Fireworks at Oregon Garden

posted in: Landscape, Night Life | 5

Since I was actually home for the long holiday weekend, and we had a friend staying with us, we decided to check out the fireworks show up at the Oregon Garden in Silverton, OR. We are members and have enjoyed some time wandering around the gardens previously (photos from that are coming eventually too!), so it seemed like a fun way to spend the evening of July 3rd, and in fact, it really was. We got there early and treated ourselves to the buffet dinner, which was fabulous, and then grabbed up a few seats in the garden next to the resort, where we could watch the sunset, and then the fireworks. Not too shabby!

Dusk looking out to the Coastal Range

Prepping for the fireworks show

Sunset Before the Fireworks



And, if you’re interested in some video, my iPhone was handy for that as well.

Jedidiah Smith Redwoods Hike

posted in: Landscape, Nature | 4

After spending the evening in Crescent City, CA we set out the next morning to do a little hiking in the nearby Jedidiah Smith State Park. It was a chance to explore more of the Redwoods before heading back up into Oregon and continuing up the coast.

It was early morning and the relatively easy trail we decided on was empty, so it made for a very peaceful stroll among the giants.


Criss Cross Redwoods

We even came across on of the things my wife was most keen to spot, a banana slug.

Banana Slug

More photos from our hike, as well as the rest of our long Memorial Day road trip,  will be forthcoming on the blog in the next few weeks!

Trees of Mystery

posted in: Nature, Travel | 3

Over the long Memorial Day weekend, the wife and I decided to take a road trip down into Northern California. This would allow us too not only take in the coast line of Oregon all the way down to the state line, but also venture into California for a little exploring of the coast, and the Redwoods!

Our first destination was a place called Trees of Mystery.

Granted, if you follow that link, some of the stuff that they do here could be considered a little cheesy, and touristy. It’s all good fun, and beyond that, there are some great example of Redwoods here, and some great educational tools to learn more about how these trees grow, how they continue on and even how when they fall, their roots continue to generate new life. Plus, if you don’t know much about how Redwoods were used by Native Americans, you can learn, and the legend of Paul Bunyon through the carvings that were done as part of the park, like the one above.

I enjoyed it, and going here on day one actually made me appreciate our trip to Jedidiah Smith Redwoods park the next day more, because I had some education on what I was seeing as we did some hiking. That’s a win in my book!

Some of the cool stuff at Trees of Mystery:

Family Tree

Family Tree
A redwood that has started to grow full size trees on it’s own branches.

Cathedral Tree

Cathedral Trees

Brotherhood Tree

Brotherhood Tree

Brotherhood Tree Higher

Candelabra Tree

Candelabra Tree

Literally, a fallen Redwood that starting growing new trees out of the nutrients in it’s own root system.

Life Reforming

Life Reforming

New forest life grows inside the husk of a redwood that burned after a lightning strike.

One more…

Looking up into the Redwoods

Sea Mist At Cape Lookout

posted in: Landscape | 5

Cape Lookout was one of our stops while spending a weekend in the Tillamook area recently. It’s an interesting bit of topography, with the mountain cliffs and forest running right up to the beach sands along the Pacific. This particular day, while the sun was shining, the ocean had kicked up enough mist to make it appear foggy, and the trees just beyond the beach made for a shady, cool area perfect for hiking.

Sea Mist

Hiking in the Forest

Like I said, a little bit of everything right there within a short walk of the parking area, or a cabin if you were spending the night!

Hiking Path Overpass

From the Treeline

Inlet Beach

Ottawa By iPhone Photos

posted in: Smartphone, Travel | 4

It wasn’t a lesson learned per se, as I would normally always have a backup, but let’s say it was a solid reminder. 

Last week, I was going to Ottawa for work, and as is the norm when I’m headed somewhere new and I know I’ll have some time to wander, I wanted to bring my Nikon. On the other hand, this is a work trip so I’m already carrying a lot of technology with me, so I only really had room for the camera body and lens, not multiple lenses. 

Wouldn’t you know it, somewhere along the trip, or through the long immigration search, the lens must have gotten banged a little too hard once and the internal optics were broken. 

So I had to resort to documenting my time in Ottawa with my smartphone. Luckily the iPhone does a pretty decent job, even if it’s not the same as my DSLR. 

Parliament from the Ottawa River

 Parliament During the Tulip Festival



  Rideau Canal Locks


War of 1812 Memorial


I thought this was a Paris thing? 


Rideau Canal

You can see a few more photos in the Flickr album

British Museum

posted in: Observations, Travel | 8

Outside the Museum
On a recent trip to London for work, I found myself with an opportunity to explore some of the sights of London. Because of the nature of this trip, and the work commitments I had, there wasn’t a ton of opportunity to arrange anything ahead of time, I had to simply take advantage of whatever gaps of time I could grab up.

As it turns out, I was staying very near the British Museum, and was keen to explore some of it. Since it is free, and near by, as I found myself with a few hours, I could just pop over, and I did.

Inside the British Museum

Now, regardless of how you feel about how the museum went about collecting history from all over the globe, (or stealing it if you prefer), there is no doubt that this is a great place to immerse yourself in an absolutely orgy of historical artifacts. In fact, even after two trips and hour spent there, I haven’t seen everything!

One of the nice things about this museum, however, is that with a few exceptions, photography is encouraged. So I managed to get quite a few shots of cool historical artifacts from all over the world.
Corbridge Hoard and Jug of gold coins
Ancient Crucifix
I will, over the next series of posts, be sharing some of those shots with you, as well as some of the background. I hope you enjoy them!

Detroit Lake

posted in: Landscape | 6

Detroit Lake is a reservoir behind the Detroit Dam near Salem, OR. During the Winter months, the lake is drawn down, purposefully, to make room for Spring rain and runoff from the Cascade mountain snow pack. Since we were there in March, the levels were still really low, which allowed us to get a good glimpse of a unique landscape.

Landscape of Detroit Lake

We were even able to see where the cabins that used to sit river-side before the dam was built would have stood, because the foundations were not underwater in these conditions.

Low Reservoir Levels

Of course, the fact that it was a rainy day, with plenty of fog rolling out of the surrounding mountains added to the effect.

Detroit Lake Fog

I’m looking forward to a return trip in the Summer to see how different it all looks when the water level is higher, although with the mild Winter and lack of snow up in the Cascades this season, I’m not sure just how much higher it’ll be! Here’s hoping there’s enough rain to get it back close to normal!

Photos From the Civil War Game 2014

posted in: Fun Times | 1

Cross posted from the Sports Blog.

Unfortunately for Oregon State fans, this years version of the Civil War rivalry game against the Oregon Ducks turned out to be more of a massacre than a real battle. The Ducks were just too much for a struggling Beaver team, who ended the season 5-7. Still, my wife was kind enough to get me a ticket for my early Christmas present, and that provided me the opportunity to experience the rivalry first-hand, starting with the tailgating.

Blow up Benny and a Grill, All Set!

Ducks fan

And catching the band during the Beaver Walk

Closeup Snares

The bacn is set for the Beaver Walk

And then, once in the stadium, sitting just three rows back from the Ducks bench. A great place to watch pregame warmups, and get an inside view of the happenings on the sideline.

Oregon State RB Storm Woods



Ducks O-Line gets Some Instruction

Marcus Mariota on the sideline

Unfortunately, when the team you’re rooting for gets down by 30, being on the opposing sideline is not exactly fun. These teams don’t like each other much, the fans don’t like each other much, and the frustration level of Beaver fans was pretty high as the game wore on. Better luck next year Beavs!

You can see all the pics I posted over on Flickr.