Lately…

Mostly show, just a bit of tell…

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Cape Sebastian with a cloud blanket…

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Meyers (aka Myers) Beach…

Meyers (aka Myers) Beach...

Meyers (aka Myers) Beach...Back home…

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a white butterfly

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Queen Anne’s Lace

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A rose is a rose is a rose…

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A busy bee communing with a thistle

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One very sweet and juicy blackberry… the others need a bit more time

A drive along the coast

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Humbug Mountain with clouds

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Just managed to catch the tail end of a whale (one of at least three out there)

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black rocks in sparkly water

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Looking at Cape Sebastian from the north

back home again…

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Mrs Quail checking me out..

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pondering if I’m friend or foe?

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The Mrs with one of the older chicks

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Mr Q looking quite relaxed as one of the chicks sits in the front. The other three managed to fit between or under some wings… for now. They’re growing fast.

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Can’t overlook Chewy. He seemed to enjoy racing around the Quail. They didn’t seem the least bit bothered.

The concept of conservation is a far truer sign of civilization than that spoilation of a continent which we once confused with progress. 
― Peter MatthiessenWildlife in America

 

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Transitions… seasons shifting

Today, driving along the coast, it was apparent that summer is drawing to a close.autumn-05429The fog is sticking around later in the day, cooling things off. My favorite sort of weather.

autumn-05426The misty scenes feel refreshing compared to this past stretch of bright, glaring, unrelenting sunshine, with nary a drop of rain.

autumn-05424The  Big Leaf Maples are showing signs of noticing the cooler nights.

autumn-05425Definitely autumn is in the air.

autumn-05419Pity the tourists coming down to see the coast…

autumn-05418…though there are glimpses.

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Again, you have stood before some landscape, which seems to embody what you have been looking for all your life; and then turned to the friend at your side who appears to be seeing what you saw — but at the first words a gulf yawns between you, and you realise that this landscape means something totally different to him, that he is pursuing an alien vision and cares nothing for the ineffable suggestion by which you are transported. 
― C.S. LewisThe Problem of Pain

still blurry-eyed

(after all these years?) Or was that supposed to be starry-eyed (that, too!) 😀 ❤

The cataract surgery went well I’m told. The major nuisance at this time is the many eye drops morning, noon and night, plus the one at bedtime. And they sting! I can’t tell if there’s an improvement because I’m guessing I’ll need a prescription change for my glasses. For a number of reasons, they couldn’t fix me to where I don’t need to wear them anymore. I’m hoping they can improve my sight enough so I can read street signs. That would certainly be nice.

a_walk-05377This… more or less, is how I’m seeing for now, with my normal glasses.  Perhaps not quite this drastic. (Off topic- be sure to note the happy bee visiting the lower thistle. If you can find it in the blur.)

a_walk-05380The very best focus I could manage with the sun shining bright and orders to be wearing my ‘sun shields’ (glorified sunglasses that fit over my normal ones.) Luckily the stern warning to wear sunglasses outside will be lifted by the end of this week. I might be able to see through the viewfinder again! I’m not sure what the camera thought it was focused on, unless it was the wind that caused the heavy blur?

currant-05378When an eagerly awaited Dudleya (or Sedum) flower went missing, I first suspected the innocent bunny. But then I noticed the attack on the young Red Currant Bush and realized who the real culprit was more likely to be. (Thanks to auto-focus, this shot of the evidence came out OK.)

currant-9045Thus… we have the real culprit. Once upon a time I used to think deer were cute, but that was before I’d lived where they wipe out orchards and any other sort of plant. Thanks to folks who feed them, they lose all fear of humans and become destructive. I think we could use some more predators visiting. (In case you’re wondering, I can see better in order to focus in the shade.)

currant-05386In the meantime, Eric created a wacky mobile with some repurposed CDs hanging from it. Don’t know if it will work to discourage them until the currant bush gets established (when it might actually need a haircut). It’s a whimsical solution. The deer certainly can’t be starving with all the bounty that surrounds us.

misc_-05387Inherited from a previous owner of the house. It seems to like the benign neglect it’s been receiving.

misc_-05388Ripples in the bird bath.

misc_-05391Another attempt at catching an approximation of the way the California poppies appear to glow in the sun. This doesn’t come close enough. I’ll keep trying.

misc_-05395The Phacelia gone to seed. Perhaps I’ll have more of them popping up elsewhere.

