Monday, January 28, 2008

What is it?

Speaking of foals. An email friend sent me a photo recently of a foal that is a cross between a zebra and a donkey. Now that critter is really cute. I WANT ONE.

Update on Foal

Remember the cute little paint filly that was born during the extreme cold a few weeks ago? She is doing fine. The owners fixed up a shelter for her and her mom, with a heatlamp to help keep her warm, and ordered a real foal blanket that will expand as she grows.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Thanks to all who have read my blog about my trip to Oregon and Washington. I have had fun going through my photos and remembering the trip. By doing this I figure it will make the memeories even better. This way I have a record of my trip, as do Jan and Cyndi who make the trip so enjoyable for me, even thought they feel bad a lot of the time because of the car accident they had been in right before I got there. If anyone wants to know more about the places mentioned on the trip to Olympic National Park, you can google it, or use any search engine and find tons of information. It is well worth seeing, if only for a day or so. I would love to be able to go back and send a month or so in that area seeing all the sights I saw before and the ones I missed.

The Road Home

All to soon my visit to Oregon and Washington has come to an end. My plane ticket says that it is the day to fly back to New Mexico, so I guess I will have to go. If I will let myself admit it I am getting a bit homesick for Lee, the horses, dogs and cats so I left so far behind. And although I don't want to admit it to my sister, and tour guide, sometimes the sight of so much green can be scary. I noticed when I walked out this morning to sit on her back porch and see if there were any deer watching that the ring of trees that surrounded her home looked as if they were invading my - well shall we call it 'my space'. I love trees, but here they make it so that you can't 'see'. At my home on the desert you can 'see' for miles on end. And I miss that.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Grassy Yard

Jim complained he hadn't had a chance to mow the several acreas of lawn they have, but I thought it looked so great with the tall grass and dandelions in bloom. After looking at nutural brown desert dirt for as long as I have any green looks good.

The Deer's View

Later, after the deer had gone - where ever they go - I wondered up to where they had been and took a photo of their view. You can see it was a long way from the house which is alm ost hid behind trees and a grape view. To the right is an old barn that has been converted to a garage, and to the left is Jim's workshop.

Monday, January 21, 2008

In the Distance

Jan and Jim's yard would be a great nature watchers place. There is lots of wildlife there. Birds of all kinds, rodents, squirrels, coyotes, and of course deer. They knew that there were a couple of does that were perment residents of their property, and they had fawns. I had stepped out one evening and was rewarded by the sight of one of the does and her twin fawns. I attempted to get pictures and I did, sort of. It was one of those times you really wish your small digital camera, which seems to take really good pictures, isn't as good as it could be, and that it had a better telephoto lens on it. I could see the deer but couldn't seem to get a photo where they showed up any better than this picture shows them. My next camera will probably have a better lens for distance shots.

More Blackberries

After breakfast we decided to take a walk around the large yard that Paddy calls home. It was so pretty and green and there was one of northwestern Oregon's light, misty rains sprinkling on us. But that didn't stop us from exploring the huge blackberry patch to find the fruit that Jim had missed earlier. For once I had my fill of fresh blackberries.

Of course you have to fight the birds and deer for them. But that is part of the fun.


My brother-in-law Jim was unable to go on our trip to the Park because he had to work, and he seemed glad to have us back, too. The next morning he fixed us a wonderful breakfast of biscuits and bacon, with lots of blackberry jelly that he and Jan had made the previous summer. Not only was there the delicious homemade blackberry jelly there was fresh picked blackberries. Jim, with the help of his dog, Paddy, had risen very early and ventured into the blackberry patch to pick fresh blackberries. It had been years since I had eaten fresh berries, just picked from a thicket. I remembered doing it as a teenager when we lived in Sandpoint, Idaho but had not had a chance to do so after we left there. I love any kind of berry - blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, elderberries, and especially huckleberries - and I will include cherries in that list, too. You might just say that I love fruit, but berries are best. I recently received a care package full of blackberry jelly from my wonderful brother and sister. In the photo are blackberry blossoms.

