Saturday, August 31, 2013

Allan and Julie

How many animals do you see in this picture?

How many LIVE animals do you see in this picture?  The town of Craig is plagued with deer.  When  deer first moved into town everyone was pleased.  But lately petunias and roses have  become endangered plants and Bambi is no longer so cute. BTW, I watched this deer effortlessly sail over that chain-link fence.

Nephew, Allan, arrived back from Norway and gave me a tour of his very lovely and most unusual home.  This is the front yard...

...and his front yard view.

This is his back yard and, yes, that sandstone cliff complete with little cave is part of his back yard.

But the best part is that he is standing on his roof!  And that skylight is over his living room sofa! That PVC fence is to protect the skylight until some trees grow up around it--the deer are regular visitors here too, and peek at him through the glass. The protection however is from the local kids who climb to the top of the cliff and use that skylight for target practice.

I failed to get a good picture of the front of Allan's house but take it from me--it is lovely.  The neighbors next door also have a sod roof that doubles as the dog's favorite place to guard the neighborhood.

The view from Allan's living room window is stunning.  And he assures me that the sod roof reduces his utility bills to pocket change.  There is plenty of light even though the back of the house is built into the side of the mountain.

Allan is an avid hunter and Julie, the chocolate lab, is his beautifully trained bird dog.

We spent some time at the park while Julie showed me how smart she is.  Allan has her trained to hand signals and, even though he had been gone for a month, she seemed to remember everything he expected of her.  Well, Sigh Me will roll over so I can scratch her tummy.  (Hmm, maybe it is me that is trained.)  

(I loved this sign)
*Must be 16 and younger or 64 and older or handicapped to fish.
*Fish are on West -> side of Oxbow
*Frogs are on East <- side of Oxbow
The Wyman Museum asks you to please keep the fish on the West side to protect the frogs!
The Leopard Frogs are very happy in this environment.

We stopped at this park and museum so Julie could practice retrieving birds.  This refresher was important since duck hunting season was merely weeks away.

Julie waits patiently for the hand signal to retrieve...

...and even when she did not see exactly where the fake bird was thrown she took the cue from Allan's hand signal and headed in the right direction.

Her focus was excellent, even though those little frogs were all around and would have been very tempting to chase.

And here she waits for the signal to drop the bird. Alan says she will not bite or break the flesh of the bird and she never ever loses one.  Julie is still quite young and she is Allan's fourth lab.  He has had two males and two females and prefers the females.  "They train better because they are so very sensitive and much more eager to please."  (Aren't all us females that way?)

We came to this park and museum specifically to view Allan's newest project.  Some years ago he learned that ospreys, birds that were once plentiful here, had disappeared.  He did some research on their lifestyles, built two nests on platforms, got the local phone company to donate the poles for the nests and to set them in the ground, and waited.  Two years passed before the ospreys found the platforms and now--VOILA--two complete families have taken up residence.

We could only get within 1/8 of a mile so my photo was a fuzzy blur but the owner of the park has a great hi-powered camera and he took the above photo. Now the town's people are enthralled and are visiting the nests regularly to watch the progress of the babies.  The project has been written up in the local paper and groups of birders are starting to show up.  It was especially fun to meet a few of the old, grizzled mountain men and cowboys as they came up to Allan to tell him about viewing the baby birds.  One old guy smugly informed me that ospreys are very clean and Never ever poop in their nests--only over the side.

BTW, Allan has several more platforms that are ready to go up.  Craig may well become the osprey capitol of the country.

We strolled around the museum grounds for a while....  

...met Junior, the pet elk...

Then headed for the museum.

The museum/park is one man's answer to 'how to clean out the garage without throwing anything away'. 

Like an M47 Patton Tank!

To be continued.....


  1. Enjoying the tour....


  2. Thanks, Dean.
    For Allison: I am so sorry but I accidentally 'rejected' your I had to copy it to get it in here. Someday I'll learn how to use a computer:

    Allison has left a new comment on your post "Allan and Julie":

    I love the ospreys. There is a nest about a half mile from our RV park on a microwave tower. They're one of the few wild birds that tolerate humans in their habitat. As long is there is food they can thrive. The Willamette if full of them, they nest on the channel marker buoys. Your nephew has a great looking house with a stupendous view.