Thursday, February 27, 2014

A New Newt Or Two

We went walking on ‘Another Trail’.  That’s the only name we know it by.  It isn’t official, it doesn’t have a name or interpretive signage, but it is indeed a maintained trail in this park.  Anytime a Ranger or guest services person tells people where to walk they say, “You can walk the Spencer Creek Trail and (pointing at a map) we have Another Trail here.”  So, there you go.


It was a totally clear day (read: not even a coastal mist in the air).  We weren’t so sure we’d see much activity given the ‘dry’ conditions.

But there was.  We caught this guy in the act of munching down some greens.  It was pretty neat to watch.  He was chewing so hard that the leaves were twitching all around.

We found these guys in the pond.  They looked to be a different variety from the ones we had seen previously.

They’d just float around occasionally lifting their head to take in a big gulp of air.

                             This little one was totally awesome.

The relationship of his legs to his body length make him look like the Dachshund of the Salamander world.

  Nicole enjoys taking pictures of small things.  Mushrooms are small things.

What’s really cool though is when you so focused on the small thing you are focusing on that you don’t realize that you are getting a picture of another small thing.

                   In this case, some sort of mosquito’ish insect.

And this little umbrella turned up the following when viewed on the computer screen.

                                   An extremely small arachnid.

                 Now these are something we haven’t seen before!

They’re called Common Birds Nest.  They were sprouting up all over the place.

                             They have these little ‘bowls’ on top.

Inside the ‘nest’ are egg-like spore packets.  They get knocked out by the rain.

    Do you see the one laying on the branch just left and front of this nest?

     OH!  At sunset the other day we had the faint hint of a sundog.  It was quite beautiful.

                                  That’s all for now.  We’ve got yurts to clean!

Monday, February 24, 2014

It was a Slug Fest

Guess we’re official now…

1 (1)
Oregon State Parks gave us our very own name plate to hang at our volunteer site.

We’ve really been enjoying our time here at Beverly Beach.  The weather has been quite Coastal Oregonian and that’s o.k.  All of the moisture adds not only to the natural character of the place but to our overall experience.

                      Even when it isn’t raining the trees still drip.

Usually it is due to all of the moss but often even the bark is just oozing wet.

The weather is starting to turn however and life is starting to SPRING forward.

We took another walk on the Spencer Creek Trail the other day and saw a bunch of things we didn’t see the first time.

                                              New fungi!

                      Pretty sure these shrooms were on the way out.

                       And yet these guys were just getting started.

The most exciting part of the hike was not seeing Newts again, although that was pretty exciting.  It was, in fact, seeing all of the slugs that we did.  We should clarify that while this was exciting for us, it is not so exciting for the State of Oregon.  We have been told that the slugs we are seeing are of the invasive variety.  Given our stance against the salting of innocent slugs, for their own safety, we will not reveal their names or their individual locations.

No, not a slug.  We’ll get to them.  First, boy was it fun to try to take a picture of this little guy as he swung at the mercy of the wind.  Have you ever been looking so intently at something on the screen of your camera while you take a picture and then suddenly it rushes at the camera but you think it’s really rushing at your face?  Yes, Nicole screamed.

O.K.  Bring on the slugs.

                   Darlene first thought this was a ‘gift’ from a dog.

                                But then he made an appearance.

                                              Tripled in length.

                                         And, slimed away.

             This guy was just super cool; like a little speckled puppy.

And, this one… can you see it?  Exactly!  Think pine needle.  Now do you see it?

This is possibly the worlds smallest slug.  We say possible because we really don’t know.  But it was really, really small.  The yellow stuff it is wrapped around is pollen.  Yes, it was that small.


                       Did we tell you about the octopus trees?

They are all over the park and are a result of old time logging operations.  Old stumps as they decompose become Nurse Stumps to new growth – typically Western Hemlock and Sitka Spruce.  As the nurse stump continues to decompose it leaves the roots of the newer tree exposed.

             A different kind of fossil from what we find on the beach.

Well, our time here at Beverly Beach State Park on the beautiful Oregon coast is winding down.  Only three more volunteer days and we’re off to somewhere new.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Beverly Beach Scenes

We’ve had some rough seas lately.  Literally.

1 (34)

Our NOAA weather radio even sent out an emergency broadcast the other night while we were cooking dinner.  Given that we sit within 100 yards of the ocean at sea level it had us a bit curious. 

1 (28)
It’s all been rather exciting and has gotten things churned up down at the shore.

1 (33)
We watched the waves move logs and boulders around like they were twigs and pebbles.

1 (3)
It’s no surprise to find out that this stump was moved about in the same way.

1 (14)
                               Foam was flying around like a big ocean bubble bath.


 1 (31)
The rocks made an amazing wind chime sort of noise as the waves washed over them.

After a rough night or two or seven, as was the case for us, it’s neat to beach comb.

   What we find the most of on these occasions is detached sea ‘vegetation’.





And a few other things…



Oh!  On the exciting trash front, we told you we’d show you anything cool we found.

1 (1)
                Darlene snagged this, our first piece of Tsunami debris! 1 (2)

A few days later, Nicole found this laundry basket.  While it had no identifying marks on it, the very established barnacle growth indicated it had been at sea for quite some time.
Most of them were still wiggling about so guess it hadn’t been out of the water long.

1 (44)
We read somewhere that the way the seagulls face when standing on the beach tells what the weather will be like.

1 (4)
This little guy was hopping around the drift wood just chirping up a storm.  He’s no seagull but his happy little dance was right on target in terms of what kind of day it was.

1 (9)
         Despite the rough seas, the sun and blue sky made an appearance now and then.

1 (11)
          If we had a dog, this is what he would look like having a great time on the beach.

1 (22)
                   We spent a good deal of time just taking it all in.

1 (46)
                                                 As the sun began to sink…

1 (45)
                    the end to yet another great day on the Oregon coast fell into frame.