Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Ten Things of Thankful - Some sunshine and respite

Some sunshine and respite brings a bit of joy! Hopefully you felt some joy and gratitude this past week, in spite of whatever else might be going on in your life or in the lives of your loved ones. I'll share some of mine with you as I write this post which I'll be linking to the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop managed by Josie Two Shoes. By clicking the link you will be able to read the posts others have shared on her site.

While we have had some teaser days of sunshine offering us a bit of hope that Spring, with less of the wet stuff, was on its way, it seemed to be a false hope. We had been following the weather reports for a couple of weeks to see if we might escape to the coast when the sun was shining there. Finally we saw a window of opportunity, even though the weather in our area didn't look as promising.

Dark clouds with heavy rain moving across the valley as we left for the coast.

Blue skies, calm ocean, little wind, only a light jacket needed
Our drive to the coast took a little longer than expected due to a long stream of traffic that had come to a complete stop. After waiting for 15 minutes or so, we decided to turn around and take a different route, which proved to be quite scenic. We hadn't driven our chosen detour route in years. We learned the next day that there had been a fatal accident early in the morning that we left and our intended route was closed for hours following the accident. I am so thankful that there is more than one route from our area leading to the coast.

Because recently we had heavy winds in this area as well as on the coast, there were many signs that the beach had been affected by the storm. There was a fully intact dead stingray on the beach. I had never seen a dead one on the beach. The mass of jellies that had been washed ashore by the high winds a week before had been washed back into the ocean by the time we arrived.

(Just a heads up, even though I took two cameras and captured lots of images, somehow when I downloaded my photos, I was missing some of the photos I'd taken. The only thing I can think of is that somehow I accidentally deleted some on one of the cameras. I'm definitely going to have to be very careful not to do that again!)

While eating in a restaurant Friday evening I saw whales spouting quite a ways out in the ocean. It is always fun to see evidence of whales even though they were so far out all I could see was the spouting. Earlier in the day we had seen sea lions sitting on a buoy, and seals playing in the ocean.

At a lookout point at Seal Rock State Park someone had left what I think was a geocache rock that had been painted blue with some kind of figure. The number 12 was painted on it and circled as was the year 2017.  I think the words Sea Hawk was written at the bottom. I've never gone geocaching, so it was fun to discover this even though I wasn't playing the game. I left it where I found it.

My husband had really wanted to get some photos of some birds that had been sighted along the South Jetty at Newport. He was especially excited to take some pictures of some Harlequin Ducks.  They are beautiful multicolored birds.  I'm thankful he was able to see them and add them to his list.

It is interesting to see plant life anywhere, but I enjoyed seeing some very old nursing trees where all that is left of the original tree is a stump. In the rotted center or sometimes along the side of the stump can be seen new growth of a different tree or shrub of some kind. It is quite fascinating. We saw evidence of this in the forested areas at the edge of the beach, and in the gardens at the Connie Hanson Garden Conservancy in Lincoln City.

One of the beautiful plants that some thought should have been the state flower of Oregon is the trillium.  They are such simple, yet lovely plants.

Trillium growing in the Connie Hanson Garden Conservancy
It is not unusual to see wild blackberries growing just about anywhere on the Western side of the Cascade Range in Oregon, but I was surprised to see so many wild strawberry plants growing on rocky areas at the coast. The plants are just blossoming at this time.

Wild strawberry plant growing on rocky hillside on the Oregon coast

As we were heading home from the coast, we spotted a large herd of elk. They are known to live in the area, but we don't always see them.

On one of our favorite radio stations was playing a song that made us laugh. Sometimes the lyrics of songs have a way of doing that.  My Rice Ain't Got No Gravy by Johnny Nicholas was playing.   Click here to listen. We ate a lot of rice when our children were growing up, and quite often I served it with with a combination of meat and vegetables with one type of sauce or another, and sometimes with gravy

When we were almost home, we decided to stop at the Basket Slough National Wildlife Refuge, and I am so glad we did.  Years ago there were many Western Meadowlarks in this area, but their population has decreased over the years as farmlands became housing developments. I loved listening to them singing as they sat on telephone wires as I waited for the school bus in the mornings.  We saw one sitting on a power line at the refuge. My husband edged the car as close as he could to where the bird was so I could take a photo out the window.  I don't know which I was more excited about, the beautiful sound it makes or seeing one up close. Click here to listen to the sound.

