Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Miss Abby

I had a nice visit from Miss Abby today. She is getting to be quite the celebrity as our City Manager's labradoodle. She is in training with the Oregon Coast Therapy Animals group. What an awesome personality she has, what fun! And she's beautiful too!
And it turns out, a bit of a glamour-puss. :)
I love my job.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Back at it

As promised, fishing pictures. Had an awesome time out there with a couple of really neat guys. It was cold and foggy out there, we hit the fishin hole about 7:30, and it gradually warmed up and cleared off. We didn't catch any salmon and only saw one caught nearby. LOTS of boats out there, and some really nice ones. Wow.
Ron gets the gear ready to go into the water...
And here is the one fish that was tagged that day. The Fish Goddess rules!! :)
John was fishing with one hand and texting with the other...
And this is the result.
A mud-cat about 8 inches long...
We caught two other sturgeon but they were undersize so they got to go back to the bottom to grow up a bit for next time.
Ron expertly and meticulously fileted the sturgeon for me. What a guy! Can't wait to do it again.
The hummingbirds are out in force, I hung a second feeder in the back yard and they are swarming it. Wow. By the dozen. Nice to see them and hear them. Yay.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Welcome Spring!

Today is (yay!) the Vernal Equinox... (yay!) - more commonly known as the first day of spring. (YAY!) The weather here doesn't really reflect it today, it's overcast, kinda drizzly and not very warm. But I know that will gradually change. The daffodils, hyacinths and crocus are blooming and the tulips are on their way. I can tell spring is on its way too, cuz my yard needs mowing a lot more often.

It's been a really long winter with more undue stress than is necessary, but I'm hoping that the light at the end of the tunnel is a sunny, warm day.

Going salmon fishing this weekend with a friend, as always, I'm looking forward to new adventures. Will be posting some pics from our trip in the next few days.

I hope you enjoy your weekend, and Happy Spring!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A dog's life?

Yesterday I had the privilege of capturing some beautiful images of a very special canine, Eyan (pronounced eye-yawn) who is Newport Police Department's drug officer. What a gorgeous dog he is.
The images will be used to promote the canine program and to create some decals for people who support it.

Freckles had to watch from the car and she was such a good girl about it. I took her out for a nice walk afterward. The weather is back today with a really nice sunny - but chilly - day. Yay! Spring is just around the corner.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Sea Stories

Right after my high school graduation in the early 80s, I had the opportunity to work as a deckhand on some of the charter fishing boats out of Newport. Those were some of the best years for me, I learned to love being out on the ocean with her many moods and to love fishing, watching whales, birds, and all the amazing life that resides out there.

That was when I met Corky Knutson. He has been a commercial fisherman out of Newport for over 40 years. A well-known salt who has Captained many draggers, shrimpers and crabbers… he’s done it all and really spent his time out there. He switched from commercial fishing to charter fishing during the days when I was a deckhand. Says he switched because wanted to come ashore every night. I get that.

He is a very intelligent man, and recites poetry with such salty flair, he is a joy to sit and chat with. He looks the part of the old salt too, his hair is white now and he’s 65 years old, tall and lanky… says he wants to give up his 3-pack-a-day cigarette habit and switch to a pipe. That will be the icing on the cake.

Corky lost his lady love last August and he has been grieving like no one I’ve ever seen. A couple of months ago, he started calling and coming to visit with me, had me restore some photos for him and we spent some time talking about things… he credits me with helping him get back out into the world and wanting to live again. I’m tickled that I could help.

Corky took me out to dinner last night, and we went up to Depoe Bay to the Sea Hag because he likes the musician who sings there, Michael Dane. So we had some dinner (oysters, yum…) and some drinks and chatted with people as they came and went and watched Michael sing and play the keyboards and guitar.

Gracie herself showed up and played the bottles, that was a real treat. She is such a neat lady, a real character. In fact she has a new biography out now and I got her to sign a copy for me. Woo hoo! Corky wants to write a book of his own and I really hope he gets going on that soon.

