Category Archives: camping

Black Bear on the Alsea River

The day started off slow enough for wildlife viewing.  We saw our first turtle ever in Oregon.

alsea river turtle
Sunning Turtle

A little later in the day, as we were sitting on the deck and planning the next step of our jetty project, we saw a bear cross the Alsea to the opposite side of the river.

bear crossing alsea river
Now we know where the Bear Crossing is

He walked into the trees so we watched to see if he’d come out in the field and run down the route we’d seen him on previously.  But then we saw him down by the river and making his way on the river bank.  So we watched and videoed (is that a word?  spellchecker didn’t like it spelled videod)


He swam right past us!  It’s like living on a wildlife thorofare!

alsea river bear
Bear swimming in the Alsea River

These photos were taken just a few miles west of Blackberry Campground.

Rollin’ on the River

Some tubers were floating down the river this afternoon.  They, obviously, only get to visit for a few days at a time and don’t get to watch the river as much as we do.  We overheard him saying “there were more rapids the last time I was here.”  lol – If you don’t live on this part of the Alsea River you might not notice the tide’s effect on the level.  After all, who’d think the tide had any effect 12 miles up the river?  This photo is about mid-tide.


A big willow branch broke off, drifted downriver and snagged on this rock (below).  Now it is growing!  If you enlarge the above photo you can find the same willow branch to compare the tide level to the low tide below.

Willow branch growing
Willow branch growing

Green Heron are usually pretty shy but 2 of them have been working the river pretty steady for a week or so.

Green Heron on river rocks
Green Heron on river rocks

Here’s a closeup of the Green Heron.

green heron on alsea river
Green Heron is annoyed by photographer

C’mon!  I’m not close enough to annoy you!  That’s the look my family gives me when I want to take their photo AGAIN!  LOL

The last thing to roll up the river today was Sneaky Pete (I named him for his behavior):

Harbor Seal
Harbor Seal

At high tide, in the summer, the Alsea River can look so still it looks like a lake.  The seals don’t spend a lot of time up here and most of it is spent under the surface.  We could tell by the water movement that something big was wandering around under there; although it seemed to move very slowly.

harbor seal in alsea river at tideater
Sneaky Pete in Alsea River

Like a lot of wildlife, although large, they can be very stealthy when they want to be!  And when they are fishing, they are in stealth mode.

I wonder if I could talk Sneaky Pete into goosing a tuber?  🙂

All photos were taken a few miles downriver of Blackberry Campground.

Spring Break vs Spring Fever

I am sure that one causes the other…unless your break is drowned out.

I’m just thinking of you poor families living in the northern regions where snow hasn’t melted off your lawn yet and the kids are crying, “when can we go camping?!”

mowed lawn

Maybe it’s time to unpickle the RV!  Don’t wait until the week before you want to camp to flush the antifreeze, check the heater, water heater, stove, batteries, etc.  You don’t want to be making last minute repairs with the kids breathing down your neck.

Gathering Firewood
Gathering Firewood

Find that camping checklist or make a new one.

You’d be surprised how many people show up in a campground without the basics: axe, matches/lighter, flashlight, can opener, etc.

Tent Camping with Kids
Tent Camping with Kids

If tent camping is your deal, set up the tent in the backyard (or living room) before you head to the campground.  Tents are really of no use without poles.

When camping with your kids, consider a campground with an on-site host.  Hosted campgrounds are generally more family-friendly.  The rowdies tend to go somewhere else where no one will be complaining about their inconsiderate behavior.

Check out American Land & Leisure for some of the friendliest campground hosts you’ll find in the US.  Choose a state under FIND OR RESERVE YOUR SITE.  Many of their campgrounds begin opening in April; some are open year-round.

Red-tailed Hawk

This Red-tailed Hawk caught a rodent for lunch.

Red-tailed Hawk

I never noticed all the pretty leg feathers before.  Maybe those are his long-johns?  Although it’s really not that cold now on the Oregon Coast.

This was taken near Blackberry Campground on the Alsea River.

Oregon Coast Spring Sights

Alllie the tagged Roosevelt Elk
Our beautiful Alllie

Alllie didn’t have a calf last year.  I hope she will this year.

White moth with black markings
Match the Hatch – white-ribboned carpet moth

We took our lunch out to Canal Creek Group Campground today.  It is only open for reservations from mid-May through Labor Day now.  We walked in to look at the creek and eat lunch.  Those little white moths are so fast that I’d never noticed they have a black pattern.  This one was apparently just drying out his wings.  I think the steelhead like them.

Naughty Moss
Naughty Moss

This knot looks like an eye on the picnic table.  I can tell the ground is warming up because the grass is growing again.  Everything is starting to green-up!

Salmonberry Blossoms in Canal Creek Campground
Salmonberry Blossoms in Canal Creek Campground

Even the Salmonberries are starting to bloom!  Canal Creek Campground is full of berry bushes.  Come hungry.

Oregon Coast Snow Day – Alsea River


It doesn’t happen here often so we get really excited about it.

great blue heron
Weather Heron

This is how I can tell it’s snowing.  Our weather heron has snow all over him.

Snowing on the Alsea River near Blackberry Campground
Snowing on the Alsea River near Blackberry Campground

About 6 inches, I’m guessing?

bird feeder in snow
6 inches of snow in the bird feeder

We threw some seed where they could get to it without being shoulder-deep in the snow.


I’m just sorry I’m up the Alsea River, this year, and can’t get to the coast to see snow on the beach.

I’m glad I have an indoor job today:


I know I don’t have the highest vocabulary but I don’t usually have to look up the word for the Weekly Photo Challenge…until today.

It’s juxtaposition.  So here’s my photo:

out of tiny cones grow mighty trees

I was stuck at the computer for most of the day; keeping an eye out for any wildlife to chase after with my camera.  There was an eagle but he flew by too fast.

Common Merganser
Common Merganser

When I finally walked outside I couldn’t come back in!  It was almost 60 degrees today!  I heard it was 70 on the beach!

Merganser Patterns
Merganser Patterns

The patterns this merganser is making in the water match the patterns on his back.

I went for a walk but the only wildlife I saw were people working in their yards.  Everyone seems to be taking advantage of the June-like weather we’re having in the northwest this month.  We’ll pay for it somehow I’m sure.  Some already are:

It’s unusual for the humidity to be this low too.  My gage says 66% but it was lower earlier in the day.

Please be extra cautious with your campfires.