Category Archives: wildflowers

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.


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!  🙂

Lillies and Ferns on the Oregon Coast

Did you know that the baby fiddleheads are a delicacy?  Sauteed in butter they taste similar to asparagus.  (I can neither confirm nor deny this.)

fiddlehead fern
Fiddleheads on certain types of ferns

The Western Maidenhair fern has a couple unique features that make it one of the most delicate of the fern family.  (I’m not really an expert, it just sounded good.)

Western Maidenhair Fern
Western Maidenhair Fern

The fine, black, stem contrasts with the green leaves.  It looks like the fronds shoot off one side of the main stem which makes it curl.  The maidenhair ferns grow in the splash-zone of waterfalls and creeks.  I found these when I hiked up the creek to check on our spring head after the neighbor reported she’d ran out of water.

oregon ferns
Multiple types of ferns

Here are some different types mixed together.  I think the fiddleheads only grow from the ferns that grow in a clump that are green year-round.

Calla Lily
Calla Lillies

I don’t think Calla Lillies are natural here in Oregon.  But, where they’ve been planted, they multiply like crazy.  They like shade.  I took these cuttings and noticed something funny on the stalk of the bloom that hadn’t opened all the way yet.

calla lily stems
Curly stems

Only the stalk of the newer blossom curled.

Easter Reminders of Eternal Life

Life blossoms in the spring.

Apple Blossoms
Apple Blossoms

You know the drill.  All the leaves fall off the apple tree in the Fall.  The tree looks dead all winter.  But then tiny specs of green appear again in the Spring.  Before long, the pretty, delicate, pink buds are revealed and then blossom.  It’s kind of a relief when I see the apple blossoms.  It’s a reassurance that the tree is not only alive but healthy and it will again fulfill the purpose God gave it.  The blossoms make me smile.

Pansies on Post
Pansies on Post

We all have a purpose whether we know what it is or not.  I believe it is through serving others (family, friends or strangers) that our purpose is revealed.  Small, kind, acts or words that make someone smile renews hope.  That, I believe, is the message of Easter.  Jesus Christ gives old things new life and purpose.

Happy Easter!

March Showers bring April Flowers

Whoever made up the saying, “April showers bring May flowers” might have lived in a colder climate than the Oregon Coast.

skunk cabbage
Skunk Cabbage

I hear the skunk cabbage gets its name from their smell.  So I’ve never gotten close enough to tell.

Ann Japanese Magnolia Tree
Ann Japanese Magnolia Tree

I love the flowers on the Ann Japanese Magnolia trees.  They are such a vibrant color and they don’t have to compete with leaves because they flower first.  They look like an Easter egg sitting on the end of the branch.

Himalayan Blackberries - photo-bombed by Elk
Himalayan Blackberries – photo-bombed by Elk

I haven’t seen any flowers on the blackberry bushes yet but the salmonberries are starting to bloom.

The elk photo-bombed the blackberries 🙂

roosevelt elk greeting
Hey Sister!

The elk are looking a little shaggy but they are starting to shed their winter coats.

elk shedding her coat
Shedding her coat

You can tell this one is shedding around her face.  I keep watching for the bull to lose his antlers but he’s still got them.

cow elk
Cow Elk

The cow elk look so much alike that I keep trying to find distinguishing marks (besides an ear tag).  I noticed the one in the front has a lighter color in her neck hair.

It looked like a river as the elk flowed over the fences and across the road.  You can mute your sound to watch the video.  All you hear is the sound of the wind on the camera.

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.

The Garden of Eden – Oregon Coast

I feel like I live in the Garden of Eden…only I’m not naked.

River Otter - Alsea River

I’ve been hearing popping or cracking noises from across the river all day.  There are willows and blackberries that hang out over the water and it’s dark under there.  But I finally saw that it is my friend Otto the River Otter.  I can’t see what he’s eating.

River Otter - choke
AAaaaacchhkk – Hairball

Sorry!  This hasn’t gotten old for me yet.

3 Otter Kits
3 Otter Kits

I kept watching after the adult disappeared and finally saw 3 kits cautiously hugging the water’s edge with mom close by.  They ducked into this area where the shrubs form a protective roof.  They played there until the tide raised the water and the sky got dark enough that I couldn’t see them anymore.  I wonder who their predators are?

King Fisher - Alsea River
King Fisher

This King Fisher was really hitting the water hard as he fished the Alsea River.

King Fisher Dive
King Fisher Dive

I was determined to get a shot but I can’t tell if he’s even right-side-up in this photo. 🙂

Field of Foxglove
Field of Foxglove

Time for a walk today – past the fields of Foxglove.

Flicker Nest
No wonder those Flickers are so spunky!

They’ve got populate and replenish the earth…or the air.

Alsea River Crawdads
Alsea River Crawdads

Now THAT’s what I’m talking about!  Aren’t those beautiful bugs!  I guess these would snap-crackle-and-pop in an Otter’s teeth.

Don’s trap works great!


I know I’ve seen these little sculpins in the otters mouth.

Stinging Nettle
Stinging Nettle

I don’t know how many times Don has pointed out Stinging Nettle to me.  I’ve never had poison oak or poison ivy, let alone stinging nettle…until yesterday.

NOW I will not forget what it looks like.

Okay, so I’m not in the Garden of Eden.  Ouch!

But just a little place on my finger.  Don, on the other hand, rolled in it.  That’s another story…for another day.  It will be funny….eventually.

The Birds and the Bees Minus the Bees

Let me tell you ’bout the birds and the bees…

Turkey Vulture - Red Tag on (BC) Right Wing
Turkey Vulture – Red Tag (BC) on Right Wing

I’ll find out more about Turkey Vulture BC but in the meantime click here to read about tagging vultures in Venezuela.

and the flowers and the trees…

Gold Finch Couple Camoflaged in Tree
Gold Finch Couple Camoflaged in Tree

and the moon and a bug …

I'll arm wrestle you for the 1 bug!
I’ll arm wrestle you for the 1 bug!

Okay so I changed the words to the song.  But I don’t have a photo of the moon today and had to work in the crawdad photo.

We left him in the cage til he calls friends and family for a pot luck dinner.

Warning:  The next photo may not be suitable for children.

And a thI-ng called lo-O-ove

Flicker Love
Flicker Love

Sorry, but after the 3rd Flicker couple stopped to use our tree, I had to take a photo.  Besides, one observation is an oddity, twice is notable, the third makes it a study. 🙂

Harbor Seal Mom and Pup
Harbor Seal Mom and Pup

Say hello to the new generation of Harbor Seals in Alsea Bay.

Seal Pup Kisses
Seal Pup Kisses

I wonder if seal puppy breath smells as sweet as dog puppy breath?

Seal Snuggles
Seal Snuggles

This is my favorite.  It’s the same look on a human parent’s face when they look at their sweet little baby.  You know, before they turn 2. 🙂

Seems like a good time to share a friend’s child-rearing philosophy:

Babies are adorable.  But when they turn 2, put them in a box with holes in it.

Then, when they turn 13, fill in the holes.

My thought: If you do not take the first step (with the box), there’s no turning back and you deserve everything you get.