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We went for a hike behind our house to see the progress on the new 230-acre Nature Park. Our property is bordered on two sides by a nature preserve that finally found enough funding to construct a new building and three miles of nature trails. The park is due to open in just a few weeks, so today we hiked throughout the trail system behind our house.

In our field: bachelor buttons

Behind our property: wild iris

Wild Iris

One of our neighbors, catching a few rays

Grassland on the south side of the mountain

New trail system

DT checking the property lines (or poison oak!!!)

Gorgeous buds

Wild Rose

They built a bridge!

South to the Tualatin Valley

Close-up: the field in the center is solid red clover - beautiful

The park has replanted native grasses

Nature Center (with parking, bathrooms, meeting & education facilities) is set to open in a few weeks

Nature Center

We spent several hours in the very warm sunshine exploring the southern slope of our little mountain. What a beautiful day. We saw snakes, squirrels, rabbits, hawks and about twenty other species of birds.

Tonight I prepared one of my all-time favorite meals. We are so lucky to live where we have readily-available fresh, beautiful, local, and organic produce, dairy, fruit and meats! I wish everyone had this option. (Fight for it, people!) Tonight I sautéed organic parmesan chicken cutlets (prepared in advance by New Seasons Market). I served the chicken over a bed or organic arugula and tomato - lightly dressed in balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil. What could be easier or more delicious? Plus, our meal was not expensive, took 15 minutes to prepare (and only one pan) and we opened a bottle of organic Italian wine ($9). Such a deal!

Easy. Delicious. Organic.

Dang, but I missed New Seasons Market while we were away. Until my next update, I remain, your natural correspondent.