Wednesday, April 30, 2008

ABC Wednesday-O

O is for Ohanapecosh and Owyhigh Lakes.

Click the logo for the home of ABC Wednesday
where Mrs. Nesbitt hosts ABC Wednesday.

Trail at Ohanapecosh
One of the major habitat zones at Mt. Rainier National Park is Ohanapecosh. (It's pronounced just like it's spelled. Accent the han and the cosh.) Ohanepecosh is an area of lowland old growth forest. The characteristics of old growth forest are that it is ODD.
footbridge on the Ohanepecosh River
No, the forest really isn't strange at Ohanapecosh. ODD stands for old, dead, and diverse. The Old Growth forest is full of old trees. Included among them is the Grove of the Patriarchs just north of the Ohanapecosh area near the Stevens Canyon entrance to the park. When my third grade class went to the Grove of the Patriarchs, we circled one of the trees holding hands. That's how big that one was.


The old growth forest is full of dead and decaying material which enriches the soil. You will frequently find "nurse logs", (now I'm going to have to go find a picture of a nurse log, but I will post it some other time.) decaying fallen trees which have young trees growing from them. Snags provide habitat for dozens if not hundreds of critters.


The old growth forest is diverse. You would be amazed at how many different varieties of trees, ferns, flowers, mushrooms, mosses, lichens, birds, insects, and other critters live there.

Ohanapecosh River

There were around 200 campsites in the forest at Ohanapecosh Campground. Campsite 26 in the C used to be to the right of this sign. On November 6, 2006, 18 inches of rain fell within 36 hours.

And this happened.
About half the C Loop went the way of C26--at least for the 2007 season.
My hiking book says it is about a 3½ hour round trip hike to
Owyhigh Lakes (pronounced o-I-hi) from the White River Road. NOT!
It is a beautiful hike, though. We did it in August.

From the Eastside Road, the following October, it took us about five hours to reach the lakes. Autumn had fallen on the meadows. This was about a month before the floods.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Reflections 3

...from last summer.

I wonder what adventures this summer will bring.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Notice--Good News--complaints got results.

The Blogger Team has seen the light! Word Verification is back to normal legible letters. It's still a rather irritating sometimes necessity, but it is doable.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Odd Shots Monday--I can see clearly now--NOT

Here are the Odd Shots guidelines.

You can always link to them in the sidebar before the blogroll.

I've been to the eye doctor for new glasses and found this odd guy.


When I got my new lenses, they didn't seem right. I could see fine at a distance. But I could read with my right eye if I closed my left eye and looked a bit to the side. That is rather inconvenient for a librarian. I went back three times before I could convince them that there was more to it than adjusting the frames. Finally, the occulist determined that the prescription was right but positioned in the wrong place. So she put my old lenses back in the frames. After several days trying to get used to the new ones, now the old ones no longer seem right.

So, in a couple of weeks, maybe I can see clearly again.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Camera Critters 3

Check in here for Camera Critters.

Since I don't want you guys to come to the conclusion that I am a real squirrelly sort, as I said in a comment somewhere I do have something bigger. And here it is.

Huh? You are asking. She's not squirrelly! She's totally nuts!
Look very very carefully.
These pictures were taken in 2000 and I wish they were better resolution so they could be blown up so you could see better and believe me. I was taking a lot of video, and my still pictures were a bit of a sideline.
I was in India for a month on an immersion experience. We worked at an orphanage through the week and weekends we were taken on excursions. This particular weekend we went to the Periyar National Park, high in the mountains between the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
We were cruising on Lake Periyar, and saw a lot of cormorants and some wild boar. No tigers--they don't hang out in this part of the park. Oh, did I not mention that the other name of the park is the Periyar Tiger Preserve? So what, you may ask, are those people all looking at? Why, the elephants on the ridge of the hill, of course.
This version will help you to find them.

