Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Lengthening Days of Late Winter

If I was still working (which thankfully I am not) I would no longer be heading home in the dark. As winter begins waning, the days grow longer and we are reminded that Spring will come. These past few days there has been an “absence of precipitation” as the newscasters say. The sun came out and lit Mt. Hood in bright white light. It is so good to be outdoors in the day time in the sunlight!

Down by the river, the water is swift flowing and still full from the runoff. The mighty Columbia is only one mile from my house, but not easily accessible on foot so I hop in the Pathfinder and drive out Marine Drive to the Jetty. On a weekday the place is almost deserted except for an occasional fishing boat at the launch. The salmon are running and farther upstream, there is a problem at the Bonneville Dam as sea lions try to get to the fish before they get into the fish ladder. Steel gates are being constructed to keep the predators at bay.

Down at the Jetty or farther east at the mouth of the Sandy River are the spots where I will watch for the returning geese and other waterfowl as they head back from their sojourn in the south. In about two months, both of these places will be awash with wildflowers as Spectacular Spring comes to The Gorge.

Phil and I are going through Hike Leader Training with Friends of the Columbia Gorge and we will be leading free hikes for the general public during April, May and June. The tourists start coming then. For now…in the longer days I am out enjoying the peace and solitude.


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