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Tag Archives: Oregon

I had a chance to explore a little bit of western Oregon last week following a wedding near Eugene. You can see photos from the wedding here.

Afterwards, I visited my cousin at her place in Florence and of course, the girls (dogs) and I spent time at the beach, but the highlight may have been a hike with my cousin and her husband to Sweet Creek Falls. It’s a Forest Service trail near Mapleton and you can learn more about it here.

The falls are really worth the trip. It seemed that around every corner, there was another cascade of flowing water. I was glad I had packed a tripod and polarizing filter. They made all the difference in the world. Even though we were there in the mid-afternoon, the water was often shaded by the tall Douglas fir and maple trees that dominate western Oregon’s forests. Sweet wildflowers were sprinkled in with the thick ferns and other undergrowth.

It’s time to move on. Not that the honeymoon is over, that’s for sure. But the road trip is. There is a lot to be said about enjoying life on the road and getting away from day to day tasks and worries. And there is a lot to be said about being home and enjoying one’s own bed and shower and waking up to familiar birds and devoted dogs. So here are a few more images from our trip to Oregon. All of these are from my phone.

Malheur’s vast water

One of the craters

On the road from Burns to Bend – 130 miles of Sagebrush and Juniper

Oh gosh, there’s the ocean!

The bridge at Newport

And another thing…………..

We liked the Rogue Brewery.

The trail to the beach through the rain forest.

Ken was like a kid at the aquarium.

I wonder if it’s still there?

At the beach. We considered doing all of our wedding photos in this style……..

We always ate well.

Watch out for tripping bikes.

That’s a good one.

Astoria

Over the bridge and into Washington again.

Klickitat oaks

I’ve always loved going to the ocean but now I find that tempered a bit with the recurring images of the tsunami that rolled over the Japanese coast this spring. As I stood on the rocks and watched waves rushing in, I imagined what it would be like if they just kept coming and did not retreat. Most of the time I managed to subdue that image in my brain and enjoyed the waves and the sand and the rocks and the birds and tide pools.

 

 

 

Gooseneck Barnacles

 

Sea Anemones

 

Sea stars and mussels

Dungeness Crab shell

 

Strange colors in that deep dark spruce forest on the way to the beach

 

Waldport Green Bikes

 

Wreck of the Iredale

 

Fort Stevens near the mouth of the Columbia. That’s Washington across the way.

 

Ken got to ‘go fly a kite’

Another kind of kite flying that we did not try

 

Brown Pelicans

Caspian Terns – maybe some of those from the colony that collapsed due to pressure from eagles and gulls on Sand Island.

 

 

 

 

Once we left the interior of Oregon, we headed straight out to the coast and set up camp at Carl G. Washburn State Park between Newport and Florence. The weather wasn’t always nice and we spent one day at the Newport Aquarium. It was a great way to while away a rainy day full of fascinating animals displayed in large spaces with great viewing opportunties. Being near the end of the school year, there were many student groups out on field trips. They were having lots of fun and maybe learning something too.

 

Some of the displays surround the viewer with water all around. This is looking straight up.

 

 

 

These jellyfish – Sea Nettles – were my favorite.

 

 

Moon Jellies

 

Not all the species were water based.

 

Tufted Puffin

 

Common Murre

 

The seals and sea lions looked like they were having so much fun gliding through the water.

 

 

We stayed six days at Malheur NWR. Originally we had intended to stay maybe three days and then move on to the Redwoods and southern Oregon however the long days in the truck were really wearing and we were enjoying Malheur very much despite weather that ranged from rain to snow to hail with lots of high winds thrown in just for fun. Most of the weather came in sudden bursts with sun breaks in between. We generally timed our outings to avoid the drenching rains and managed to get in good birding, some nice walks and a brief bike ride. Sadly the weather conditions did not make for good photography conditions. I made the best of it when I could.

 

Frenchglen is a must stop in that part of Oregon. It has a school, a BLM office, a store that is rarely open and then with a surly shopkeeper, and a historic hotel. And it is usually swarming with birders!

 

Much of our birding was done from the truck in order to avoid wind and rain. Note the various layers of clothing. We wore many combinations in order to stay warm. I was happy to have my rubber boots with me.

 

White-faced Ibises. There were many thousands of them, it seemed.

 

 

 

The Hooded Warbler. If you look at your range maps, you will notice that this bird should not be in SE Oregon. Going through Frenchglen one morning we saw lots of birders searching with their binos; we even ran into birding friends from the Walla Walla area. Turns out everyone was searching for the Hooded Warbler that had been seen the day before. Alas, we did not find it despite tromping around in the wet grass and brush for an hour or more. The next day, at the P Ranch, as I rode by on Ken’s bike, a man said, ‘Hey, are you interested in a Hooded Warbler?” Screech, went the brakes! Oh yeah. What a find.

 

 

My, what big ears you have.

 

Lots of nesting shorebirds including this Black-necked Stilt.

 

The air was often full of the sound of winnowing Snipes.

 

I know, it’s hard to see however there is a Sandhill Crane on a nest down there.

 

Magnificent landscapes everywhere we turned. And water. So much water.

 

This intersting allium had me stumped. I still don’t know its species. It was on top of a basalt mesa.

 

One in full bloom.

 

 

 

Here you can see the outlines of the tops of the basalt columns that make up the mesa.

 

The rains produced lots of watering holes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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