Goslings at Laurelhurst

Dear Liza,

Just three blocks from our house is Laurelhurst Park, which I have told you about many times. It is my favorite place in the whole city.

Sunset through the trees at Laurelhurst

And in Laurelhurst Park is little Firwood Lake. It is at the lowest point of the park, of course. It is the natural place for a lake, but it hasn’t always been there. Back in the 1920s when the park was being developed, folks thought of filling in the bottom part of the park and installing a baseball field.

But even then, they knew about drainage and flood control, and realized a lake would be a better idea. And it has been.

Ducks….. being ducky

Year round, we have ducks waddling and swimming and doing adorable duck things. Spring brings ducklings, who bob about on the lake like fluffy corks. And now the goslings have come out to play!

Don’t mess with these two!

Geese are always majestic creatures, tall and arrogant looking. But give a pair of geese a few goslings, and they become positively ferocious. Walking through the park this afternoon, we came across this pair and their young ones. Several folks were already watching, keeping a good distance. The pair remained vigilant but calm.

But when a lady came by with a dog, the geese called their goslings to them and honked up a storm, hissing and telling the lady and her dog to get the heck out of the area. The lady and the dog, wisely, did.

And peace returned.

Love,

Grandma Judy

January at the Park

Dear Liza,

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Promising Shoots

It is winter in Portland, wet and pretty chilly most days. But it is also beautiful. After a really rainy night, I went for a walk in Laurelhurst Park.

Oh, before I forget. I met a lady walking her dog the other day, and she says we should call it “Squirrelhurst” Park.

I guess if you are walking a dog in the park, the squirrels become much more of a focus. Leash-training is a good thing.

Even though the calendar says it is mid-winter, not all the plants are shut down. These green shoots are promising jonquils, or snowdrops, pretty soon. I will keep my eye out for them!

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Careless Camellias

The Camellias are beginning to bloom, both red and white, all over the park. They don’t worry about freezing temperatures, diminished sunlight and buckets of rain, apparently.

Puddles become a real thing in the park after a rain. The paths need to be walked with care, and the lowest parts are really muddy. Another reason to keep your dog on a leash!

 

 

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Puddles

 

 

 

There is a stone wall that runs along a bit of the Cesar Chavez side of the park. Because of its shape, I call it The Wallosaurus. It has gotten a nice sweater of ferns and moss which makes it even more charming.

 

 

 

 

 

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Wallosaurus

Another wall I love on the way to the park. Cast in concrete decades ago, it sort of looks like an aerial photograph of Oregon’s Willamette Valley…lush and green with a few roads and rivers running through. Very Pretty.

Love,

Grandma Judy

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Mossy Wall? Or Aerial Photo?

Frozen Fog Forest

Dear Liza,

Today the snow started melting. There was a little rain and the temperature was predicted to get all the way up to 45 degrees! I had lots of work to do inside after all of our company, so I was happy to stay in and be warm.

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Snow and leaves

By the afternoon, however, Auntie Bridgett was ready for a walk, so I went with her.

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Icy Steps at Laurelhurst Park

We hadn’t been to Laurelhurst Park since the snow, because we didn’t want to slip on the ice…but we figured by now it would be gone…right? Well, not so much. There were lots of clear paths, but lots of ice, too. Some places it was very slippery and easier to walk by the bushes, where the dirt made a soft, but muddy, path.

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Dog and people at Laurelhurst Park

The fog was so beautiful between the trees and down in the ravine part of the park. There were several people out, playing with their dogs or just walking…even a young man jogging, over the ice, IN SHORTS! Some people are a little crazy, I think.

The trees were dripping from all the snow and ice that had been stuck on their branches, which got my hat wet, but I didn’t mind.

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Lamppost for Mr. Tumnus….

As it turned out, the temperature never got above 37, and will get below freezing again tonight, so the water and slush will probably re-freeze and be scary and slippery again. I am glad I got out today.

Love,

Grandma Judy