Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Elk, Walla Walla and Raptors

Looks like we'll be filling up freezers with elk soon. Chris came back Friday with a cow elk. He/we spent much of the week-end cleaning up the quarters to take to a butcher, and butchering the rest ourselves (I'll spare you the pictures). We ended up filling our freezer in the house with elk meat, both for us, and for our dog (scraps). Chris likes to do the premium cuts himself (backstrap). The kids helped out. They both like working with knives, and we can supervise them closely. I like the fact that they get to see how an animal is butchered and can say that they themselves have contributed to helping prepare our food in such a way. I can't wait to get a garden going here in the Spring for the same reason. Our dog is quite the lucky dog, as we ended up with more than a few pounds of scrap meat that will be dolled out to him in the coming months.

Besides dealing with the elk and unpacking from his trip, Chris also hooked up our washer and dryer (yea!), so I can now do laundry at home. I'd been saving it up, knowing he'd be home, so I've spent much of the last few days doing loads of laundry.... We also got the computer desk put together, and some furniture moved around and put in more permanent places. I'm still unpacking boxes....

Right now Chris is in Portland for a regional inter-agency annual fire and fuels meeting. We plan to meet up with him Friday, to see our new nephew and his parents ;-). We're all really looking forward to that!

Today I decided to take a break and explore Walla Walla, Washington, about a 45 minute drive North. I was pleasantly surprised at how nice the town is. It seems like the economy on the other side of the border is also doing better than here in Oregon. I made sure to drive down Main Street, as well as by Whitman College and Walla Walla University in nearby College Place. My ulterior motive was to go fabric shopping at Jo-Ann Fabric there. It's not a big store by any stretch, but at least it's there and I know how to get to it now (dangerous!). I stopped by Walla Walla Bread Company on Main Street to sample their yummy bread, and almost stopped by a Dutch Brother's Coffee stand I spied as well. I'll be back here many times, I'm sure!

Lastly, I've been noticing a lot more raptors here. These wide open spaces are much better suited for these birds than the woodpeckers we had in the woods of Northern Michigan. Even though I unpacked 5 boxes of books tonight I still can't find my bird field guides. Here's a few not-so-great pictures of a few. Any ideas what they may be? I'm thrilled to see magpies again, and the quail too, but these birds of prey are what has really grabbed my attention.


Becky said...

Hi! I'm an 8-year resident of the WW valley and was interested to see your blog. Welcome! Two things: First, it's actually College Place, not College Station, and second, I think the first bird is a sparrow hawk, the second a red-tailed hawk. Though my husband could confirm.

Good luck getting a garden going next year!

Becky said...

Thanks! Sorry about the wrong name (blush). Someone else said sparrow hawk. Are red tails that small? I always thought they were bigger. I'm still looking for my bird book :-). I just found out that I need to go to WW for a root canal. Lovely, huh... Maybe I should go early and do a bit more sight seeing. I am also really pleasantly surprised at how many wineries there are there. Pretty neat!