Yee-haw! We're movin' to Texas!

Well, it's official. Kelly was offered another 6-month position with The Nature Conservancy (the same organization he worked for here in Oregon) studying the federally endangered Golden-cheeked Warbler. Working with a federally listed species is a rare opportunity, so although Texas was never a place we ever thought we'd be living, we're excited for the chance to experience yet another part of the country for a while, and to gain some excellent professional experience in the process. We'll keep updating our blog with Texas adventures once we get there, so definitely check back mid-January, when we plan to make the move.

Now that Kelly's job here is over and we know where we're headed next, we are planning on leaving in a couple of days for a 2-week camping trip around California in order to make the most of our last few weeks on the West Coast. We'll definitely be posting some pictures of this last adventure when we get back! Our trip will culminate at Yosemite National Park, where we'll be attending the wedding of a close friend of mine from Taylor. We'll be home for Christmas for a few weeks visiting both our families, and then it's off to the South for us!

We've loved every moment of our time in Oregon, and we will definitely miss it out here. We felt very at home from the moment we arrived in Astoria, and it will always remain a home in our hearts. Thanks for reading about our crazy adventures, and we'll try to keep up the pace in Texas, too!


Hello, Seattle! Here we come, Cascades!

We spent a couple of recent weekends with Brendan and Billi visiting Seattle (Pike Place Market) and hiking/camping in the Cascade Mountains. Our main objective in the Cascades was to find a Rubber Boa, but we were unable to find one. We did, however, find long-toed salamanders, which was also a treat, and we did some great hiking in the beautiful Central Washington country-side.

Us on the ferry with Seattle still far in the distance.

Long-toed Salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum)

On another trip to Olympia, we went to the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, where we saw our first Barn Owl, among other things, including:

An American Bittern hiding in the reeds.

A Pacific Tree Frog (Pseudacris regilla).

A beautiful Northwestern Garder Snake (Thamnophis ordinoides).

We got to see this playful river otter just long enough to snap a shot!

Taylor guys to Mt. Hood

A few weeks ago, a few Taylor grads who are all living in the area got together to camp and hike at Mt. Hood.

From left: Jeremy Heavey, Dave Iula, me, and Ben Reed

It was the perfect time to see the all the colors of the fall foliage

It was interesting to see both the plain and reticulated forms of the rattlesnake-plantain orchid (Goodyera oblongifolia) growing side-by-side.