Before I tell you my other elephant experience from this trip, which I may someday figure out how to transfer from my videotapes to something I can share on the computer, let me tell you about the funny and unique signs in our hotel rooms at the Periyar National Park. (PhotoHunt this week is funny and unique signs and believe me, I would have used this one if I had a still of it.) The signs said, "Do not leave windows open when you are out or you will have visitors." The visitors would be monkeys--curious little buggers they are!
Now, for my up close and personal elephant experience: I was "blessed" by a temple elephant. Really!
We were visiting a temple during our sightseeing at the end of our time in India and someone persuaded the attendants to bring the elephant out into the courtyard for us. This elephant was adorned with a headdress and well decorated because it was a temple elephant. We were supposed to each have our turn, and I was first. They brought the elephant over to me and it touched my head with its trunk. I have video--of the elephant coming and its runny nose hovering above me. I have always wanted to transfer that frame to a still shot.
Apparently we had not made a large enough offering, because after the elephant blessed me, the grumbling keepers took it back inside the temple. The others in the group had to settle for watching.
Now, so that you can actually see an elephant in this post, here is another elephant which we saw in a park at Kodiacanal, a resort area in the hills of Tamil Nadu.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Photo Hunt--Theme: Unique/Funny Signs

You can find out all about Photo Hunt at TnChick.
Last week I walked around the block to find thirteen. I traveled halfway around the world for this one. The trip took place in June-July of 1998. We found this sign in Irkutsk, Siberia, Russia, and I have no idea what it was about.

Signs were a challenge on our Russia trip, but mostly because, by the time you sounded out things like where that bus is going in the Cyrillic alphabet, the bus was on down the road.


We were in Russia for four weeks. We spent the first day in Moscow. We walked all day; we didn't dare try to get on a bus or subway as we had no idea where we would end up or how to get back.


When we returned to Moscow for a few days near the end of our trip, we were a little more confidant. We did have one scary adventure, though. You see, although both my husband and my son could identify a few things in Russian, such as PECTOPAN ( It says restaurant. A P sounds like an R and C is always S.) that was about the extent of their liguistic ability. Besides that they are both extremely directionally challenged (Read that as "How do I get out of this paper bag?")


We had planned out our route to somewhere on the subway, and I had it firmly in my mind and they would follow me. So the train comes and I get on and the doors close and I turn around and look out in horror as there stand my husband and son on the platform with the same look of horror on their faces. Frantic hand motions hopefully communicate as the train pulls out of the station. I say a quick prayer and get out at the next station and wait.


Fortunately, son's logic prevailed and he convinced his father that if they took the next train in the same direction, I would be waiting for them on the next platform and we could regroup from there. Hubby just figured I would come back for them. (In order to do that, I would have had to get to a different platform, figure out a new set of trains, make sure I didn't get on an express to the edge of town, and so forth.) They would be there still, watching and waiting.


I posted some funny signs a couple of weeks ago, too. You will find them here if you are interested.

Learning to drive a stick shift and other bits and pieces from the desert

David asked me if I would expand on my comment in his blog about my mother learning to drive. I don't really know a lot of details as it all happened long before I was born. Bits and pieces of stories told about the time they spent on the ranch in the desert the first year of their marriage came up from time to time. Each bit and piece is a gem in itself, though, so I will put a few of them together.
The first thing I am trying to do is to remember where I put a certain box which came into my possession after my parents' deaths. The contents are a pile of letters written by my mother to my dad during about two years of their courtship. And one letter from my dad to my mother.
My grandmother ran a boarding house in Riverside, California in the early '30s. Dad spent a summer or more working and studying at the University of California Irrigated Agriculture Experiment Station there, and the boarding house was his home away from home. When he was not at the school he was growing oranges here:

Amazing what sixty odd years of "progress" brings, isn't it.
Dad fell in love with the pretty daughter who served dinner at the boarding house. Mother once told me he thought he had fallen in love with the cook and little did he know...
Along came early 1934 and Dad had an job opportunity. An absentee ranch owner needed someone to manage his ranch. Dad's qualifications were ideal--he had studied irrigated agriculture and managed the oranges for his own dad--but the employer wanted a married man and the job included use of the ranch house. I don't know where the ranch was, other than it was somewhere in the desert. I think it may have been somewhere in the Coachella Valley, but I do know that it was far from anywhere.
It was still the Depression, and I think they had been waiting until Dad had a job to marry, but this job was to start as soon as possible, and there was barely enough time to publish the bans and plan a wedding before Lent began, when no weddings could take place in the Church till after Easter and the job might evaporate if they waited any longer.

And so they went off to their desert hideaway for their first year of wedded bliss.

