Posts Tagged ‘Poodles’

The forecast was “hot and sunny” so we opted for a shaded walk and headed up into the mountains. Lake of the Woods is a natural lake in the Winema National Forest, some 30 miles from Klamath Falls and, at an elevation of about 5,000 feet, located only about 1,000 feet higher than the town. We arrived at our destination at noon so we stopped in at the Lake of the Woods Resort for their organic, grass-fed beef cheeseburgers which we ate out on the lodge’s big deck, shaded by towering conifers as we looked out over the lake. A line of Adirondack chairs, painted a cheerful, bright red, lined the rail overlooking the water.
The lake is clear and surrounded by alpine forest. The resort has a comfortable, old-timey feel to it, but gas motors are, unfortunately, allowed on the lake. Noisy speed boats and jet skis seem out of place in this pristine spot.

Lake of the Woods Resort

Well fortified by burgers and sweet potato fries, we headed out into the woods, away from the lake. Nearby is the Great Meadow, a large open expanse that is marshy until later in the summer, providing great habitat for all sorts of creatures year-round. Humans have reduced the flow of water from the lake to the meadow to aid in recreational pursuits, so it is drier than nature intends, but there are plans to strike a better balance between providing for humans’ recreational wants and nature’s needs in the near future.

Great Meadow, Mt. McLoughlin in distance

The meadow is dry and grassy, somewhat like unmown pasture, and is frequented by elk and deer this late in the summer, at dusk and dawn. We stood at the southern edge and scanned with our binoculars. The Great Meadow deserves its name. It is enormous, but it’s difficult to tell just how big without a reference point.
A thin ribbon of green meandered along near the far northern edge, the last remaining bit of marshiness. We strained to see clearly and even with binoculars we almost missed the brownish-gray birds with long necks walking in the marshy strip. Frustrated by heat waves and distance, we could only speculate as to identity. So, with that coloring, what were they, Great Blue Herons? Maybe, but they just didn’t seem like Great Blues. The only other possibility around here would be . . . could they be . . . Sandhill Cranes?!
The birds were working their way slowly to the east. The trail we were on, although tucked back into the woods a bit, followed the eastern edge of the meadow so we started walking. We caught glimpses of the meadow through trees and undergrowth, but we couldn’t see the section where we’d seen the birds and just went with the assumption that we were still on a course to intersect.

The trail was sometimes in open sun, but mostly shaded, making the walk pleasant despite the heat. Our dogs are having a harder time adjusting to the desert climate, perhaps because they’ve lived only in cooler climates. They both love snow and had a great time in Alaska. Millie has learned to look for shade and, when we stop and drop the leash, she will find the closest shady spot, no matter how small the coverage.

Shade seeker

As we neared the northern edge of the meadow, we started walking stealthily. Imagine an elephant tiptoeing on dry pine cones — that’s probably what the four of us actually sounded like to wild things as we crept onwards through the woods, but we did keep conversation to a quiet minimum.
We came to an overlook where only a single line of conifers and short shrubbery was between us and the northeast corner of the meadow. We peered through our binoculars in all directions, the world reduced to a circular view with peripheral vision in darkness. There was no sign of the birds. Had they flown? We scanned out as far as we could to no avail. Our hopes sinking, we said aloud, “Where are they?” Abruptly, this head popped up into our view:

Gasp! “Sandhill Crane!” we sputtered in whispers to each other as we struggled to adjust binocular focus close in, to this point just on the other side of the conifers, a mere 20 feet from where we stood.
All of the sneaking and whispering proved unnecessary. The tall, goofy, yet gorgeous bird and its mate strolled a few feet further away and one began unconcernedly scratching the back of its neck with a long foot attached to the end of a long leg, sending little, wispy feathers floating on the breeze. The cranes were a wonderful sight. Not rare around here, but still so much fun to see, especially up close.

Sandhill Crane

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Saturday mornings find us at the Klamath Falls farmers market with cooler bag in hand. We look forward to the growing season and have been going to these markets for many years, but have found that the trend is to sell more crafts and less produce. That is certainly the case at the Klamath Falls market. There is a limited variety of produce from just a few venders, most of whom seem to be backyard veggie gardeners. Limited quantity, variety and hit or miss quality does not, however, keep the price down. We pay top dollar for produce grown without pesticides and herbicides, irregardless of a given gardener’s skill, so we have learned to get there early, walk the market to inspect all options and then make our selections while choices are still available.
Wow, that sounded kind of negative, didn’t it?! We may not be happy about limited choice, but we do get some great vegetables at the market and are happy to have the opportunity to get truly fresh produce.

Klamath Falls farmers market

We found a very clean laundry that has never been busy when we’ve gone which makes the weekly chore rather pleasant. We settle in with a cup of coffee and our iPads and the time flies by.

Laundry day

Geothermal heat has been harnessed for heating buildings since 1900, especially in the downtown historic district.

We took the poodles in for grooming. It’s always fun to be able to see their faces again.

Moore Park is beside Upper Klamath Lake.
Driving along Lakeshore Drive, we come around a curve in the road and see a bright green field and lots of huge shade trees. The park, with its grassy playing fields and picnicking areas, is an odd sight in the arid landscape and owes its existence to heavy, daily watering. We don’t stay in this section, but park our car and head up away from the lake, into the dry, wooded hills. We may see the occasional runner, walker or biker, but it’s lightly used and amazing for it’s close proximity to an urban area. We think Klamath Falls residents are really lucky to have this park and the Link River trail just beside it. We often walk both in order to do a loop.

Moore Park

Sprinklers shoot water in greats arcs. We have sprinted through them to cool down on a hot day. The tremendous amount of water provides great habitat for midges which are out in force after a watering. We usually get back from a walk about then to find our car covered with little, bright green bugs.

This is not a grainy photograph, but clouds upon clouds of midges. The whole hillside (most of which is out of frame to the left) was aswarm that morning and the masses of midges made a quiet, persistent humming noise, like the sound a transformer makes.

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Per Laura’s request:

More pictures of the Poodles

Circus dog Annie

Millie enjoying the shade

Enjoying their chews

These two are loving the full-time RVing lifestyle.

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An overnight in Astoria, Oregon.

We stopped about midday in Astoria and stayed the night at Pier 38 RV Park right beside the mighty Columbia River. We watched cormorants emerging from the depths with fish to swallow and listened to the bellowing of sea lions well into the evening. The combined weight of about 5 sea lions nearly submerged that stretch of dock.

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