Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Work, Work, Work

You may have noticed that we seem to do a lot of hiking, eating, and visiting with friends and family, however, I actually get in some work. In fact, five days a week, I put in four hours each morning from 8-12. My work vehicle is this tractor mower and trailer. With it I go out to do battle with the blackberry vines that threaten to over take the landscaping around ODFW’s office. With loppers I chop up the vines and fill the trailer and haul them off to the refuse pile. I usually am able to fill the trailer five times in the course of a morning. I’ve been at it for a month now, and it looks like there is more work than time left.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Calloway Connector Loop

On Sunday Lisa and the boys joined us for lunch at the Firehouse 5 Café, and then for an afternoon hike in McDonald Forest. Jake is holding a trail map made by Grandma Jeanette. Luke is displaying his scary face. William is holding their dog Stormy. We did a loop of the lower Calloway Creek Trail using the Connector segment. Following the hike, dessert at the motor home, and then playtime at the school playground, concluding with blackberry picking.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Michael and Melissa

Our Elkton friends Michael & Melissa Garguilo and their dog Jesse came to visit us this weekend. We had a good time showing them around our work; Jeanette’s office and my grounds area. One of the high lights was this hike we took on Saturday morning in McDonald Forest. They are shown here on a bridge on the Calloway Creek Trail.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Harris's Hawk

I got a call Friday mid morning on my cell phone from Jeanette asking if I wanted to watch a falconer hunting for rabbits. I came in a hurry and she grabbed my camera for me so I could take some photos. The falconer was Curtis White who lives in Portland and was here at Adair training a young Harris’s Hawk to hunt for Cottontail Rabbits. The hawk was a beautiful bird, but still a little confused as to what was going on. Eventually he did get a rabbit and got his first taste of rabbit meat. It wasn’t until they had left and I looked up Harris’s Hawk that I discovered that they are not native to the area. I have no idea how he got the bird.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


As volunteers with the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife we get called on to do all kinds of things. We have picked up or delivered fish food, fish eggs, and of course fish themselves. But today, we had our most unusual assignment. We drove to Roseburg this afternoon  and picked up these two cougar kittens shown in the photo. We don’t know all the details, but we understand they were turned in to an animal rescue shelter. We picked them up from an ODFW wildlife biologist and brought them to our District Office, and tomorrow they will continue on to their new home at the Portland Zoo.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Visitors Rudy & Gary

Rudy Thompson and his son Gary, both from California, stopped by for a visit on Monday afternoon. Those who follow my blog closely may remember that last winter, Jeanette and I had lunch with Rudy in his home in Grass Valley. Here is the blog for that visit. Rudy, at 97 years of age is such an inspiration for Jeanette and I. This was the first time I met Gary, but with all the things we discovered we have in common, I’m sure our paths will cross again. Rudy and Gary are part of a parade of visitors we have had this past week. On Saturday, Jeanette’s cousin Larry Agnew and his wife Ginny, and his dad Allan, plus Jeanette’s brother Bill all had breakfast together at the nearby Firehouse 5 Café. At lunch, my sister Rachel and her husband Richard from Olympia stopped by and we had lunch at the Firehouse 5. Yesterday an old time friend of mine Larry Anderson and his wife Peg on a trip from Wichita Kansas joined us for yet another lunch at the Firehouse 5. We are doing our best to schedule our work in between meals and visitors. :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Sunset at Camp Adair

The other evening when returning to our coach after an evening stroll with Buster, I was struck by this beautiful sunset. It’s just another example of why we are enjoying our time here at the ODFW District Office in the Camp Adair area.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Fish Hatcheries Trip

Jeanette put together a day traveling to several fish hatcheries to photograph ODFW personnel for a display board at the South Willamette Watershed District Office. It was kind of a fun day, but we were very tired by the time we got home. One of the most interesting things we saw was the new Aquatic Education Park at the Leaburg Fish Hatchery. Check out Cascade Ramblings Trailhead for more photos.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Calloway Creek Trail

Last night we drove back from the coast where we have been staying at the Salmon River Fish Hatchery, to our RV site at the ODFW District Office. We wanted to be able to take a good hike this morning in the cool before the heat-up of the day. It worked out great. One of the things I really love about our site is its proximity to the trails of McDonald Forest. It’s less than a quarter of a mile from our RV to the trailhead of the Calloway Creek Trail. This morning we took the Calloway Creek Trail up to and around Cronemiller Lake and back for a total of three and a half miles.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Otis, Oregon

Buster bugged us for a walk this morning. He hasn't had a good walk in a couple of days. We are finding the hatchery that we’re at for a few days a little confining, not much in the way of opportunities for hiking or walking. So, in desperation we walked the highway, and we ended up at a junction along Highway 18 known as Otis. There is of course the famous Otis Café, a post office, a convenience store, a coffee stand, and a sea-food trailer. But what caught our eye as different was an old delivery van with a sign, MaryJane’s Bicycle Service. We wandered over to have a closer look, and there in person was Mary Jane working on a bicycle. She has a stationary shop at home, but this is her mobile repair shop, which she stations at Neskowin on Fridays and Otis on Saturdays, and she will also make house calls! We had a great time talking with her, it was sort of serendipitous, we went for a walk for Buster’s sake, but found something very interesting for us. You can check out her website here – maryjanebicycle.net

