An Unexpected Refuge

Wildlife refuge

On the drive between Junction City and Corvallis, about five miles north of Monroe, there’s a sign we’ve passed numerous times without a second glance. It sits at the junction of Highway 99W and Finley raod and leads to the William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge. Sunday, on our drive back from Wacky Indoor Bounce in Corvallis, we took the turnoff.

A gravel road leads back to the entrance to the refuge. It’s a slow, dusty drive, but well worth it. Once inside the refuge, the roads are paved and the wildlife is plentiful.


Birds and other animals vary with the seasons. Visiting for the first time in late May we missed the Dusky Canada geese. These are slightly smaller than the Canada geese we see locally year-round, and have begun their flight back to Alaska for the summer. But we saw the usual mallards and geese as well as a large flock of raptors.

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Identifying Moths and Butterflies

Open field with trees

Photo: Anna Ozab

Yesterday, the after-school program Anna attends each Wednesday took a field trip to Mount Pisgah Arboretum, southeast of Eugene. I went along as one of the parent volunteers. It was a beautiful day for a hike and Anna brought along her camera. She took pictures of frogs, birds, squirrels, and flowers, and at one point she snapped this shot.


Photo: Anna Ozab

I have no idea when she took it. I never saw the little guy until yesterday evening when Julia found him while editing Anna’s photos. My daughter has inherited her mom’s eye for detail.

It’s good enough that we’re considering entering it in the fair this summer—depending on how the print comes out—but before we do I’d like to know what kind of moth it is. I looked online hoping I would find one that looked similar enough that my untrained eye could identify it. Instead I found something better.

Butterflies and Moths of North America has an identification page where you can submit a photograph along with the time and place of the sighting and a lepidopterist will identify your mystery moth or butterfly. All you have to do is sign up for a free account and fill out a simple form with an attached photo. (I submitted Anna’s photo this morning and once I hear back I will post the response in the comments.)


Photo: Julia Ozab

Anna loves butterflies. Last year in first grade she learned about the lifecycle of the butterfly and together with her class raised caterpillars and released them after they became butterflies. She also learned words like chrysalis and metamorphosis. Given her love of butterflies and moths, I can see her taking a lot more pictures and learning a lot more from the helpful folks at Butterflies and Moths of North America.

Most Thursdays on Fatherhood Etc. we’ll learn something new in a series called “Thursday’s Child.” See you next week.


The View from Our Window

Outside our living room.

Eugene, OR, 9:45 a.m.

It’s not much. I doubt it would land me a spot in a popular online series. And certainly not in the contest portion of said series. But for an apartment complex in a city of about 160,000, it’s nice. Lots of trees and some flowers in the spring and early summer.

A tree with pink flowers

Flowering tree at our neighborhood park.

And wildlife. Mostly city wildlife. Birds like scrub jays, Steller’s jays, and crows, along with the ever-present squirrels begging on our balcony.

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