One of our goals for the visit to the other side of the river was to help some people on Find-A-Grave.com locate their relatives. I got some nice photos in the beautiful late-afternoon light (Cold day, though! Very cold.) but due to bad planning on my part, we may have missed the one they wanted most. Lee tromped all over the cemetery looking for a particular name that I hadn't had the foresight to locate before we left. Actually, the marker may not be there, as others had failed to find it. So, that's a mystery to follow up on - an excuse to go back to Ilwaco on another beautiful day (with better planning).
I did take some really nice pix of markers for the graves that we did find and soon I'll be uploading them to Find-A-Grave. This is a cool web site where you can locate your ancestors, relatives, genealogical search subjects, or conversely, supply photos and information for others looking for someone departed in your part of the country. You can enter requests for photos and info from far-away locations, or you can put yourself on an e-mail list to find graves of people in your area.
January 1, 2012: I've just discovered "Taphophile Tragics" thanks to Clytie, so am linking this post to it today. Thanks, Julie, this should be interesting!
Astoria-Megler Bridge to Washington ~ December 2, 2011
I may have shown this view at some time in the past on Astoria, Oregon, Daily Photo, but it's always a thrill to see that wide expanse in front of you and wish you could drive 100 miles an hour over the hump and down the other side. Let me guess - I'm sure some of you have done it, but you don't have to admit it! Today we were just enjoying the view. The tide was low and the sand bar was in full view. On either side of the bridge you can just see dramatic ripples in the mud. I'll post another photo on another day showing them more clearly.
Here's another of the critters living in Jewell Meadows besides the elk seen in an earlier post. I couldn't have told you what a sapsucker was until I looked it up, but a sapsucker is a kind of woodpecker. The "woodpecker" part I could have guessed. Take a look at his handiwork on that tree! The red-breasted sapsucker lives all along the West Coast of North America from the southern tip of Alaska to Baja California in Mexico.
The gas pumps at this store probably saved our tails on the way back to Astoria from elk-watching near Jewell. We were so enthralled with the scenery and conversation we weren't paying attention. . . . I'm sure many of my readers know this place.
Although I took this photo on November 21st, it could almost be today. After days of cold sunshine, it's been raining and everything outside my window is deep gray.
I don't mind, but I had thought of taking product photos today for my online store, and the lighting didn't cooperate. My overhead "daylight" fluorescent does a pretty good job, but it helps to have some light from the window. I guess I'll take the day off and get the photos another time.
Of course, this beautifully-situated tree with Saddle Mountain in the background is what first caught my attention. It's an idyllic setting, and we have a chance to see Saddle Mountain from the side opposite the one usually seen from the Astoria area.
Then I noticed there was something beneath the tree. In its scenic and exclusive location is a memorial to Craig W. Holznagel who died at the age of 42. The plaque indicates that he must have loved the elk here. The text told me that the plaque was a collaboration between Craig's family, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Oregon Wildlife Heritage Foundation. I figured I could learn more about Craig when I got home and looked him up online. Not so. The only places where I found his name either wanted to charge $39.95 for information that might not be relevant or a monthly fee for something similar.
With such a prominent memorial, I thought there should be more. Can any of you help me with this? I'll post the information on this blog and Craig will be able to be discovered from today forward. Thanks!
While it's unusual to see a Chinese junk on the Astoria waterfront, it's not the first time this little fishing sailboat has been here. Details of the junk, Flying Dragon, can be seen in this ad as she is shown and described for potential buyers.
Thanks to info from Joanne Rideout, the Commodore Hotel, Elleda Rhiannon Wilson, Twitter, and Facebook, I learned that the boat was rescued off of Clatsop Spit by the Coast Guard on Monday after the junk had taken on an awfully big drink of the ocean.
Both of the links below are fascinating and full of information. The podcast link will tell you more about the Flying Dragon and The Ship Report is always a great source of info about current shipping events.
Our local Roosevelt elk are certainly among nature's most majestic creatures. Almost the size of domestic cows, they are quite a bit larger than deer. Check out the video on this page to see them in action and listen to a description of the reserve. We did not see the herd of hundreds described - only a dozen or fewer were grazing the area on the day we were there, but I have seen them in huge herds much nearer home. Only about five miles down the road they used to congregate on the land that has now become Home Depot, Costco, and Goodwill, among other big boxes. I've also seen them near the airport and the UPS office just across Youngs Bay. Here the elk would swim in the bay around the fencing and get inside the fenced area to graze. It was quite a sight.
I haven't been out to UPS or the airport recently. Does anyone know if the elk still congregate there since the new stores have come in?
There are several places in Oregon along certain highways where you can pull into a viewing area and watch the herds forming in the evenings. As it turned out, we had a beautiful day on which to enjoy elk-watching. Not the least of my enjoyment was the beauty of the area with its back-lit bright-green mossy trees.
Yesterday I posted a photo of a newly-arrived bufflehead duck. Today I'm watching the mallards feeding. This female has just found a yummy morsel under the water and hauled it up. Shortly after I took this picture, the tide was out far enough that the ducks could stand on the concrete and nibble without dunking their heads.
I don't know when our winter friends, the bufflehead ducks, are supposed to arrive here, but this was the first one I've noticed this year. It's not the first one I've posted on this blog. For more buffleheads, click on the label below.