The music set was over and they were closing up shop when Michael recognized Corky’s deep, distinctive voice from across the room and came over to greet him. Then he sat down with us and his guitar and sang to us. It was such a fun time there, icon-filled and memorable.

Corky wanted to go dancing so we ended up at Moby Dick’s where it was karaoke night. That was interesting. Ran into a few people I knew and met some new ones too.

So, a salty Saturday night on the beautiful Oregon coast. What fun!! I love where I live.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

An overwhelming response

Caution: Rant

This letter to the editor got my attention and obviously really touched a nerve... from the February 20 edition of the Newport News Times:

Animal lover angry over want ad

To the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office/animal shelter: I read your ad for an animal “care” office specialist, for the “care” of cats and dogs. I am very angry that you would combine an office job with the putting down and burying of animals/critters. Most people I know, including myself, don't like the thought of losing a pet or an animal in their lives.

I used to work at a medical billing office for an abortion office. I didn't work in the same building, and as much as I am pro choice, don't want to be a part of the killing of those babies. How can you combine an office job with the clinical job of putting those unwanted/disregarded animals down? I know that a lot of the problems we face today, including meth, and other addictions, cause people to abandon their pets, but that should not be a reason for us to just throw them away. How sad our society has become.

It is very strange to me that you state that a part of the job is inoculation and medication. Not only that, but sanitary quarters and shelter. Why? If you are going to put them down anyway, why do that? I think that if someone comes along and wants to adopt the pet, let them go through the steps to make them healthier. Why spend tax dollars on a pet or animal care if you are going to send it to its demise anyway?

This is a very hard job to do, and I don't know anyone outside of drug-raged people without their right mind who would even think about doing this job. Don't get me wrong, I know someone has to do it, but it has definitely got me thinking.

I wish you the best of luck in your search for the person who is right for this position. I wish it could be me, but, as you can see, I have love for the animals.

Rochelle M. Trudeau
South Beach

My response was published in the March 4 edition:

It's about compassion for animals

Ms. Trudeau, you stated in your letter (“Animal lover angry over want ad,” Feb. 20 edition) that you “don't know anyone outside of drug-raged people without their right mind who would even think about doing this job.” Well, I am certainly outside of that description. I am a long-time county resident who owns and runs my own business. I serve on the Toledo Chamber Board of Directors and on the Toledo City Council, among other things. I think I am mostly in my right mind, and I have submitted an application for this very position - for many reasons.

The part time position calls for the care and feeding of the animals housed at the animal shelter, inoculations, medications, euthanization and yes, office work. The animal shelter is small enough that I can't imagine there could be the specialization in positions that you allude to. The person who takes this job will have to wear many hats, as I suspect most of the people who work there do.

While I don't like the thought of losing any of my beloved animals either, I have lost plenty of them in the course of my life. It's just part of the deal when you have animals and our life spans are so much longer than theirs. And some of them even had to be euthanized due to complications from old age. It's all about compassion for the animals.

Why would anyone not give the animals the respect they deserve by keeping them healthy, clean, sanitary as possible, fed and loved? It is not their fault that people allow them to breed willy-nilly when it is so simple and not terribly expensive to have them spayed or neutered.

Why spend the money and effort to keep these animals healthy? Well, honestly, who wants to adopt a sick animal? I don't think the shelter's policy is to just “put them down anyway” unless they are sick beyond hope or have proven to be unadoptable.

I am highly aware that this would be a very difficult job for anyone to do - certainly for myself, being the compassionate lover of animals that I've always been. But ultimately, the job is all about that very thing - compassion.

You said, “How sad our society has become.” I agree. Please have your pet spayed or neutered now. Don't add to this already huge problem.

Nancy Lynne
Toledo

I have gotten a lot of feedback on that letter, all overwhelmingly positive. And I have since found out that I'll be testing for the shelter job on Monday. If I have to euthanize animals because of human stupidity, you can bet I'll become one hell of a crusader on the issue.

