Friday, September 10, 2010

Beautiful banana slugs

This post is dedicated to Margi, who has never had the opportunity to spend a day with a toddler looking for slugs in the northwest. May her love of banana slugs grow over time.

Yes, that's a dead sea lion we found on the beach....but it kinda resembled a banana slug!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

What we've been up to the past month

Picking lots of berries. Blueberries, red raspberries, many as we can get.

Visiting beautiful natural areas. This is a site owned by The Nature Conservancy in eastern Oregon. Sun and dry air!

Camping out and eating picnic breakfasts in the sun...

Building new steps off the back deck (yes, Zach really is this nasty when he's working!)...

Playing on the beach naked (at least Ada) whenever possible...

Don't let the sunny pictures fool you, the temps this summer have been frigid! Eskimo boots with a swimsuit is very appropriate...

And Ada's making friends with "Buffy" the chicken. She carries her all over the yard. Very sweet...

More beach play...

And a parade of purple veggies from our modest garden. Yes, that's a purple carrot!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Vampires beware!

Garlic harvest season has arrived! I plucked 58 heads of garlic from my modest little garden bed. Now....what to DO with all of them!

Thanks, mom, for helping me clean them all up!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Grow cucumbers....GROW!

Oregon coast gardening is challenging. It's Saturday July 17th....and the cucumbers are still waiting for the temps to warm up so they can grow. Today I created these little heat generating tents to help them out. Ugly, I know. But if I can get cucumbers to grow prolifically then I can justify buying a fermenting crock to make old fashioned pickles. Big dreams!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A box turtle found me

Nearly 18 months ago I left behind my beloved box turtle project in Pennsylvania to come to the Oregon coast. Sadly, this portion of Oregon has no native turtle species so when a box turtle walked into my life I wasn't quite sure what to make of it. I'm trying my best to see it as a big coincidence, but there's a little part of me that believes she found me for a reason. That she knew I would appreciate her and was deserving to be her friend because of the countless days I've spent admiring, studying, and protecting her species. I like to think she knew I was special because I love turtles and have been so sad without them in my life.

This box turtle is a robust female found wandering through the coastal spruce forest. She is obviously a pet that someone has either released or lost, and would likely not survive on her own in this ecosystem. When I found her she was very light and dehydrated and has spent the past few days basking in a water bowl and eating raspberries.

I've always been against keeping turtles as pets, mostly because most pets are actually wild captured animals and wild turtles populations are in decline. But for this lady I have no choice. Even if she was plucked from the wild, I couldn't release her unless I knew the exact location. So, now I must work to create her an outdoor turtle pen so she can live the most natural life possible....with the addition of my culinary supplements. I'm happy she found me.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Camping at Mount Hood

What a difference driving across two mountain ranges can make! We drove 3 1/2 hours from the cold rainy coast and found the warm sunshine at Mount Hood National Forest.

Ada got to swim....not really sure what Zach is doing in this picture:

Hiked up to a fire tower where we found this cool rock to pose on:

And visited the beautiful Camas Meadow where we watched dragonflies and flower sniffed:

The beautiful Camas flower in bloom:

Ada got to eat dirty snow off Mount Hood. Yum.

And show off her new owl backpack at the campground:

On the drive home we stopped by the Bonneville Power Dam and saw where our energy is produced:

And Multnomah Falls. The second largest waterfall in the country:

Unfortunately, our short trip came to an end and we are now back in the land of cold and rain. But I'm already scheming our next get away to visit the sunshine!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Dead girl walking

I've been walking in my sister's shoes since the day she died. Literally. But it's not as creepy as it sounds. I found her shoes in the kitchen where she had taken them off. They are a pair of Merrell trail hiking shoes with shoelaces that have been cut. I slipped them on my feet and they fit perfectly. It was kinda like a Cinderella moment because my sister has always worn one size larger than me, a frustrating fact that always prevented me from "borrowing" her shoes when we were younger. But these shoes fit me...a fact I won't try to analyze.

I like to think that when I wear these shoes that I'm taking my sister along to places she never got to see. Over the past 20 months they have been on my feet nearly every day. They've hiked the Grand Canyon, journeyed to the top of Saddle Mountain, explored downtown Portland, Olympic National Park, Phoenix, Washington DC, Seattle, the Oregon Coast, Vancouver, Port Angeles, Ghost Ranch, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, searched for turtles on the Gettysburg Battlefield, shopped at Fred Meyer, and more, more, more.

Thanks, Myra. If only the shoes could tell me more...

Friday, January 29, 2010

What you can do in an afternoon when you're supposed to be working....

A cute little playhouse for Ada made out of an old cardboard box! Still have some finishing touches to do but I hope she likes it when she wakes from her nap. Amazing how you can really get into a project like this when you're supposed to be doing real work (sorry, Margi!).