Tuesday, January 17, 2017

HUMMINGBIRD, I HOPE YOU'LL BE FINE...

I was gazing out my window at the backyard and wishing the snow would all disappear *poof* but knowing that would not happen.  I had noticed a hummingbird sitting on a bench and sometimes on the branch of a tree 2 feet from the bench.  A couple hours later as I gazed longingly outside I saw the hummingbird was still there. I thought that highly unusual as they always seem to move around a lot,
After a short vigil, I went to do dishes and such. Then a couple more hours passed and the hummer was still there. I became concerned, so decided that with my cane and a walking stick (knew the walker would not work) I gingerly ventured out. The 3 steps off my deck and to the path were scary but holding tightly I managed to get down. Slowly with my camera around my neck (and praying I would not slip and fall) I ventured over to see if I could get a shot of the little bird.  I gently murmured over and over "Hi little hummer, don't be afraid" as I trekked.  I got within 3 feet and he/she did not take off! Slowly raising my camera I began snapping photographs.
The little dear looked right at me!
It moved from the arm to the back of the bench as I continued to snap away.
Hummer seemed to be curious but not concerned with my presence.
Then he/she flew up and went to a little tree closer to me. I could see the red on its chest and liked the color of my workshop behind it.
I think he was wondering what I was doing.
I started to shake so decided to head back inside.
Then once inside I worried about my little friend, so put some nectar into a shallow plate, took it out, and place a couple small branches to give something for it to sit on, and went back inside.
Whenever I checked from the window he was still in the same spots and there when it got to dark for me to see anymore.  I said a little prayer for him/her.
I am not sure if he drank from it, but hope he did. I have not seen him today. Maybe tomorrow,...

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?! SNOW STORM #4 HAS HIT US!!

*Sigh*  I am so tired of these storms!  We got between 8 and 9 inches here where I live. 
I cannot go for walks with my walker and my little Honda does not have the proper tires for driving in it so am homebound.  It is okay for a one time thing, but it sure has been too much now.  It closes all the schools and many businesses, causes so many to have accidents and not be able to get to work.  It is exhausting. But I do try to find beauty in all of this turmoil.  So here is the beauty I see as I gaze from my windows. The fir trees do take on a lacy look.
The neighbors Japanese maple looks so pretty.
I believe this is a redbud tree and it sure has great color for winter.
Plants in neighbors yard look so cool!
and the neighbors flag with snowy backdrop.
Various items in my backyard create cool designs.
Aliens!
My rusty garden art unicorn has a white mane and tail!
The little girl is all white and was blown to face the wrong way. She is usually teasing the cat!
Bonsai looks so lovely!
Apparently my deck cover has a leak and I discovered this icicle.
The gazebo looks so lovely in this setting in my garden. Cold but lovely!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

ANOTHER SNOW STORM: #3

It started snowing this morning around 10 am, took a lunch break for about one hour, and then continued its falling from these pewter skies (love calling them pewter as that is the color they have). 
The wind blasts off and on and makes it look more like smoke when it does!  I bet it is very cold outside. I have had my interior faucets dripping to try to avoid freezing! It was advised on the news. Last thing I need is a burst pipe! I do not even know where the turnoff is.I attempted to take photos of the snowflakes on my deck handrail but they are not great. You can see a bit of the details. I do not have a macro lens so did the best I could.
I like the way my outdoor mat looked with just a little snow on it. Now it is buried!
My yoga cats in the garden.

I tried to get a shot of the snow falling but not easy!
Here is the hand bird feeder filled with snow, and one of my metal art pieces for outside covered with snow.
My neighbor across the street has a flag flying and I took this shot in the snow with the wind.
I just have to throw in this photo showing the sunset last night! Colorful!
Last but not least, one of my cats, Mooshoo, all warm and cozy inside!
Kala is, too, but she is under the bed near a vent.
It is almost 3:30 pm and the snow is still falling here in Oregon City, OR.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

HOPEFUL PLANS IN 2017

I am still working on gaining back all the strength I lost since May 2016 and very hopeful to be able to do some adventures here in Oregon. So I have gathered information on just a few places I would love to visit with my camera, and hopefully maybe with a friend or two.  I have not been to these places and the photos seen on pinterest excite me about visiting them.