We have a real problem in our neighborhood, and it centers around one household which is across the street from me... they have at least a dozen cats and kittens, maybe two dozen, and they just let them breed and breed and breed. It's making me sick and you can bet I'll be doing something about it very soon. I've contacted the landlords and they refuse to do anything at all about their tenants. Don't even get me started on the dumpy appearance of the residence itself. Yikes.

I just got off the phone with another neighbor (who is also a responsible pet owner), and it sounds like the rest of the neighbors are just as disgusted with the situation as I am. In fact, she informed me that last night she watched no less than 8 cats in MY yard, crapping, spraying and breeding. YIKES. There have also been a couple of dogs running loose in the neighborhood.

My poor doggie just goes NUTS when another dog comes trouncing into her yard, and she has the same reaction to the cats yowling and scrapping in the middle of the night. That is not a pleasant way to be awakened at 3 a.m.

I'll be looking into the city ordinances to see what can be done, and I'll be contacting some of the other neighbors in an attempt to get this behavior under some kind of control.

If you know me at all, you know how I feel about animals. I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!!

Friday, March 06, 2009

What a week...

The weather is definitely here today, another gorgeous coastal day. Yay! So nice to see the sun after all the rain the last couple of days.

Had a fun session earlier this week with little 8-week-old Gavin. What a tiny little doll.The grandmother really loves this shot, she saw a lot of neat things in it... like how the child will depend on the mother like this for a long time... how he has ahold of her finger, and how her other finger supports his wrist... I love this shot too. It really tells a story.
This is from a fun session today... Nikki and her daughter Holly. What a little spitfire she is.
I hope you have an awesome weekend. I heard there was snow in the forecast here, and I sure do hope they're wrong. All the plum trees in town are in full bloom and they just look so pretty. I'd hate for the snow and cold to damage the things that are trying to grow. So we'll keep our fingers crossed for more spring-like weather. And it's spring-ahead weekend too. Yay!!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Dismal Nitch

Took another road trip yesterday, this time up north into Washington State. The views are simply amazing on our gorgeous coast. This is how I felt when I peered over the edge of that cliff down into the pounding surf below... very cautious.
Between Cannon Beach and Seaside, I came across this spike elk grazing along the roadside. Nothing at all seemed to bother him in the least, even semi-trucks whooshing past at 55 mph. He did look at me a couple of times as I walked closer, but was much more interested in the roadside grass. He was so beautiful.
Saw another really big herd closer to Seaside during the day and yet another on the roadside after dark. They are everywhere out there this time of year.

Drove on up to the mighty Columbia and up to Ilwaco to check things out. This is a detail shot of a statue of an eagle defending whale bones on the harbor there. Saw some interesting sights in the harbor too. Loved the name of this boat, and the blue and white and the sky just all made a neat composition. This skiff hanging on the back of the boat is called "Co-Pirate". I love that.
"Cloud 9" has seen better days...This conglomeration of bumpers made me laugh... and the step-ladder hanging there for crew access inspired me to call this one... 'careful'.
Spotted this bald eagle in a tree on the side of the road. Gorgeous.
Then it was on to Dismal Nitch. I LOVE that name.
It is a beautiful spot with an interpretive display that is not quite finished. The detail in the bronze sculpture is just breathtaking. The surrounding area is great too, a nice stand of trees with benches and a stunning view of the Columbia River.
Then it was back across that huge bridge into Oregon and up to the Astoria Column. It was closed - they are replacing the spiral cast-iron staircase inside - so I wasn't able to try to get to the top. My vertigo issues are much less than they used to be but this was going to be a test. Maybe next time. This is the view of the Columbia from the base of the column.
And of course, the column itself. The detail on this monument is very interesting.
I did notice some cracking on the outer layers... this one actually had moss growing out of it...
Another fun road trip, seeing the sights of this beautiful area. I am a lucky girl to live in such a stunning location.