Thursday, July 30, 2009

Day Trip in the Old Growth Forest

Just a little day trip today but before we left I took a few pictures of our flowers.

The white Asiatic lilies are starting to open and these are the new plants that came from the original group in the front yard. The first year's plants are in the back year and about seven feet tall. These are the shorter plants in the front about three feet tall.

I find it interesting these volunteers came up from last year's crop of ...


New this year are the Canna Lilies Sharyn put in next to the front porch.

The pink/red Asiatic lilies are almost done but still look great in this photograph.

Our first stop for the trip was at out local AM/PM gas station and it looks like we aren't the only ones on the road today.

When we got to Cougar Dam there was this structure above the water and we found out it is a "Wet Well" used to control the temperature of the out going water.:

Bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) are native to the McKenzie Basin and inhabit Cougar Reservoir and the South Fork McKenzie above the reservoir. The Columbia River distinct population segment, which includes McKenzie River bull trout, was listed as threatened under the ESA in June of 1998. Construction of the temperature control facilities required lowering the reservoir below minimum pool, reducing the area from 1260 acres to approximately 106 acres from April 2002 through December 2004.

During spring and summer, the sun warms the surface water of Cougar Reservoir, but water near the bottom remains cold. Because the intakes for the powerhouse and regulating outlet are deep, the South Fork of the McKenzie River below the dam was unnaturally cold during the summer, blocking salmon migration and reducing productivity in the river below the dam.

During the fall and early winter as the reservoir level dropped, warm surface water reached the intakes. Water released from the dam was unnaturally warm causing Chinook salmon eggs to hatch several months early decreasing their survival.

The United States of America Corps of Engineers modified the intake tower by building a 302 foot tall wet well. There are three slots in the wet well, each equipped with three overlapping gates. The gates slide up and down allowing selective withdrawal of water from various levels of the reservoir. The water is mixed to the desired temperature and discharged through the existing pen stock and regulating outlet. This enables the Corps to control the temperature of the water discharged below the dam, and reduce impacts in South Fork McKenzie River and McKenzie River downstream of the project.

The Cougar Lake (Cougar Reservoir) is long and surrounded by the Cascade Range foothills.

Length 6 miles
Surface area 1,280 acres
Water volume 219,000 acre·ft

Above the Dam is this Rock Bluff cut from the hill next to the dam.

There is a cool little island not far from the dam...

... and great for pictures.

We drove south along the lake which eventually becomes the South Fork of the McKenzie River (the lake is actually just a man-made obstruction used to control the water flowing downstream and create some recreational opportunity.

The river is still flowing pretty false so I did some slow exposure photographs to give some idea of the movement of the water.

I did speed up the exposure to also show the clarity of the McKenzie river this time of year.

Thee was, of course, the obligatory mossy undergrowth.

Then there is the mini-Musemobile (Our Honda) looking great through the trees.

Unlike the upturned roots on the coast at shore acres, these exposed roots are not bleached by the sun but look almost polished.

For Matt and Diana and other Hard Rock Cafe lovers I stopped for this shot of the Hard Rock Group Site.

A little later we stopped to get a picture of this grouse crossing the road. It's amazing how few cars were on the road. It took probably five minutes to park the car and walk back for this shot of the grouse.

This road,Aufderheide Drive, was formerly called Forest Road 19 and sometimes called the "Box Canyon Road", is a popular 145 mile loop from the Eugene-Springfield area.

The drive named after and dedicated to the memory of Robert Aufderheide who was Willamette National Forest Supervisor from 1954 until his death in 1959.

I guess I'm getting more pictures of bugs on flowers lately, this bug is yet to be identified.

During his career, Aufderheide was instrumental in helping the Forest Service complete the transition from custodial management to professional intensive forest management under multiple-use principles.

Constitution Grove, dedicated 1987 in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution.

A self-guided trail leads you through this grove of 200 year old trees which were just seedlings when our country's founding fathers drafted and signed this important document.

Plaques with the names of the original signers are placed on these old growth trees along the trail.

Sharyn read the information as I ran around taking pictures.

We stopped a little farther down the road for some pictures of the other major river flowing out of this mountain. This time it was the Willamette.

I liked the pinkish rock in the water that looked a lot like a porpoise.

Finally in Oakridge we stopped at Matzatlan restaurant on School Street for some great tasting food.

In a field about a mile from our house we discovered why blowing straw was showing up in our yard. Seven huge John Deere Turbo Weed Whackers were standing in a newly mowed field.

Scrabble Score - She whomped me again *sigh*

Quote of the Day ~
You might as well try and dam Niagara Falls with toothpicks as to stop the reform wave sweeping our land. ~ Billy Sunday

Monday, July 27, 2009

Hot Day - Cool River

Yes that's the barn across the Umpqua River from the Elkton RV park.

Since it was hot at home and cold on the coast we split the difference and stopped in Elkton for a couple of days. The river was great and the shade of the trees helped but it was warm... we opened the awning on the Musemobile and turned on the A/C for a comfortable 75 degrees.

The RV park was full and we were lucky to get a spot. There were a few families having get togethers like this one. Seemed like Grandparents and at least three children and several grandchildren...

... most spent as much time on the river fishing or just dipping in to cool off.

We were told the water was "bath tub warm" by one of the swimmers. I took that to mean it wasn't frigid enough to turn a person blue.

These two Kayaks looked like they would be great for sliding down the faster moving sections of the river and maybe the smaller falls.

Even the dogs got into the act.

This guy seemed to be happy as a clam fishing for small mouth bass and watching all the activity.

This time of year the water is crystal clear and beautifully blue.

I guess you don't even need a boat to ride the river...

These two took off in the faster water...

... bobbing and gaining speed as they went.

Walking back I took a picture of their colorful beach towels and sunglasses for my art pic of the blog.

Up on the hill above the river most of the RV's rested in the shade and some in the sun.

Just like in Alsea (the last blog) I got a picture of a bee doing what bees do, cross pollinate.

This young man was wearing a "Grumpy" tee shirt and reminded me of Matt's "Grumpy" shirt a few years ago.

I really liked this delicate white flower but I'm not sure what it was.

I do know Queen Anne's Lace but not sure I ever realized what it looks like unfolding. It starts as a tight ball...

... then slowly opens, at times looking like a birds nest...

... then like an open bowl...

... finally opening up into a beautiful white umbrella.

Scrabble Score ~ Scrabble Queen 323 _ The Contender 347

Quote of the Day ~
It gave me a moment of exquisite satisfaction to find myself moving away from civilisation in this rude canvas canoe of a model that has served primitive races since men first went to sea. ~ Edmund John Millington Synge (16 April 1871 – 24 March 1909) was an Irish playwright, poet, prose writer, and collector of folklore. He is best known for the play The Playboy of the Western World, which caused riots during its opening run at the Abbey theater. Synge wrote many well-known plays, including "Riders to the Sea", which is often considered to be his strongest literary work.


©Paul Viel