Hiking Barlow Wayside Park in Mt. Hood National Forest

hiking forest trail

Barlow Wayside Trail

You are about to enter a forested wonderland where everything is part of a whole – every plant, animal, tree, fish, bird, bug, and slug has its place…so, says Clackamas County and Bureau of Land Management Sandy Ridge Trail System.

The scent of the forest draws me every time I am in the Pacific Northwest. And, this little gem,

Barlow Wayside Park

that once used to be the Barlow Road, the last segment on the Oregon Trail, is my new favorite outdoor activity destination.

Hiking

on the Little Joe Loop is a very easy and enjoyable trail to navigate as are the Falls Loop and Northern Loop trails. While this park is a short way from Highway 26 on the way to Mt. Hood, it is easy to find and is well marked by road signs.
Here’s what we saw on our riparian adventure…

mushrooms on pine - hiking at Barlow Wayside Park

Mushrooms on pine nurse log

mushroom curly close - hiking at Barlow Wayside Park

Curly forest mushrooms

mushrooms on nurse log - hiking at Barlow Wayside Park

Mushrooms on nurse log

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mushrooms are the surface “fruit” that carry spores for propagation. Some mushrooms grow on organic matter (dead trees), while others in the soil are part of a larger, unseen underground fungus organism.

Nurse logs are fallen trees that become a resource of nutrient rich organic matter, water, and insects that vegetation and animals depend on.

Source:  Clackamas County

As I am not a mushroom expert, I don’t know if these are edible. If they are, one couldn’t possibly go hungry in this forest.

Delightful Dahlias Worth the Visit

Delightful dahlias took our breath away when we attended the

Annual Dahlias Festival

Watch the video to see a sampling of the blooms on display. They are really remarkable.

Swan Island Dahlias sponsors the festival and are celebrating their 89th year. Canby, Oregon, the dahlia capital of America is located in Central Oregon. It is a one-hour drive south of Portland.

You can learn how to grow these gems at this annual event and place orders for tubers (strangely resembling sweet potatoes) that will be delivered in the spring next year. They teach where and when to plant, soil preparation and planting, staking, watering, fertilizer, digging, and winter storage. For more information you can visit the Swan Island Dahlias website at www.dahlias.com.

The flowers bloom in August and September, not in the spring like many other flower species. They are a hearty and long-lasting flower that should bring a lot of enjoyment.

Location is a state of mind

Location is a state of mind

While contemplating the state of my existence today, I realized that location is a state of mind. We have owned our Pacific Northwest home for about seven years (as long as our youngest grandchild is old), and it just seems to get better the more we spend time here.

I am enjoying the river and deck from our home on the Sandy River in Oregon. It is approaching dusk. We have just enjoyed a meal that was prepared almost a year ago and frozen for a later date. Today was the later date. Damn, I am a good cook! The meal , Shepherd’s Pie, was probably made more enjoyable because I didn’t have to think about ingredients, grocery shopping, or food preparation. I simply had to thaw, throw a salad together, decant the wine, serve al fresco and simply enjoy the sound of the river and enjoy the sunset. The mosquitoes are not an issue tonight, thank goodness.

The desire to travel and explore foreign lands doesn’t go away. But, simply enjoying the simple life that we can sometimes take for granted, speaks volumes to my heart.

I’m listening…

 

Freesia at the Flower Stall in Downtown Portland

The Flower Stall in Downtown Portland

On a recent photography trip to Portland, Oregon, the freesia was in bloom along with many other locally grown gems. There are the regular weekly customers, as well as tourists to enjoy this flower stall 365 days a year and in all kinds of weather.

The magical florist was creating spellbinding floral creations for all to enjoy. You can visit their website here.

flower stall in Downtown Portland Oregon

Spellbound Flowers in Downtown Portland Oregon

Rose from the Rose City

A locally grown rose from the Rose Capital City

florist arranging flowers

The magical florist creating spellbinding flower creations

Customer smells fragrant freesia

Customer smells fragrant freesia

Heceta Head Lighthouse Lamp Action Video

Today’s topic is about the lamp in the Heceta Head Lighthouse, located in Yachats, Oregon. I have created a fusion hybrid eProduct that I think you will find interesting. Even though I live in Tustin, which is in Orange County California, I travel extensively in the Pacific Northwest and go on a lighthouse pilgrimage every year.

Lighthouse Facts

Ancient lighthouses were open fires built on hilltops and placed on platforms so that they could be seen from far away. The platforms led to the development of the lighthouse towers that we know today. Wood pyres or burning coal, led to whale, colza, olive or vegetable oils for fueling the lights.

At the turn of the 18th century, lighthouse development increased due to the growth in transatlantic commerce.

The electric light was used in 1875, with steam-driven magneto, gas illumination, and vaporized oil burners also in use.

French physicist and engineer, Augustin-Jean Fresnel designed the multipart Fresnel lens. With the development of a large aperture and a short focal length (I can related to this concept because we use aperture and focal length in photography), there is less volume and materials required for production. It was thinner than a conventional lens. It also captures more oblique light from a light source, which allows the light to be visible over greater distances. The first Fresnel lens was used in 1823 and the light was seen more than 20 miles out.

The source of light is the lamp (which you will see in the video posted here). The concentration of light is the lens or optic.

Fresnel lenses are ranked in order, based on the focal length and measure of refracting power. First order is the largest, most powerful and expensive with the longest focal length. Sixth order is the smallest of them all. Coastal lighthouses generally use 1st, 2nd, or 3rd order lenses. Harbor lights and beacons use 4th, 5th or 6th order lenses.

Lighthouses are being replaced with new technology like Vega Lights/LEDs that don’t require tower structures. They don’t require maintenance and operate more reliably.

If you have read this far and haven’t fallen asleep, I thank you for your attention. Please email me to receive your

reward

– a digital file of a lighthouse from my collection.

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Watch for these upcoming articles:

The Ghost and the Innkeeper
Heceta Head Lighthouse Renovation (Before and After with photos)
United States Lighthouse Society Passport – The Collecting Game

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Information resource – Wikipedia

Portland Pedicab Tour

Portland Pedicab tour in OregonThe most fun way to experience a brewery tour in Portland, Oregon, is to be pedaled from brewery to brewery by a young and nubile rider. This is an eco-friendly transportation and marketing alternative.

I found out about this PDX Pedicab tour through Groupon, where I purchased the deal for a tour group that I was leading on one of our Pacific Northwest tours last fall. Here is their website link.

Imagine enjoying fresh air and city sites from your cab while touring a number of (well…three) local distilleries and sampling their brews. You also learn the history of their brewery and their spirits.

As you may know, Portland has become a world-renowned center for microbreweries and the unofficial beer capital of the U.S. with more breweries than any other city in the country – 32 within the city limits and 38 if you count the entire metropolitan area. With a renaissance of craft-brewing in Portland since the 1980’s, it has been called “Beervana” and “Munich on the Williamette”.

Don’t forget to tip your rider. They live on tips, which are not included in the price of your tour. They work hard for your enjoyment!