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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Goonies are (Almost) Back . . .

Clatsop County Courthouse, Astoria, Oregon This is the Clatsop County Courthouse, shown from the corner of Commercial and 7th. The front of the courthouse is on the left, on Commercial (Avenue/Street) [digression: "streets" have numbers and "avenues" have names, but most people use "street" for both; I am herewith giving up trying to conform to the system], the old County Jail is the small gray building on the right, and the turret peeking over the jail is the Flavel House. The huge tree on the right was in this recent post, and the small protective roof at the corner of the building houses a piece of a huge old-growth tree that's on display here. (I haven't done a post on it yet.) The post office, which I've shown several times, is out of the picture on the left, across the street from the courthouse. The color of the courthouse building seems to brighten up the area unless, I think, you're there on unpleasant official business.

One reason I'm showing this photo today is because the old jail (seen in the beginning of The Goonies movie) will, on June 4-7, 2010, be opening as the Oregon Film Museum. You can read all about it here, and if I'm in town, which I expect to be, I'll try to get a photo of the event. I will not, however, be watching the movie. I already tried that once, and I made it maybe halfway through. Did you watch The Goonies? Did you like it? The film's landmarks are big attractions around here.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Skunk Cabbage

Western Skunk Cabbage in Warrenton, Oregon Western skunk cabbage is blooming. I encountered it in the ditches along the roadsides, and it can be found in many areas locally. I happened to see this patch in Warrenton on my way back from the beach on Sunday.

Western Skunk Cabbage in Warrenton, Oregon
I've seen plenty of skunk cabbage patches, but I don't remember seeing them in bloom before. I wonder if it's because this is an unusually good year for flowers, or if they have a short season, and I happned to catch them on a good day. The large yellow flowers, of course, caught my attention. When I approached to take the pictures, I realized that they are aptly named. I wonder if the smell, too, comes with the flowering season.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Monday, March 29, 2010

High Wind, High Surf Advisory

Wreck of the Peter Iredale, Fort Stevens, Oregon The coast is under high wind and high surf advisories from Sunday night through Monday. The high winds were just beginning and it was still safe to go out on the beach. It's hard to see the blowing sand here, but before I got back to the car, I had sand in my ears, my hair, my clothing, and my camera. Even with the wide angle, I came just short of getting entire length of the wreck of the Peter Iredale. I've included the picture below from February 2008 to show how you can spot the end of the wreckage. Near the center of the photo and touching the horizon are two metal pipes sticking into the air (they look like one in the small version). I'm not sure if they mark the end of the ship or only a spot near the end. The sand ebbs and flows with the elements, and some years, days, or storms, you can see more of the ship than at other times.

Wreck of the Peter Iredale, Fort Stevens, Oregon Clearly, Peter is more photogenic on some days than others, too. I've posted images before, and I still have a few in the archives to come later. But today I wanted to show you the beginning of the storm. It's been rainy, drizzly, cloudy, and now windy, and it seems we have rain forecast all week. I would love to get out there and show you some huge waves, but we'll see how it goes. Even as I drove back along the access road, the police were out "suggesting" that lookers be careful. And I do have respect for big waves.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Big Tree at the Flavel House

Giant old tree at the Flavel House, Astoria, OregonMarch 27, 2010

I've usually been so intent on taking pictures of this lovely old house showing the turrets and the building, that I haven't shown this remarkable tree on the blog until today. It withstood the storm of 2007 that caused its neighboring tree to become so damaged that the remains had to be cut down, and I assume that the remaining tree lost a few branches. I love the upward sweep of the lower limbs. Here is a reference giving some history of these two trees. Unfortunately, we can no longer see them both. I believe the one still standing must be the Port Orford Cedar.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Park with Blossoms

Park with Blossoms, Astoria, Oregon - looking east
At the corner of Commercial and 6th is a small park made just for kids. At the moment, it's wearing cherry blossoms - or I believe that's what they are. This view is looking east along Commercial Avenue with the post office in the background.

It looks nice and warm out, but I'd gone back to the car for my jacket, although several kids and their parents were out playing on the sun.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Warm and Pleasant Funk

Inside the Blue Schorcher Bakery and Cafe October 26, 2009
1493 Duane Street, Astoria, OR 97103

The Weather Underground site shows light rain and mist, so it must be the wind-driven waves slapping at the pilings of the building that contrive to sound like a torrent out there tonight. I know for sure that it's wet, and it feels cold. The pleasant warm-looking funky interior of the Blue Scorcher appears inviting as I write this post late Thursday night preparing for autopost on Friday morning. That's why I took it out of the archives for you.