Western Meadowlark at Basket Slough NWR
One of the other great things that happened this past week was receiving a phone call from a friend I had made many years ago when we were both serving as volunteers at the grade school our children attended. (Our daughters were best friends.) It was fun catching up on what has been going on in our lives.

Thanks to a yearly appointment I had with my dermatologist last week I received help in an unexpected way. At the end of the appointment she asked if I had any questions. I told her I did, but I would save it for my ophthalmologist. She said that she might be able to help. Long story short, she prescribed some medication for me to take to help with what she thinks is a case of rosacea in my eyes. Since taking the medication she prescribed, the irritation I'd been having, in spite of using lubricant eye drops, seems to have lessened. Yeah!

Thanks to some fairly loose rules for the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop, meaning ten might be less or it might be more, I'll wrap this post up. A huge thanks to all who have made it through reading this long post, and a thanks to my husband for being there with me every step of the way.


  1. Rosacea IN your eyes? I had no idea that could happen. Glad you have found relief.
    Your trip sounds so rejuvenating. I am glad you were able to enjoy the time and that your travels were safe.

    1. My eyes looked inflamed and hurt. Since being on the medication, the inflammation has gone away and they no longer hurt. In doing a little research, I found that sometimes one can get rosacea in the eyes before it shows up on the face. I hadn't ever heard of that happening either.
      The trip was wonderful.

  2. seacoast ... surely that best of all geographies. there is never nothing to watch at the shore. we don't have whales over here on the east coast, though we have seals (only in the winter and not in great numbers).
    not a 'bird person' but sea birds are remarkable. one of my favorite experiences from my time in the fishing industry was watching gannets feed. (they flock in clouds circling the food (the by-catch off the boat) and fold their wings back from, like 30, 40 feet in the air and dive into the water. very cool.
    hate being stuck in traffic when there are no alternative (worse, when on an interstate when there can be no turning back or otherwise getting out of the line).
    enjoyable TToT!

    1. I've never been down by the Atlantic Ocean, so I wasn't familiar with gannets. When I googled to see a photo and read about them, I can see why they would be so impressive to watch. They are beautiful birds too. I just assumed whales were in both the Pacific and the Atlantic. I feel the same way getting stuck in freeway traffic when there aren't any options for exiting the freeway.

  3. What a lovely trip you had. I never heard of geocaching, so I Googled it. How fun and interesting. I had to check some of my rock photos to see if there were any markings on them. It's too bad about some of your photos, but the ones you shared are great. Glad your eyes are doing better.

    1. Yes, I was really wanted to share some of those photos I had taken that accidentally got erased. I'm glad that my eyes are continuing to feel better.

  4. Reading through this was a pleasure, I felt like I got to go along on your trip to the ocean, and see all the wonderful plants, animals, and birds! There is no place I'd rather be than listening to the sound of waves rolling in. We've never been to the Northeast, but it's on our bucketlist! It sounds like your detour route worked out perfectly, which is often the case with so many detours in life - meant to be. Sealions, seals, and even a whale spouting off in the distance... what a fun trip you got to share with your husband!

    I had to laugh at the rice and gravy song, because that was my daughter's favorite food when she was four years old and we would go to the PX cafeteria at the Army Base in Germany for lunch. A fun memory!

    I've never heard a meadowlark so I played the birdsong and within seconds I had four cats gathered round me, ears alert, and trying to figure out how where that bird in my tablet was! :-)) We saw lots of blackberry bushes on our trip to Louisiana, and Papa Bear had many stories of gathering them as a child. Often not many made it home. :-)

    I am happy about your phone call from a friend, that is always joyful. I am also very glad that the medicine for your eyes seems to be helping. I'd never considered that rosacea could affect them as well.

    This was a great post, and I thank you for sharing your thankfuls with us, I hope the rest of your week is going great! XOXO

    1. Glad you enjoyed our trip vicariously. I've only been to the beaches along the Pacific Ocean, and have just flown over the Atlantic. One of my daughters has fond memories of eating hamburger gravy over rice or biscuits. Sometimes I added some peas to the gravy too in order to slip in some vegetables. That is so funny about your cats gathering around to find that bird! When we had our dog, he enjoyed watching some of the wildlife shows on TV.