Friday, June 30, 2006

Recovering from two weeks of woodturning symposia

So, after the Utah and AAW symposia with their hectic schedule and lack of sleep, I stayed home one day and then headed off to the Pacific Northwest for our annual family trip. This year my oldest son, Michael, joined us for the first time in about 5 years time. He looks a bit different to my folks than he did last time he was here.

One of the nice things about vacation is that we do have time to spend time together as a family. My kids are growing up too fast with one of them already off on his own and away to university. Part of me screams, "Slow down! You're growing up too fast!" while the other part of me says "go, go, go!"

One of the things we like to do while in Oregon is to visit the coast. The Oregon coast is really wonderful with a lot of beautiful beaches to explore and some wonderful little waysides. We stopped at the Darlingtonia wayside to go take a look at these insectivorous pitcher plants.

Here's a sign to tell you all about them. Click on the image to get the larger view so you can read about them.

I'm also taking advantage of the relaxed pace of life for the next week and a half to do some more foliage and texture studies. This is the back side of a sisal leaf. I'm interested in the plants primarily because they serve as a host species to a parasitic plant I've studied in the past (Boschniakia). They do have interesting leaves, though.

These rocks litter the beaches in Oregon. They look igneous to me - some crystals in a basalt matrix. Wish I knew more about geology.

Here's where I found this interesting rock. The beach below Heceta Head Lighthouse. That bridge is for Hwy 101 - a windy, twisty road that follows the Oregon Coast. In the good ol' days, this road was a recipe for motion sickness. It's been worked over so much in the past three decades that it's rather tame to drive these days.

Here are my kids doing some beach combing at the same site. The rocks out there are covered in bird guano. One of the things we did on this day was to good birding and score a whole lot of new birds for our life lists. Birds at the coast we saw included: guillomot, western gull, common murre, Brandt's cormorant and Pelagic cormorant, brown pelicans, wilson's warblers, rufous hummingbirds, and a spotted towhee.

Rock collage on the beach.

We also visited the Newport Aquarium. This is a sea anenome anchored on the glass. The striations remind me of the vascular system in a ginkgo leaf.

This is a fiddler crab, I think. It was cooperating on the other side of the glass. It's how I feel after being cooped up in a car all day with my kids (as much as I love them!).

Here's my favorite bird at the aquarium - a tufted puffin in it's breeding plumage. This little guy sure put on a show for us. He popped into the water and did quite an elaborate display of splashing and preening right in front of me.


Anonymous said...

welcome to the left-coast!

we turned on the good weather for you all...


Anonymous said...

thanks, e! I'm enjoying the weather - especially the low humidity.

Dennis Laidler said...

Hi Andi, enjoy the summer holiday with your family.

Andi Wolfe said...

Thanks, Dennis - we're having a good time - especially the birding and long walks.