In lieu of words today, this shot from last year this time in Gainesville, FL

trees longing for their leaves

trees longing for their leaves

Old Diary

Trees longing for their leaves

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This tree toppled over some many years ago but that doesn't stop Momma Nature....

This tree toppled over some many years ago but that doesn’t stop Momma Nature….  Another of the shots from the July 15 fog.

Images, Old Diary

Growth In Spite Of…

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Old Diary

Views Along the Way

I haven’t been very good about posting photos lately.  To make amends I’ll add some shots from Wednesday’s jaunt up to Newport.2014051408403717 There IS a coastal horse trail system. But to be honest I’m having a hard time finding much information about it.  When we stopped off at the Central Coast Ranger Station specifically to find out about what this sign is advertising we didn’t get much satisfaction — so I’m still hunting on this one.  We do have regular equestrian users in the Dunes — but this one sign notwithstanding I’m not sure how many equestrian users there are as you move further North.  For sure the road up to Cape Mountain is not all that friendly for a horse trailer!2014051409132319

Our next stop along the way was the Cummins Creek area.  Cummins Creek is an established wilderness area and there is some gorgeous old grown forest to be found here.

There are two vehicle accessible areas — one is the Cummins Ridge trail, the other is the Cummins Creek trail.  For geezers like us, the Creek Trail was much more appealing.

Once you are into the forest it’s absolutely wonderful! This is forest as I have never known it.  I just love this part of the country.

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The over views on the way up to the Ridge trail are wonderful. There are a few places along the trail where you get some overlooks but the density of the forest means that some of these long distance views are reserved for the few and far between spots where you’re just at the right edge of the hill to have an opening in the canopy and distant hills to be seen.

2014051409230028 Summer is coming.  I forget what these flowers are called — I could look it up but I’m too lazy.  I do know that I had some of these in our garden is Wisconsin and I was lucky to get them to bloom by Late July or August.  This guy is just doing his thing in the middle of the forest without cultivation or attention.  It just tickled my heart to see him standing proud on the edge of a steep hill.

2014051409500634And then there are these moments of light.  I have seen a lot of ferns in my life – they are quite abundant in the Midwest.  It’s possible they look just the same ‘back home’ and I forgot, or it’s possible that I’m just looking at things with a more appreciative eye since arriving here — but the effect of bright light down here on the forest floor constantly amazes me.   So too the visual effect of moss growing in thick layers on tree branches.  I’ve been half looking for some good examples of that but it has been happening that when I see them I don’t even have my iPhone with me, much less a camera I can get up close with so I’ll have to save that for another day.

I hope you enjoyed some of the sights.  We did.  We are.  We shall…

Thanks for stopping by and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.

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Old Diary

Valley Crawling

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Fog over Tahkenitch Lake

Friday was a good day to make it a short day and get out into the Real World.
I was supposed to visit the two terminated hosts and pick up their Forest Service gear.  But considering that they will both be here through the weekend I figured it didn’t need doing right then.  So, I did a little filing, made a few phone calls chatted with Boss’ boss’ boss about our volunteer meeting on Wednesday.  He seemed particularly pleased with the way the meeting went and it’s nice to  have a happy boss.

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Waves at the mouth of the Umpqua River!

Peg had stayed home to do the laundry, but as it turned out after a restless night for her she took a nap in the morning and the laundry will get done another day.  So we hoped in the car to get out and see some more of the countryside seeing as the sun had come out and the temps were in the low 50’s.

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The Umpqua mouth often seems to be turbulent.

We’ve been looking for a road that would take us to Siltcoos lake.  Recently I saw a road named County Line road, so we thought we’d try that one out. (without having looked it up on Google.

So, a few miles down the road we turned onto the so identified road and after about 50 feet came screeching (well, not literally) to a halt.  It turns out that County Line road after the first bend to the right there is no road:  just a metal gate and what looks like a horse patch.  Ok.  What’d plan B?

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A view of Elbow Lake

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Another from Elbow Lake. One of the intriguing aspects of this lake is that the water is almost always dead still and beautifully reflective!

We decided to take a ride up Oregon 38 — it runs along the Umpqua River.  We found ourselves in a little fog — you just never know where that will happen.  It can be sunny one minute with little or no clouds in the sky and all of a sudden the sky is gone and there’s fog.

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Cows feeding in the valley — and one watching ME!

They (ODOT) are working on a tunnel down the road so it’s closed for four nights each week — Given the sparsity of roads I really wonder how locals plan for some of the road closings around here.  Oregon does have ODOT information venues but I did not notice that closing on any of them.  We weren’t inconvenienced but a vacationing traveler might very well have been.

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Such a lovely, lush, green valley! (and it’s only February)

Route 38 runs along the Umpqua River — a much larger river than the Siuslaw which empties into the ocean at Florence.  The Umpqua passes through Reedsport — about 1/4 mile from   the Dunes Area Visitor’s Center.

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A pano of the Umpqua Valley

About 4 miles East of Reedsport is an Elk viewing area — we’ve been there before and didn’t stop today.  But we continued along the valley just enjoying the rich farmland and the fog.   I’ve said it a few times already but I just don’t get tired of the fog here.  In Milwaukee when we got fog it always seemed to be SO foggy that you could barely get anything done.  Here there is much more frequent fog but it has thus far rarely been as dense.  The result is more eeriness, and more peekaboo trees, and glimpses into the unknown.
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Again we found the sheep to be as numerous as cows, or mores.  Once again — there aren’t a lot of sheep raised in Wisconsin and the change is nice to see:  little white critters grazing in a field instead of big bovines.  I don’t know — it’s just ‘nice.’

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Umpqua Reflections

We’ll get out some more as spring takes hold.  There aren’t many roads here but they surely do hug along edge of the valley slope, rarely abrupt walls.  Following the terrain as they do they often twist  and turn their way up in elevation.  With flat bottoms most of these valleys  seem ripe for spring flooding. We saw enough evidence of that today, the valley bottoms were soggy to be sure and most of the cows (there were some dairy and some beef farms) were being kept indoors for their safety and well being.  I’m thinking that cows may not be smart enough to stay out of the mud.

I liked that last shot a lot.  I took it on the way INTO work this morning.  The river was incredibly still.  After the last week and a half of almost constant rain the water had nearly returned to it’s normal blue aspect — rather than the rain muddied brown of recent days.  Another surprising thing to me has been that for all of the high winds that we get — the lakes and rivers often seem to be so calm — almost mirror smooth.

Ok — that’s it for today.  Thanks for stopping by, I’ll talk with you tomorrow.

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With all the water coming down I paged past this image from a trip to SC in 2009 and decided it fit my mood.

With all the water coming down I paged past this image in my catalog program from a trip to SC in 2009 and decided it fit my mood.

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Bayou

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Images, Old Diary, Travel

Mrs P, This One’s For You

One of my readers offered some comments on that travel plan map I posted yesterday and in responding I got to thinking about the wonderful Live Oak in St. Augustine Florida.  It’s called the Old Senator and has been core tested to be at least 600 years old.  It was around when Ponce de Leon discovered the so-called Fountain of Youth in 1513

The Old Senator, St Augustine, FL

The Old Senator, St Augustine, FL

Anyway… I just wanted to share this big old monster with y’all. Someone built a motel around it and The Old Senator has survived the infringement on its territory.  Last I knew the motel was owned by Howard Johnson’s but that may have changed since last I saw it.

And as long as I’m posting tree pictures, here’s another one of mine from a couple years ago.

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We’re getting rained on with a forecast to change to snow — so I think I’m staying home today.

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