16 April 2015

Into the Woods + A Little Surprise for Small One

Spring break was a busy one for us this year. On Wednesday, I was down in the Newport area with my best friend and her grandson. Then, on the following Sunday, we visited Regatta Park and a new beach in Lincoln City with tidepools (LOVE tidepools). But the day before that we were in the valley at Milo McIver State Park enjoying...

hiking on a trail there.
We arrived soon after the Vortex Half Marathon and 10K Trail Run ended...
hence the lovely white arrows on the bridge and elsewhere.
Vortex I, for those who may not know, was a rock festival held at Milo McIver SP
 just about 45 years ago. I don't recall hearing about it at that time, but quite a few people showed up at this--believe it or not--state sponsored event. If you're interested in learning more about it, you can follow the link above to the wiki article. There was also a OPB special on it quite awhile ago--that was where I first learned about it.
Anyway, MMSP is quite a pretty place between the woodlands filled with lots and lots of green,
the Clackamas River, the creek and the views one can catch--on a clear day--of Mt. Hood.

I love the wildflowers of the PNW:)

I believe this is Dog Creek...
I couldn't believe all of the shades of green!
Truly amazing.
Spring is awesome for greens here--
right now our mountainsides look gorgeous!
And of course, our primary reason for being at MM that day...

the Clackamas Fish Hatchery!
We thought little Miss would enjoy seeing the HUGE ponds that hold a lot of growing fish.
(She did)
And then there was a little surprise -- for her and for us...

One of the very kind workers there let her (and a few others) help feed the fish!
Can you believe that?
Totally cool!
BTW, she did pretty well and really enjoyed doing it!

This time we also took a peek inside the small visitor building which contains the incubation room and displays showing the life cycle of the fish--from zygote (isn't that the coolest word? LOL) to fry (oh, oh...when I see that word, my mind wonders to eating. Bad me).

 Another great thing about MM?
We often see horses being ridden on the trails there.  
Makes me want one again...

Milo McIver State Park
Here's a link for more info

And now back to researching my latest idea for a trip...
this one will be a trip down memory lane:)

07 April 2015

The Life + (Recent) Times of Aimee

Recently my life included lovely moments like this one--
at a newly discovered (for me that is) beach.
And exciting moments like this...
and this...
enjoying the wonders of this new and interesting place!
And then there were neat moments like this...
not our catch,  but those of a very blessed family
 who would be enjoying a very yummy dinner later that day!
Mmm. BBQ fish...
And recently my life included a few anxious moments watching this drone...
and thinking the entire time,
I hope they know what they're doing
(as it flew and dived over our car--again and again)
Fortunately they did
Then, of course, there were those memorable moments on the other side of the coast range...
but you'll have to wait awhile to see those times because I need to get some sleep so I can spent
a LOT of moments today catching up on housework.
Wishing you a blessed week full of memorable moments!
Lincoln City
Milo McIver State Park

28 March 2015

Spring Break: Along Yaquina Bay and Parts North

It's spring break in Oregon,
so mid-week my best friend of many, many years and I spent
some time together on the central Oregon coast. And, because there
was no school, we brought some of our favorite kiddos along--
Small One and my BFF's grandson.
Some photos from our daytrip...
In this aquarium some of the creatures stare back at you...
(Speaking of creatures, it's prime whale watching time right now in Oregon
so get out to your favorite headland and bring a good pair of binoculars!)
A view of the Yaquina Bay bridge from a different vantage point than I've seen before.
I'll have to come back on a sunnier day and take another photo...
and maybe, maybe take some using my zoom lens too.

The Yaquina Bay lighthouse.
There are two lighthouses in the area--this one and the Yaquina Head lighthouse
which is located a little further to the north.
Kind of an unusual lighthouse in that the living quarters and light are in the same building.
A little closer view of the bridge I love--
when I'm not on it that is.  
One of the murals along the historic, working bayfront area...
sadly we couldn't get parking this time. Of course I've been here before
so I wasn't too disappointed.  
A quick drive-by shot in the Nye Beach district--
another historic area in Newport.
Can you see the Yaquina Head Lighthouse off to the left?
After a yummy shrimp melt sandwich at Moe's
(yes we went up to the Siletz Bay one then we returned south to Beverly Beach
for some fun in the sand and surf).
A new game...

with an expected outcome.
Just to let you know, I wasn't too comfy with this game
and made her move further up on the sand.
Too many news reports on sneaker waves...

