Thursday, July 26, 2012

Kayak Picnic At Prineville Reservoir

We finally broke out the double kayak and loaded it up in the truck along with a nice little picnic lunch. We went to the south west finger of the Prineville Reservoir and put the kayak in there.  The water was a little low and it was quite muddy at the bank but we made it without any mishaps.

We saw some geese as we paddled toward the main body of water.

Then we saw a big bird soaring by.  It had a black (or dark) body with a white head and tail.  Hint:  there are a lot of them in Alaska. 

 As we pulled past one cove we saw it again as it lit in a tree.

Bald eagle!

We found a pretty little mini-meadow and pulled in.

We did a quick lookaround and found a likely spot to plop our picnic stuff down.  The spot is just behind that bigger tree to the left.

And here's the view from our spot looking into the mini meadow.

The view from our spot out to the reservoir.

Our picnic essentials:  Hubby's pickled onions and mushrooms; our Roseburg friend's homemade dill pickles; and a bottle of wine another friend brought us when he visited last Sunday.  The wine is made with grapes grown on his property in Lodi (but he's not the wine maker).  Yummy!

Looking up.  So peaceful.

And finally it was time to head back down the little finger of the reservoir.

A sea gull we got fairly close to.

And then probably a little too close for comfort!

Such beautiful views.

And finally back to the truck parked in the parking lot.  If you look closely you can see the tail end of it. (Probably more so if you click on the picture to enlarge.)

Another great summer day in Central Oregon!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

And Then There Were Six

Six blossoms on the little viola!  Click here for the other stories about this little plant.

It is obviously doing great.  I'm keeping my eye out for another but haven't seen one yet.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

More Wild Things

Today we decided to try and find a different place to gather firewood.  As usual we brought a little picnic with us so even if we didn't find anything we could still have a nice little snack in a beautiful setting.

We went out the usual way but instead of turning on our usual turn off we went straight.  We didn't find anything that way and eventually started heading back towards the other area where we have been successful in the past.

However it started getting a little later and by this time we'd been driving for a couple of hours.  We had just decided to find a spot for lunch when we saw some wild horses.

This was a different band from the first one we saw.  This time I saw the herd stallion.  He kept a watchful eye on me as I got out of the truck to switch lenses to the zoom (I remembered to take my camera bag with me this time).  As soon as I started moving on the road to get a better shot he started moving the herd into the thicker part of the woods.

This shot was hurried and blurred a little.  I tried to fix it once we got home.  Too bad...  It would have made a good picture!

This band had a few more colored horses.

Check out this mom and her pretty little foal!

 We continued on down the road and found a really nice spot under some trees for our picnic.

It looked like someone had set it up for a camp area.  

We thought it odd that the Forest Service would allow something like this.  But then I thought maybe it's a place where the annual horse census takers camp while they are doing their thing.

We finished lunch and started for home.

Guess what we saw next?

Livestock Guardian Dog!

This one was particularly cute, especially with the stick in his mouth.  I think he wanted to play but I didn't want to distract him from his job.  ;-)  Look in the back on the hill and you can see all the sheep.

Next time I'll stop and take proper pictures instead of taking them through the window of the moving truck.

Just a pretty meadow on the way home.  So peaceful and beautiful.

And then we saw more wildlife when we got home.  Taken from our deck.

A doe and her twin fawns.

So although the wood gathering journey was something of a failure the day itself was not.  Today was a great day!

*Remember you can click on the photos to enlarge and see better!*

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Tomato And Citrus Update

I'm happy to report the tomatoes and citrus are doing well.

Here is photographic proof:  The cherry tomatoes.

And another variety I don't remember.

The Meyer Lemon is doing very well.

There's nothing on the lime tree yet but I did find a couple of oranges on the blood orange tree!

We've been very careful about putting the pots into the garage when the temperatures get too low.  But now that "summer" is here we've moved the citrus to the deck.  We are still moving the tomatoes in and out of the garage, but that is now mostly to protect them from the munching night marauders that dare to come close to the house.  AKA deer.

I am encouraged by the healthy citrus trees.  

Meanwhile the herbs are doing great.  In fact we had a pesto dinner tonight and it was delicious!  

Now excuse me while I go for seconds.  :-)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Searching For Lake Billy Chinook

Today we took a drive towards Madras in search of Lake Billy Chinook.  The map we had was not very good, and as we discovered there don't appear to be any road signs pointing to the lake either.  We first took a turn towards the Pelton Dam area and found this little reservoir.

I think it's the area behind the Pelton Dam but I'm not sure.  

It could be Lake Simtustus, but again, I'm not sure.  We were a little lost.

We continued on the road that somewhat follows the river/reservoirs/lakes/canyon and eventually ended up at the Round Butte Overlook Park just above the Round Butte Dam.  It was pretty amazing!

I think we found Lake Billy Chinook.

So apparently there are three "fingers" that merge at the dam.  The only signs we saw were for The Cove Palisades State Park.  Nowhere did we see anything that said "Lake Billy Chinook", except on our sorry map.

Anyway, it was very pretty.  You can see the lake is an emerald green.  There are a lot of campgrounds and even though there were a lot of people it didn't seem crowded.  Also there were boaters enjoying the lake and there is even a place to rent houseboats.

I think we'll be back!