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Archive for the ‘wildlife’ Category

Finally, after what feels like weeks (months?) of rain, spring seems to be making a slow return.  Yesterday was a lovely day, a few clouds, an amazing downpour complete with thunder in the afternoon, but mostly a day sunny enough, and warm enough, for a trip to see what is blooming at the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden on the SE side of Portland.

Before getting far enough to see more than a hint of the profusion of color to come, we were greeted by a pair of mallards, resting close to the path and completely unafraid (probably because of the many children who feed them cracked corn, sold at the entrance).

There were a lot of other birds (I recognized a cormorant and many red winged blackbirds) but I’ll have to visit with S to get a more complete list.

The first flowers we really noticed were not rhododendrons, but instead subtle and intriguing hellebores.

Then, around another corner, it was clear that the rhododendrons really were “the thing,” and they were truly amazing.

Varied in color (we stopped once in front of a wall of blooms in at least 4 distinct shades of lavender), shape and size, the blooms, on bushes and even full-sized trees, were truly glorious.

Striking,

subtle,

complex,

and just plain lovely, they were everywhere we looked.

Some of the flowers aren’t blooming yet,

and there are clearly many  irises still to come

so a trip to the Rhododendron Garden is definitely something to try to fit into your busy schedule over the next few weeks.

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In the front

Even though I see it every time I come home, for some reason I don’t usually think of the front of my house as something worth photographing.  The roses are lovely

rosebud

and so are the other flowers.

flower

It wasn’t until this morning, when I went out to get the paper and realized that the roses needed some attention, that I found this visitor:

giantslug2

a Large red slug (aka European red slug).

This particular slug really is quite large (at least 2 inches when not fully extended) and seems to have made itself right at home on the stem of what I think are peonies.

giantslug3

Good thing we have these guys guarding our door.

guardians

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