The lettering on the side of the glass where they do their baking says, "Free Estimate." Since the window, now used as a room divider, was recycled, I wonder where it came from.

. Earlier posts on the Blue Scorcher

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Astoria High School, About 1909

Astoria High School, about 1909 The photo above is another postcard loaned by Midnight Mike. The only date on it is the postmark, which is 1909. The picture shows the old Astoria High School at the corner of 8th Street and Grand Avenue. The photo was taken from 7th and Franklin.

Park at 7th and Franklin, Location of the old Astoria High School Earlier on this blog, I posted the photo above, taken from almost the same location (7th and Exchange), but from a vantage point closer to the ground. In the next photo, taken the other day (March 23, 2010), I was standing at the opposite corner of the park, which is somewhere in front of the blue house in the background above.

Location of the old Astoria High School taken from 8th and Grand You can see what a lopsided piece of ground it is. I wonder why they eventually tore down the building? The park is currently used as a baseball diamond, and at the left is a swing set. There's a picnic table with benches near the tree. Of course, that's the great Columbia River in the background; the hills on the other side are in Washington.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Curved Fence

House with Curved Fence, Grand Avenue, Astoria, Oregon I thought the curved fence at this home at 7th Street and Grand Avenue was both ingenius and charming. New blossoms and the relatively warm spring day made me feel almost as if I were in the countryside about a century or so ago.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What Remains

Jo Brown's Mural These charming sisters (see Midnight Mike's comment to this post for details) painted by Jo Brown remain on the door at the TLC Federal Credit Union, 85 W. Marine Drive, next door to the Mini Mart.

Jo Brown's Mural Here you can see them in situ, peering incongruously out of the sterile modern doorway. (The "badge" is actually part of the door.)

The blank wall of the TLC Credit Union This bare wall on the west side of the building has replaced the creative and historically/culturally-interesting mural, also by Jo Brown, that used to be here. If you follow the link, you can see more than half of the mural, and you can use the teller window as a reference point. Unfortunately I didn't get photos of the whole thing before it was eradicated, but it stretched the length of the building. Was new siding really more important that preserving this pleasing bit of Astoriana?

On the right side of photo, you can see how the houses climb up the hill above Bond Street. There was a landslide here four years ago, and one of these days I'll show you what it looks like. I lived half a block away at the time.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Tug Going Backward

Tugboat Howard Olsen on the Columbia River at Astoria Only yesterday I commented on VP's Livorno Daily Photo (beautiful tug pix, take a look) that I hadn't noticed whether the tugs in our river travel backward except to get out of a dock. A few hours later, I looked at the river and noticed the Foss tug Howard Olsen going backwards. It was somewhat near the edge of the river, but it was not backing out of a dock at this point anyway.

Tugboat Howard Olsen on the Columbia River at Astoria The Howard Olsen turned before my eyes, and went (forward) along its way.

It's interesting to see how this tug differs from the tugs in the harbor at Livorno. The Livornese tug does not have tires attached to its side, for one thing. It seems to have rubber gunwales, maybe?

This post is also for Cieldequimper, who loves tugboats.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Street Damage Made Beautiful

Light reflected from patched cracks at 16th Street and Duane, Astoria, Oregon There is no image reflected here for Weekend Reflections, only the light of the sun reflecting off of the patches at the intersection of 16th Street and Duane. I thought the patterns were not only interesting, but rather pretty. If you wonder why there are so many cracks in the street at this intersection, scroll down.

16th Street, Astoria, Oregon - driving over concrete and air As with a number of Astoria's streets, at this point 16th Street doesn't have the support of solid ground. The intersection in the first photo is just to the left out of the picture. It's hard to see the concrete wall a few feet behind the pillars, but it's there - and it's impossible to see beyond the concrete wall to know what the structure would look like under the intersection.

For those not familiar with Astoria, Oregon, Marine Drive is at the right of the photo, with the River Walk and the Columbia River just a few paces away. The mountains are in Washington, four miles across the river. The purple building in the middel is Custard King, and on the left is Shallon Winery, which I have not shown yet. To reach downtown Astoria, travel left on Marine Drive or enter the one-way grid in the top photo.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Post Office and Plants

Post Office, Astoria, Oregon I want to thank Midnight Mike for loaning me several old postcards of Astoria for use on the blog. Above you can see an older post office building. It wasn't the first of Astoria's post offices, but it was older than our current building. The card was postmarked in 1907, but I don't know the date of the photo. I like the grace and style of the old stone building. It was in the same location as the current post office, but was smaller and left more space for grass and trees around it. There is another postcard in Mike's collection showing the building from a distance. It's from a different side, and I'll save it for another comparison. The other card is postmarked 1930, although I don't know when the photo was taken; I don't know when the old building was replaced by the new one.