Back to Clatskanie

On arriving back in Clatskanie, Oregon we found Jan's dog, Paddy, more than happy to go home from the Happy Hound Dog Kennel. I think we were a bit glad to get back, also. It had been a long 3 day trip even if it had been thrilling, exciting, interesting, and exceptionally beautiful. I would recomment a trip to the Olympic National Park to any one. All the places where wonderful to visit with lots of great places to visit. We had gone over a weekend during the summer and it did not seem as crowded as I had expected. And everybody we met, either Park personal or visitors were very friendly.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Looking out to Sea

Balancing Act

The logs were laying every which away. They were huge logs and some would be balanced on top of others. This big one was proped up on a smaller one. Makes you wonder why it doesn't fall, and when will it happen. I just hope on one is under it when it happens.

Rolling Log

Here is one of the logs coming into shore. It was rolling in the water as the tide came in. It couldn't go out due to the rock behind it, and seemed to be taking it's time coming on in. We didn't get to near as you could tell it was very heavy and would be deadly if a big wave were to pick it up and throw it on to the beech. We took it's photo and wondered on.

Troll Stack

Here is a small sea stack that my guide said looked like a troll but I really couldn't see it, but it was fun to watch the water coming in through the holes. I took lots of photos but never actually got the water coming in the hole. Still it looked good with the sun behind it.

Through the Window

Here is a shot I took looking through some old roots still attached to a log. As you can see the sky was very cloudy and there was almost a mist of rain.

Ruby Beach

What I didn't know when my guide insisted we leave Hurricane Ridge was that we had one more major stop to make. It was at Ruby Beach. It was a couple of hours before we got there and it was late afternoon, and again it was high tide when we arrived at the beech. And this beech was even more fasinating than Kalaloch had been. There were sea stacks here. Sea stacks are the big rocks that stick up out of the ocean. A lot of them even have a small eco system right on top, with plants, and trees growing on them and birds nesting on them. It was cool at Ruby Beech and looked like a storm was brewing far out to sea. No blue skys now. This little inlet was just made for taking photos of, but it looked like it would be far underwater as the tide came in.


On the way down the mountain we stopped at an overlook were you could see across the Strait of Jaun de Fuca and into Canada. I didn't get to go there but I did get to see it, even if it was from a long distance. It isn't even very clear but according to the sign there that is what is in the far, far distance.


It was at this time that my guide decided we had to leave so we could head back down the mountain, and go south toward Oregon. I didn't want to leave this heaven.


One thing that really fascinated me about Hurricane Ridge was the Altitude. The Ridge is said to be 5,242 above sea level. There are all those magnificent mountains around it that may be a bit higher and it makes you feel, as I have said, on top of the world. There are glaciers on those mountains. You are in an area that measures rain and snow in feet instead of inches. There are animals and flowers and trees that would never grow in my home state of New Mexico. But here in New Mexico, in the high desert country, I live at about 6500 feet above sea level. Makes you wonder why some areas have one kind of Eco system at a certain altitude and another type of Eco system at another altitude. Of course there is the difference in latitude and longitude, also.

Friday, January 18, 2008


Here is more of an close up of the mountains. You can see the snow and a glacier almost right in the middle. It is the closest I could get to the glacier at this time. According to a sign at the viewing center there are more than 60 active glaciers on the mountains that are in Olympic National Park.

A view

Another nice view from the seating area behind the gift shop


These are the mountains you can see from the visitors center on top of the Ridge. Where the trees are is where the deer disapeared after they crossed the meadow.

Deer Again

Here they are just ready to go over the wall.

More Deer

Here you can see three deer in the grass. At the corner of the wall just beyond the deer on the walkway, by the tall tree is where they jumped over the wall to go meandering down through the meadow.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Did I say we saw deer? When we first got there, Jan and Cyndi had to go find the restroom. I was so enchanted by everything I just stood in the parking lot and found myself turning in circles trying to see it all. And 'all' suddenly included 5 deer that decided to walk through the parking lot, down the sidewalk, jump over a short wall, out into the meadow, where they disappeared from view down a small ravine. The deer at Olympic National Park are black tailed deer, which is ken to the white tailed deer found in the east. These were so used to people that they hardly paid them any attention at all. I don't think we could have petted them but they did come very close. It was really nice to see them so close but I have never thought it was good for wildlife to get that used to people. Of course that didn't stop me from taking their pictures.

