Frenchglen & Malheur National Refuge

Friday–Sunday, May 8–10, 2009
Leader: Marianne Camp
Ext Trp: (Easy)

I am always amazed at the beauty that exists in Oregon. If you have never been to eastern Oregon you must put it on your short list of places to visit. The Malheur National Refuge in the spring holds many wonders. We are very fortunate to have it so close to home. This year’s trip was attended by 17 people. Some had never been to this area and others had never stayed at the Frenchglen Hotel. I was told by one member that she had wanted to do this trip for over 30 years. What fun it was to share this first time experience together.

The weather was absolutely beautiful. How lucky we felt to have a sunny warm weekend. With Rick Ahrens as our resident naturalist there were approximately 100 species of birds sighted and numerous unconfirmed sightings of a river otter. My personal favorite was the golden eagle sitting on her nest. Some in the group felt that since it was Mother's Day it was probably the male as he was letting her have the day off.

The weekend started on Friday with each car load traveling on their separate journeys. We met that evening for dinner at the hotel and enjoyed good food and pleasant company. An evening walk afterwards was enjoyed by all. Just imagine the full moon rising over the snow covered Steens Mountain and you'll have an idea of what we experienced.

Saturday was spent along the central road, stopping at various ponds along the way. Lunch at Benson Ponds provided shade trees and a little baby horned owl resting in its nest. The adult horned owl was not far away. We observed an oriole on the same branch as the great horned owl. Size did not seem to matter to the oriole as it was staring at the owl like it was saying "don't mess with me". We saw numerous baby owls as it was early enough in the spring to see them in their nests. One such sitting was only a short walk from the hotel.

Sunday was a shared breakfast and farewell to all as each car set out on its separate trip home. Thanks to all in the group who contributed to a wonderful weekend. Members: Ken and Beth Kodama, Jim and Sharon Duncan, Elle Weaver, Pat Adams, Ethel Weltman, Pat Soussan, Beth Roy, Julie Dorland, Pat Bitner, Rick Ahrens and Marianne Camp. Non-members: Donald Burton, Richard Marcus, David Webb and Mary Moffit.

Members: Rick Ahrens, Pat Adams, Ethel Weltman, Sharon Duncan, Jim Duncan, Beth Kodama, Ken Kodama, Marianne Camp, Pat Bitner, Julie Dorland, Beth Roy, Pat Soussan, Elle Weaver. Nonmembers: Donald Burton, Richard Marcus, Mary Moffitt, David Webb.

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