Thursday, October 30, 2008

Oregon is a Yellow State

Since this is election season, there is talk of red states, blue states, the same for counties, etc. After spending a week away from the campaign commercials and other assorted garbage, I've come to the conclusion the Oregon is a yellow state this year.

The major trees in western Oregon are either evergreen or the leaves turn yellow in autumn. I spent a few days at Champoeg State Park this week getting away from the crap at work, getting some alone time, and riding my bike around aimlessly looking for wildlife and nature. You will see that Oregon is a yellow state in autumn.

I had a cat to keep me company and you can watch him in the YouTube video below. He is on his way to the rescue people who give cats good homes. This one will have no problem. He is a real sweetie pie.

To the pictures!

Sunset over a grove of Douglas Firs.

A little later looking out over the Willamette River

It is amazing how still the waters get when there aren't boats tearing up and down the river at all hours. It is nice and quiet too.


A collection of leaves gather in the water by a boat dock. Notice that not all of them are yellow.

I brought my "acoustic" bike on this trip (as opposed to my electric bike which stayed home charging).

I don't generally make a practice of taking pictures inside a public restroom (certain US Senators can thank me for that). However, this bunch of ladybugs were quite interesting.

Gee, I wonder why these are called Big Leafed Maples? Not sure. Acer macrophyllum echoes the common name. On the other hand, the Lodgepole Pine is called Pinus contorta, so there you are.

The last easily visible sunrise of the trip. It was dry the whole time, but the fog and clouds became more persistent with each passing day.

I would never order an espresso at a Buttville store. Luckily, the real name is Butteville so drink up!

Happy Halloween from the pumpkin farm!

There was a big hatch of box elder bugs and they seemed to collect in the screen of my windows.

My home away from home.

Here is the kitty. He loved to talk to me and spent a lot of time hanging out with me. On the colder nights, he especially liked nuzzling up to the camp fire.

Big leaf maple on the left, apples on the right.

For all of you who live in or near an Oak Grove, but can't see any oaks because they've been replaced with is a REAL oak grove.

So I was letting my mind drift as I rode my bike up the lane through this golden field of grass when a great flapping and clattering occurs on this fence post in front of me. I was only about 15 ft away from the Great Blue Heron when it bolted and glided over to the place you see above. If I had been paying attention, I might have gotten a good close up. On the other hand, my brain definitely benefited from the relaxation.

The original townsite of Champoeg is marked off by intersection. I had a nice stroll along DeGrasse which ended in the middle of a field.

When the American settlers finally outnumbered the native Americans and French-Canadian metis in Champoeg, they allowed democracy to fluorish and create a government in Oregon in a close vote. Well, the Native Americans really didn't get to vote, so...well, you can guess how it went.

Above and below are more shots of the cabin.

An oak gall sits like an easter egg on the ground.

The vine maple is a refreshing break from all the yellow leaf deciduous trees in the forest. It can show several colors on a single leaf. Also, depending on their environment their foliage can seem as if there are different species of tree in different areas. The don't get very tall, but they are one of my favorite trees.


ladybug said...

So lovely! Of course, I know the area it is my ancestral home. Nice when it's not full during the summer!

Swinebread said...

Happy Halloween

Looks like you had a nice brreak!

I forgot how nice Champoeg park is.... and I live here!

I'm really glad your four legged park mate will get a good home.

Wonderful pics!

The Moody Minstrel said...

Good grief!

(If there is such a thing...)

I envy you that trip...especially after the 30th Anniversary celebration at my school today in which the guest speaker was Welsh-Japanese (i.e. Welsh who has Japanese citizenship) author, karate expert, and environmentalist C.W. Nichol. (I'm finding a lot of websites that mention him, but none that are really about least not in English!) He mainly talked about his efforts at restoring an area of forest in Nagano Prefecture...and the surprising fringe benefits it had in terms of helping troubled children find themselves. It was quite interesting and moving!

I admit I've never been to Champoeg State Park (even though I have relatives who used to live in Champoeg, so we did visit there a few times), but just how big is it, anyway? I didn't realize they had cabins there, either. How much do they charge per night?

Don Snabulus said...

Welsh-Japanese? He's definitely got the interesting language angle covered...

The park is just under one square mile (though it isn't square) with around 5 miles of bike trail. Cabins are $35/night and yurts are $27/night. They are both heated but have no water/bathroom so you need to pack for camping (stove, gear, etc.).

Don Snabulus said...


next time we go together!


Tanx and belated Happy Halloween.

Arkonbey said...

1) wow! That looked/read like a great trip! I'm slightly jealous. Are you recharged?

2) That is the biggest maple leaf I've ever seen (and we in VT know maple)! Good thing you were wearing a helmet.

I forgot there was autumn of any kind in the PacNorWest. From my time there, I seem to only remember two seasons: Green & Wet and Brown & Wet.

3) the kitty story is sweet.

The Moody Minstrel said...

Ah, it's November 4th! Better known as:


(Tell me when the insanity is over.)

Pandabonium said...

Beautiful pics, thanks for sharing all those. Amazing maple leaf. I did think that oak gall was an egg.

Looks like a great place to unwind. Reminds me of the Thoreau quote "in wildness is the preservation of the world".

Don Snabulus said...


Green and Wet has definitely arrived now. Sadly, those big leaf maples are useless for making syrup. We look to Vermont to cover our pancakes in mapley goodness.


It's over...temporarily.


Unlike Thoreau, I didn't have my wife and daughter on this trip to make my food or wash my clothes. Nonetheless, sinilarities to the Concord and the Merrimack were present.