Visitors Center

There was a visitors center at the end of the road to the top of the mountain. It has tons of information about Hurricane Ridge. We spent time in the gift shop buying souvenirs, and gifts for others, as well as myself. They were having a sale and it was a big hit with the customers. We had lunch at the snack bar. Then spent a goodly amount of time just enjoying the view from all angles. The parking lot was packed and there were a lot of people there, especially sense it was a Sunday, but it didn't seem that crowded as so many parks can get on weekends. And everyone there was enjoying themselves as much as we were. You would find yourself uuing and awing, and exclaiming over the view, the flowers, the grass, the mountains, the glaciers, the sky, or a passing deer with a total stranger standing next to you. I found myself watching a small child about 2 years old and his parents as they enjoyed the park. I, also, found myself sitting quietly by an elderly lady and neither of us had to say a word about how we felt at what we were seeing. I heard several languages besides my native American - Spanish, German, English, Canadian, Japanese, and others I couldn't put a country to.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

On Top of the World

My sister, Jan, who was my guide on this trip could not have prepared me for what I was going to see at Hurricane Ridge. I guess that is why she didn't try. We came around a turn in the road and there it was. There was this huge open meadow surrounded by high mountains that still had snow on them. (Again remember it is August.) The grass and trees were so green, emerald green. The mountains were the light to dark majestic blues you think of only when you have seen distant mountains. The white snows, and glaciers on the blues were pure whites.

Although Hurricane Ridge is know for bad weather days full of rain, fog, snow and especially wind, we were there on one of those perfect weather days. It was a bit cool and we did need our light jackets, but the sky was a brilliant shade of blue with just a few small white fluffy clouds. There was now wind, rain, fog, or snow. It made me feel as if I was standing on top of the world.

Doe and Fawn

Here is another photo of the doe and her baby. I always love to see wildlife anythere that I can. The mountains might be my favorite, but I love all wildlife -deserts, oceans, coast, plains, - in all of our 50 states, and all of the world. I think it is one of our most important products in the world, and we are losing more of it every minute. We did see some wildflowers - Indian paintbrush, wild grasses, lillies, lupines and more that I couldn't name. One of my favorite sayings is one by Henry David Thoreau "In wilderness is the preservation of the world."

Up the Mountain

It was a beautiful, winding drive up the mountain to the Ridge that even included a tunnel. (Jan's head in the mirror.) There were wonderful vistas off in the distance each time we went around another bend in the road, that we would stop and look at. There were trees everywhere, sometimes obscuring the views. We even saw a mama deer and her fawn. The fawn is in this shot with a moutain behind it.

Hurricane Ridge

We have finally made it to the day when we will see Hurricane Ridge. Hurricane Ridge is about 20 miles from Port Angeles. You wouldn't have thought of a high mountain being that close to a port with huge ships coming into it. There is a visitors center that had an old cabin like was used back in the days when Lewis & Clark first came to this area. The only totum pole on my whole trip was there as seen in this photo, and it was an old one, as well as an old dug-out canue. There are some nice photos of Port Angeles and Hurricane Ridge at this web site

Rowdy Hotel Guests

Photo of old ship's bell on the warf in a small park.

After deciding to spend the night in Port Angeles we had a bit of trouble finding a hotel. We finally did and it was a nice hotel, or would have been if it hadn't been for the other guests being so rowdy, noisy, and just down right rude. My thanks to the hotel staff that did their best to keep an obnoxious bunch of boys under control when the chaperons of the boys decided to let them take over the hotel. I think they were a group of some sort of ball players - baseball, basketball, football- who knows. I'm not good at ballgame sports. My son was into cars, horses, and snowmobiles. The boys took over the swimming pool (which was fine, boys do need to run off excess energy) but they then decided to try to run all the adults out of the hot tub. That was just down right rude. And their chaperons didn't seem to care. Thankfully someone complained to the manager who made them get out, but as soon as it would be empty, in they would go again, not allowing any adults time in the hot tub. These same hooligans played ball in the parking lot, throwing balls against other peoples cars, and the next morning at the breakfast bar they tried to take everything offered by the hotel, not allowing other guests to have their share. Again,my thanks to the hotel staff for doing the best they could under these circumstances. We did have a nice room with comfortable beds and got a good nights sleep.


We did see some of the wildlife in the area while walking along the warf in Port Angeles. Of course there are raccoons in all areas of the U.S. - or so it seems, but they are kind of cute, even if an unwanted pest most of the time. This mama coon was teaching her 2 babies how to beg behind a cafe. Not a good idea but we couldn't resist taking their photos. We, also, saw several Canadan geese flying over the water.