Post Office, Astoria, Oregon Astoria's current post office (and there is only one) takes up the block bordered by 7th and 8th Streets, and Commercial and Bond. This is the entrance, on Commercial Street across from the County Courthouse. I originally took this photo (on March 16th) to show the huge rhododendron bush which is covered with buds and about ready to burst into flower. The cluster that's already in bloom is a separate bush underneath the big one.

Post Office, Astoria, Oregon The flowers are still trying to hang on even though recent storms have taken their toll.

Post Office, Astoria, Oregon And the buds on the large bush are almost ready to display the seasonal riot of color if the something-or-other that's been nibbling them doesn't finish them first. The purple azaleas I showed you on February 28th are out of sight behind the wheelchair ramp near the base of the flagpole.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Dungeness Crab Banner in Warrenton

Dungeness Crab Banner in Warrenton In my Starbucks post, I pointed out the crab banner barely visible outside the window, and I said I'd get a photo of it sometime. Yes, that day is today! I can't say I know much about the banner, except that several of them brighten the edge of the parking lot on the Warrenton side of the Young's Bay Bridge. We have an annual Crab and Seafood Festival, and Dungeness crabs are a favorite around here, so I think the banners are simply to help "brand" our area and enliven the edge of the parking lot. They serve the purpose very well, and they make me smile. If anyone knows more, please comment on the post.

Young's Bay is below the sight line between here and the horizon, which is the Astoria peninsula. As you can see, we're enjoying some blue sky for a change.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ship Pirouette

Ships on the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon Four times each day, the ships on the Columbia River at Astoria pivot on their anchor chains. I wasn't thinking about that, I was taking a photo of the clouds on one of the few really gorgeous days we've had in a long time, and watching the pilot ship (off the stern) and the tender (alongside) the Laurel Island anchored in the river outside my office. (I especially like the name of this ship (which visits often) because it reminds me of Laurel Sullivan.)

Ships on the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon At 9:39 a.m., I watched the pilot boat leave, and the tender stay alongside. For the purpose of this photo essay, the thing to notice is that the ship is exactly perpendicular to us. We cannot see the writing on the stern.

Ships on the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon At 10:07 a.m., I took another photo, not thinking about it, but you can now see the writing on the stern, as the ship begins to turn with the incoming tide. Even though we're about 10 miles from the mouth of the river, the tide turns a ship around amazingly fast, as you'll see here. I was surprised when I timed it.

Ships on the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon 10:15 a.m.: I hadn't been thinking about tides, but when I looked out the window above my desk, I saw this dramatic change in the position of the ship, so I went out to take photos. Was it really turning as fast as it seemed? I thought I'd check the times with my camera. The tender is still sitting alongside, and no it is not pushing the ship!

Ships on the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon 10:16 a.m.: Look at the change in position in the space of about one minute (more or less)!

Ships on the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon 10:17 a.m.: Two minutes later, the change is again dramatic. I have not moved, it's all the ship's turning.

Ships on the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon By 10:19, there is a whole new aspect, and we can see the anchor chain on the downriver side.

Seagull on the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon Oops! A distraction. Nice seagull! This is a juvenile. It's mostly brown.

Ships on the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon Post-seagull, at 10:21 a.m.

Ships on the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon 10:23 a.m.

Ships on the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon By 10:24, the ship was not completely turned, but I decided to go out and look at the river from another location on this beautiful day (see next photo).

Ships on the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon Less than a block away along the River Walk, I could see five more ships at various angles. They are upriver from the Laurel Island. The tidal bore and currents are also different in different locations across the width of the river.

Ships on the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon10:31 a.m.: The STX Crocus is turning - in the opposite direction from the Laurel Island. I'm about one block further up the river, and the ship is further yet up the river, so my viewpoint and the angle are both a bit different than they were for the Laurel Island.

Ships on the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon 10:39 a.m.: I haven't moved, but the ship has.

