As I start to write this blog, my eyes focus on Lady Belle. To me she is a swan, in reality she is a stump. I first saw her when I was walking Aka, my Akita, in the forest near Bend, Oregon. I loved her as soon as I saw her. During the coming seasonal changes we often visited her. In the Fall when she was surrounded by falling pine needles, in the Winter when snow accented her graceful curves, in the Spring when life was sprouting all around her. And now, late summer, she is in my garden overlooking the Deschutes River. I see her first and last thing every day. She is almost as tall as I and definitely weighs more. On one of the walks, I realized that the land beneath her was soon to become part of a housing development. I asked the landowner if I could take her to my home; he generously agreed to my proposal. Two young and strong men lifted her onto the bed of a pickup truck, drove to my house, carried her down a steep slope, and placed her with a good view of the river. So, my advice to you, be careful what you see. It might follow you home.
And speaking of that, some of the discoveries are small enough to put in a pocket. A good example is in the beginning pages of Creatures Everywhere. The first little bird in the book is a burl I saw lying beside a trail. Unmistakably it was looking for a home where it could be displayed to show off its best side.
If you were in Bend and asking for a tour of these sightings, I would not be able to find all of them. One of my favorite ones has totally disappeared, washed down the Deschutes River to an unknown location. Others became visible only when snow outlined their shapes, or when sunlight struck at a precise angle. Time of day, lighting, perspective all play a huge part in revealing creatures.
As you and family explore the environment, I hope you find creatures that delight and thrill you. I invite you to send me photos and comments about your discoveries. And with your permission, I may add them to the website.
Enjoy the adventure and I hope you might just find something to put in your pocket.
PS Some of the small items I have given to my grandsons so they can paint the creature, emphasizing the eyes or wings or shape.