|New Wildlife Photos|
|Bookmarks - Booklists|
|Sites worth visiting|
Due to migration patterns, winter is a pretty tough time to get good pictures on the San Juan Islands. So, in addition to the two photos of seagulls and the cormorants which are brand new, I mined some of the pictures that we'd taken on some of our vacations last year. As with our pictures from the San Juans, all of the pictures we take are in the wild and not in zoos or other posed situations.
|Seagull on Pile Point|
|Seagull in flight|
|Bighorn sheep on the rocks|
|Steller's Jay at Yosemite|
|Buck waiting by sequoia trees|
We started to read our way through our pile of holiday books. My wife was a big fan of Bee Season by Myla Goldberg and, for light reading, we both got a kick out of the The Nanny Diaries: A Novel; by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus. I think the best book I read, though, was our featured book listed below. This book won the 2001 Banff Mountain Book Award for Mountain Literature and is a riveting read.
Kiss or Kill: Confessions of a Serial Climber; Mark Twight
We're looking forward to our next wine tasting dinner in mid-March -- we're going to target the red wines of Washington State, our home turf. It will be interesting to see which wines come out on top. Over the last two months, we've tasted some delicious wines:
|Duckhorn Vineyards, 1990 Howell Mountain Merlot. This wine was ready to drink. Fully mature, the tannins had settled out a bit but there was still more than enough fruit to give it some legs.|
|Rombauer, 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon. My wife broght this one on the ski bus. The report back was that it stood up to the tests of her compatriots and was preferred over the Silver Oak that it was sent up against.|
|Brick House Vineyards, 2000 Cuvee Les Dijonnais. Nothing subtle about this pinot noir -- it's loaded with rich, fresh fruiit.|
On the vineyard front, I started to gear up for the planting of our backyard 'vineyard' with some work done to rebuild some of the rock walls that help to terrace our backyard. The rock walls serve two purposes. First, they help make terraces on which the slope will not be so severe; this will allow for better water and soil retention. Second, the rocks themselves will help retain heat during the day which will give the vines just a little more help during the growing season.
Blogger. I've been thinking about creating a web log on our website for a while just to have a way to spontaneously put up some notes on topics that I find interesting.
Live Journal. This is an alternative blogging service - I came across them because I suddenly started to see visitors coming to my site and i was curious why.
Oregon Winegrower's Association. I was sent an invitation to a nifty promotional event put on by OWA and I thought it would be interesting to see what they're doing. A really neat service that they offer is a 'grape matching' service to help growers meet winemakers.
TheRagens.com is a family website that highlights our family history in addition to wildlife and nature photos, wine tasting notes, book lists (with a focus on mountain climbing) and other interests of ours. We are happy to share our interests with you and you may pass on this newsletter to friends as long as you make no changes to the content. If you are receiving this newsletter from a friend, you may sign up to receive it by visiting our registration page. If you wish to be removed from the distribution list, simply reply to this message and replace the words in the subject line with REMOVE. We keep an index of our back issues on our site.