Category Archives: weather

Spring to Summer

It’s amazing how fast the temps change on the Oregon Coast; even in the Spring.  I believe it depends on which way the wind blows.  (Maybe that’s obvious to a meteorologist.  hahaha)

swallow nest
swallow nest

We had a long, wet spring and it seems like the wildlife cycle is a little late.  That’s not a scientific fact; just a feeling.

very ripe salmonberry
very ripe Salmonberry

The wild berries also seem a little late.  I love the Salmonberries when they are a little over-ripe like this one.  And I think they are the prettiest when red rather than the earlier school bus orange.  I’ve found that the Salmonberries that get more sun aren’t as sweet; no matter how ripe they are.  So look for a bush that is mostly shaded during the day.

Springtime wakes up sleepy wildlife

We haven’t seen some of these critters in a while.  Either they hibernate or they migrate south for the winter.

Nutria on riverbank
Nutria on riverbank

It seems like the nutria would stick around but we haven’t noticed them.  Maybe they just eat something other than grass in the winter?

Nutria swimming
Nutria swimming

It’s hard to tell the difference between a nutria and a beaver when they are swimming.  Watch for the tail.

nutria have orange front teeth
Nutria have orange front teeth

I had NO idea that nutria had orange incisors!  That is one of the features that distinguishes them from the muskrat.  Nutria are also larger and have fur on their tail.  You can see the orange as he scratches his chin.

Canada Goose Couple
Canada Goose Couple

I should look at last year’s photos to see when the Canada Geese started showing up but it sure seems early.  Everything seems early in the northwest due to the incredibly mild winter.

trillium
Trillium

I love the Trillium wildflower!  We saw our first one this spring today.  Did you know it takes 5 years for a Trillium to develop from seed to flower?  There’s a great reason not to pick the wildflowers!

Elk screaming
AAAAAGGGHHH (insert goat scream here)

Oops!  I think I startled the pee out of her!  🙂

March of the solar lights

It really is useless to keep the solar lights out over the winter in Oregon.  Or maybe it’s just that we live in a valley where the sun rises in the south and sets in the south and there are mountains to our south!?  I know the days are getting longer when the solar lights come out of their winter hiding place and line up to soak up the sun.  Only the darkness will reveal which ones are worth keeping.

solar lights
Solar lights getting ready for daylight savings time

I love how the sun can spotlight a tree!

glowing tree
The late afternoon sun spotlights a tree

We are really lacking rain here in the northwest though.  It makes me worry about what summer will be like.  Hopefully we’ll get enough spring rain to fill up the aquifers.

alsea river
Crystal clear Alsea River

The steelhead and smolts are in the river and therefore the ducks are plentiful.  We even saw an eagle take a swipe at some ducks.

common mergansers on log
Common Mergansers
mallard ducks
Mallards display their spring colors

And more hummers are coming to the feeder.

Rufous Hummingbird at feeder
Rufous Hummingbird at feeder

Don’t forget to turn your clocks ahead an hour to take full advantage of the vitamin D opportunities!  Daylight Savings Time starts Sunday morning – don’t be late for church!

Who doesn’t enjoy blue sky?

I guess even sea lions get cabin fever now and then.  Give them blue sky and calm seas and you may see them outside of Sea Lion Caves; north of Florence, Oregon, on Highway 101.  Just north of the caves there is a pullout; the vantage point for the “most photographed lighthouse on the Oregon Coast”.  The lighthouse keeper’s house is a bed and breakfast:  Heceta Head Lighthouse

heceta head lighthouse
Heceta Head Lighthouse

Park your car, get out and listen.  If you can hear the sea lions barking, look over the rock wall to the cliffs below.  These are a mix of California and Stellar Sea Lions.

sea lion haul out
Sea Lions Hauling Out

They complain a lot but they like to snuggle.

sea lions
Mom! He’s touching me!

On the other side of the cliff, closer to the caves, another group of sea lions climb the steep cliff; hugging the side to get to the top.

sea lion rock climbers
Sea Lions are great rock climbers

Greater Scaups Brave the Alsea

Recent rains raised the Alsea River to 14 feet.  Flood stage here is 18ft.  The clear water gave way to muddy runoff.  Still these brave Greater Scaups came fishing.  A bird’s gotta eat!

scaups fish alsea river banks
Scaups fish the banks

Here’s a look upriver just west of Blackberry Campground this morning.  The rain stopped, dropping the river level 2.5 feet by tonight.

alsea river - 14 ft
Swollen Alsea River – 14 feet

The Greater Scaups fished all day.  How do they see anything in that mud?  It must have something to do with those golden eyes – gives them a sunny outlook!

greater scaups
Greater Scaups

Big Texas Skies

This has been such a busy and fun Christmas season visiting my amazing parents in Texas.

oak tree against sunset colors
Sailor’s Delight

I’ve had so much fun with them that I’ve neglected taking photos.  As I was outside running a couple errands though, the sunset colors of the big Texas sky caught my attention and I just had to stop.

Christmas trees make great fish habitat in the lake
Christmas trees make great fish habitat in the lake

As long as I had my camera and ditching my duties…I kept clicking…Walmart was selling leftover Christmas trees last week for 2 cents each so we got a baker’s dozen for fish habitat.  If more would have fit in the truck, we would have gotten more.  My brother wanted to know if we tried to talk them down in price. 😉  These will give those bass a reason to hang around.

"The Puzzler" (Norman Rockwell-style)
“The Puzzler” (Norman Rockwell-style)

Mom’s puttering around in the kitchen and Dad’s at the puzzle table.

Moon Rise over Houston County Lake
Moon Rise over Houston County Lake

And a beautiful full moon over the lake while steaks wait for the football game to end.

Goodnight big TX sky!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Are your eyes bigger than your tummy?  Please, eat responsibly.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Oregon Coast
Wild turkey hunting tips: http://www.huntingseasonready.com/wild-turkey-hunting-tips/

Have a safe and happy day!

…for tomorrow is another story.  Maybe we’ll get snow on the beach!?  (It’s rare, that’s why we get excited about it.)

Here’s the weather alert for the north and central Oregon Coast:

A SHARP COLD FRONT IS EXPECTED TO MOVE THROUGH THE REGION FROM THE NORTH ON FRIDAY AND FRIDAY EVENING. SNOW LEVELS WILL BE HIGH INITIALLY…BUT WILL FALL SHARPLY BEHIND THE COLD FRONTAL PASSAGE. POST FRONTAL SHOWERS MAY FALL AS A MIX OF RAIN AND SNOW DOWN TO THE VALLEY FLOOR AT TIMES FRIDAY NIGHT AND SATURDAY. PRECIPITATION IS EXPECTED TO END BY SATURDAY NIGHT. GUSTY OFFSHORE FLOW IS THEN EXPECTED TO DEVELOP SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY. THIS OFFSHORE FLOW WILL USHER IN FRIGID CONDITIONS AS IT PULLS IN AIR FROM AN ARCTIC AIR MASS ON THE EAST SIDE OF THE CASCADES.