Thursday, March 25, 2010

Burns Trip

This past week-end, the insurance man, Doris and I drove to Burns. We wanted to view the migratory birds that come through in early spring. We left my in-laws home Saturday morning with a picnic lunch and spent the day mostly on the Malheur Bird/Wildlife Refuge out in the desert of Eastern Oregon. (For those of you who get Bethel's emails, these are the pictures that go with her Monday letter.) We saw several sand hill cranes close-up on our way out to the refuge, but didn't take any photos. Just before lunch we came upon some Tundra Swans out on the water by Buena Vista...just a one-building and rest stop kind of town. Doris is a wildlife biologist by training, and has two pairs of really great binoculars. She let us use the smaller, lighter pair and they worked so well, we enjoyed watching the swans for a long while. There were at least 50 swans here, resting and feeding before continuing their flight north. This is a view of the swans from an overlook above the water.
This is a view of the Steens Mountains to the south-east from the same overlook.

Dad and Mom at the overlook, where we took advantage of the nice location to eat our lunch.

They had recently put in these nice wall/benches which were so nice in the warm spring sunshine.

Here's Doris with her dandy binoculars. She has a can of root beer in her hand, only the second can of soda she has ever had. She doesn't quite know if she really likes it or not...

We continued on our way through the refuge stopping to view the museum there, and hear and see all the songbirds in the trees before driving on to Frenchglen.

We stopped for a restroom break there, and the insurance man took a power nap in the warm car, while Doris and I walked the street of Frenchglen. There is not much going on there in the off season. We did see a small group of black-tailed deer just out of town.

The hotel at Frenchglen...a fairly famous spot.

And this is the school there, built in 1927. In some ways it would be a fun job to teach at a small school like this.

On our way back home, we drove through the Fairgrounds to find the snow geese just outside of Bend. There are thousands of them, again feeding and resting before traveling on north. This is just a very small section of them.

They are easily spooked, and as I got my photo they decided to all take to the air. What a delight it is to watch them take off, each like a little airplane and to hear the giant whoosh of their wings flapping as they circle higher and higher.

The sky was filled with them, although no photo could ever do it justice. They are just so beautiful in flight.
We had a wonderful day, and arrived home to enjoy the smells and taste of crock-pot Mexican Chicken Chowder just waiting to be enjoyed!


Anonymous said...

I am so in love with that country. Aren't we blessed with such diversity in any direction we choose to drive. Thanks for the great photos and taking us on a great trip.

Happy Spring,

Peter Jones said...

We loved the pics! Ben says he'd loved to go there. He'd bring his binoculars. Sam says he's hoping to see some new species of birds when we visit you. He'll be able to add them to his birdwatcher's life list. Thanks for taking some pictures while you were out and for sharing them. :)
The Joneses