Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Emile Big Tree Botanical Area

Our latest search involved responding to the Emile Big Tree Botanical Area in the Umpqua Forest east of Glide to try and find one of the "big trees":  the Bill Taft tree. It's supposed to be one of the largest Douglas firs in the area, with a diameter of 9 feet, 10 inches.

We had printed this page from the Forest Service website, thinking the directions would be good enough. Live and learn. 

First off we went too far, but fortunately not too, too far. Just a mile or so. But that meant we got to see the Emile Shelter, a three sided structure for hikers to get out of the weather.

There's Hubby getting the map out to see if he can better figure out where we are supposed to be.

Half the fun of these day trips is to see what kind of wildlife we can find. Here is a mountain quail on the left edge of the road. She had about 15 tiny babies with her. They were so cute. It's really too bad you can't see them better.

Then there were these grouse crossing the road. This is a momma and her babies as well. But her babies are almost full size. At first sight I thought they were chickens!

If you look carefully you will see one of the "baby" grouse in the middle of this picture. (Remember you can click on the picture to enlarge.) 

According to the Forest Service page referenced above there is a trailhead with an "easy" trail leading in to the Bill Taft tree area.

We drove back and forth, up and down, and all around. We could not find the alleged trail head. So we parked on the side of the road in the general area and hiked in. There was no trail.

As we pushed our way to the big trees something snatched my shoelace and made me trip. I got a nice gash on my left calf and a small scrape on my right shin. Souvenirs!

We figured we must be in the right area. These trees were very big.

We found what we think may be the Bill Taft tree. Hubby laid down to try and guesstimate the diameter. From this angle it looks like it could be the right tree. (Pistol in his waistband is for Yetis.)

Well, if this isn't the Bill Taft tree it doesn't really matter. It was still a very, very large tree!

On the way back to the truck I stopped to pluck a rubus parviflorus, aka thimbleberry. I guess it wasn't quite ripe yet. It was kind of sweet yet at the same time had a tartness to it. 

Though it wasn't on our planned itinerary I suggested we swing by the Grotto Falls to take a look. This is the sign on the road pointing the way towards Emile Shelter and Grotto Falls.

We got to the trailhead of the falls, I think. Unfortunately someone apparently decided to take the sign at the trailhead as a souvenir because there was an empty spot where it should have been. So I didn't know how far the falls was. We walked up a ways until it made a u-turn. We couldn't see where it might have doublebacked again, so at that point we decided to call it a day.

This is from the stream near the trailhead.

On the way home we encountered more wild life. Nothing really exciting but a few teenaged turkey kids crossing the road.

Next time Hubby decides on a road trip I think we'll make sure to do a little more research to find a little more info and make sure we hit it on the first time out. We still had fun though!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Boy's Day Out

Hubby and his friend went for a drive the other day. They went to a few of the places we had been to before. I wasn't invited so these pictures are all taken by him. I thought it would be nice to let the boys go off on their own for a change.

Here's the trail tree going up the Mowich Cave.

A pretty tree at the top of the mountain. Noble fir, grand fir? Beautiful fir!

A muddy spring pond they found near the top of the mountains.

Remember this view? Much the same as one of the road trips when I went along and we were looking for Mowich Cave.

Then they went to Clearwater Falls.

Hubby's turn to be photographed.

At the top of where Clearwater Falls is. 


The water certainly is clear.

After Clearwater Falls they went to Lemolo Forebay 2.

They were gone all day. It was a good opportunity for me to clean the house.

I know they had a good time exploring.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Flying Machines

Today was a little car and plane show is going on at the Roseburg Regional Airport.

It's called Wings & Wheels 2015, featuring classic cars and planes. Here's a link from the airport web site.  

Confession time. I'm not a big fan of air shows or car shows so it doesn't really mean anything to me. I stayed home and Hubby took all these photos.

This is an air tractor 802F. The same plane as a crop duster only this one is set up differently. You can see it's set up for landing on water with the pontoons.

A Douglas DC-3.

A Bell UH-1 helicopter.

Another view.

The same thing only with a different paint job.

I guess he wasn't so excited about the cars either, since he didn't take any photos of them. He's more into helicopters first and then the planes. I don't know if I ever mentioned it before but he does know how to fly a helicopter. He took lessons long, long ago but never finished due to time/money issues. 

Not really much of a show but something to do for a bit on a hot afternoon.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Roundabout Through Cottage Grove Via Rock Creek

Tuesday we packed a light lunch and decided to take a little road trip. Our plan was to go up Rock Creek Road and eventually come out by Cottage Grove and then head back down for home.

The Rock Fish Hatchery was closed. I'll try and find some pictures of that another time, or we'll just go back when it reopens. 

As we headed up the mountains we saw a mama deer nursing her fawn. Mama saw us and took off across the road while baby went in the opposite direction. To our horror it looked like it jumped off a steep ravine. When we looked back it was safe; it wasn't as sheer as we thought.

The view at the tippy top. It was a beautiful day.

As we headed back down towards civilization we stopped to take this pretty picture. This is the coastal fork of the Willamette River.

We probably should have just had our lunch there. As we got closer to Cottage Grove we passed a few parks. Being the tightwad that I am I rebelled at paying $4 or whatever it is to stop for 30 minutes to eat lunch at the park. We ended up just driving home. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015


With much of the west coast in drought situations a rainbow is certainly a welcome sight. Compare these two rainbow shots of the same hill across the street from us. The first was taken March 31st of this year. Notice how beautifully green the hills are.

It is kind of sprinkling right now and this is the picture of the same area I took just a moment ago. (The tall thinner tree on the right is the same.) Notice how yellow and dry the hill is now.

So it is understandable that the rain, no matter how slight, is a welcome sight.