As a follow up to last year’s highly enjoyable trip to the Allen Spring Campground, I made another reservation for the same weekend this year and Friday went over to this fabulous campground near Sisters, Oregon.

I guess it’s now “Alien Springs”

This year a friend, Gretchen, came with me. Gretchen is a birder as well, and we planned to hit a few of the hot spots listed by the East Cascade Audubon Society (again having their birding festival (Dean Hale Woodpecker Festival.)) We did see a lot of birds, but for some reason, I didn’t take many pictures.

It might have had something to do with still having two dogs, Key (my dog) and Toby (a foster looking for his permanent home). Both dogs had a good time, but Toby made it pretty clear that he enjoys a more indoor-oriented lifestyle.

Additionally, as I threatened last year, I brought my painting equipment. Of course, there is no end to possible inspiration…

… but my skills weren’t up to challenge.

Oh well, not everything can work out. And this might be okay with a crop and a lot more layers. We’ll see. In any case, I got a lot of other value sketches done, so I’m prepared for some painting!

Oh, yeah. Where do strawberries come in? Well, we ended up coming back a little earlier than expected due to a variety of unforeseen circumstances. I used my “extra” time to buy and clean a flat of strawberries. As I was doing that, it occurred to me that camping and strawberries are the true essence of summer; it has begun. Let’s make it a good one!