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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ship, Rain, Sky

Astoria, Oregon ~ March 27, 2011

Hi Everyone, I apologize for the sporadic postings lately. It seems that the past few weeks I've been able to either work or blog, but haven't had much success doing both. Work usually wins  :)  I'm hoping to get back to regular postings before long.

Here in Oregon, we've been breaking records for number of days with rain in March. I'm not sure if Astoria has a new record or not, but Portland (with weather that's sometimes similar and sometimes very different from Astoria) broke its March rain record a few days ago. If we haven't broken ours, it's only because it rains a lot ALL THE TIME.

I love the way the light changes on the river whether it's raining or not. Here's a scene I really enjoyed. 

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Place for Kids

Astoria, Oregon ~ March 23, 2011

Inside the Astoria Co-op food store there is a corner to welcome kids. I'm sure the playthings and mat attract some ages. I especially love looking at the painting, which I think is by local artist Sally Lackaff. If anyone knows for sure, please comment! Sally Lackaff and Roger McKay have worked together on detailed paintings and murals around town, so this could be a joint effort. I did not see a signature, but it could have been there somewhere.

The painting contains wonderful details such as this friendly-looking raccoon and the heron, which can be seen in the upper right of the photo. The ship is wonderfully reminiscent of the adventure novels I loved as a pre-teen, although the painting actually represents our local area, its wildlife and its history. 

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Another Log on the Columbia

Astoria, Oregon ~ March 21, 2011

It's always interesting to see what washes down in the river. In this case, it's another big log - a long one that has gotten hung up in the pilings at the back of the old Englund Marine building. The question is, what will  happen next? Will the tide wash it out again, or will someone have to come and get it so it doesn't knock about and damage the pilings? Is this a moody, wet Astoria day, or what?

I took the first photo at 8:59 a.m. By 11:58, the tide had come in and the log was floating. It's still not clear what will happen (at the time of the photo), but by the end of the day when I looked out again, the log was gone.

We keep these long pike poles handy in case a log needs help finding its way back into the river, but usually a log that's big enough to cause problems and stay stuck among the buildings is also big enough to be a bear to deal with. They are hard to push, or if you catch the water just right and the pushing is easy, they may float right back in. You also need a place to stand, which was not available to me with the location of today's log, so it's just as well that the water took it. There are specialists called "pile bucks" who know everything about pilings and logs, and sometimes you have to hire them to extricate the tough ones. They use boats, chain saws, tackle, loops of rope, and anything necessary to get the job done - plus a lot of skill and excellent balance!

The pike poles have nasty-looking hooks at the end to grip the log.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Purple Azaleas at the Post Office

Astoria, Oregon ~ March 18, 2011

Last year I posted this photo of the same bush in full flower on February 28th! I've been watching it this year, and the blossoms only came out in the last few days. I seem to remember that last year was filled with flowers and they were out early. This is just the beginning. Soon Astoria will be filled with flowers again.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Posey Reed

Astoria, Oregon ~ March 12, 2011

Among the newer businesses in town is Posey Reed, selling antiques and collectibles on Commercial Street. Note the spring flowers. Yes, it is finally happening!

See Weekend Reflections from around the world.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Castle on James Street

Astoria, Oregon ~ March 12, 2011

It's easy to think of this stone building as a mini castle, but it actually plays some part in the water system of Astoria. There is a reservoir to the right and behind it, and a larger reservoir up James Street to the left of the photo. I've taken the picture standing on 16th Street, which changes names and becomes Williamsport Road as it heads around the jog and down the hill where the headlights are coming from. You pass the Western Oregon Waste facility and come out on Young's Bay.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Downtown between the Raindrops

Astoria, Oregon ~ March 12, 2011
Downtown on Commercial Street

Ah, yes. As Anonymous pointed out in the comments, this is Commercial Street, not "Avenue." Our named streets (going east-west) are named (with a few exceptions) alphabetically. In the business area, the named streets are "Streets," until you get up the hill as far as Franklin, where they become "Avenues." I mistakenly applied "Avenue" to all of the named east-west streets. Now I've got it. The numbered streets are "Streets." Commercial used to be named "Comcomly," after the noted Indian leader of the early days of the settlement.

Re: questions from "Basenji" (also in the comments), there are probably at least as many traffic lights in town as there were in 1978, and the Liberty Theatre has been refurbished, but it is still used for stage productions and concerts. There is a multiplex movie theatre, but it's further east on Marine Drive.

The Astor hotel is used for low-income housing (amazing views!), and the ballroom is being refurbished. I'm not sure what it will be when it opens up.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

First Spring Flower Photo

Astoria, Oregon ~ March 12, 2011

Flowers are starting to "spring" up all over town. There are yellow daffodils, and the azaleas are starting to bloom. I found this bush of beautiful deep pink camelias on the way to Western Oregon Waste ("WOW"), where I was recycling the printer that broke last weekend. Sorry about the colors being faded - it's been either drizzling or pouring all week.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Almost Everyone's Dream "Fixer Home"

Astoria, Oregon ~ March 12, 2011

Anyone who loves fixer-upper houses has probably been drooling over this one for years. It's hard not to want to give it some TLC and make it nice again, but for that to happen, you have to have an owner who either cares about fixing it up or wants to sell it to someone who will. On the other hand, it's been around in its dilapidated condition for so long that it's become firmly entrenched in the lore of Astoria. Some people call it "The Halloween House." By the way, this is the yard where the deer from yesterday were feeding, and there's an interesting window photo (2nd picture) here.

This house also appeared in our photo contest last October. This photo shows the corner where the deer were feeding.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Cafe for Deer

Astoria, Oregon ~ March 12, 2011

Columbian black-tailed deer can often be seen trotting up and down Astoria's streets. These two stopped off for a snack at the old Flavel House on 15th Street, sometimes known as the Halloween House (is that right?). I'll show the house tomorrow.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Autumn Leaves Last August

Astoria, Oregon ~ August 14, 2010

On the day of the Regatta parade last year, I looked up and saw red leaves among the green. I couldn't understand why I was seeing autumn colors in the middle of August! Was the tree sick? Was it dying? Apparently this was a clue from nature. Is red normal in August, or did the trees know what was coming? Without looking at the stats, I can tell you this has been the longest and coldest winter I can remember in my ten years here. I don't know if it's been the wettest, since all winters are very wet here, but I rememer that winter started early and I've had the heater on more than any other year. Speaking of which, it's nice to see blue sky and green in the photo, yes? Is anyone out there ready for spring? (By the way, it seems I did take note and post this picture last August - similar but a different shot. Now in hindsight, it makes sense.)

It's good to be back, and I expect to start posting every day again. I can hardly believe it's been three weeks since my last post. I've been to see family in two states, and I've had a bad cold followed by the worst flu I can ever remember, and the longest to get over. I'll be taking some new photos, but for awhile, I'll also be bringing out new stuff from the archives. I think it will be just as interesting as the new pix. Some days you just get a lot more good photos than others, and I have quite a backlog of those days.

I'll be seeing you around your blogs again  :) 

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

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