Saturday, March 29, 2008

University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History

The Plein Air Group were painting this week at the University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History. I didn't see them there but they may have finished there are before I arrived or were painting behind the building. I only had a few minutes to shoot these pictures because we had just made a Costco run and had frozen food in the car.

Speaking of runs this statue is titled "Spring Run" and depicts a Native American woman pulling a Salmon from the river. Mack Holman did this bronze in 2001 for the Museum.

This trellis of wrought iron was interesting and I noticed it as I walked into the courtyard. I'm not sure it was the intent, but it looks like people standing on each others shoulders. When you think about it that's really what history is all about. It reminded me of the excellent Ken Follett book "Pillars of the Earth" and it makes me wonder how we judge success. Ken has probably made millions from his book and I wonder how much the person who made that trellis got for his/her efforts. Then again Ken worked hard to make his book more than a symbol but a fleshed out piece of descriptive art.

The courtyard had a north and south portico leading into the small but beautiful open space. There was also a portico over the entrance to the museum on the east side of the courtyard.

Each portico had a figure adorning the apex of the roof and all facing the courtyard. This is the South figure and depicts an Eagle.

The East portico at the entrance of the museum has a Salmon with its hooked jaws, hump back and fins.

I think this is a wolf on the North portico.

The stone and plaque on the West side of the courtyard notes that this is "The Glenn Starlin Courtyard 1990."
"Glenn Starlin was a leader on the University of Oregon campus and part of the generation that established Oregon as a major research university," Dean Tim Gleason said. "Over the years, he worked closely with the broadcast faculty in the School to enhance the teaching of broadcasting at Oregon."

So what is this funny looking thing in the courtyard? I first thought it was a cross section of an old growth tree. For the answer look at the next picture.

It's the Willamette Meteorite the largest meteorite found in one piece in North America

"The iron-nickel Willamette Meteorite, discovered in the U.S. state of Oregon, is the largest meteorite found in the United States, and the sixth largest in the world. No impact crater was preserved at the discovery site; it is possible that the meteorite landed in what is now Canada and was transported to where it was found by moving ice sheets.

Physical characteristics

The Willamette Meteorite weighs about 32,000 pounds or 15.5 tons. It is classified as a type III iron meteorite, being composed of over 91% iron and about 8% nickel, with traces of cobalt and phosphorus. The approximate dimensions of the meteorite are 10 feet (3.05 m) tall by 6.5 feet (1.98 m) wide by 4.25 feet (1.3 m) deep. The distinctive pitting on the surface of the meteorite is believed to have resulted from both its high-speed atmospheric entry and subsequent weathering. In the case of weathering, rainwater interacted with the mineral troilite, resulting in a form of sulfuric acid which slowly dissolved portions of the meteorite. This resulted (over a very long period) in many of the pits that are visible today." source Wikipedia

Amazing! but check out the real deal I found online

Well that's about it but I should add the frozen food didn't melt but I did fine one cracked egg.....

Scrabble Score ~ Scrabble Queen 376 ~ The Contender 334

Quote of the Day ~
“I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.”

Jack London quotes (American short-story Writer and Novelist whose works deal romantically with elemental struggles for survival. One of the most extensively translated of American authors. 1876-1916)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Cottage Grove to London and Beyond

Well it wasn't a perfect day for a drive but it was a perfect day to take a drive. Cabin fever is no joke and not a bit fun, so we went out to Cottage Grove Lake.

As we were approaching the dam we came across a trillium lovers paradise. They were all over this fern and moss covered hill.

Definitely a lot of moss and very healthy looking moss.

So this must also be moss heaven.

The Trilliums were marvelous when I was finally able to get a little closer but it wasn't easy. As it turns out this was also blackberry heaven and those thorny brambles are not very friendly.

So I did manage a couple of close-ups.

I thought the smoothness of this wood under the bark was pretty cool.

Well now we know when trout season is (did you get that Jim if not Michelle would you clue in your dad) .

And finally there was the dam and a great view from below.

It is a very aerodynamic looking dam with nice curves and sharp angles.

Near the base of the dam is a control station for the generation of energy.

Of course I needed a close-up of these buds.