Friday, August 13, 2010

Seeking Cooler Temps

One of the advantages of having our house on wheels is that if we decide we would like to be some place else, we simply drive there. With hot temperatures in the weather forecast for the Willamette Valley, Jeanette wanted to move to the coast for the weekend. A campsite on the coast for this weekend seemed a little problematic to me, so we tried to think of our options. In the end we took advantage of our connections, and here we are in this complementary shady spot at ODFW’s Salmon River Hatchery near Lincoln City. Our windows are open and a nice coastal breeze has us living very comfortable.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Happy Birthday Lisa

Today is daughter Lisa’s birthday! She is shown here last night in our motor home with a birthday cake and her boys, Jake, Luke, & William, and their dog Stormy. (Each candle represents 7 years) She is a super mom and is raising three great kids. We love them all and are enjoying being closer this summer.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Robin

Robin is our daughter-in-law, married to my son Michael. Today is her birthday! She loves to garden as is evident from this photo taken last fall in their back yard. She is a very talented person and we love her dearly.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Adair Pond

Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife is draining Adair Pond here at their Southern Willamette Watershed District Office this month, which as you may know is where we are currently volunteering. They need to replace the water control gate, and according to the Warm-water Biologist, they will be making some improvements at the same time. Although we will miss viewing a full pond, it is interesting watching the process.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Happy Birthday Michael

Today is my son Michael’s Birthday. He is shown here at the party he gave for me last week at his house on the occasion of my 70th birthday. Happy Birthday Michael, no dad could love a son more.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

E.E.Wilson Wildlife Refuge

Today was our first official day off and we spent the morning hiking at E.E.Wilson Wildlife Refuge just to the north of us. The district office where we volunteer is located at the southern end of the former Camp Adair grounds, and E.E.Wilson is located at the northern end. We didn’t see much in the way of wildlife this morning at E.E. Wilson, I guess we are pretty spoiled where we are next to Adair Pond. Mostly what I came away with was the immensity of the former US Army base, Camp Adair. It sprang into being in 1942 in response to Pearl Harbor to train troops. It occupied a swath of land in the Willamette Valley two miles wide and six miles long. Over a hundred thousand troops trained here before closing in 1944. Miles and miles of asphalt roads still exist between overgrown brambles of blackberry vines. I’m sure the troops helped in preventing the invasion of the Japanese forces, but today it appears that the old Camp Adair is loosing the battle to the invasion of Himalayan Blackberries.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Jeanetts's Office

Jeanette is shown here in her office taking a coffee break. Her volunteer job is to assist the Volunteer Coordinator for the South Willamette Watershed at the ODFW District Office. She is taking a break because she had her first “on the job injury”,-- a paper cut.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

i-Pod Saves My Life

I have a lot of handy apps loaded into my i-Pod, one of which is the Audubon Guide to Wildflowers, it may have saved my life today. Let me explain. In my new volunteer position at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s South Willamette Watershed District Office, my main job is grounds maintenance. Which means I’ve been doing a lot of weed pulling. On my first day some Common Saint John’s Wort was misidentified for me as Tansy Ragwort. Now, it’s probably understandable as most of the scientific types wandering around here are biologist rather than botanist, but the lesson I took from this was to be a little more self dependent on plant identification. Thus my decision this morning to make sure I had my i-Pod with me to aid in any identification I might need to make. As my morning wore on I came to a big clump of flowers that I was pretty sure were Spotted Knapweed. I pulled out my handy I-Pod, and checked on Spotted Knapweed. Here is what is said: “WARNING: IF THIS NOXIOUS WEED IS EXTENSIVELY HANDLED, GLOVES ARE ADVISED; THERE IS SOME EVIDENCE THAT IT CAUSES TUMORS ON THE HANDS.” Wow----I’m keeping my gloves on. Plus, I’ll be making sure I have my i-Pod with me everyday!

Monday, August 2, 2010

One-Year Anniversary

One year ago today, on August 2, 2009, I wrote my first blog. My son Michael built Cascade Ramblings Blogspot for my birthday last year. I can remember a couple of years earlier asking him, “What’s a blog?” Now, I have been blogging for a whole year. In fact, in that time I’ve posted 200 blogs. I want to say, “Thank You” to everyone who has made the effort to comment, your comments always give me a boost and inspire me to keep blogging.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Wildlife Viewing

We are enjoying every minute of our time here at our RV site at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife District Office. In fact, looking out of the windows of our motor home is like viewing from a wildlife blind. These photos were all taken through our windows---our first night a mother California Quail and her 8 young ones, last night a Blacktail Deer, and this morning a Cottontail Rabbit.