Saturday, September 29, 2012

Late Summer on the Umpqua

Elkton is located right on the banks of the Umpqua River, and the city has a small park, the Alfred S. Tyson Park, that provides easy access to the river.  Being late in the year, and without rain, it’s easy to walk around on the rocks and in my case look for birds.  This first photo is of a Common Merganser and a Spotted Sandpiper. The Sandpiper invaded the Merganser’s area for just a quick second and I was lucky enough to capture moment.
                                         Great Blue Heron
                                       Red-breasted Sapsucker
                                              Song Sparrow

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Cooper Creek Reservoir Hike

Kerry & Debby Kliever are two campers we met while volunteering at Collier Memorial State Park this summer.  We were surprised at the time to discover that their home was in our neighboring town of Sutherlin.  We promised to get together when we were both back home, and today that came true.  Check out the Trip Journal in Cascade Ramblings for the rest of the story.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Beware of the Mimic

This is a European Starling that I photographed during my bird walk this morning out to the Elkton Community Education Center. European Starlings are an invasive species that has spread through the United States, and although they have some admirable plumage, they are quite a nuisance. They can make a real mess nesting around homes, and their sheer numbers can pose a problem for farmers. The problem for birders is they make a wide variety of weird sounds, including mimicking other birds.  Which leads me to the scripture lesson for the day: “Beware of those who mimic, they are not to be trusted”. --the Gospel by James. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

White Pine Butterfly

As the weather turns a little drearier, lingering in my den in the morning seems to make more sense, and as I always have more work to do with photos and Cascade Ramblings it all works out just fine.  This morning I’ve added a White Pine Butterfly to the Critters of Cascade Ramblings. It’s one I took while at Collier Memorial State Park this summer.  Interesting enough, the very first Critter of Cascade Ramblings was a butterfly, a California Tortoiseshell, taken on a hike into Marion Lake in April of 2001. There are now a dozen butterflies in Cascade Ramblings and an easy way to see them all is to enter the word “Butterfly” in the search box in the Critters section. This will give you the list of all 12 with a nice thumbnail photo of each butterfly.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Not a Video!

This is a photo of a Fox Sparrow I took this morning during a birding trip we took to Plat I Reservoir near Sutherlin. No, this is not a video, in spite of the fact that the white triangle on the bird’s breast looks a lot like a start button for a video. It is mealy a strange pattern in the breast feathers.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Mr. Wood Duck

Jeanette, Buster, and I went birding this morning with the South Lane Birders at the Row River Nature Park, formerly called the East Regional Park, in Cottage Grove.  It was a good couple of hours of birding, identifying two dozen different species.  The best photo I took was of this male Wood Duck.  The significant thing here is that he is already sporting his bright breeding colors which he will wear until early summer.  Fall is that time of year when I have a tendency to look wistfully back at summer, but Mr. Wood Duck is a guy already looking forward towards the new season.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

More Photos!

Step-son Tony Turino continues to make positive changes to the new Cascade Ramblings.  This week he has added the ability to add additional photos to the Critters section.  In the past I was only able to post two photos, now I can post four photos.  For example, the above photo of a juvenile Hairy Woodpecker has now been added to the Hairy Woodpecker page.  Before I could only showcase a male and a female, now I am showing this juvenile plus another juvenile. This is going to be very helpful in enabling me to show different plumages of juvenile/adult, male/female, breeding/non-breeding. Thanks Tony!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Red-breasted Nuthatch

We are home in Elkton now, busy with emptying the motor home, and working around the house and yard in an attempt to get caught up with our two month plus vacancy. This morning while obliging Buster with his expected walk, Jeanette and I observed a group of Red-breasted Nuthatches.  It took us back to our days at Collier State Park this summer, where their “yank, yank, yank” from high in the pines was a familiar sound. Ironically, this is the last bird I added to Cascade Ramblings while at Collier.  In all I added new photos for over 15 different species during our two month stay. Be sure a take a look at the new Cascade Ramblings layout, and check the Critters section where you will find the Critters sorted by date, with the newest appearing first.  Click here.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Recent followers of this blog may think that I ramble on all the time about birds, but I have in years past, had quiet an interest in wildflowers. This summer I have in fact added five new flowers to Cascade Ramblings starting with this Common Paintbrush in July and the Pearly Everlasting in the lower photo that I just took yesterday afternoon.  You can easily check these out in the Wildflowers section of Cascade Ramblings where the default sorting is by date, so the latest Wildflowers will appear first on the list. Click here.

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Santiam Pass

Today the desires of our heart ran head-first into reality and one of our hard and fast rules of RV camping. The rule is “we don’t camp where there isn’t cell service”.  We wanted to stop on our way home and camp on the Metolius River, a place that has many wonderful memories for us of hiking, fishing, backpacking and camping. But when we arrived at Camp Sherman mid-day today we discovered there was no cell service.  No cell service means no Internet, and the Internet is our connection with the rest of the world.  We depend on it not only for contact with family and friends, but almost all of our daily pleasure and work (cascaderamblings) is Internet based. So, we drove on, and here we are perched on the summit of the Santiam Pass at the Pacific Crest Trailhead. Cell service is great, and the price, zero dollars, seems just fine.  You may notice the ghost of a pine forest surrounding the parking lot.  In addition for us there are many “ghosts” of past backpacking trips into the Mt Jefferson Wilderness from this trailhead. Trips too numerous to mention, but ones that will surely come to mind as we spend the evening here.    

Deschutes River Trail

Friend Dan Lawry is shown yesterday during a walk we took on a section of the Deschutes River Trail in Bend. Dan and his wife Charlene have the good fortune of living within walking distance of this trail, and lucky for us they have room for us to park our RV when we come to visit them.  My brother Mark and his wife Holly joined us yesterday on this walk through the Old Mill District, which is an outstanding mix of modern shopping and recreational opportunities in a gorgeous setting. It’s a favorite of ours that we always to forward to repeating. See earlier TipJournal.