Doesn't this look amazing!
Thor’s Well, sometimes known as the drainpipe of the Pacific, is a strange natural phenomenon that appears to be draining water out of the sea. Right at the edge of the Oregon coast, Thor’s well is best seen at high tide or in stormy weather when the rock provides superb photo opportunities. Visitors to Thor’s Well should also check out the nearby Cape Perpetua Visitor Center, which boasts spectacular ocean views and the chance to spot migrating gray whales.

This place has a history!
Witches Castle--Forest Park in Portland, Oregon most notably the area around Balch Creek has some interesting history behind it as well as playing host to one of the area’s most famous haunted places.  In 1850, Danford Balch filed a land claim on this portion of land near what was then the fledgling settlement of Portland.  Danford’s land was large enough that he needed help in order to clear it.  He hired a transient worker named Mortimer Stump who was from Vancouver.  Balch allowed him to stay with the he and his family which consisted of his wife Mary Jane and his 9 children.
Mortimer was with the family so long that one thing led to another and he fell in love with Danford’s 15 year old daughter Anna.  Mortimer asked for permission to marry Anna but her parents refused.  The couple threatened to elope and Danford exclaimed that if they did he would kill Mortimer.  Well young lovers did not heed this warning and Mortimer ran off to Vancouver with Anna in November of 1858 where they were married.  This sparked a feud between the Balch and Stump families.
A few weeks later Mortimer, Anna, and some other members of the Stump family returned to Portland for some supplies and encountered Danford.  Having been nagged and tormented by Mary Jane to make good on his promise, Danford later claimed that his wife “bewitched” him into carrying out his threat to kill Mortimer and return their daughter to the family.  In a drunken stupor, Danford pulled a shotgun and shot Mortimer in the head.
Balch was promptly arrested, however the deteriorated condition of the wooden prison allowed him to later escape while awaiting his trial.  He hid out on his own property and was again found and arrested some 6 months later.  Danford Balch was put on trial and convicted for the murder of Mortimer and was hanged to death on October 17, 1859.  This was the first legal hanging that occured in the newly formed Oregon Territory.  Mary Jane continued to live at the Balch cabin, but at Danford’s request divided up the land amoung her children.
Over the years, the land was passed to various owners but was of little use and was given to the City of Portland by Donald Macleay in 1897 to be used as a park.  In the 1950’s a stone structure was built to house restrooms and a ranger station for the park near the site of the old Balch cabin. Over time this structure deteriorated from vandalism and was abandoned in the 1960’s.  This has since became known as “The Witch’s Castle”.  It is rumored that this was once a 1600’s trading post, however the existing structure was built almost 350 years later.  Whether a previous structure was there or not, it is unknown.
The Witch’s House is an easy half-mile hike from the Upper Macleay Parking lot near the Portland Audubon Society, or a slightly longer three-quarter mile jaunt starting from the Lower Macleay Parking lot at at NW 30th and Upshur. One can take the Aspen trail to get there. A great way of accessing the trailhead is to walk up on Thruman Street.
Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor
This corridor is a 12 mile, forested, linear park with a rugged, steep coastline interrupted by small sand beaches.  This park was named in honor of Samuel H. Boardman, the first Oregon Parks superintendent.  He and others of his generation felt this shining coastline should be saved for the public.  What gems they gave us: admire the 300-year old sitka spruce trees, gaze at the amazing Arch Rock and Natural Bridges, and walk the 27 miles of Oregon Coast Trail that weave through the giant forests.
Seaside prairies, spectacular vistas, secluded cove beaches, rugged cliffs and forested sea stacks come one after the other throughout this park.  Stand and ponder the old shell middens and wonder what it was like to live in a Native American village by the Pacific Ocean.
Cape Ferrelo loop: A 1-mile loop trail climbs the grassy slope (carpeted with wildflowers each spring) to the top of the cape for breathtaking views of the rugged coastline and photo-worthy Oregon sunsets. The cape is also an excellent spot for whale watching in fall and spring. Natural Bridges: Follow a short trail to one of the best viewpoints in the park—the seven iconic arched rocks and blowholes known as Natural Bridges. Here you’ll find a memorial to Dr. Samuel Dicken, who first envisioned the Oregon Coast Trail. 7 Arch Rock: From the paved parking lot, stroll down a short paved path to an overlook featuring a series of offshore sea stacks and islands. In spring, wildflowers brighten the meadows. Secret Beach and Thunder Rock Cove: From the small gravel parking area, enjoy the views of the cove while you look for migrating gray whales in the winter and spring. Follow a rough 3/4-mile trail down to Secret Beach. At low tide, head south around the rocks to find a secluded beach with lots of pools for exploring. 
a.    Starting in Lake Oswego, the Willamette Shore Trolley will take you on a scenic ride along the shore of the Willamette River in an authentic vintage trolley. Looks scenic!

