Friday, December 16, 2011

Manito Park’s Gaiser Conservatory

Every year our local Manito Park Conservatory adorns their plants, trees, shrubs, cacti, and hundreds of Poinsettias with over 30,000 Christmas lights.
My camera really didn't know how to act with all of the lights but I think it did a pretty good job.

It was hard to pick just a few because every corner was so beautiful.
The light show started in 1994 and only missed one year in '96 due to an ice storm.
It takes two workers 5 weeks to string the 30,000 lights. They're slowly converting to LED and are now at 20% this year .

Some of the oldest plants there are a 105 year old Christmas cactus and a 75 year old Jade tree. There were a couple of Jades, so I'm not sure if this is the one or not.
It's warm and steamy inside and you feel like you're in a totally different country. They also have a Bird of Paradise which seems to always be in bloom, no pic though.
I love all the cactus. They look so pretty with lights on them. One tall one with green lights came out blurry (I said my camera was confused), but the rest were impressive.



It's been about 5 years since we've been there and I don't think we should wait so long until the next time.

Mmmmm, could be my Christmas card next year

Friday, October 28, 2011

Down On The Farm

Here are a few more pictures of the area around a B&B we visited recently. I love old farms, there are so many things to take pictures of and explore.
In between showers
Crazy city folk, I'm sure he's thinking
Don't get any closer, you'll regret it
Love old buildings
Rust is a color, right?

The following shots are my daughter's with a DSLR. I wish I could afford to get her one of these because the quality is so much better than a point-and-shoot.
I love those clouds

A less than 24-hours old Blue Bunny, which has since died :-(

Friendly little thing

Aren't we cute?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Last Day, More Beach Time

I got out early this morning to walk on the beach by myself. Although it was cloudy and about 60, it was actually warmer than the last two days of 70 and wind. It was so peaceful to be out there with just the seagulls and myself.
One Lone Seagull
Before lunch my daughter and I went back to 'town' which is really only a block long. First we hit a thrift store and then a few stores for last minute t-shirts.

After lunch we went to a beach we haven't been to before, Manhattan. It was small and hardly anybody else was there. Well it was kind of crowded, with Seagulls and Pelicans. I've seen Pelicans flying by but never actually sitting on the beach, so that was really cool to see.


Waiting for lunch

We had heard that there was a large pile of drift logs so we headed there. My husband and daughter love to climb over them but I prefer not to get twisted ankles so I just stay put.

I'm more interested in how they got there, all bunched up in one area. I'm guessing a very large storm or maybe even a tsunami years ago. There's no way that could be man made.
Og needs more wood
log climber

Me and hubby
We ended the day by hubby and I going out for dinner. We left the kid behind with left over pizza so she could Skype with her boyfriend. We really had planned to build a fire on the beach and roast marshmallows but ran out of time. With two days being so windy it just wouldn't work. So we'll be hauling our wood and giant marshmallows home, you know, those large baseball sized ones. And since the diet continues when we get home I may have to wait a whole year to eat them.

So thanks for tagging along on our vacation, it's been fun.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Windy Beaches

Another day that didn't go exactly as planned. Three beaches to visit, but we only made it to two. It was so windy, that it was just a struggle to walk on them. The first one on our list was Arcadia. It's such a pretty beach and we happened to catch it at low tide so you could walk around rocks not normally available.
Arcadia at low tide
That made it possible to see all sorts of crustaceans clinging to the rocks, just waiting for the tide to come back in.
My husband is a driftwood fanatic so he headed up to the stack of logs. I'm not sure where he's going to put this in the car but I better make sure that he doesn't leave the kid behind to make room for it.
Caveman Og going to build big fire
Next on the beach list was Nehalem. We have been to this one before too but it was even windier there and practically deserted except for those that rented horses. Poor horses and poor me who had to actually sit at a picnic table and try to hold on to my lunch--literally. We didn't stay there long.
Entrance to beach
Blowing grasses
So that was it for today. Tomorrow we will try and hit the last one, which we haven't been to before. It's said to have lots of driftwood so Og will be happy.

On a sad note, when we got back to our room, we saw a police vehicle, search and rescue and the Coast Guard flying over the water. A hang glider had taken off from somewhere up on a hill and landed in the water. I don't know how long they searched but called it off about 1/2 hr. after we got back. It was really sad watching it sweep back and forth. I feel for his family and wonder if he lived in the area or was on vacation too.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cape Meares

Today didn't turn out as fun as I had planned. Like I could control detours, getting lost, cold wind and whatever else gets thrown at you on a trip. But first, a few sunset pics from last night.
Big Orange Ball
It ends, as a kite flies through
We had intended to drive the Three Capes Scenic route and end up at Cape Meares Lighthouse but because of a landslide earlier, there were detours which made us and many more get helplessly lost in the Oregon wilderness. Well, that's what it felt like anyway. What should have taken us 47 minutes, really took us 2 hours to get to the lighthouse. After all that, it was kind of disappointing. Plus I had woke up with a moderate case of Vertigo so that made the day that much more enjoyable.

