Here is the last photo of all three of the boys. Tomorrow John butchers the big, mean one which we are going to roast for the neighborhood picnic we are hosting on Saturday. The weather has turned cooler, only in the seventies today and tomorrow. Freeze tonight. We covered the tomatoes. Warming up on the weekend for our picnic. Sunny, breezy and in the eighties. Love this weather. Don't want fall to come yet.
While we were in Bend, Wiley Coyote got four more of our chickens, making it six in a week. So John and I put up more fencing in the chicken yard to keep them in for a few days to try to break the cycle. They say a coyote knows when you aren't home. So we opened the gate from the chicken yard into the house yard and turned on the sprinkler for the ducks, since they couldn't get to their pond. It was so cute to see the little ducks jumping for water droplets coming out of the sprinkler. There's one group photo with chickens and another of George III and two of the remaining three rockette sisters. (Wiley got the other two.) We now play the radio at night in the chicken yard and the fowl fall asleep to the tunes of classic rock. I also go out and bang pie pans when we hear them close to the house. We think it is a mom and her pups. Food is in shorter supply this season since the sage rats have gone into hibernation and we haven't seen many jack rabbits. The hawks have been showing an interest in our chickens, too, and they might have gotten some of the banties. (We lost two.)
On the way home from Bend last week we were coming along Kerry Road and saw this flock of black ibis cooling off in pivot sprinklers on a hot day. They looked like they were having such fun! They are taking practice flights and I suspect they will head south soon.
John and I went to Bend last week to see A Prairie Home Companion in concert. It was great fun. Garrison Keillor is much more ribald in concert than on the radio. The weather was perfect. We had lawn seats and went with friends who we stayed with. Bend is one of my favorite "big" towns. The setting is spectacular against the Cascades mountains with the Three Sisters volcanoes prominent in the background. The Deschutes river runs through it and tubing is a fun summer sport. We did some shopping as usual, stayed over and came back the next day. The photo of John and our friend, Terri, has a back drop of the Deschutes River in the Old Mill District of Bend. We are on our way to the concert, low profile chairs in hand. The stage shot is GK singing a duet with the All Star Shoe Band accompanying. Then he walked around in the crowd, up and down rows singing. We heard is he going to retire soon. The last photo is of him singing with Fred Newman, who is the one who does all the sound effects for the show. He is something else and has a great singing voice, too.
While we were in Portland, Scarlett, the black Indian runner duck, hatched 7 of the 9 eggs she sat on for a month. These are photos of her, her mate, Rhett, and the mallard duck who sat on 13 eggs and they were all blanks. The babies were on the pond the first day. The mother doesn't teach them how to find food. She watches out for them and takes them to the duck shed at night. They are amazingly cute. Unfortunately, Scarlett smothered one of them during the night and now we are down to six.
John saw this on a bumper sticker in Portland. It's a fine city, but we were frazzled by the end of the visit. We're not used to cars, freeways, lots of people, lots of action. It was great to get home to the high desert. While I spent three days in hotel conference rooms listening to how to produce a screen play, how to e-publish a book, and how to write better, John visited the Grotto with our friends Tegin and Sam who we stayed with. The grotto is one photo. John loved it and returned there for mass on Sunday. Tegin and Same are pictured at the arboretum in Washington Park where they showed us the redwoods. They are musicians, visual artists and nature children. They also took us to the rose garden and there's a photo of one of the many gorgeous roses there. Portland is the City of the Roses, for those of you who don't know. If I were younger and had it to do over again, I'd move to Portland. Great culture. Great eating. We found Jake's Famous Crawfish restaurant and went there two nights. Incredible seafood and 19th century atmosphere. We found Powell's books, wandered around the store and got overwhelmed. Of course, we bought some books. I found Red Pine's wonderful translations of ancient Chinese zen writings. John found a Herman Hesse book he hadn't read. Tegin and Sam also took us to the Audubon center. My favorite bird was Ruby, the vulture, who is pictured sunning. She is one of the birds that is cared for because she cannot be returned to the wild. In her case she imprinted on humans and can't live without us in close proximity.