Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Country Drive Politics a Bug and Two Farms

We have been busy the last few days. It all started with a meeting in Cottage Grove for volunteers for Barack Obama.

We went to Cottage Grove for lunch, ate and the meeting didn't start for a few hours so we took a drive to London (a town east of Cottage Grove.

We stopped to take a picture of a barn and were greeted by a couple of paint horses. 

I got the picture of the barn - it was one I took in a snow flurry last year. It's amazing some of these old barns are still standing. I guess this one is still used because it's not overgrown with blackberry brambles. 

Across the road was this Church names appropriately "The Church at London" 

We got to the end of the paved road and stopped to take a picture of the creek but I didn't like those pictures but I did get this good shot of the Mini-Musemobile,

Driving back I got a picture of some cattails (Scientific name Typh) along the side of the road. I looked them up in Wikipedia and got a few facts.

Typha is a genus of about eleven species of monocotyledonous flowering plants in the monogeneric family, Typhaceae. The genus has a largely Northern Hemisphere distribution, but is essentially cosmopolitan, being found in a variety of wetland habitats. 

These plants are known in British English as bulrush, bullrush or reedmace, and in American English as cattail, punks, or corndog grass. 

Cattails are wetland plants, typically 1 to 7 m tall (T. minima is smaller: 0.5-1 m), with spongy, strap-like leaves and starchy, creeping stems (rhizomes). The leaves are alternate and mostly basal to a simple, jointless stem that eventually bears the flowers. The rhizomes spread horizontally beneath the surface of muddy ground to start new upright growth, and the spread of cattails is an important part of the process of open water bodies being converted to vegetated marshland and eventually dry land.

This is very pretty countryside with many large pieces of land either ranched or farmed. You could tell it's close to Halloween because some of decorations already going up.

We took a road to the north that dead ended at two very beautiful properties, both gated. This drive went up into the trees with no house in sight but I can only imagine from the landscaping it must be large and beautiful.

Next to that property was another with gargoyles atop flagstone columns. Very spooky but the land was fantastically beautiful.

Back down on the main road we spotted some alpacas. I looked these cute little guys up also and found out a little:

The Alpaca (Vicugna pacos) is a domesticated species of South American camelid. It resembles a small llama in superficial appearance.

Alpacas are kept in herds that graze on the level heights of the Andes of Ecuador, southern Peru, northern Bolivia, and northern Chile at an altitude of 3500 to 5000 meters above sea-level, throughout the year. Alpacas are considerably smaller than llamas, and unlike llamas, alpacas are not used as beasts of burden but are valued only for their fiber. Alpaca fiber is used for making knitted and woven items, much as sheep's wool is. These items include blankets, sweaters, hats, gloves, scarves, a wide variety of textiles and ponchos in South America, and sweaters, socks, coats and bedding in other parts of the world. The fiber comes in more than 52 natural colors as classified in Peru, 12 as classified in Australia and 16 as classified in the United States.  Alpacas and llamas differ in that alpacas have straight ears and llamas have banana-shaped ears. Aside from these differences, llamas are on average 1-2 feet taller and proportionally bigger than alpacas.

We got back to Cottage Grove and stopped for a picture of a mural next to a convince store called Lucky's. Pretty cool mural!

We parked next to the building where our meeting would take place and looking up I saw just another indication that Halloween was close. 

In an old antique store there was a display of old suitcases and I got a shot through the window.

Then it was time for the meeting. There were 45 or so volunteers but I just got this shot not wanting to have to get releases from all of the people in the room. It was a good and spirited meeting with instructions on how we needed to urge voters to get out and vote and not take the lead in the polls for granted. 

I also got a shot of this wall planter (I think the foliage is fake but it is very nice.

The meeting was in a room at the Wildflowers cafe a very nice place.

Cottage Grove has murals all over town as this part of a commercial Coka Cola™  mural. Refresh yourself on the mural made me thirsty foe a Coke.

On the way out of town I stopped to get a picture of this really cool barn with an ad for Dr. Pierce's Pleasant Pellets - for your liver. 

Back home I spotted this really big and weird bug. It looked like a really large mutant grasshopper without wings or a termite on steroids. I put down a lighter to give an idea of it's size.


The next day we decided to hunt for gourds at a couple of farms north of town. We met Gail, our neighbor who was going with us, at Country Waffles  for a late breakfast/early lunch. 

We arrived first at Thistledown Farm and while Sharyn and Gail shopped I walked around the farm taking pictures. This statue interested me so I got a little closer.

On one side it was a Native American warrior and ....

... on the other side it was an Owl. It's a very nice piece of work.

This was one of the smaller barns near the statue.

Here is another view.

This is the really big barn next to the market.

I love these flowers.

Next we went to Lone Pine Farms where they had a pumpkin patch and corn field maze, a great family place with lots of thing for the kids including a tractor pulled hayride. 

They had goats of all kinds all around and this cute place to take a picture.

Gail posed on the hayride wagon for me and ...

.. by the spooky water tower.

They even had sluce runs to pan for crystals. It was a fun place and reminded me of some of the places we had gone to when our boys were young and enjoyed the family outings.

Scrabble Score ~ Scrabble Queen 326 - The contender 376 and two bingo's

Quote of the Day ~ 
“Only he can understand what a farm is, what a country is, who shall have sacrificed part of himself to his farm or country, fought to save it, struggled to make it beautiful. Only then will the love of farm or country fill his heart.” ~  Antoine de Saint-Exupery (French Pilot, Writer and Author of 'The Little Prince', 1900-1944)

1 comment:

pinkfairy0001 said...

I wish that Halloween was decorated for so beautifully in this country!


©Paul Viel