Kite flying time...
for my friend, granddaughter and I.
See how the sun came out?

A view to the north...
It was a GREAT day,
full of some surprises,
some new-to-us destinations
a lot of good conversation.
Makes it all the harder knowing things will soon change...
Well we have a lot of plans for tomorrow so it's time,
past time actually,
for some shut eye.
Good night :)
Wishing you all a very blessed Palm Sunday weekend!
Hatfield Marine Science Center (OSU)
(link above to another post I did with a lot more photos and a link to their site)
Newport's south jetty
(first time there!)
Newport's historic bayfront
(lots to look at and as an extra bonus, sea lions)
Beverly Beach

23 March 2015

What Serenity Looks Like

Serenity surrounded us there.
It accompanied me as I passed by the ponds.

It filled my heart as I beheld this grove of trees.
And with it came a sense of wonder as I stood on the bridge watching a pair of ducks below
and later contemplated the seed head of a dandelion.
The calls of assorted birds could be heard as I wondered along
through forest, meadow and oak savannah.
They filled my heart with joy!
For a time this past Sunday this is what serenity looked like.  
What kind of places make you feel peaceful?

The WORD on Monday:)
These things I have spoken unto you,
that in Me ye might have peace.
In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer;
I have overcome the world.
John 16:33 KJV
Early spring.
Tualatin River NWR
(one of several refuges in the Willamette Valley--all unique;
all wonderful when you're looking for a bit of serenity and wonder)

21 March 2015

(Official) Spring in the Garden

The last day, of the strange yet wonderful winter of 2015, found my best friend and I toiling away in the garden and after months of virtual neglect we had much to do! During the 4 hours we worked we pulled out blackberry vines that seem to LOVE all rural PNW gardens, removed some of the naughtier, most unruly running bamboo and we weeded, raked and watched the burn pile grow.
A lot done and there's a LOT more to do!
Somehow though it seemed quite pleasant working under a blue sky and temps
 that seemed more like early summer or late spring than winter.
Of course there's a lot of blooming going on right now because of our VERY abnormal winter temps.
the sunny yellow blooms of forsythia, daffodils and Oregon grape,
the lovely white of a magnolia, pieris, other daffodils and many fruit trees,
the always pretty pink blossoms of one of our bleeding hearts and azaleas,
and the unexpected small blue blossoms of the brunnera and light purple of the rosemary.
The blueberries and evergreen huckleberries are in bloom as is our most lovely native kinnikinnick. In the bud stage is one peach colored rose and there are buds not quite showing color yet on some of the other roses. Our prairiefire crabapple's buds are right on the verge of opening and yesterday I noticed that our one and only beloved trillium has emerged from the ground (yippee), as has it's nearby neighbor, a hosta. Some of these plants are about a month ahead of schedule I think and others are pretty much on time or a bit early. Our forecast is calling for cooler temperatures for a few days and rain (yea, yea, yea) so maybe things will slow down.

Well I should be in bed (or doing the dishes my hubby, who just came out for an early morning snack, says) but I am, as usual, not tired yet so I'll share some photos...be forewarned the lighting was not the best and I still had on my zoom lens from our last trip with Small One. Anyway here goes!

Oregon Grape

Resident toad who offered to pose for a picture--
ok he didn't offer and I took much more than one picture :)

Camellia--a japonica
 (our camellia sasanqua finally decided to stop blooming after some 5 months of color)

Fruit tree blossoms
(I think this is one of our pears)
(borrowed from a post I made 2 years ago. One can only take so much bad lighting you know. LOL)
Brunnera Jack Frost
(also borrowed from an older post.
 I love the leaves and forget-me-not type flowers on these shade loving plants).
Oh my! There's the most wonderful violinist playing on TV right now.
I have thought for the longest time that the violin most closely matches the melody of my heart--
well at least the sadder tunes.
I think the flute captures the peaceful, happier tunes.
What instrument would you say is most like the melody of your heart?
Well I guess I'd best get to sleep as I am officially exhausted now.
Blessings + Happy Spring (or Autumn) to you!
A favorite couple of verses for your springtime...
(even if it's not Wednesday)
For, lo, the winter is past,
the rain is over and gone;
The flowers appear on the earth;
 the time of the singing of birds is come,
 and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.
Song of Solomon 2:11-12

10 March 2015

Of Unexpected Blessings: Pt II

From awhile ago...

Our early spring continues with many days of blue skies,
blossoming fruit trees and other plants
lots of yard work still needing to be done!