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misc_-05398I think someone told me last year what plant produced these twirls of seedpods, but I’ve managed to forget already. (sigh) Obviously, I find them fascinating. It’s all so wonderfully unrestrained.

misc_-05399We’ve had a bumper crop of Himalaya blackberries. They are extremely invasive, but they’re also delicious. Eric has managed to tame them to an arbor. We’ll see what sort of visitors it might entice.

misc_-05404Dandelion puffballs doing their thing. I’ve noticed temperatures cooling down with the fog creeping up the canyon in the evenings. The fog leaves behind quite a bit of dew, but not a real watering. I’m already a bit bored with summer’s unrelenting sun. A small squall would be hugely appreciated.

Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale. 
― Lauren DeStefanoWither

through a new lens

I have a new lens in my eye

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…Wild Sweetpeas

Things are a bit blurry and I don’t suppose I ought to spend too much time online until I’ve had a bit more time to adjust, but I thought I’d post some random shots taken before the surgery… just so you don’t forget me entirely.

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misc-05228I couldn’t decide which of these I liked best, so I’ll just post both…

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misc-05259The Dudleya rescued from the sand was doing so well… it even put out a lovely blossom.

misc-05080First our resident bunny was accused of having the blossom for a snack… but when the currant bush was given a rather severe trimming, the bunny was off the hook. No way could he reach that high. The latest suspect is a deer.

misc-05255My first sighting of a Black-Crowned Night Heron. They don’t call them a night heron for nothing. It was getting pretty dark when I snatched this shot.

misc-05297Last, but certainly not least… a portrait of one of our resident lizards with eczema. (Just kidding… he’s actually shedding.)

Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.
― Desmond Tutu

 

 

the sun, the sea and the sand

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Yesterday was one of those days when the light and the wind-sculpted sand were a very special treat.

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I became absorbed with the created abstracts…

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Someday, perhaps, cumulative piecemeal reforms will be found to have brought about revolutionary change. Such reforms might someday produce a presently unimaginable non market economy, and much more widely distributed powers of decision making. […] But in the meantime, we should not let the abstractly described best be the enemy of the better. We should not let speculation about a totally changed system, and a totally different way of thinking about human life and affairs, replace step-by-step reform of the system we presently have. 
― Richard M. RortyAchieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in Twentieth-Century America

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There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.” 
― Pablo Picasso

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When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than any talent for abstract, positive thinking.”
― Albert Einstein

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different patterns where the sand had more moisture

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Money is human happiness in the abstract; and so the man who is no longer capable of enjoying such happiness in the concrete, sets his whole heart on money.”
― Arthur Schopenhauer

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He never understood why she chose him. She only loved abstract things like music and books and strange words. Ove was a man entirely filled with tangible things. He liked screwdrivers and oil filters. He went through life with his hands firmly shoved into his pockets. She danced. ‘You only need one ray of light to chase all the shadows away,’ she said to him once, when he asked her why she had to be so upbeat the whole time. 
― Fredrik BackmanA Man Called Ove

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It’s no wonder we don’t defend the land where we live. We don’t live here. We live in television programs and movies and books and with celebrities and in heaven and by rules and laws and abstractions created by people far away and we live anywhere and everywhere except in our particular bodies on this particular land at this particular moment in these particular circumstances.”
― Derrick JensenEndgame, Vol. 2: Resistance

Thanks for visiting!

a stroll through the meadow

Another “Botany romp” a name I’m borrowing from a comment to the previous post. We were close to the same area as before, but exploring a delightful meadow this time.
(All of these images were taken June 11th, 2018)SCMeadow-03829So many botanical treasures, it was extremely difficult to narrow things down to a reasonable level to post. A field full of buttercups and Camas lilies, just for starters.

SCMeadow-03837This is only a small sample of the field in bloom.

SCMeadow-03780A view at the edge around the meadow.

SCMeadow-03723A very busy little bee visiting this wild rose.

SCMeadow-03739From this location we looked up at the dead and aged trees that still stand from the Biscuit Fire (2002).

 

There are so many similar looking varieties of Paintbrush (Castilleja) that I’m not even going to try to pin this one down.

SCMeadow-03757A female Bluebird who didn’t let us get close enough for a good portrait. She’s a bit more drab than her male counterpart with his bright blue feathers.

SCMeadow-03772Looking up at a Fire Lookout at the top of that ridge. We’re thinking that the Firefighters might have set a back burn going down the hill to protect the building and to help contain the fire. That slope below and behind it looks pretty bare, though quite a few trees at the edge of the meadow seem to have suffered minimal damage.

SCMeadow-03795Some diminutive violets scattered here and there.

SCMeadow-03805An Elegant Cat’s Ear (Calochortus elegans). I find these fuzzy ones fascinating, but they’re so tiny in this area that they’d be very easy to overlook.

