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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A Tree Outside My Window

Outside our living room.

Last spring, in full leaf.

I love that there are trees outside our windows. It’s one of the great things about living in Oregon. Whatever room I’m in, as long as it has a window I can see a tree.

I grew up surrounded by trees. We were in a pretty big suburb of a very large city, but the neighborhood we lived in had lots of trees. Green in spring and summer, blazing orange and red in the fall, and bare-branched in the winter, but always beautiful.

Then we moved to Southern California. It was bare and brown, and the suburb we lived in only had a few trees. And the ones that were there kept getting cut down.

Every six months or so another tree was gone. I felt like the Lorax.

But then I moved to Oregon, and I got to be around trees again. And Anna gets to grow up surrounded by them like I did. She’s even planted one.

With the mix of evergreens and deciduous trees, fall isn’t quite as spectacular, but winter is still a bit green—kind of like Christmas.

And I get a tree outside my window. I like that.

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