Yesterday was the first clear day in the last week and I couldn’t resist getting out to shoot a bit before heading off to help Eric and Traci move their belongings to their new house. Eric introduced me to the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge and we’ve both been anxious for the water level in the ponds to rise and bring the birds closer to our lenses. I’ve gone out a few times to check the progress of the water and, so far, find it negligible in spite of conversations with folks in the visitor center who insist that the water is rising. These good volunteers are there a lot more than I am and I can’t dispute their observations. All I know is that the water is still much lower than the “full of water” reports I get from other visitors when I ask how high the levels actually get.
Yesterday was an anomaly in my limited experience at the refuge… no birds in the ponds that are nearest to the visitor center. All the geese were settled onto some mud flats. No pintails in the ponds. No mallard pairs. I hung out for about an hour and waited for something to stir the birds into flight and relocation. Nada. A harrier flew overhead and circled a bit but stayed way out of range of my lens. I finally gave up and headed back toward Eric’s apartment complex. I headed west and turned north on Roy Rogers Road and stopped at the other Refuge viewing area. I’d seen a calendar offer at the visitor center that features the refuge buildings and Mt. Hood. Pretty nice shot and I figured it had to be taken with a long lens from the vantage off Roy Rogers Road. Indeed it was. I’m going to go back next time and see if the calendar photo has the power towers taken out… I admit I’d love to clone them out of this view. I waited until there were some birds in the viewfinder and shot a few frames. The light isn’t very even on the west side of the buildings but the shot shows the setting pretty nicely. I laughed a bit when I looked at the image on the screen and wondered if I would have been seen if someone else had taken the shot while I was standing near the bright wall on the north-most building in this view.
When the water finally does get up in elevation I think I’ll go back on a clear afternoon and try to get more light on the buildings and some water in the view as well. The mountain will be snow covered for a long time now… just waiting for some more clear skies.