At The New York Times' science page are a collection of pictures of backyard wildlife. A few months ago I posted a picture of frogs in a wind chime. Today is a picture of a peacock which showed up in a backyard in Delray Beach, Florida. He's sharing a bench with a kitty. Cats are notorious for attacking birds, but maybe this one is a little too big.
A reader named "FGF" which I believe stands for Former Girlfriend has asked if those plump nutria are edible.
I personally don't know. I've never seen them on any menu. However, after my first reference to nutria here at Flannel Shirt, another friend of mine wrote to say that the only time he'd seen nutria was at an alligator farm down south. The owners had frozen nutria and when it was time to feed the beasts they threw the nutriacicles into the gaping jaws of the gators.
The nutria remind me of the mythological shmoo.
It was a creature in the "Lil Abner" comic strip about fifty years ago. Shmoos reproduced rapidly, tasted great and wanted to die to serve the purposes of mankind. Anyone else remember shmoos?
I am getting back to being regular in my walking again. Rise and shine and go around the Nike mothership.
Early into my walk I have been running into the nutria. On this day I ran into Mama Nutria with her four little ones. They seem to be reproducing quite well in Nikeland. Pretty soon they won't need to cut the grass. Just plant it.
Here's a closeup of Mama Nutria's ratlike tail. I think that the nutria's tail is a source of a lot of hatred directed towards the creature. As cute as they are from the front the rat tail is a turn-off for lots of folks.
Here is another nutria, in his element:
As you may have guessed, the nutria are the highlights of my walks around Nikeland, but there are other things. Here's a glimpse over the hedge to their closed campus:
Here is a shot of the mothership, from a bridge:
Those are soccer fields in the foreground. I guess they send out people to test shoes out there.
Here's is a statue of Nike Runner:
Note that someone put a sprig in his hand.
The walk is about two miles around the perimeter of the compound. It's about a quarter mile down to where I cross Walker Road to get to Nikeland, and another quarter mile up Walker Road to the Black Rock coffee kiosk, where I treat myself to a mocha.
Right next to them is the Subway where the dancing big red guy is:
He looks like he's a bit overcaffeinated. He'd been gone for awhile. Apparently, the crew at Subway brings him inside when it rains.
So that's my Nikeland walk. As I find other places to walk I'll take you, my readers, along.
A little over a week ago I signed up on match.com. Let me tell you. If you're a man and you live long enough the demographics really shift into your favor. I've been spending my waking hours emailing with all those women out there. I didn't even have the opportunity to email, wink, elbow or otherwise contact women I might want to strike up something with because, well, I've been very busy.
It's very flattering but I really can't handle this. Sadly for my situation, I've never been a playa. I can't remember who I said what to, and while I can be flirtatious, more than I thought I could be, I found someone the first week (and she found me) and now am in the process of establishing the parameters of any friendships with others. I've got three months on match.com and I need to find make friends and acquaintances. So that's the plan now while the woman and I see how this thing works.
In any case, last week was a blur. I'm getting a handle on things now. Hopefully, I can start establishing a routine.
My routine back in California included a two-mile walk every morning. My knees are old enough that I'll never be a jogger again, but a good walk is just fine. In fact, I need a walk to keep my life on the rails. I've been on the track around Nike World Headquarters three times now, the last time being today.
It was wet and foggy today, and I had business with the Beaverton Municipal Court. My first real day here I was pulled over and ticketed for speeding. I was in the flow of traffic and didn't realize I was speeding. I'd driven 700 miles the day before and undoubtedly I still had a heavy interstate foot on the accelerator. Alas.
My Garmin got me to the court, and I paid the ticket and got into the diversion program (traffic school) so my car insurance doesn't find out about it.
The court was right across the street from Fred Meyers, and I love the olive bar there, so I did a little grocery shopping there (good produce too), and since Trader Joe's was nearby I stopped by there to pick up a few items. I'm beginning to find my way around. I drove back home a different way without benefit of GPS.
After I got home and put away the groceries I walked down the block and across the road to Nike. It was still cold and wet and foggy. I love it. I have no problems walking around when the temperature is down in the 30s. No problem at all. The leaves have changed and are falling down. It's beautiful. I just never got that where I was in California. The trail goes through little groves of trees, across bridges, past ponds and wetlands.
Past one pond I saw a number of mole holes and saw a furry creature munching on the grass. I assumed it was a mole until I got close up. Moles are pretty shy. This guy was undaunted by me staring at him. He looked like a giant hamster, the size of two or three cats. It had a ratlike tail and webbed feet. He looked up at me for a second and then went back to eating. It was the first nutria I'd ever seen.
Nutria are one of those invasive species, I think it originated in South America. Some people in some places hate them and try to kill them off (although mostly unsuccessfully). I don't know. He looked kind of cute.
Another fifty feet down the path there were two more nutria munching on the lawn, unconcerned with the people running back and forth on the trail. We have invaded Oregon.