We did discover at the top of the dam that it was a project of the U.S. Army - Corps of Engineers and was finished in 1986. We also see that it is CGD-1R. I suppose that means Cottage Grove Dam 1 Reservoir. I was careful not to disturb the marker.

Looking downstream we can see a very steady flow of water. Sharyn tells me they are saying that the snow pack is high and the rivers will be full. Considering it's still cold in the mountains and the lake is high tells me we are in for a very green summer (where they water)

They do not suggest diving from the top of the dam on the lake side....

.... here's why.

A longer look out over the lake shows the beauty of the setting and the safety boom guarding the area leading into the dam.

There are some farms north of the lake just off of the road so I stopped and for a picture of this one.

Further past the lake is the town of London and this cool barn.

So we drove a little further to the town then turned around to get home. I like this barn but it was a little far away and I didn't have Isaac's telephoto lens today so I took the picture anyway.

We decided to come back a more southerly way and where we turned to go toward Yoncalla I just had to get this picture. The interesting thing is that it was snowing when I took this shot so it is not fuzzy just snowy.

Across the street was this little place that reminded me of the salt box homes I saw in New England - only this was smaller.

Well we did get over the hill but on the way down, just past the "County Maintenance Ends Here" sign, was a washout of half the road.

We got past the washout OK but then saw a house that looked about in the same shape as the road. It looked like it was occupied by the Blackberry family.

I just love the small ranches of Oregon where hay is a surplus and the livestock eats fresh feed most of the year.

This is how I'd love to live (if I had farmhands to do all the work) but never will.

I just love the shape of this road. I love curves and this one is a little like the shape of the Cottage Grove Lake Dam. Too cool!

Scrabble Score Sharyn - 312 Paul 322

Quote of the Day
“The winds of change are always blowing
And every time I try to stay
The winds of change continue blowing
And they just carry me away.” ~ Willie Nelson

Monday, March 24, 2008

From Fern Ridge to Battle Creek

It was a nice day today sunshine and warm weather (by Oregon standards) so we headed out to a spot a friend told me about at the Fern Ridge Wildlife Area maintained by Oregon Fish and Wildlife. The spot we stopped at was the Coyote Creek Nature Trail. Coyote Creek was up and flowing with sedimented water and a few fallen trees in the creek.

"Fern Ridge Wildlife Area was created in 1957 under a license agreement between the Corps of Engineers and Oregon Game Commission (now Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife- ODFW). The agreement provides authority for the state to "develop, conserve, and manage all wildlife resources on a 5,010 acre portion of the 12,716 acres owned by the USACE around the reservoir.

Management emphasis on the wildlife area centers primarily around waterfowl and wetlands habitat management to provide food, water, and sanctuary for wintering waterfowl, shorebirds, and other wildlife. The expansive marsh and flyway proximity in the southern Willamette Valley are ideally suited for support of many wetland wildlife species. Active management techniques are combined with protective measures to provide a habitat base that supports a diverse array of wildlife. Bird life is particularly rich on the area with over 250 species of birds utilizing the area at some point in their life cycle either as resident and nesting birds or as seasonal migrants."

Fern Ridge got its name for a reason and here is one. Ferns are all over this wetlands area.

Between the ferns and moss there are places you can't even see the bark on the tree branches.

The second stop at Fern Ridge Wildlife Viewing area was this open wetlands.

This was a very marshy area with lots of croaking frogs and reeds.

I liked these cattails that were a little distance away but thanks to Isaac's telephoto lens they were in photo reach.

There are canals in the area I suspect the are used to carry overflow to Fern Ridge Reservoir a short distance away.

I did find this mushroom that was a deep purple or possibly brow that appeared black when I first spotted it.

We took a back road home through the town of Crow and along the drive we spotted this covered bridge on Battle Creek Road. The creek it crosses is the same Coyote Creek we visited at Fern Ridge Wildlife Area.

It was a nice bridge in a beautiful setting and away from traffic.

There was a pond near where we parked and again it was brown this time of year with silt and tannin from the leaves that fell in the fall.

Can you find the bark on this tree?

Scrabble Score - Sharyn (Scrabble Queen) 350 ~ The Contender (Paul) 319

Quote of the Day
"Democrats never agree on anything, that's why they're Democrats. If they agreed with each other, they would be Republicans." ~ Will Rogers


©Paul Viel