Cape Meares Lighthouse is the shortest of all the lighthouses on the Oregon coast with only a 38 foot tower.


From the same vista point was this view of the Three Arches which provides protection for over 200K sea birds. In 1901 a biologist and a photographer started the preservation process to protect the birds after hunters would boat out to the islands and shoot the birds for target practice. Now it is illegal to be within 500 yards of the islands between May and September.
Three Arches
Also in the same area is the Octopus Tree, a large gnarly Sitka Spruce believed to be 250-300 years old.

Octopus Tree
After we left there, we headed to Tillamook and the famous cheese factory. We've been there several times so didn't waste our time on the tour. It isn't the same as it used to be anyway. But we got some smoked salmon and cheese for dinner. Oh and ice cream of course, got to have the ice cream.

One more rock picture, not sure if they have a name or not because after awhile everything just kind of blurs into one jumbled mess. But they were pretty and I wanted a picture.
After we got back to the room we watched a movie and then took a very brisk walk before dinner. And I do mean brisk, the sun is out but it's darn cold and windy. The beach was pretty deserted and it looked like a sand storm going on. Then back to the room and a dinner of smoked salmon, cheese, bread, and marinated olives. Holy Cow I'm full.....again.

Tomorrow we'll be hitting beaches, some new, some old.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Rockaway Beach

We finally arrived yesterday afternoon after a harrowing drive through Portland to get to Highway 26 to the beaches. We're from a moderately large town and the freeway seems so easy, but going through Portland is horrible. Things are not marked well enough for us hicks and although hubby is a good driver (most of the time) it's very difficult to navigate. I have to tell him where to go and keep him calm at the same time. We've decided that this will be the last time we go this way. I would rather go over the Astoria Bridge 5 times before I do this route again.

We just hung around in town yesterday, walked the beach, had some dinner and relaxed. We missed the sunset though and only caught the remains of the day. This was taken approximately 100 feet from our motel room.
Twin Rocks
This morning we walked more on the beach, it was warm and sunny and actually not windy, which is rare.


After lunch we headed to town, which is pretty small. The town has Highway 101 running right through it so they kind of split the town in half. One half on the beach side is mostly lodging and some rental homes. The other side has shops with the residential area running up into the hill to have a great view of the ocean I'm sure.

The first place we stopped was called Oregon Du Drops. It was one of the most interesting places I've ever been. A couple takes old lightbulbs and fills them with rain collected on the Oregon coast. The rain is dated and then the date of collection is engraved on the bulb. The bulbs are then topped with old brass bells.
Du Drops
They were pretty expensive but I bought a modestly priced one called an Elephant Chandelier because the bell tops were used on elephants during parades in India and that bell was put on a chandelier light bulb. So this is mine. You can see my daughter's reflection and the grasses in the glass. The rainwater collected for this one was in June of this year. I chose June for my birthday month.
My own Du Drop
After lunch we headed up to Cannon Beach for some shopping, surf, and dinner at Mo's, our favorite place to eat there. I ate too much though and feeling guilty about it.
Cannon Beach, Oregon
I honestly never get tired of this rock, on this beach, in this town, in this state. Never, never, never!

Back to the room feeling stuffed, hubby and I went for a walk. I saw this interesting tree which at one time had some kind of viney growth on it, which was probably cut away.
So now we're just hanging out just waiting to catch the sunset tonight. See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Pioneer Park Revisited

Last Fall we visited Pioneer Park but the Heritage Garden was closed for the season. Over the weekend we went back just to visit the garden. Our citie's Parks Department now owns the Garden which once was the most talked about garden in the early 1900's.

After it's declining state and then revival which finished about 2007, the park holds much history involving two prominent families. This was their own personal garden and although the residence is gone that belonged to the garden, it's a joy to walk around.
view from the top

view from below 
view of the city at the top of the garden
Pergola
and the pond


This is not the prettiest building in the garden but I think it's the most interesting. The walkway to this building was called the Well Walk and the building itself was called the Well House. A pipe extended from the well and through the wall and supplied water for the entire garden. The stones were actually part of a house that grew mushrooms for the family, up to 6 pounds a day. They sure liked their 'shrooms. In the background you can see the top of the Tea House which Westerners called it, but we know them better as Gazebos.



On the way out and probably the highlight was spotting this little guy and his two kids. They were under some bushes and only about 3 feet away from us. We were quiet,  just putting our cameras over the bushes to try and get a shot. The little babies are above and a little to the left of daddy.

As we were leaving, my husband said that he was kind of disappointed by the Gardens and I had to remind him that just because it was not all that large, we had to remember that it started out as a personal garden and therefore was quite impressive!