SCMeadow-03811Even the Chipmunks seemed smaller than usual.

SCMeadow-03816I seem to find the white flowers to be the most challenging because there are so many similar ones.

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SCMeadow-04071Pacific Coast Irises (Iris innominata).

SCMeadow-03982Another one from the Iris family… Idaho blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium idahoense)

SCMeadow-03846This lovely cool, clear water stream ran through the meadow at some point.

SCMeadow-04110You could tell where the water flowed by the clumps of pitcher plant flowers showing above the meadow grasses.

 

 

 

This cute little fellow seemed to be enjoying a small pond.

SCMeadow-03989Another unidentified white flower.

SCMeadow-03853I’m guessing this is a Spring Azure Butterfly (Celastrina ladon). It was a challenge to catch it as it flitted from flower to flower, even more so to identify it.
(Corrections gratefully accepted.)

SCMeadow-04017This looked like some wildly confused bunch of grass – didn’t know which way to go.

SCMeadow-04023New growth on Conifers.

SCMeadow-04033More leaf tips decked out in colors. This time in red.

SCMeadow-04138Another example of Bear Grass, this time it’s more fully opened up.

SCMeadow-04099I can’t seem to resist the look of the sun shining on the lacy Western Redcedar (Thuja plicata)

SCMeadow-04095Finally we found this cool little spring heading on the way down the hills.

Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread. A civilization which destroys what little remains of the wild, the spare, the original, is cutting itself off from its origins and betraying the principle of civilization itself. 
― Edward AbbeyDesert Solitaire

 

continued exploration

Another week seems to have slipped by and I’m still working at finishing the discoveries we made last June 7th. This should finish up that day and I’m hoping June 11th may be posted a bit quicker. That’ll get us a bit closer to the burnt areas of the Biscuit Fire.

Siskiyou-03394Starting a bit closer to home was this Madrone tree in bloom with its redish orange bark.

Bear Grass (Xerophyllum tenax)A couple of perky Bear Grass flowers.

Siskiyou-03410From a distance, I keep thinking these are yellow flowers, but on closer inspection they appear to be leaves of a lighter color.

Tufted Phlox (Phlox caespitosa)

Tufted Phlox (Phlox caespitosa)From a distance these flowers seemed to almost glow against the rocks. It’s Spreading Phlox (Phlox diffusa)

Siskiyou-03438Another wild Azalea.

Miscellaneous unidentified lovelies- except for the last (purple) one. It’s a Coastal Larkspur (Delphinium menziesii).

Siskiyou-03425I’ve been watching this Siskiyou Mat (Ceanothus pumilus). It seems to be everywhere up in the hills. It’s a great ground cover and it’s local. I’m hoping to perhaps get some started on the bank at the front of the house.

Siskiyou-03425-2A closer look at the flower or ‘inflorescence’…

Siskiyou-03499which eventually turns into these red berries.

Siskiyou-03509Some say they look like cherry tarts.

Elegant Mariposa Lily (Calochortus elegans)It also doesn’t appear to mind visitors in its midst:

Elegant Mariposa Lily (Calochortus elegans)A closer look at a Northwestern mariposa lily (Calochortus elegans)

Siskiyou-03535I did try to identify the butterfly without any luck. As if there weren’t enough flowers and other plants to try to pin down.

Siskiyou-03609What a pleasure to come across this sweet Anemone.

Siskiyou-03622Some interesting Sedums clinging to the rocks or cliffs. They never cease to amaze me the way they seem to thrive in bare rock.

False Solomon’s Seal (Maianthemum racemosum)

Siskiyou-03643Looking toward Signal Butte on the way home.

Siskiyou-03648Last, but not least, even closer to home we check on the Sedum in bloom. Perhaps a Dudleya?

The earth laughs in flowers. 
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

in search of life after fire

We decided to head up into the hills to see what recovery might have occurred after the large wildfire (named the Biscuit fire) in 2002. We wanted to see if plant life was recovering after nearly 16 years.

Biscuit-03525This is the sort of country we were exploring. You can see the trees that died during the fire. They remain standing (for now), but they’ve lost their bark and they have weathered to a silver color over the years. What I find really intriguing is the way you can see where the fire killed groups of trees and yet left other patches surviving.

Biscuit-03475This is a closer look at patches where plants have recovered. Looks like it’s mainly ground cover in this section, but it varies as you’ll see as we continued our exploration.