They had a little dog named Trixie--a terrier of some sort. She was a feisty little thing and one of the things she was famous for was notifying the folks if a rattlesnake came near. As a child I remember finding a rifle in the back of my parents' bedroom closet. (Don't ask what I was doing in the back of my parents' closet.) Believe me, that rifle was in stark contrast to the gentle quiet image I had of my dad. I learned that Dad used it for shooting rattlesnakes when they lived in the desert. This may have been the first time I heard anything about that year in the desert.
Now, as long as I remember, my mother never enjoyed driving. Any time she could she would leave the driving to Dad, who truly did enjoy it. Seemingly this traces back to when Mother learned to drive, which happened rather traumatically during that year on the ranch.

This is not the car, but rather is the new car Dad drove with his parents on a trip a few years earlier, so it has to be better than what they had available. And this is likely a lot better road than what they had out by the ranch. Mother had not even considered learning to drive until that fateful day when Dad was bent in pain with what would turn out to be appendicitis.
Now, I learned to drive a stick shift when I had to go pick up my husband who had had car trouble one night in our automatic. I already knew how to drive, and it wasn't a life and death situation. Can you imagine if the love of your life was writhing in pain (though I can't even imagine my stoic dad writhing) and you are confronted with the urgent necessity of getting him to the emergency room miles and miles away and you have no phone, so even if there were someone you could call, you couldn't.
But she did it. She learned to drive that very night.
That couldn't have been a comfortable ride for Dad. But he survived, and lived another sixty years to tell stories of that year on the ranch.
Or not tell.
Because there was apparently a lot they would have liked to forget about that year in the desert. With each other they were totally enthralled--thank goodness. If they had not been so devoted that year might have been enough that I might not be here to retell these tales, the little that I know of them.
Eventually I learned that the ranchhouse was drafty and next to impossible to keep the blowing sand out of. The owners were not all that pleasant to work for with some of their demands. The folks had some weekends off, when the owners would come for a holiday in their house in the desert and their manager could (and must) go visit somewhere for the duration. It was after one of those weekends, when those people left their laundry for Mother to do, that my father, in the midst of the '30s told them, "You hired me to manage the ranch. You did not hire my wife to do your laundry. I quit."
And the year on the ranch in the desert came to an end.

Project Green--Growth least there will be if spring ever really decides to arrive.

Sweet Basil


I know I need to thin them--especially the basil. I've already pricked out some of the tomato sprouts, but it looks like I missed some of these.

More green participants can be found at Anna's.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Project Green--a puzzle

One of each pair of photos was taken in Siberia ten years ago. One of each was taken in Alaska last summer.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Project Green

Anna challenged us to find green this week.
The Washington state flag is green.
Green kayak follows on (blue)green waters.

ABC Wednesday--N is for...

You can learn all about ABC Wednesday
and see who else is playing at Mrs. Nesbitt's.

N is for
National Park Inn.

If you enter Mt. Rainier National Park from the west, you will soon reach Longmire. This area was first developed in the late 1800s by James Longmire who constructed a lodge to take advantage of the mineral springs in the area. The area now has many historic buildings, including the National Park Inn.

Whether you just stop for lunch, or sit for a while on the porch to enjoy a cup of hot cocoa, it is a delightful experience at any season, and a good respite after a long hike.

In the wintertime, it can be a good place to warm your toes after being out on the snowshoes or cross country skis, which can be rented here for an outing if you don't have your own.

beccause there is an ample supply
of wood for the fireplace.

And if you have booked a room for the night there is a cozy game and reading room.

The snow does eventually melt, and the Inn is just as wonderful in the summer, but most of these pictures were taken during Easter weekend.

Remember, Easter was early this year. Though that doesn't seem to have mattered. We had rain, snow, hail and sunshine within the space of twenty minutes yesterday.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Project Green

It's Project Green this week at Anna's. That is appropriate for Earth Day (today) and Earth Week (this week). I may not play every day, but here is some green that I am looking forward to.

Green forest glens

Green moss reflecting in ponds
Green mountain meadows

BTW Mother of this Lot has passed along an award which I had best post here or I will be in deep trouble.
She might even send the Fixer after me. That could be scary--well, except I think the Fixer is only 12 so I could probably handle her. One day I will feel inclined to pass this along. Today I'm tired.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Monday Odd Shots--Watching You

The Odd Shots Guidelines are listed here.
You can also find any time them by clicking the link under the meme logos in my sidebar.
On one of my walking routes in town, I regularly pass this guy watching me walk. He's a bit odd, I'd say.

He's twisting up his face--is that puzzlement at someone who is ambulatory? or annoyance that he isn't? or what. Of course, you saw all of this in the initial photo...

...but did you notice his friend and companion?