The Hobbit Trail begins at a humble parking pull-out just north of Heceta Head State Park, 
and it can be easy to miss if you drive by looking for a more established trailhead.  The trailhead is literally right off the highway, which creates an intense juxtaposition; just as you rush across the road to escape oncoming traffic, you plunge into a deep and luxuriant coastal forest with walls of Sitka spruce and rhododendrons thick enough to close off your highway experience.  Immediately you will find a signed trail junction, where you should walk left to stay on the Hobbit Trail and get to the beach, or walk right if you’d like a longer hike to Heceta Head.  The trail down to the beach affords one or two more expansive views of the ocean, but the real pleasure of this trail is wandering through the interior forest.  At times it feels like you are in a hall decorated with salal and a root woven runner. 
From where you pick up the Hobbit Trail to the beach, it’s actually quite short – a 1/2 mile is all. And, frankly, the Heceta Head Lighthouse trail is more beautiful, but the Hobbit Trail did live up to its name with some very cool hiking as well, including the famed Hobbit hole portion that opens onto the beach.
Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden is located at 5801 SE 28th Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97202 between SE Steele and SE Woodstock. $4.00, 10 AM – 6 PM, March 1st – September 1st, EXCEPT no charge Monday & Tuesday. 
RHODODENDRONS IN BLOOM
February – July.
Peak bloom: late April – early May.
Paths are ADA-accessible.
Self-Guided: Booklet available at the Gatehouse.
Mt. St. Helen's from Sherrard Point.
 Located at the summit of the beautiful Larch Mountain in the Columbia River Gorge, Sherrard Point is a little-known, jaw-dropping overlook that will blow you away. A short half mile stroll through an emerald green forest will land you on a mountaintop platform from which you’ll see an endless expanse of rolling green hills and Cascade mountain peaks. To get the lookout, you'll park at the Larch Mountain Trailhead and follow the concrete path through the woods for a quarter-mile. Near the end of the trail, the trees will end and you'll emerge onto this incredible observation deck (rimmed with a short fence) with panoramic views of the expansive Cascade wilderness.
a.    This beautiful cove is located 5 miles south of the famous Cannon Beach at Hug Point State Park. A leisurely half-mile walk from the parking lot will lead you to the enchanting Hug Point Waterfall. Fed by the lovely Fah Creek, The waterfall varies in magnitude depending on the season, ranging from an ethereal trickle to a full-on cascade. Over the years, the tide has carved unique caves into the cliffs, some of which are large enough to explore! Tide pools speckle the coastline here, full of glowing marine life. At low tide, you'll be able to see the treacherous road that was carved into the cliff long ago for stage coaches. This bumpy rock ledge is now often covered in muscles and tide pools. In some places, you can still see the tracks of the wagon wheels! Tides can change quickly, so make sure not to turn your back the ocean, especially when you're exploring tide pools or caves. You should only visit the beach at low tide, so be sure to check the tide charts before showing up.
Just a few of the things on my list!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

OH NO, WE GOT SNOW!

I live in Oregon City, OR and we do not get snow very often at all.  But last week and yesterday we got way too much. Yesterday's storm caused so much trouble; hundreds of accidents, people stranded, cars abandoned, roads moving so slow it was 2 mph so took hours to go short distances.  Over 600 kids were stranded at various schools throughout several cities and some did not get home til 11 pm. School buses filled with kids also got stranded and one slid on a hill and took out three vehicles, one with people in it.  Not good and I am sure the insurance companies will be busy for several days.
Me, I do not venture out in weather like this. I stay home. I look out my windows and keep bundled up.  I did take some snapshots from my viewpoints and here they are. The first shows my now defunked garden in the snow before it got really bad. We got 2-3 inches but it was lots of ice, too.
 
A feathered visitor hopped across my back deck.
 
a metal garden art butterfly was bedecked in snowfall.
 
A metal art piece blew down and was decorated.
 
Mooshoo watched snow fall and no visitors to the birdbath.
 
Some of my garden grasses in the white...
 
 
A blast of red in the stark white!
 
I also managed to get a few shots of birds out in the yard. Do not ask me what kind as my reply will only be-bird!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I want to toss in the photo I took of the super moon back in November. 
I am just hanging in there all bundled up and keeping warm.