It's a wet, wet world out there when you live in Swamplandia. Smith and Bybee Lakes are higher than they've been in years. These are lakes that fill the upper end of the North Portland peninsula on which The Machinist and I live. They are tidal, and are fed by the Columbia Slough and the Multnomah Channel, and are home to herons, bald eagles, coyotes, and snails. Plus other wildlife more numerous to list. This is the part of Portlandia that has kept me on life-support in this city.

When people talk about Portland, they talk about "car-free lifestyle" (largely a myth), coffee, craft beer, cider and spirits, book stores (my neighborhood one just closed), tattoos, and "keep Portland weird (it was weird in the '90s, it's rather bland today). But this swamp on the edge of town is where I go to remember that Portland has things going for it.

For some strange reason, this high desert lass ended up entrenched in one of the hippest cities in North America. How the hell did that happen, that I live someplace where seemingly everyone aged 22-60 wants to live? I don't know. Maybe it's because I prefer watching snails, and the city just happened to grow up around me.