Time to Redefine our Lives in Oregon

Archive for the ‘Creeks in Oregon’ Category

My Least Favorite Time of Year

Do you like summertime? I do! I like harvesting, sharing, and eating the beauties from my garden….

Summer Corn 2014

I like the long days that stretch into the later hours…

July 2014

……and the hot summer night sounds from my neighbors Peacocks

I like the warmth of early summer….

June 2014

…..when the ground is still green…

Happy chickens in the warmth of early summer.

Happy chickens in the warmth of early summer.

THEN…..August thinks it can just come along and spoil the goodness of my green summer days……my least favorite time of the year!!

What's that???  Hey who invited, August, to our summer party??

What’s that??? Hey who invited, August, to our summer party??

August brings the heat, and the dryness to the land. It is the time for getting poked from stickers that get stuck in your socks as you walk through the dry grasses.

August 2014

August 2014

Unfortunately, a bolt on the mowing implement attached to the tractor was broken for awhile at the end of June. Burn restrictions went up on July 3rd…since we have rocks, and metal blades against rocks can create sparks…sparks against dry grasses can create fires…mowing season ended earlier than usual. I didn’t have a chance to do the final cutting…so, unfortunately, the weeds are larger, and uglier than I am happy with…

YUCK!!

YUCK!!

The chickens get hot, and scrounge the dry grasses for bugs and seeds. I hooked up a fan in the chicken house for relief of the hens while they conduct their “business”…then I turn the fan in the afternoon toward the roosting boards so they can find some relief as they need it.

August 2014

The pond has receded….thankfully it has never gone dry! But this summer…actually, the past two summers, have really tested our little pond….

The pond is way down...this "green" area is usually not as large.

The pond is way down…this “green” area is usually not as large.

See the green ridge above the water line? This is where the pond usually recedes too…the ridge above it is where the pond sits when it full…I call that the NORMAL part of the year!!

August 2014

Saturday, August 30th, did bring some relief…

Fall can’t come too soon!!

Thank you for sharing the first day of September with me. I hope your Labor Day is spectacular….put one on the barbie for me, and I’ll add a burger on my BBQ for you!!

Your friend from the NW,
Tami

Alien Invasion

Although we are living smack-dab in the middle of Sasquatch country….

Bigfoot Country

….which by the way looks oddly familiar if you grew up with Star Wars….

Notice the resemblance.

Notice the resemblance.

…..I think the farm has been invaded by aliens!!

Walking along the backside of the shop, I happened to appear into a deep post-hole dug out this past fall. Since Tony and I (mostly Tony) do our the majority of our own construction on different projects around the farm, things are ordered in priority based on several things…weather, (although we’ve learned, if you don’t work in the rain…you don’t work) materials, funding, and manpower (mainly the availability of our son, Will.) But anyway…back to the alien…

…..peering into the deeply dug hole, I had to stop, and look again. “Wait..what is that?”

Is this a huge bug or something??

Is this a huge bug or something??

Gathering up my courage….I looked more closely down the deep hole…

IT'S A HUGE NEWT, OR SALAMANDER OR SOMETHING!!! And what's that thing next to it??

IT’S A HUGE NEWT, OR SALAMANDER OR SOMETHING!!! And what’s that thing next to it??

Let me just mention this… I grew up hunting for earthworms, tracking down gopher snakes in an attempt to hold them, collecting tadpoles (though my parents wouldn’t let me keep them, “Hi Mom” :o), slogging through the muddy muck of salt water lagoons in an attempt to find something…anything alive within the water or mud. I still do this stuff! So, to say I was a bit…well I wouldn’t say frightened, but….frightened of this big, little critter is a testament to how “creepily huge” this salamander had grown. It seemed to stare at me, watching my every move. If I moved…it moved it’s head in my direction. My attention was drawn to the other dark “thing” sitting on the other side of the hole. Was it a decaying conifer cone…or was it an egg sack?? In my head, I heard a familiar tune….”Duh, Duh, Dummmmm!!”

With a little (very little) research, I think I have narrowed down the options of amphibians to this one, the Northwestern Salamander (Ambystoma gracile). Take a look at this simple webpage http://pages.uoregon.edu/titus/herp/gracile.html It even shows a photo of the egg sack, which I now totally believe is the other item within that hole. My main concern now for our little alien is that we aren’t supposed to get more rain for another two days…I’m afraid she and her egg sack might dry out. I may add a little water to the bottom of the hole today after I check on the little alien family. We’ll see how that goes!!!

Water, Water, Everywhere Water

The past 3 – 4 weeks have been testament to one of the draws the Pacific Northwest has had on me for many years. I like rain, I like wind, I like temperatures that drop , and drop, and drop. I like snow that lasts a few days and then magically disappears. I like that there are distinct seasons, and most of the year, (with the exception of July – Sept.) you can either expect it to rain, or accept that it may rain. Did I say I liked the rain?? BTW, I won’t say anything about the summers and the incredibly blue Oregon sky….that’s a secret…shhhhhhh!!

A tree stump overtaken by the water running into the pond.

A tree stump overtaken by the water running into the pond.

January was an inordinately dry month for most of Oregon…then February hit and the flood gates opened up…well snow first, then rain. Thankfully, actual flooding has been at a minimum, but the rivers, creeks, drainage areas, etc. are rushing to get to the Willamette River, to eventually get to the Columbia River, all in an effort to get to the ocean. We have a year round creek, pond, and seasonal creek from the pond run-off…they are currently really, REALLY running hard. I put together a little video of the rushing waters on our property…I was explaining things for Tony as he was out of town yesterday, so please forgive the narrative.

Unfortunately, my friends and family back in the SF Bay Area, and California in general, are suffering through a huge drought. Having lived most of my life in the Bay Area, living with drought conditions is part of the package. This year, however, is really severe. I’m praying for you all, and hoping that your spring time will be full of rain days. Also, the fire season is going to be really scary, big PRAYERS that His hand will protect you all.

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