Port Angeles

A few miles above Lake Crescent we came to the city of Port Angeles. Port Angeles is one of the northern most citys in Washington. From there you can catch a ferry, cross Strait of Juan de Fuca, and dock in Victoria, Canada. Regretably we did not have the time to take the ferry to Canada. I will save that trip for another time. (Remember it is another country, and now you need a passport to go there. Even for just a day visit.) In this photo you can see one of the ferrys. They were huge. We wern't able to get real close but did get some shots as some came in on there return from Canada. We visited some gift shops, had a bite to eat, and decided we would spend the night in Port Angeles as it was to late in the day to see Hurricane Ridge in Olympic Park, which was to be the high point of the whole trip.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Lake Crescent

After leaving the Hoh Forest and River we went north, again, for a very pleasent drive along Lake Crescent. It seems to be a long, sort-of narrow lake as you make the drive along it on the highway. It shimmers and looks like it has jewels in it in light to deep blues and greens. The lake is a glacier lake carved out by a glacier many many long years ago. I simply could not get over the colors in the lake. It was so clear and beautiful. But we were lucky that we had a nice blue sky making for a bright day to bring out the colors. I had never seen glacier waters before and now I understood why everyone raved about them. There were mountains all around the edge of the lake making for wonderful photos.

Here is a cute sign we saw near a gift shop close to the Hoh Forest and River. Farther down the road was a park-like setting that begged to have me take it's photo.

This is an odd shaped part of a tree trunk we found while on our hike. We couldn't decide if it looked like a huge bat, or a weird bird. And it was really big. About 8 feet tall and just as wide. There are lots of animals in the Hoh forest and Olympic National Park. We did see some birds, squirrels, and deer. But I didn't get to see any of the Roosevelt elk that live in the Hoh and Park. There are also bear, mountain lions, bobcat, martins, fishers (like a martin) chipmunks, squirrels, snow moles, (that live under many feet of snow in winter) salamanders, trout, salmon, and of course the banana slugs. (I didn't get a photo of the slugs. They were to gross.)

This is my niece, Cyndi, and I taking a break on a wooden bench. We had been on a hike but were about to decide we had gone for enough. Cyndi and Jan had been in a car accident just 3 days before I got to Oregon. Both of them were having a lot of back, shoulder, hip, and neck pain from when they had been rear ended. It was a bit upsetting to them that they were unable to do as much walking and hiking as they would have liked to do. I, also, wasn't able to do as much as I wanted to. I always have back pain do to having scoliosis and sciatica. But I try not to let it get me down and do as much as I can. Regardless of our hurts and aches we were determined to enjoy our trip. And we did.

More Hoh

Here is a photo of the tool shed covered in moss, ferns, and lechen. Most of the trees in the Hoh Rain Forest are hemlock, spruce, Douglas Fir, maples, alders, and cedar. It has almost a tropical feel to it. A lot of the trees are old growth trees making them ancient; even older than I am. Some are thought to be over 500 years old. But if you plant one it will grow faster than any where in U. S. due to the rainfall, which can be over 100 inches a year. (And here in New Mexico we are thankful for 3 or 4 inches a year.) A couple of the trees we saw were over 100 feet tall. There are all kinds of other plants - huckleberry, blackberry, trillium oxalis,

Hoh Rain Forest

We were up and on the go again. Still heading north but with a long side trip into the Hoh Rain Forest. The rain forests in Washington are the only rain forests in the continental United States. And I was disappointed as it wasn't raining. But still it was very enjoyable and beautiful to see. Everything, and I mean everything was covered with moss, and ferns. Everything was green, so very, very green, an almost jewel-like green. It was so different to the forests we have here in New Mexico. I was almost afraid to step off the trails because the undergrowth was so thick and I was sure I would get lost. The trees were so tall and the plants and scrubs so thick it was hard to see the sky and sun, so that you could tell the four directions. Even the pay phone booth and a tool shed were covered in moss and ferns. We followed the Hoh River on a lot of this journey and it was a clear, sparkling river, not running real fast as it was August but neither was it wasting any time.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Icky Party

By now we were tired and in Forks, Washington and ready to find our hotel. My guide, (Jan) had made reservations at the Forks Motel. It was a nice room, and there was a swiming pool. Since we had been wimpy about swiming in cold ocean water, we were determined to swim in the pool. It was fun and relaxing. After the swim we went back to our room and Jan promply demanded first rights to the shower. That was fine by me even if I was a bit cool and clammy. Surprisingly Jan was out in a flash, or so it seemed. And then she insisted that Cyndi had to have hers next as 'she wasn't feeling well'. OK. Again I agreed. I was thinking of myself anyway. If I was the last one in, I could take as long as I wanted. As I waited for Cyndi I flipped through the channels on the TV and wondered what we would have for supper, and what had become of those birthday cakes. But I was so relaxed and enjoying my trip I wasn't going to let anything bother me. Ha! Ha!

