I used fall break as an opportunity to catch up on sleep, do a bit of work, and go explore Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge. Despite being only about 25 minutes from campus, I had never been there before. They have one main trail, about a mile long in one direction. It meanders through a variety of habitats including oak forest, fields, forested streams, a river, and a swamp. I went towards the end of the day and the weather was beautiful. It was surprisingly sunny out so the walk was warm and the light helped all the fall colors stand out. The wildlife refuge is particularly known for its bird life and, though I went at a slower time, I still saw some herons, crows, sparrows, and a gorgeous red-tailed hawk. The refuge is really lovely and the hike is rather easy so I highly recommend it if you want to get out into nature without going too far from the school.
While at home I got to some projects I have been meaning to do. In my front yard is a huge chestnut tree and I figured it was time to learn how to roast chestnuts. If you’re not familiar with them, they’re a smooth brown nut slightly larger than a gumball. Their outer husk is a ball of thorns that can get as big as a baseball. They’re not fun at all to step on and I doubt they’d be fun to husk, but luckily they’ve been hitting our driveway with enough force that they sometimes eject the nuts from the husk without any work on our part. I’ve had a bowl of them sitting on the table for about two weeks, but I finally got around to roasting them in the oven over break. Admittedly, they’re a little weird. The texture isn’t like that of a normal nut, they’re supposed to be soft instead of crunchy. They were pretty good, but I’m going to experiment more with how to prepare them because it is kind of disorienting to have a nut with a texture like a potato.
Have questions about life at L&C? Feel free to ask me at email@example.com