Category Archives: Mother’s Day

Nursing Elk

From a distance, in a herd of elk, it is sometimes hard to distinguish the yearlings from the newest calves after they’ve lost their spots.  But there is one time when it is obvious.

Click/tap to watch the video here:  Roosevelt Elk nursing her calf

Roosevelt Elk nursing her calf
Roosevelt Elk nursing her calf

Harbor Seal Pups

The sandbar east of the Alsea Bay Bridge is a nursery for Harbor Seals this month.  The eagles and buzzards hang around a lot this time of year.

harbor seal pups
Lots of harbor seal pups are born on the central Oregon Coast around Mother’s Day

Pups nurse for 4 weeks on mom’s rich milk.

sloppy seal nursing
This one needs a bib

Pups learn their mothers voice.  Nap time is snuggle time.

seal mom and pup nuzzle
Mom and pup nuzzle while napping

Seal puppy kisses  🙂

seal pup kiss
Sweet puppy kisses

The pups lose their umbilical cord after about a week.  You can see this one’s bellybutton scar.

seal pup bellybutton
Pink bellybutton scar on seal pup

Here’s a cute video of mom and pup swimming and playing in the Alsea Bay.


Happy Mother’s Day!

Thanks, Mom, for filling my every demand; even when I didn’t say “Please”.

Flicker Mom feeding 2 chicks

Thanks for sharing your unique view of the world with me.

Osprey Parents on Nest
Osprey Parents on Nest

Thanks for letting me have friends over ALL the time!

elk playdate
Elk Playdate!

Thanks for the endless carpools!

mallard hen with chicks
Keep up – we’ll be late for soccer

Thanks, Mom, for showing me my potential.

She makes it look so easy
She makes it look so easy

Thanks for teaching me independence.

Geese in fertile feeding grounds
Geese in fertile feeding grounds

But most of all, Mom, thanks for loving me.

harbor seal and pup
I love you Mom!

Give mom a hug!

River Otter Family
River Otter Group Hug

Mother’s Day Confliction or No One Calls Me Mom

Happy Mother’s Day to all my family and friends who aren’t the mother they wanted to be.

But, who doesn’t fall into this category?  Even if you have all the children you want, each one comes with its own unique guilt-package.  I’ve never met a mother who really meant it when she said she had one too many children; usually during the teenage years.  I know quite a few who wished they had more or worried about not teaching their children better.

I was childless until I married a man with 3 children.  They have always been kind to me and treated me with respect.  I’ll never forget their first Mother’s Day card to me.  I mean the first one that their dad didn’t buy for them.   It caught me completely off-guard and touched my heart.

Here are my sweet babies!

When I was a child I loved to play with dolls.  I loved baby animals and baby humans.  I wanted to be a mother when I grew up.  I wanted TEN children!

As I grew into adolescence I discovered that I wouldn’t be able to bear my children.  But I don’t give up on a dream based on science!  I have my faith!  Besides, our children come to us in all sorts of ways so there’s always adoption.  But a poor choice in a marriage partner threw that option out the window too.  I was still hopeful into my mid-30’s when I married my sweetie who had my 3 children half-raised.  What a deal this was.  I got to avoid the sleepless nights, diapers, potty-training and endless hours of “mommy watch me!”  The topic of invitro was discussed but eventually dismissed.  It was so hard to give up that dream.  I think that parenting a teenager might be a good form of birth control though.  As a step-parent of teenagers, I felt the heartache of letting them make their own mistakes.  I often wondered how a mother with a stronger bond could actually survive those feelings.  I knew that my feelings must have paled in comparison to their dad’s or mom’s.

Our oldest was almost marrying-age, though, and we could have a grandchild before too long.  And that’s exactly what happened.  That baby girl is graduating from High School in a couple weeks!  She is a beautiful young woman and has an amazing mom.  What an ideal situation this was for me!  Getting just enough of the sleepless nights, diapers, potty-training and endless hours of “grandma watch!” to appreciate what my mother and our daughters do for their children.

Our daughter’s motherhood dreams weren’t completely fulfilled either.  She would have loved to had more children; but life didn’t allow for it.  The thrilling announcement of her expected 2nd child came when her daughter was 16.  She and hubby were ecstatic.  Our granddaughter wasn’t quite as thrilled.  But she warmed up to the idea of having a little brother and also looked forward to it.  Our daughter was in her 9th month when the baby died.  Her Mother’s Day will never be the same.  But she’s an even more amazing mom now.  Mothering a child in Heaven adds an incredible dimension that I cannot fully fathom.

I also have a niece who is blessed with one (perfect) son but would have loved to have more children.  It was not in the cards for her either.  Does it seem to you that there are more and more people with infertility these days?

It has become tradition, in church, for mothers to be given a flower or other small token of appreciation.  Our church includes any woman 18 and older because women have a natural nurturing that makes them mothers even if it’s not to children they’ve born.  It has taken me a long time to feel comfortable accepting this gift.  I don’t know a whole lot of women who are completely comfortable with it.  Maybe a traditional mother expects the recognition from her children; but not so much from others.  The mothers I know feel humbled when praised for being a mother.  Maybe because it doesn’t feel heroic but just something natural?

My Mother
My Mother

I have an amazing mother.  She raised me to believe in myself and to focus on the things that I could do instead of what I couldn’t.  She helped me discover things about myself so that my inability to bear children didn’t make me feel like a failure as a woman.  It is because of her that I am able to recognize the mother in me.  (I had to stop and let the tears clear for a minute!  The Spirit always moves me to tears.)

I am also grateful, to my sweetie, for my miracle babies.

As I’ve said before – no one calls me Mom but 6 perfect children call me Grandma.  And I know our 7th will too when I see him in Heaven someday.