So today, instead of dipping our toes in the sea
or watching one of my favorite rivers in action,

pruned and pruned some more,
turned back on our external water system
(then had to turn it off in a few days because of the cold night temps),
raked leaves
(yep, didn't do that this fall)
and watched a red tail hawk flying over us.
the best part
(other then all of the above)
was we didn't see ANY of the slithery ones!
Now, that's what I call a perfect spring-in-winter day:)
  (Update: but this last weekend lucky me had the
first snake sighting--CLOSE up of course)
But this post isn't about today--
though it was filled with unexpected blessings--
it's about Valentine's Day weekend and our trip up into Oregon's coast range.
 Now most visitors and residents  take one of the main highways that cross the mountains that run north to south between the Willamette Valley and the coast.
But there's some of us that prefer the quieter, (usually) less traveled and
MUCH more interesting back roads.
It's a beautiful little drive -- with lots of pretty things to look at...
 some white water
(if you know where to look for it and where to park so you can take a photo or two).
A pretty meadow with a river running through it and a favorite spot of mine!
Looks peaceful doesn't it?
What you may not know is that it hasn't always looked the way it does now.
In fact if you had been here in the very early 60's,
before November 20, 1962 that is,
you would have seen a beautiful lake here.
But on that day, the historic dam holding back those waters failed.
I would not have wanted to be downstream of that dam on that day.
Though no one lost their life, it must have been scary knowing
that a lot of water and debris was headed your way.
I don't recall ever hearing about this dam break as a child;
my hubby was the first to tell me about the existence of Meadow Lake and to show me its location.
I do recall the horrible Columbus Day storm that preceded it by more than a month though and I do recall our family enjoying a picnic or two at another earth-filled dam not too far from this one.
Ah, the memories of childhood...
funny what you remember and what lays hidden deep within your mind.

You can still see the big boulders of the dam,
although there's a lot more moss and
undergrowth since my Hubby was here with his Dad in the late 60s.
That's how he knew about Meadow Lake.
Some of these boulders are quite large--the size of a car.
I didn't want to venture closer to the edge...at this time of the year I wouldn't trust the area.
Lots more to see up here--
lots of views of the valley and even the Cascade Mountains.
A drive by, not so great photo of Mt. Hood 
(one of the two snow covered peaks we saw that day and they were stunning in person)

a photo of the valley.
There's a somewhat hidden viewpoint near here that we've visited before.

A pretty little valley that you pass.
Yep, it's a beautiful back country byway and one of my favorite places.
Perhaps sometime this year I'll share photos of the lovely river canyon that you drive through on the "main" route, but until then you can check out the links below for the alternate mountain route that we've taken several times.
Now it's back to work. Our sun has gone away and they're calling for rain,
but Friday is looking good! Meanwhile the blooms are multiplying outside and
sometimes it almost feels like summer-in-winter. Truly amazing!
Blessings, Aimee
Links (I included quite a few as my search feature isn't working correctly and I wanted a list of posts from this area to refer to quickly):

(Bible Creek Rd, Lake, etc.)
(Bald Mountain/Bible Creek Rd Route)
(Bald Mountain/Bible Creek Rd Route--first time)
(Meadow Lake area and more)
(Meadow Lake area, viewpoint BLM)

Meadow Lake Dam Info:
(several photos available here of the lake before and after 1961)
(awesome history of the lake and dam that I found)
(newspaper report about the event and other problems caused by the abundance of rain that fall. Includes a very short witness account of the dam's collapse)

(Updated 3/11) Brochure and video of Nestucca River Byway:
(printable brochure with a map of the byway)

Other (just for me because it took me FOREVER to find it this last time)
Fear + Mountain Roads by Lakes

02 March 2015

Of Sandy Toes + Rocky Beaches

Saturday saw Farmer Boy working in our yard...
pruning, weeding, burning (ick),
raking, hauling and watching a red tail hawk in the skies above us.
So much still to do, but there's improvement--yippee!
Sunday found us here--
watching the wave action against the north jetty of Tillamook Bay,
Admiring Twin Rocks from a little different perspective.
Watching our youngest grandchild write letters in the sand...
and get her toes all sandy.
Hiking a bit in the Tillamook forest where there's lots of moss and...
the beautiful Wilson River!
It was a pretty incredible day -- a day filled with lots of time in God's gardens
(which are always my favorite gardens).
So much to do this week.
How about you?
Oregon North Coast
Tillamook State Forest
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