Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Hummingbird Wars

I've been trying to make sure to keep the hummingbird feeder filled because we have several that have been visiting.

They've been keeping us entertained with their swift darting, chipping, and territorial challenging.

Every so often two will get along and share. Maybe they are Hubby and Wife??

And one evening there were actually five at once.  If you look closely here you can see three on the right side, one in the front, and one in the back.

They also seem to appreciate the brightly colored petunias in the boxes on the rail. 

Anybody that has hummingbird feeders knows how fun it is to watch them.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Cyrus Horse Camp

And now for the third installment of the drive we took the other day to the Haystack Reservoir.

When we saw the sign on the road pointing to "Cyrus Horse Camp" I wanted to take a peek.

I was pleasantly surprised because the main area is very high desert; barren with a few scrubby juniper trees and sagebrush. As we got closer we could see bigger trees and an actual spot of green in the desert.

There are three trails of varying distances and difficulties.

There are several campsites, each with a picnic table and fire pit, and 3 to 5 horse pens at each site.

The horse camp was built on the old Cyrus Family Homestead.  There is still an apple orchard there.

I'm not sure what this structure is/was. Perhaps a cistern or well at one time? Maybe part of a silo? The bottom is level with the ground and cemented over. You can see the orchard in the back.

The orchard is fenced in but there is a tie rail to tie your horse and stile so you can go into the orchard.

Another view of the orchard.

In one corner of the grounds is a fenced off water tank fed by a spring.  According to literature the spring may or may not be working.  (Not potable.) It was full and working at our visit.

Here are some of the pens (and views!).

There's the Haystack Reservoir in the distance.

And finally just down the road a bit from the actual camp is more of the orchard, along with a sign (Cyrus Orchard).

It looks like a nice place where I'd like to go for a ride some time. At the time of our visit there were no other people, which is nice. It's not far from our house and the best part is IT'S FREE!!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Gray Butte Cemetery

Yesterday on our trip to see the Haystack Reservoir I told you we passed two interesting spots that I thought deserved further exploring.  Today I will show you the first one we went by, and that is the Gray Butte Cemetery.

What we thought was so interesting about this was first of all it's a very tiny spot, probably about a half acre.  It's in the middle of nowhere.  We thought maybe there were a lot of farms in the area at one time but now it's mostly part of the Crooked River National Grasslands. Then as we walked through the cemetery we noticed how old most of the markers were.  The thought occurred to us that these were the pioneers of the area.

There were a lot of young people, many babies. "BABY BOY LAMSON   D 1901"

This one is hard to read but it says "JENKINS TWIN BABIES".  There is no date.

"THOMAS LEO  Son of W. G & S. J. ROGERS  Died June 18, 1895 Aged 11 y's 3 m's 18 d's" Over the top is the bible scripture of Luke 18:16, "Suffer little children to come unto me."



Some graves just had little markers like this. "JAMES EVAN(??) WHIT(??) Born NOV 21 (?) 1966 (?) Died AUG 23, 1980 (?) Age 13  UNGER FUNERAL CHAPEL-SILVERTON, OREGON"  Notice the dried out rose laid next to the marker.

A few of the graves were a bit fancier with cement covers.

I didn't know it when I took this picture, but I think this may be the first grave from this cemetery. Click here for the link.  It's really hard to tell but you can see it says "HARRY B. SON OF J.S. & E. (?) McMEEN SEP. 8, 1887  NOV. 20, 1890". Sadly, another young child. 

Here's a couple of sites that I found interesting too.  Charles and Hazel Shown, with their birth and death dates.  Between their names and under their surname is their wedding date of June 6, 1926.

Just to the left of that marker is this one, obviously their son, born 17 months after they married, died at age 80.

Here's a view of the cemetery from the north end looking south towards the entrance.

These were also quite interesting. I didn't get the family name but they are all related and their markers looked like chess pieces to me.

Some people may think this is morbid or weird but I found it both soothing and sad.  I felt sad for the parents who lost their young children.  After all we are supposed to die before they do.  And at the same time I was comforted knowing that this is just the end of mortal life on this earth and we will see our loved ones again when it's our turn.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Haystack Reservoir

Today we took a little drive just north of us to an area called Haystack Reservoir.  We decided to take the back road and not the more direct road of Hwy 26.  Before we got to the there we passed two interesting looking spots and decided to come back after visiting the reservoir first.

The road we took was a gravel road.  The landscape is mostly juniper trees and typical high desert dryness everywhere.  We finally turned a corner and there was the reservoir. We took a road that took us to the east side of the lake with a campground. 

Haystack Reservoir is really a tiny little reservoir,  about 233 surface acres.  The campground is a fee area. In my opinion it is kind of a plain area and reminded me of Lake Isabella in California.  It's the kind of place that I always wondered why anyone would want to camp there, especially PAY to camp there.

We didn't pay the fee ($5 day use, $13 for campers) because we just drove in and turned around to drive out.  We didn't even get out of the car. Then we drove to the other side.  Here you can see the barren landscape.

Then we got lucky and saw this osprey with his fresh catch.

That made the trip worthwhile for sure!

This was the western side.

Then we drove back the way we came.  Remember I mentioned we passed two interesting spots on the way to the reservoir.  More on that tomorrow.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Red, Red, Red Adirondack Chairs

I got the adirondack chairs we made painted.  On two of the chairs I started out with an oil based primer. We were going to get a satin oil based paint but after we had already bought the primer at Bi-Mart and didn't see the red color I wanted we went to the Ace Hardware. The lady looked at me kind of weird when I told her what I wanted and we eventually went with a high gloss acrylic latex.  She assured us it would be fine with the oil based primer.

Anyway the primer ran out after two chairs and I decided to just paint the third chair with the colored paint. So in the end two chairs got a coat of primer and two coats of paint, and one chair got two coats of paint. The main difference is some of the knots are a little visible on the unprimered chair.  So what!

Just as a side note you may remember I mentioned we had a little difficulty when assembling the two arm pieces.  I talked to the Home Depot lady who gave the Do It Herself clinic and she mentioned they had the same experience.

The final thing I did was put floor protectors on the bottom of the legs. I made them myself using the leftover cork from my white board info center

It was simply a matter of cutting a piece a bit smaller than the bottom of the 2 x 4 legs and then gluing them on.

Ta daa!!

In retrospect I think the next time I make one of these chairs I will prepaint each of the pieces prior to assembly, then just touch up as needed. Or just get the sprayer out and spray, though that is a mess to clean up.

In any case I love the color.  It was exactly what I was looking for.  I wanted to match the red of my petunias in the deck planters and this paint did just that (Ace "True Red").

I'll probably end up moving the chairs to the back deck but for now I think maybe I'll have my morning coffee in the front tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Visit From The Boys

Last night we had an evening visit from a couple of four legged boys.  First they hung out near the garden.

They couldn't get into the garden so eventually they started meandering away.

Be sure to come back now, you hear?

I see venison!