still around but are congregating more and more and in larger groups on the electric wires of the utility poles .. I think it won't be long before they take off to their warmer wintering areas in Central and South America.
Many of them will come back right here next year. I've read that about 44 percent of all barn swallows will return to nest in the same area they nested the previous year.

Fall also means the return of  .. spiders!



Although they're actually around throughout the year, autumn is a time when most spiders begin to mate and the chances of seeing one sprint around the house heighten in the fall, because it's likely the spiders are looking for partners.
Yikes! I'm so not into spiders!
Their webs I grudgingly admire, like the dense funnel-ones above made by Grass spiders, but the creepy, crawly things themself ... brrrr!

And that was all for this week. Like I said, it ain't much but that's life, sometimes it just isn't very exciting .. next time!
Let's have dinner outside shall we?

That was a delicious rib-eye steak by the way!

Thursday, August 31, 2023


It's the last day of August and nature, as well as myself, seems to be gearing up for Fall!
Temperatures, especially in the mornings, have come down considerably over the last week. On my walks I've noticed a faint crispness in the air, the soil is starting to give off that 'earthy' smell and some of the trees are beginning to show their golden fall-colors.

(They've started to turn for a few weeks already but most of that had to do with the drought we were experiencing, like the ashes in the picture above)

A couple of days ago we woke up to fog and a slight drizzle and today, believe it or not, after a lull of 2.5 months (!), it is actually raining!

The first wild berries are appearing alongside the roads .. I think these are Choke-cherries. They're very bitter but 'edible' (as in non-toxic):

In the orchard more apples, besides the earlier Gravensteins, are ripening and one of the pear trees is ready to be harvested as well ..


The grapes I worked so hard at to untangle and string up this Spring are pretty much ready. They're small and there aren't that many of them but they taste great!

The Red Clover in the field behind us has been harvested. It was a very dusty affair again!
I'm not sure what they do with that .. animal feed?

We're a little bit in a lull considering the work that needs to be done for our rent/barter. The busy summer chores of mowing, weeding and vegetable harvesting are coming to an end and the fall/winter cleaning up has not yet begun.

Which gave us time to work a little more on settling down in our new spot, tidying up around the RV and putting things away ..
We put up our 'skirt' in the front once again which acts as a little shed/storage and pantry-area for miscellaneous tubs and boxes and our small chest freezer.
James also rebuild our front porch:

Since we now have two sitting areas, one being our happy-hour place in the lawn behind the RV and one at said front-porch, we needed another set of chairs.
We found two cheap Adirondack-chairs at Bi-mart during their end-of-the-season-sale. Perfect!

And although the mornings have been a lot cooler, the evenings are still warm enough to have dinner outside ...



                                         Yup! Life could be worse!

Friday, August 25, 2023

Well, there we are! Finally in our beautiful 'permanent' spot!
For now, I'll say, cause you never know with us, we'll move whenever the fancy strikes us ..

We got approved on Monday morning and moved that same afternoon. No reason to wait any longer. Like I said, 3 months 'in limbo' is a loooong time waiting.

Our happy hour spot there in the pic above is now a lot closer and we placed a picnic table next to the RV on that side as well. It's a lovely shady spot for bot lunch and dinner.
The site came with an older wooden picnic table that we have moved to the other site and towards the back where it will catch either sun or shade depending on the time of the day.
It might move around a little when we find out when we'll use it most:


Look at all those trees! Most of them are maples but there's also a (weeping) birch, an Oregon ash and a mountain ash, some wild cherry trees and a red Prunus/Plum.
All that wonderful shade, I love it!

I've laid our mat under the awning in front of the door.
Soon, we'll re-build the little porch-floor like we had at our previous place in Newberg from which we brought the pallets with us.
But before we do that we want to spread a layer of wood-chips under and around the RV which hopefully will even out some of the bumps and holes, cover the concrete slabs, discourage weeds from growing and make everything look a little prettier as well.

We've given our phone number to some tree-removing guys that are cutting and shredding trees around town and hopefully they'll bring us a truck or two in the near future.

This is the view from my desk out of the side-window, and the one below is from the back-window.
Could be worse ...

So .. that was our big event this week.
And there even was a second one ... our 23d wedding-anniversary on Saturday!

We didn't 'do' anything special this year, we decided our time was better spent preparing for the upcoming move, but we did go for dinner to Earth & Sea in Carlton, a tiny town about 15 minutes from us:


The restaurant is housed in an old fire-station, which is probably the reason the ambiance could be a little warmer as there’s lots of hard surfaces that sound enjoys bouncing off.
The service was great though and the food (besides the under-cooked Brussels sprouts) very good and we enjoyed our special meal celebrating another year together.

And that's about it for this week I think.
I only managed to go for 2 walks and only shot some pics of our local swallow and pigeon population ..


Who don't let me come too close before they all take off in a flurry of wings ..


These little brown birds on a wire (house-finches?) let me come closer.
I guess they trust me not be able to climb in a telephone pole. Which would be true ..


There you go .. 'that's all folks'!

(I had to look that up, not having grown up with this saying but having heard about it, and it turns out that
.. at the ending of many Looney Tunes cartoons, Porky Pig bursts through a bass drum head, and his attempt to close the show with "The End" becomes "Th-Th-The, Th-Th-The, Th-Th... That's all, folks!")

Friday, August 18, 2023

It's been another busy week at casa Hess. I've barely any time to go for walks these days and it has actually been way too warm to do much walking to begin with (103-105F!!), but I managed to pay the cemetery down the road another visit.
It's just such a pretty, and very peaceful (ha), place to be and nice and shady as well. Just look at that gorgeous and enormous tree up above.
That's Oregon for you, trees, trees and more trees!


I spotted this (male) quail in one of them, this is most likely the look-out scout, but I couldn't find the rest of them ...

Like I said, we've been very busy this week. Still getting ready for 'the move' ..
James has been working on getting the electric ready:


Since the  initial work has been inspected and approved, the trenches could, partially, be filled in again:


Pipes have also been laid for electric, water, internet, cable and sewer ..

A utility station has been set up and anchored in concrete:



A separate meter has been installed in the barn:


We're now ready for the final inspection, after which we can connect everything and cover all trenches. After that ... we can finally move!
We're hoping for an inspection on Monday and if everything goes well, we'll probably move that afternoon. Let's keep our fingers crossed!

Dan, our landlord, keeps us flush with all kinds of produce, especially zucchini, tomatoes  and cucumbers.


Perfect for some Gazpacho, especially with this hot weather we're having!!


It's so scorching hot at the moment that the blackberries are starting to burn.
They're shriveling up before they get a chance to ripen so we're picking any that look even remotely ready ..

Together with some of the fallen apples (Gravensteins) in the orchard which I'm free to pick up and use as I please, I made this delicious apple-blackberry pie:


I pre-baked the crust this time, which made for a better bottom-crust, not as soggy as it often comes out when you use soft/wet fruit. Success!

So, hopefully next blog will come to you from our 'new' location. After a 3 month wait I'd say it's about time!