Christmas was a muted affair this year. It rained almost the whole day and the next, which made sheltering in-place just that much easier. Presents were low key too – as what we crave most these days is not (more) stuff but more experiences. We’ll just have to be patient with that.

Errands and chores beckoned, but we made time for a short stroll along the interpretive trail in part of the Ken Denman Wildlife Area. From the TouVelle State Recreation Site (where we got a little more use out of our sadly underused state parks pass), we strolled along the Rogue River into the wildlife area (the former site of WW2’s Camp White) and then circled back along the bluff above the area’s now flooded marshes.

Along the Rogue
Rogue River I
Rogue River II
Sun I
Sun II
Sun IV
Sun V

Wildlife at this time of year is limited except for squads of chuckling, squabbling, aptly-named Acorn Woodpeckers flitting among the oak trees. They’re unique among Oregon’s woodpeckers for living communally and storing acorns in holes they peck into dead trees. One 75-foot deceased tree near the parking lot is holed with acorns from roots to crown. So they keep busy. But all the squabbling suggests that communal living isn’t always peaceful. 🙄

Acorns stored by Acorn Woodpeckers

The shallow fog that lingered in the valley for most of our walk gave it a noire atmosphere entirely consistent with the 2020 we’ve all come to loath. But a little fresh air always helps the mood. And the thought that it will soon no longer be “that year” brightened it even more! As did watching the antics of those woodpeckers. 🙂