Friday, July 31, 2009

Traveling in Oregon: Salt Creek

Well here we are again on highway 58. If you've looked at my other "Traveling in Oregon" blogs, you might notice a pattern here. I seem to only travel to the coast, or up/down highway 58.
That being said, Salt Creek. This river winds it's way down from Salt Creek Falls, which is waaaaaaaaaay up on top of highway 58, and meanders its way down until it turns into the Willamette river.
This was one of the few times I've actually got to stop and take pictures. It was hot, I was cranky, and luckily the husband wanted to fish. The temperature was about 20 degree's cooler down by the water. And so green. I love the smell of green. And water. Most of Salt Creek looks like these pictures. It's really worth the time to pull over wherever you can, walk down and enjoy such beauty. I used to have a video so you could hear the sound of the creek rushing by. If I find it I'll post it!
(don't forget that you can click on each picture if you want to see it bigger)














































Sunday, July 26, 2009

Would You Turn On The Air Conditioner Already!

We've been having quite the heat blast for the past week here in Oregon. Temps in the 90's, and more to come. In the triple digits by Tuesday! Now I like summer, but I feel like I'm standing on the sun. My kitties are not so happy either. Or I should say Petunia (top pic) and Sheba (bottom pic) are not happy. They lounge around staring at me with daggers. "It's hot woman! Do something about it!" My 15 year old pussycat is a tad smarter. He stays in the bedroom where the fan is blowing right on top of him. With age comes wisdsom. I love that cat. Do I have air conditioning? Why yes I do. Now that the hubby is laid off one week a month, I don't feel like we should be spending any extra money right now. Tuesday is a different matter. Lordy.
Tuesday: And wouldn't you know it..I turned it on this morning, and it doesn't work. It's 11:00 am, and already 94F. ugh.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Traveling in Oregon: Heceta Head Lighthouse

Pronounced Ha-See-Ta

These pictures are actually from last October, that's why they seem a bit on the dark side. The day started out sunny, (unusual for Oregon) and proceeded to fall into a dusky mist by the time I hit the top of the trail where you can visit the lighthouse. Heceta Head is the most photographed light house on the west coast, was built in 1894, and is still active. They have also turned the caretakers house into a real fancy bed and breakfast.
Don't forget that it is reportedly haunted..Oooo!
(Want more history? This is a good web page to visit: Oregon Lighthouses)
So! let's start up the 1/2 mile trail, and enjoy the view...
Here we are halfway up the trail:


















This is the view from the trail looking back towards the parking area:
















This is looking towards the Sea Lion Caves:
















We're getting closer:
















You can't imagine how many fools hike out to these rocks when the tide is out, and end up stranded when it comes back in.
















A scary detour off the main trail. I slid all the way down on my butt. I think this is where all those idiots come down to get to those twin rocks in the last picture.
















See that sign down there? It says "Danger! Don't go any farther! What? Are you an idiot?" Naw, it just says "Danger!" but it really should have the other part too.
















This was a detour on the other side of the trail. I couldn't get close enough to take this picture. I'm afraid of heights, and was left trembling..holding onto a bush for dear life. ahhh, hiking!
















Ah, back on the trail. Here is the old caretakers cottage, that has been turned into a fancy Bed and Breakfast. I hear they serve a 7 course breakfast.
















We're at the top! This is the lighthouse in all it's glory. They even give tours now, which I wish I hadn't of done. Fear of heights, rememeber? I thought I was going to cry when we got all the way to the top.
















Final pic! This is looking at the lighthouse from the Sea Lion Caves. Pretty!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Traveling In Oregon: A Trip up Highway 58

