NAVIGATION ∧

the photo journal + misc. news of Emma Kisiel

Fall in the Pacific Northwest

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Since we moved in August, we’ve been trying to find a good spot nearby to take the dog on longer walks. We recently found out about Tyron Creek State Park about ten minutes from our house and it’s so nice. I brought my camera two weeks ago and walked a big loop (listening to Dirty John 😱). The next day we gave Mount St. Helens a third try, and this time went to the Johnson Ridge Observatory. It was mid-day, so we couldn’t really see a whole lot through the clouds, but it was still pretty incredible. We walked around Coldwater Lake – the boardwalk there is really neat.

Dan gets in to Portland tomorrow, and then we’re off to Corvallis for SPE!

Pumpkin Patch 2017

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Dan was here! On Friday we went to Bannings for breakfast, Alberta to see Teagan White’s work at Antler and explore some shops, the Mount Angel Abbey museum, and the Stillhouse in Oregon City to meet Nat for dinner. Saturday, we went to Astoria for Buoy and Fort Stevens (and the ocean, of course). In the evening the three of us saw It! That was fun.

It was early, but Sunday we went to the pumpkin patch. We only got two pumpkins, and the place we really like wasn’t open yet, so we’ll definitely be back to Sauvie Island before too long. We saw a bunch of frogs!

All photos from September are here

Swift Watch

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I believe I found out about the swifts from the book This is Portland, which my mom had bought on one of her visits and gave to me before we came here winter 2104 to scout out places to live. It seemed pretty intriguing immediately, but I somehow hadn’t made it to see them (heralded as “one of Portland’s most spectacular natural events”) in the previous two Septembers I’d lived here. This time, I set a reminder in my phone and Nat and I drove up to Chapman Elementary in Northwest on a Thursday evening in early September to see thousands of Vaux’s swifts prepare to roost for the night in the school chimney. This location is one of the largest known roosting sites of migrating Vaux’s swifts, thousands of which gather in the city every year in late August as they prepare to migrate to Central America and Venezuela.

I know a lot of these photos look the same but I feel like I could look at hundreds of them. The birds are so tiny and yet make up this giant mass, especially as it gets darker and they start to funnel into the chimney. They kind of look like fleas (or for those who’ve had fleas, more like flea dirt, I suppose). Murmurations of starlings are some of my favorite things to see, so I thought this was very cool.