As I came out of a long, soaking, relaxing shower and was totally at ease with my self and the world I heard Jan and Cyndi yell, "ICKY PARTY!!!!!!!!". (Remember it is my birthday.)

OH! NO! I hadn't heard that cry in many years. We had icky parties when we were kids. And now I knew I was in for a evening of fun, jokes, and silly gifts.

While I had showered Jan and Cyndi had set out the picnic left overs for supper - ham, salads, fruit, chips, ect as well as the 3 little birthday cakes. But first we had to put on party hats, and blow silly whisles, and do dumb party games for dumb party favors. Then I had to open my gifts. A small black beany horse, some material that had horses on it, and a Grow a Pony. (You put this itty bitty pony about 1 inch in size in a big pan of water and it grows. Took about 4 days but it was about 600 times bigger. It actually worked. Then when you take out of water it takes about a week and it srinks back to original size.) Most were stuff form the dollar store except the materianl which was from a garage sale.

For an icky party nothing can be expensive.

At long last the day had ended and I got to go to bed. With a tummy full of cake.

(That is Jan, my sister, and myself in the photo. Remember we had been traveling all day, and had showered but not done anything with our hair, ect.)

Saturday, January 12, 2008


Me at Kalaloch Beach


You can find several of these signs on all the beachs warning about the logs coming in out of the water.

More of Day 3

After the picnic on day 3 we traveled on north to Kalaloch Beach (my guide informed me it was pronounced Clay-lock) - from the mossy trees to the open coast. I am finding out that the trip up the Washington coast has some very unique country and is very interesting.

It was the first time I had seen the ocean in about 4 years. I was thrilled. We took the short hike down to the waters edge, sat on an old log, pulled off our shoes and rolled up our jeans. I couldn't wait to wade into the ocean. But was I surprised! Now I understood why Jan said we wouldn't need our swim suits at the beech. That water was way too cold to get more than our toes into it. There were people who had on swim suits or shorts and were getting wet. Jan said they were probably local people who did it frequently and were used to how cold the water was.

But regardless of the chill (and remember it was August) we waded, made tracks in the wet sand, and looked for sea shells. The tide was coming in and we didn't find anything but broken shells. I took lots of photos of the waves coming into the shore and of the sun just starting to think about sinking toward the west, as well as a few brave kids playing in the surf and building sand castles.

Interestingly there were big, tall trees that came almost down to the shore, leaving only a few feet of sand that varied from 3 or 4 feet up to about 50 feet for the beech area. I was intrigued by this as most of my visits to the beach had been in Florida and southern California where there were usually houses down to the shore or beach's. I had always seen photos of the trees and cliffs by the shore and always wanted to see it. Now I was.
There were lots of logs laying everywhere. Great big logs that had once been great big trees. My guide said that sometimes trees fall off of cliffs and get into to the ocean. Other times the logs are lost from logging operations near the shore, or from barges that carry logs on them or they might have been sunk in the ocean for hundreds of years. With the changing of tides and storms they are unburied and wash ashore.
Every year a few people are killed when they are playing on the beech and don't notice that there is a log coming in to shore. They are very heavy but the waves and water can throw them tremendous distances making dangerous missiles out of them.


My many many chores have distrated me from writing about my trip to Oregon. I will try to continue with the tale. But a reminder - sometimes chores do get in the way of things we want to do. Chores like feeding, cleaning out pens, refilling water buckets, cleaning house, playing with horses, dogs, and cats, and putting a jigsaw puzzle together.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Foal in Jacket

Here is the foal in the jacket.

Baby Horse

I'm not writing about my trip today. On Saturday my neighbors had a surprise waiting for them when they went to feed their horses. They knew the mare was expecting but didn't think the baby would come this soon. She has some strange markings on her face but is really cute. It was cool and there was a storm coming so we put a jacket on her to help keep her warm as none of the feedstores in our area had regular foal blankets. She and her parents are probably more Mustang than anything else

Friday, January 04, 2008


Jan fixing our picnic lunch and Cyndi helping.