Ah Summer. The hubby and I finally made a trip to the cabin just the two of us. Sweet blessed silence for a weekend. Just me, him, and the mosquito's. It was great. It was 94 degrees when we left the valley, with a two hour road trip to Eastern Oregon, and no air conditioning. I was marveling how green everything still is. It has been a particularly wet summer, with the temperatures just finally seeming to scream July. I've driven highway 58 more times than I can count, and know all the places where I wish I could pull over and take pictures. Most places there isn't any place safe to do so, and the places where there are pull-outs get zoomed by without a glance from Mr. I want to get from point A to point B as soon as possible. Me, I like the drive, and in my heat induced semi-coma, I thought hey! I wonder if you could use the sports mode on the digital camera and actually take some pics while we're driving 65mph. It's really hard to focus on anything when your not standing still, but whaddya know! Some of them actually turned out. Now I wish I had taken more. Guess I'll save that for another trip. (All of these are taken after a town called Oakridge.) So here we are...A few pictures of Oregon, taken from a 94 ford ranger driving east on Highway 58, up and over the Willamette Pass.














































The Tunnel. This means we're almost to the top of the pass.
















Right after the tunnel.
The sign says "Salt Creek Falls." I wasn't quick enough to get a pic of the Falls.
Maybe next trip!
















Diamond Peak. The mountain usually has snow on it year round.
















I was actually able to get out of the truck here.
This is a pond about a mile from the cabin.
































Look at all those bugs on the windshield! I only put this one in because my gawd, look how BLUE the sky is.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

this Is What Summer Afternoons Are Made Of

From Left to Right: Mischief, Sheba, and Petunia
We love to look outside..just don't open the door! It's scary out there in the wide wide world.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Quite Possibly The Cutest Animal On The Planet

I saw this the other day when I was perusing the web, and I am in LOVE.
It's called a Slow Loris. (love love love love)
And thanks to YouTube, I found MORE videos of the Slow Loris.
At the very least, click on the first one,
cuz gee, nobody should have to go through life without seeing one of these. They are so CUTE.
What is a Slow Loris? You can scroll down to the bottom where I've put some information, if your interested. Enjoy!









The slow lorises are three species of loris and are classified as the genus Nycticebus. These slow moving creatures range from Borneo and the southern Philippines in Southeast Asia, through Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia, India (North Eastern India, Bengal), southern China (Yunnan area) and Thailand. They are classified as vulnerable or endangered species, and are hunted for their large eyes which are prized for local traditional medicine. The Indonesian name, malu malu, can be translated as "shy one". They are listed as endangered by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Slow lorises are nocturnal and arboreal animals that prefer the tops of the trees, occurring mostly in tropical/subtropical rain forests and bamboo thickets. They have slow, deliberate movements and a powerful grasp that makes them very difficult to remove from branches, especially because they only remove (at most) one limb from the branch at any given moment. They live as solitaries or in small family groups, and mark their territory with urine. Lorises whistle loudly to each other, using a single note, while foraging.

Slow lorises can produce a toxin which they mix with their saliva and use as protection against enemies. Mothers will lick this toxin onto their offspring before leaving them to search for food. The toxin is produced by glands on the insides of their elbows - the brachial region. The lorises suck it into their mouths and deliver it when they bite or lick. The toxin is not known to be fatal to humans, but causes a painful swelling. If the toxin does not deter a predator, the slow loris will often drop from the branch to the ground and roll into a protective ball.

Slow lorises can produce a toxin which they mix with their saliva and use as protection against enemies. Mothers will lick this toxin onto their offspring before leaving them to search for food. The toxin is produced by glands on the insides of their elbows - the brachial region. The lorises suck it into their mouths and deliver it when they bite or lick. The toxin is not known to be fatal to humans, but causes a painful swelling. If the toxin does not deter a predator, the slow loris will often drop from the branch to the ground and roll into a protective ball.

Slow lorises are opportunistic carnivores, typically eating insects, mollusks, lizards, bird eggs, and small vertebrates. With their slow quiet movements, they creep to their prey, in order to catch it with a lightning-quick snatch using both hands. They will also eat fruits and leaves. Slow lorises are not strongly territorial.

Slow lorises are polygamous and breed throughout the year. After an approximately 190-day gestation, the female births one (or rarely two) young, typically limited to one or two litters per year. The newborn clasps itself to the belly of the mother, or occasionally the father. When it is older it will be "parked" on a branch while its parent searches for food. After approximately six to nine months it is weaned. Sexual maturity is achieved around 10 to 24 months. The life expectancy of the slow loris is up to 14 years in the wild and up to 26 years in captivity.