21 September 2009

Labor Day, Farming & Kickball Barbecues

Its been a while since I last made a post. School is now in session and I'm working part time at the school library so I'm more than a little busy. I really like my job at the library, its great cause I can go at my own pace which one of the librarians said was fast though I was under the assumption that I was actually going slow. They would know better than I. Its also very quiet in the mornings (I work from 8a - 11a Monday & Tuesday) and a nice introduction to the day. My coworkers are all pleasant and amiable. I feel very lucky indeed to be working for them!

The second week of school we had monday off due to Labor Day, Joel also had the day off so we decided to go hiking on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge. (Left side = WA, Right side = Oregon)

It was a beautiful day, not too hot or cold and as the day progressed it got cooler and cooler, but all in all very pacific. We stopped at a couple places to go hiking. I looked for mushrooms and Joel kept his eyes peeled but unfortunately we only saw one fungus the entire time (even though it had rained the day before) -- to say the least I was disappointed.

One of the hikes had a waterfall that was very lovely. It looked like the kind of waterfall that would be great for swimming under when it was hot out.

I like this guy. :0)

And I like him because he can bake delicious things like lemon meringue pie! This was his first time making a lemon meringue and he did a wonderful job.

A week or so ago Joel was able to get off work early so that we were able to go to Sauvie Island Farms. We got dahlias, red cabbage, bartlett pears and jalapenos. I pickled the jalapenos yesterday and Joel made pear jam.

And from our own kitchen garden we are starting to get ripe tomatoes! They are so delicious and we're having a hard time keeping up with them. I made a tomato paste the other day but I'm not sure that is something I really want to pursue...

And then from the "garden" of Forest Park I found this beauty. I actually found a whole patch of these (Alcohol Ink Cap Mushrooms, coprinus atramentarius) but then later found out they're not edible. Well, the thing is, they are edible but you can't drink alcohol from a couple days before consumption to a couple days after consumption of the mushroom due to symptoms closely related to poisoning. So I let them be for the mice and other things that delight in forest mushrooms.

Yesterday (yes, finally catching up to the present!) was a wonderful day. The morning and afternoon were enjoyable and slow going (can you tell how much I relish these moments?), interspersed by the occasional pirate bike move. Indeed, these people were moving someone's things from their old house to their new house. The leader had on a leather tri-corner hat and on his bike trailer he had a large pirate flag. Behind him were many other bikes carrying big trailers. One person had a couch, another had a mattress on their trailer. I just caught the tail end of it before they disappeared out of sight.

Then in the evening we (Clara, Kevin, Joel and I) went to the PNCA (my school) vs. OCAC (other art school) kickball tournament and barbecue. Luckily they didn't check to see that we all had school IDs so we were all able to eat. They had Widmer Bros. Brewery root beer (in a keg) and it was very delicious, we lucked out and got the last little bit.

Then Clara and Kevin decided they wanted to fit in and pretend to be art students (aka weird). So Kevin put leaves in his hair, "I'm just responding to the materials!" and then he and Clara put cake frosting on their lips -- then I did too.

Then we went to go watch the swifts. This phenomena is hard to explain and I'll admit that their is something a little lackluster about saying, "I'm going to go watch the swifts land in a chimney." But nonetheless we did it. The kickball tournament was at a park just across the street from the school where the swifts sleep at night. There are hundreds of thousands of these little birds and because they are so little I had a hard time photographing them en masse.

This is like a natural fireworks show in Portland -- people even clapped at the end. There were a couple hawks/falcons/birds of prey that swooped down to catch some dinner which provoked oohs, aahs, and angry noises from the crowd.

This is Gina who was a house guest of ours when she first moved to Portland. Now she goes to school with me. :0)

I'm also going to try to post a video that includes some hawk action and will hopefully convey just how many birds there were. This is my first time trying to get this to work so if it doesn't, you'll know why. Also, I happen to be an imbecile and think that when I turn the camera the video will stay upright. This is not the case.

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