Tuesday, June 30, 2009

California Beach

On the way back from The Redwoods we decided to stop at the beach. The picture above is what I THOUGHT a California beach would be like.
What I found was more like paradise.

Me and dad went through a gap in a rock face to get to an area of beach people rarely go!

In the pictures below we found somewhat of a beach promontory with wildflowers on it.

a beach tree
We came back from the hidden garden to the regular part of the beach and then back into our regular lives.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sustainable living

Tuesday the 23rd I and the rest of the Douglas County Museum's Umpqua Explorer program (it used to be called the Junior Explorer program) visited the home of a couple whose purpose in life is to be completely self sufficient and right now estimate themselves to be 80-90%.

In the picture above he's in their garden.
Their house is actualy just a large metal barn but is very nice inside. It's powered completely by their own solar, wind, and hydro power and heated completely by their woodstove!

They used to live in New Mexico but wanted to move to a place where she could cut her own Christmas tree(and where they could be self sufficient more easily).
Their farm is about the same size as Maggie but in the more mountainous terrain east of Roseburg (we live northwest of Roseburg)

It would have cost them $38,000 to get electricity brought up there which is why they installed their alternative energy sources for $34,000.
They raise goats for meat and hunt venison, cook completely with a wood oven, dry their own herbs, find and dry their own shantrell, morrel, oyster, and shaggymane mushrooms, make their own soap, get their own eggs from a chicken coop, weave with wool from their goats, and once their milk goats start producing that will be the final step that makes them all but 100% self sufficient.

The llama above protects their goats.
They make a living selling goat meat and their excess eggs, mushrooms, and dairy products. also she sells Navajo style rugs for about $100 a piece (she learned to make them from a Navajo rugmaster whose rugs sell for $10,000 a piece).
above wildflower known as allhill or sethhill

They pick wild plants such as Plantain which treats bug bites and Oxalis which is great in salads.

Me and Mom couldn't decide whether they're doing this because their hippies or because their conservative and wish they lived in the 1800's (I know people of both those ways). their house seemed very hippie-ish with a mix of casual and fancy, Asian and European with a Budihst shrine. but he dressed like a cowboy.

Every once in a while he would say: maaaa! He sounded just like a human toddler.
Me and my family are already getting our own meat, raising chickens for eggs and gardening but we're also interested in doing some of the other things they're doing: raising goats for meat and milk, having a hydro electric genorator (his fits in a doghouse) utelizing wild plants and mushrooms, and drying our herbs.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Geology of Maggie

We recently went on our first long hike in months around Maggie.
First we went to the base of the promontory.

From bellow the promontory we hiked along through the woods for a little while. We started seeing what looked like a field past the trees when we got through the wood we found ourselves:
in front one of the most beautiful views I've ever seen!

It was then that we realized that we were very close to Wildcat Canyon.
above, mullen

We had thought that Wildcat canyon and The Promontory were on completely different parts of Maggie.
We hiked up a fairly steep incline to get to the canyon.

We reached one side of the canyon.

We went down and found another promontory with several micro-caves in it.

Each cave at it's mouth was about 13 cm in diameter. A bit small for a human but comfy for a Raccoon small Bobcat or feral cat(we saw some very small bird reptle amphibian or rodent bones in the cave below.

Banana slug

It was then that we realized that the "new promontory" that we'd found was directly across from THE Promontory and we were basically right back where we started!

One week later we were about to drive up the hill to retrieve the motion activated camera when we saw an SUV parked by the side of the road. We went to investigate and found someone taking measurements of an exposed rock face. He said he was a geology student from the University of Texas working on his thesis (which was to prove a theory of his about the geology of this region. we told him about the promontory we discovered the week before and asked if he wanted to come see it he said yes so we took him up there!
He took measurements and notes of the rock face.
He was from Calcutta, India but moved to America to get his degree.
Dad got to brag about his visits to India.
Our friend was also interested in photography an biology as hobbies. He said his wife (who was also from India) was a scientist at U of T doing mostly lab work on the genetics of primates and plants.
He said that this area's features had not been geologicaly mapped.
The Sword Ferns have made their seeds