Ships on the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon 10:43 a.m.: The bow is facing us, and now it's time for me to get back to work.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Shapes of Ships

Appolon Leader at Astoria, Oregon I love the really tall ships like the Apollon Leader of the NYK Line. When it passed in the drizzly dusk last night, it reminded me of another ship's photo I had in the file from January 20 of this year, which has a completely different profile (see the Peter S, below).

Peter S at Astoria, Oregon They are about the extremes of the big cargo ships that pass by Astoria. The Apollon Leader is listed as 199 long by 32 meters wide, while the Peter S is 224 long by 33 meters wide. I wish the heights to the deck were given.

You can learn interesting things about both ships from these links:

Apollon Leader:

Peter S:

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Daffodils at Number 10

Number 10 6th Street, Astoria, Oregon Daffodils can be seen almost everywhere as Astoria glides into spring despite continuing changeable weather and daily and nightly downpours. I realized yesterday I'd gone out without my jacket, hadn't thought about it, and didn't need it for a few hours. So at least for awhile, the air was warmer.

This building at No. 10 Sixth Street is built over water. If you enlarge the photo, you can barely see light glinting off the river under the boardwalk. The boardwalk here is used for both the River Walk pathway and the Riverfront Trolley tracks. The building itself contains offices and the Lazy Spoon restaurant.

Earlier I showed the other side of the building in this photo, and the 6th Street Pier and viewing platform to the left in this photo.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Pile of Pallets and Crumbling Concrete

Pallets and Crumbling Concrete Along the Riverfront, Astoria, Oregon
June 22, 2009

There are many types of scenery along Astoria's River Walk. I took this on a day that was drier and less overcast than it's been for most of the week.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Nope, Not Bananas

Yellow Floats, Astoria, Oregon I saw these wonderful yellow floats not far from yesterday's picture of the crab traps (also called "crab pots." The floats were on the inland side of the River Walk in what was otherwise a deserted lot, although things seem to be stored there from time to time. I don't know whether the floats had been thrown out, or are just waiting to be used when the season rolls around. I also don't know whether they're used with the crab pots or to hold up fishing nets. Hopefully, I'll learn more this year as I take photos of activity on the river. If anyone who knows is reading this, please comment!

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Pallets, Crab Traps, Tracks along the River Walk

Pallets, Crab Traps, and Tracks along the River Walk, Astoria, Oregon Yesterday I had lunch with Laurel at the Lazy Spoon and walked back to work along the River Walk just ahead of another downpour. The metal cages are crab traps. More on all these interesting bits of life on the river and sea in upcoming posts. I don't know what I was doing last year, but I didn't post as much about life on a working waterfront as I intended to. I guess that's why the seasons keep coming back. Let's see how I do this year :) The big yellow building is Bornstein's; I showed one of its signs early in this blog. The tracks are where the trolley runs.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Spring Flowers with Rabbit

Along the River Walk, Flowers with Rabbit I took this photo yesterday along the River Walk between raindrops, although later in the day it poured buckets. I think this is an electrical box, as there's a traffic signal nearby. It's at the intersection of 14th Street and Marine Drive, with the River Walk to the right.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Comparisons: Then, Now, Then, Now

The 14th Street Pilot Station, Astoria, Oregon August 7, 2001

The photo I wanted to post today was this shadowy, worn, corrugated funk from 2001 (and before), as it's one of my favorite Astoria photos from my archives. But since it no longer exists, I thought I would update the location. The text on the sign used to read:


The 14th Street Pilot Station, Astoria, Oregon The building, at 12th Street and the River Walk, was refurbished a year or two ago (I can't keep track except through my photo archives), and now holds several businesses and some space that's still available for rent. I took the photo above this morning at approximately the location of the first photo. There are several windows now, and I don't know if they're in the same places as the old one in the shadow picture. (Note: Although this end of the building is at 12th Street and the River Walk, the other end is at 14th Street, hence the name "14th Street Pilot Station." There is no 13th Street here, so the building is one block long, and is named after the other end, which is probably the official address :)

The 14th Street Pilot Station, Astoria, Oregon I took this photo a year ago, on March 12, 2009. You can see the window on the right, and you can see why they call it the 14th Street Pilot Station. The pilot boat dock is the gray building on the left. You can stand on this deck or on the enclosed deck at the center of the building and watch the pilot boats come and go.

The 14th Street Pilot Station, Astoria, Oregon This year they pained the gray pilot dock building red, although the color is hard to see on this rainy day. I took the photo this morning when I took the picture of the window above. Our weather has been alternating sunny and stormy, which is normal for this time of year. At times yesterday, the scene would have looked more like photo number 3.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

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