The simple life of the Black Oystercatcher

Haematopus bachmani, aka the Black Oystercatcher doesn’t really catch oysters. It’s catches mussels, limpets, barnacles, and various shellfish, all do well for their natural diet.

The Black Oystercatcher loves rocky shorelines, and often seen along the North American Pacific Coast. They don’t like human development or high industrialization where pollution and disturbances to their nesting areas disrupt their delicate existence. 

I took the above picture a few months ago from the Seattle Aquarium, which this little bit of info from its seattleaquarium.org site:

Oystercatchers nest and spend winters in the same basic area. They’re monogamous—the same two birds will return to the nest they create together, season after season. They make nests near rocky tidal areas where food abounds. By flipping their bills sideways and backwards, the birds toss rock flakes, pebbles and shell fragments to create a nest that resembles a bowl. Each pair will raise a clutch of eggs (one to three eggs) at a time. If anything happens to a clutch, pairs will raise two or more clutches until they have a successful brood.”

Black Oystercatchers are often very noisy, for reasons I could not uncover. Those noises are a little silly and cute, different from other avians. I love them for that…

That’s why I am sharing this joy of nature now. Maybe this will cheer you and others in this long, difficult pandemic time, for at least a moment. Then, feel free to make a little silly noise of your own.

Orion T

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Up and about Portland in wintertime

Within the wet winters of the Pacific Northwest, can be the best fresh air and beautiful blue skies. Gazing high, I see freshness and the gentle passing of new time, bringing light and hope to a world that can feel pretty dark sometimes.

Below, I enjoy the often quiet breaks after the bursts of wet, gloomy, rough weather. That goes double for me when out of my big city, and into a neighboring city. Because then, I find more of what I miss.

Recently, I was Portland (Oregon), enjoying some beautiful hours from the weekend. In the morning after a heavy night of heavy showers, I enjoy its calm feel under the bare trees, vintage architecture, setting upon its often quirky gluten-free option heavy atmosphere.

The streets seemed almost empty last Saturday morning, with fewer humans walking about. I stopped by one of the many food truck blocks, seeing them all mostly closed until after the noontime hits.

And you can walk around easy, aimlessly enjoy the open streets, hum a little song, because “Keep Portland Weird” is a community push. I had my usual destinations before my business to do here. I don’t come often, but I never forget my sense of direction through the the central downtown. I know all the main spots I love, especially the Courthouse Square, Cameron’s Books, Ground Kontrol Arcade, Voodoo Donuts, Multnomah County Central Library, a bunch of favorite quirky stores and restaurants through all over the city, and some great parks to let that fresh outside air sink through to the heart.

And, I can never forget Powell’s Books, a place I end up often spending an excessive amount of time indoors. It’s also here, where I easily forget how pleasant the outside is.

I will have to talk more about Powell’s Books, in a feature to its own someday. But for now, here is a picture that best represents me in the Portland moment.

– Orion T

A Thawed Afternoon in Kobe Terrace Park

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I now share some pics, a little later in Kobe Terrace Park after a grand snowy morning in Seattle, earlier this week (see last post).

Here, are pics from an afternoon walk, just as the sudden rains began to wash away the snowfall. There was a special beauty to the surroundings, revealing a momentary awesomeness to an otherwise dull afternoon.

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– Orion T

Pictures and notes by Traveling Orion, (Orion Tippens). For external use for public use, please contact and obtain permission first.

Scattered Fall..

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Every weather season holds wondrous splendor, especially this Fall for the great Seattle city.

After the periodic rough winds and sporadic showers, walk into the biting cold and see for yourself. Ignore the expanse of construction and busy commute hustles, and appreciate the best, fresh signs of natural change.

Here, the fallen leaves of many trees scatter throughout the Emerald City. In some clusters, the concrete loses its dominance. Curbsides are confused as division becomes lost in the rivers of greens and browns and reds and yellows. Benches and tables become hosts to new fallen travelers. We invite those on the ground to stay with every step, kicking others to the next for moments longer.

Here above and below, is a special concrete open spot near the Space Needle before a statue of Chief Seattle. Around is the convergence of 5th, Cedar, and Denny streets with the near overhead tramway connecting the Seattle Center (and Needle above) to the Westlake Center of Downtown. Also, the best spot for an afternoon munch, at the 5 Point Café (happy hour 4-6 weekdays).

Also a sometimes resting place for leaves..

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Overall, peaceful for busy Seattle life. The leaves are a special touch and reminder of the best appreciation for passing in the Fall. Never mind the nightfall now approaching 4pm time (sunsets are still killer) and a distraction from the moving gray skies  Just enjoy the leaves when here, at least before the street cleaners spoil the fun.

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Enjoy, and appreciate this natural cycle of nature. Or even better, walk around and explore what changed. I hear Pioneer Square is amazing, as I will eventually venture to on a promised morning. I wonder about certain favorite places in this grand area, thinking of a good time for a visit to Kobe Terrace in the near future. Here below, is the walkway through the Seattle Center near the great Needle on a recent day of blue skies above.

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All pictures taken and posted by Orion Tippens, for travelingorion.wordpress.com.