“When, what to my wondering eyes should appear…”

Selkirk caribou, Creston, B.C.Sometimes Nature gives you a special and unexpected gift. In the excitement of the moment, you click a few pictures and later find out they were not your best. Since it was such a special moment, you can’t manage to delete them. Here are a couple pictures from my archives of a caribou herd near Creston, British Columbia, Canada.

At the time, there were few records of this herd and I was pretty excited to see them. My photos helped biologists learn more about the herd. The endangered South Selkirk subpopulation of southern mountain caribou, Rangifer tarandus caribou, currently numbers only about 12 animals. Here’s a link to a recent article about them:  America’s Gray Ghosts: The Disappearing Caribou

Selkirk caribou, Creston, B.C.Caribou and reindeer are the same species so I thought it only appropriate to share these photos today. It was a magical moment when I saw them and I hope you find your own magical moments in the upcoming year.

Rock Solid

Stone House 10Dec2016

Stone House

Is this a post about the burgeoning marijuana business in Bend? No! I’m impressed by the local materials used in some of the buildings here and The Herb Center is an interesting example. It’s a small building covered in rocks including lots of obsidian. It was known as the Stone House. Perhaps now it could be called the Stoner House (?)

Downing Building 25Feb2016

Downing Building

The Downing Building used to house the Downing Hotel and Cafe. It was built in 1920. It was made from local tuff and pumice blocks, bricks, yellow pine, and Douglas’ fir. When doing restoration work on the building in the 1980’s, a secret door was located and it may have connected to the brothel next door.

Reid School 22July2015

Reid School

The Des Chutes Historical Museum is currently housed in the Reid School building. It is an impressive building made from pink volcanic tuff blocks. This was the first modern school in the area and it contained ten classrooms, an auditorium, indoor toilets, and central heating. It opened in 1914 and 241 pupils were enrolled there.

New Taggart Hotel 25Feb2016

New Taggart Hotel

The New Taggart Hotel was built in 1911 by J.B. Goodrich. The front has rectangular blocks lined up perfectly with partial arches around the doors and windows. I thought the back of the building was interesting because the stonework is less concise. It’s wonderfully imperfect.

These are just a few examples of interesting architecture using local materials. Be sure to take a closer look when you are in Bend.

Hosmer Lake Reflections

Hosmer Lake 10Aug2016

South Sister from Hosmer Lake, Oregon

My yard is blanketed with fresh snow and temperatures are in the teens but I’m glad I can think back to a warm summer day kayaking on Hosmer Lake. I hope to explore many new horizons in the new year and share them here.

To learn more about my great trip to Hosmer Lake, click here.

Weekly Photo Challenge – New Horizon

Rollin’ on the Metolius River

Metolius River 3June2016In the shadow of Black Butte, water flows out of a hole in the ground and turns into a fast-moving river known as the Metolius. You can take a short walk  to the headwaters, located about 14 miles northwest of Sisters, Oregon. Pine forests enclose the two clusters of springs where this 315-square mile drainage basin begins.

Metolius River Headwaters 27Nov2016

Metolius River Headwaters

Since the water level is relatively constant, it has a couple interesting characteristics. The flow rate at the headwaters is 6,700 cu ft/min and it reaches 81,000 cu ft/min by the time  it reaches Lake Billy Chinook, 28.6 miles away. The water temperature is consistently at about 48° F. Brrr!

The river supports a healthy population of fish including rainbow trout, bull trout, kokanee, and mountain whitefish. There is catch-and-release fly-fishing on the upper Metolius. Click here for more info on fishing there. Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery, 10.6 miles from the headwaters, raises rainbow trout, kokanee, and salmon.

There are almost a dozen campgrounds located along the river. We stayed once at the Pioneer Ford Campground in early September and it was nice. There are also several resorts near the small unincorporated town of Camp Sherman.

Trails border the river and branch out into surrounding areas. Hikers, horseback riders, skiers,and snowshoers  enjoy the many miles of trails here. Spring wildflowers and fall foliage are particularly beautiful around this river.

There is a wide variety of wildlife that lives in the habitats near the river. River otters and beaver live in and around the river and other mammals such as mule deer, elk, black bear, bobcat, cougars, and squirrels live in the vicinity.  Birds such as osprey, grouse, herons, and many songbirds use the area. Look for the small American dipper bird foraging along the river. I went to the Woodpecker Festival here last year. There are about a dozen species of woodpeckers here so this event draws people from near and far. See my post Where’s Woody for more about that.

This National Wild and Scenic River flows through land owned by Deschutes National Forest, Deschutes Land Trust,Warm Springs Indian Reservation, and private owners. Click here to find out about some of the recreational opportunities on Forest Service lands.