Now quit feeling sorry for yourself and bask in the praise!  It may only come once a year.  🙂

Happy Mother’s Day!

Mother is the Necessity of Invention

Mother is the Necessity of Invention

Did anyone else have a mother like that? I am grateful for a mother who instilled in her children (or tried her hardest to instill) creativity, hard work, perseverance and all the other values that the children of the Great Depression have (speaking of that era in American History that parents have held over their children’s heads since the 1950’s). As is usually the case, I never quite developed those values as well as my mother.  I am not as old as she is, however, so I still have time and hope that I will.

Inventions in technology have increased the speed of other inventions; even creating the need to reinvent our parents as they grew up in such a different world.

Mom with her Osborne Computer
Mom with her Osborne Computer

The old adage, Necessity is the Mother of Invention, came out of me when texting to my 14 year old granddaughter about her not having “any” clothes to wear to school. I knew she wasn’t going to school naked. So, instead of panicking and sending her money immediately, like I wanted to, I was able to remember the values she is learning through her sacrifice. She and her single-mother were saving to buy their first home at the time. I think she has wanted her own home longer than her mother.

I grew up in a middle-class family. My parents encouraged me to save my money. When grandparents would send me money for birthdays or Christmas Mom and Dad would say something like, “Why don’t you save it for something you really want?”  I do remember some purchases I made with my own money as I grew older.  I’m sure I was spoiled rotten, though, because I think I was given everything I really wanted.  It probably cost them more, to teach me the lesson of saving, than if they hadn’t. I am sure it took more time and effort on my mother’s part; just in the teaching moments. We learned to fix things that were broken, instead of throwing them away.  (Pardon me, I learned that DAD could fix things.)  I learned that clothes could be made if I couldn’t find anything I liked at the store. My mother sewed a lot for me. As a teen, I could never find anything that fit right. I don’t remember her sewing me any of the really low-cut hip-hugger pants. But she was more than happy to sew the high-waisted style of pants that followed. HHhhhmmm – I probably had to buy those hip-huggers and hot-pants with my own money. Mom has such a subtle way of teaching values.

The point is, I had all my needs met. I think good mothers create the need for invention. It develops a sense of what is actually needed as opposed to what is just wanted….even in reinventing ourselves.

Mother’s Day Out

Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish the elk cows from the young bulls who haven’t started growing their antlers yet.

47 Roosevelt Elk
47 Roosevelt Elk

But until a couple days ago we’d only seen about a third this many elk since they took off to have their calves.

Tagged Cow
Tagged Cow

But there’s Alllie – my A-3 tagged cow.  She had a calf last year so I’m betting she has one this year too.  They are really skittish of me because I am on foot.  The calves aren’t with them but they aren’t far from the trees.  I’m sure the calves are well hidden and safe and we’ll get to see them in a week or two.  I can hardly wait!

Whale Spout Near Devil's Churn
Whale Spout Near Devil’s Churn

A tell-tale sign that there’s a whale, is a group of people parked on the side of Hwy 101, with cameras trained on the ocean close to shore.

2nd Whale - near Devil's Churn
2nd Whale

There were two whales feeding just north of Devil’s Churn, just south of Yachats.

2 Whales Feeding - near Devil's Churn
2 Whales Feeding

We watched them for about 10 minutes and then had to get going.

A Little TLC

I was starting to think I was living too close to downtown Tidewater!  Don’t pigeons usually hang out in urban areas?

Okay, I can close my eyes and listen to their gentle cooing and make-believe it’s a dove.  Maybe that’s how the Feral Pigeons got nicknamed Rock Dove?

Band-tailed Pigeon
Band-tailed Pigeon

But, actually, this is a Band-tailed Pigeon.  The yellow bill and legs and dark eye are unique to pigeons and this is the “largest of our pigeons”; according to my bird book.

They live in tall coniferous trees in mountain areas.  Okay, so they are right at home at my home!

Coming back from Newport yesterday, I couldn’t cross the Alsea Bay Bridge again without stopping to see if there were any seal pups.

Alsea Bay Bridge Gets TLC
Alsea Bay Bridge Gets TLC

They have one, southbound, lane closed for bridge maintenance.  They are removing rust, painting and constructing a new walkway under the bridge.  I couldn’t find an estimated completion date on the ODOT website.

So, in honor of our upcoming Mother’s Day…

Seal Couples or Moms with Pups?
Seal Couples or Moms with Pups?

I couldn’t see the size difference of these seals to be able to tell if it was 2 moms nuzzling their pups or if it was male/female couples.  They weren’t splashing around in the water like they did in the pre-pupping behavior.  They are just sort of twisting around each other and swimming with their noses touching each others head and neck; very graceful and loving.

Seal Pup in Alsea Bay
Brand New Seal Pup

No wonder people have to be reminded to resist the urge to “rescue” a seal pup!  They look so tired and under-fed and helpless!  The pups can swim immediately after birth but they are like any baby, they need a lot of sleep.  They only nurse every 3 hours and mom still has to eat.  So, if you come across a seal pup on a beach, keep your distance.  If you want to help it, stay there to educate other people who come along and keep their pets away.  Mom Will Be Back!  But the pups have to rest.  They are camouflaged, like any other baby animal, for protection.

I actually didn’t even see this one until I got my photos back home to the computer.  What I do is zoom in and take successive photos from one end of the group to the other.  That’s how I’ve found animals that are tagged or branded too.

I hate carrying too much equipment around with me.  I don’t take tripods or extra lenses (much to Don’s disappointment because he is sweet enough to buy those things for me – sorry Sweetie).  Nor do I even take binoculars with me.  It’s just extra baggage.  I like to travel light.  I barely throw on a coat!