Biscuit-03421Looking back at the section where I decided I’d get out and walk. Luckily the steep slope was not on my side of the pickup on the way in, but I still felt a need to stretch my legs and to kick some rocks that had fallen out of the way.

Biscuit-03422Not much room for error as you can see (at least so it seemed given my fear of heights). Luckily we didn’t encounter anyone else who might have needed to pass us. Hard to decide if the fog helped by not showing just how steep that slope was, or not.

Biscuit-03481Looking back at part of the section where I got out to walk (near the upper left corner). I’m pretty sure this doesn’t show the spot with the really steep drop. You can see the more ‘normal’ road down below a bit right of center.

Biscuit-03527Sissy, our adventure poodle, came along to guard me from any bears or cougars I might encounter as we headed back to cross the scary section on foot.

Some of the flowers popping up… yet to be identified.

It’s taken me awhile to sort through all the images, so this shows what was blooming on June 7th. (as usual, you can click on any image for a closer look)

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Biscuit-03539This lovely specimen (still to be identified) looked so elegant clinging to the deep red earth and jumble of rocks.


The Rhododendrons and Azaleas were putting on a show with their lovely blossoms. We had climbed up into the mist or fog gaining close to 4,000 ft in elevation. (that’s 1220 m for you metric folks.)

Biscuit-03550Wild Irises in various shades of yellow and white and purple were abundant.

Biscuit-03564Some Trilliums were still in bloom, though turning from white to purple with age.

2 a Columbine, western (Aquilegia formosa)A Western Columbine ((Aquilegia formosa) enjoying the sunshine.

Biscuit-03375We first noticed how the mist had accumulated on these leaves.

Biscuit-03366The Dogwood tree was also getting its share of moisture.

Biscuit-03390This Iris seemed to be getting a sufficient bit of watering as well. It’s pretty amazing how these plants manage to thrive in an environment that is so arid during the summer. Perhaps this mist that comes in off the ocean and keeps me cool in the evenings is the secret.

This is just a small sample of flowers and plants we found on this first trip to the area. I’ll never get anything posted if I continue trying to sort through it all. So for now… to be continued. We’ve made weekly trips to the area or close to it, to watch the changes unfold.

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body 
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.” 
― Mary Oliver

Would You.. Could You.. Hike A Thousand Miles? By Johanna Massey

Oh the places he’ll go… what an amazing adventure! Join Curt on his 1,000 mile hike through some of god’s loveliest country!

Wandering through Time and Place

My fellow blogger and friend JoHanna Massey from Sedona, Arizona sent the following post out to her followers about my thousand mile backpack trek and gave me permission to repost it, which I am doing today as I begin my journey from Mt. Ashland. (Peggy is along for my first six-days of hiking.) My sincere thanks to JoHanna. You can find her delightful posts at https://johannamassey.com.

“The Mountains Are Calling

And I must Go.”

John Muir

Curt Mekemson has just left on a thousand mile chunk of a hike that begins in Ashland Oregon, travels south to Mount Whitney, through Siskiyou, Marble, and Sierra Nevada Mountains.This is quite the hike, through some of the most beautiful places in America. Places most people, Americans too,  never will see. Curt Mekemson is  an excellent nature writer, with an eye for detail and a way with words that could convince anyone to…

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homeward bound

The weather was much better on the trip home…

NoCoast-02968Waves and surf… one of my favorite things…

NoCoast-02976Pelagic Cormorants hanging out on the cliffs…

NoCoast-02978Sunshine and waves…

NoCoast-02982Coming in for a landing… a Common Murre colony.

NoCoast-02986A Murre racing a wave…

NoCoast-03039 Color showing up in the sky as evening approached.

NoCoast-02994Yaquina Head Lighthouse as the skies darkened.

NoCoast-03016More color nearing sunset over Newport.

NoCoast-03025and then the sun went down and the world turned dark…

NoCoast-03047Next morning we grabbed some fish to take home…

NoCoast-03049Once again the graceful arcs of the Yaquina Bay Bridge.

NoCoast-03051The Never Again IX

NoCoast-03065Stopping at Cape Perpetua as we headed south…

NoCoast-03094This is Marten– he hangs out at the Visitor Center. He’s a bit stuffy and aloof.

NoCoast-03109Our escorts as we continued down the road. They seem to follow us. We call them Huginn and Muninn

NoCoast-03131 In case you haven’t had enough of our coastline…

NoCoast-03140or perhaps needing another glimpse of waves?

NoCoast-03142or this one?

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… or that last walk on the beach.

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Not my usual quote format, but this one was courtesy of the Visitor Center at Perpetua. It seemed appropriate.

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