Saturday, July 14, 2012

If a Tree Falls --------

This past weekend we took part in our church's annual family camp at Camp Elkanah.  We again had a great turnout but the weather was different this year.  Saturday we had rain and thunder storms for the first time so the afternoon activities were curtailed and most everyone moved into the dinning hall for board and card games.  About mid-afternoon, a couple of people noticed that the wind across the road from camp was swirling and the trees in the camp ground were swaying in a circular motion rather than back and forth.  The tree above snapped off about 20 to 25 feet above the ground, dropped straight down and then toppled over onto the roof of one of the cabins.  The force of the 75 to 80 ft section that fell broke a water line three feet under ground. Several girls had only moments before left the cabin, as had Valerie from the white and orange trailer.  Had the tree fallen 5 degrees more to the right it would had taken out the white and orange trailer.  15 degrees to the left and it would have taken out the newly purchased Suburban with the black cattle guard in the first picture, which the Martins had owned all of 48 hours. 
The red pick-up in the third picture just 24 hours earlier had been parked directly in the path of the tree.  I had moved it for Charlie so another couple could park their trailer, the one the tree just barely missed.  Charlie half joked that I should have left his pick-up where it was because he could have now been looking at new trucks. 

As you can see from this picture, our trailer (with the green ladder) was only 6 ft. from the tree, as were several others.  Had this tree gone in any other direction the level of destruction would have been much worse.  If it had not been for the rain, there would have been numerous people sitting in lawn chairs visiting and kids running around. There was a minimal amount of space available for the tree to fall and do the least amount of damage.  Anyone thinking divine intervention here?  No question about it from those attending camp.

Let's see, we will need a chainsaw, back hoe, shovels, pipe fittings, -----
The other amazing thing about this whole incident is that it took place on a week end, and not during the previous 4 weeks when there were kids everywhere for summer camps.
It also occurred at a time when we had numerous men with the various skills needed to remove the tree, dig out the pipe, knew what was needed to repair the pipe and put it back together.  

Roof damage to the cabin

How deep is the pipe??

What a blessing to have young backs with hands that fit a shovel and know how to use it.
The young guys dug down about 3 ft. before they found the pipe, then Russ brought in the back hoe to dig the hole bigger to make room for the repair.

Bringing in the heavy equipment.

A little final hand work.

Measure twice, cut once.

Apparently somewhere along the way this became a state work site as we have two people actually working, six supervisors and one shovel leaner, making sure it(the shovel) doesn't get lost or stolen. 
Work site peanut gallery
And the final pressure test was successful with no leaks!  Praise the Lord!  
It was wonderful to see so many men pitch in to help, each one bringing different skills to the table, each offering suggestions as to how to accomplish the task, everyone seeing what needed to be done and then doing those things they were good at.  Some shut down the power to the cabin and repaired that line, some started cutting up the tree to remove it out of the way, some started digging out for the water line, and others started cleaning up the branches and covering the damaged section of cabin roof.  
Russ removing the logs.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Wild life

Two evenings ago we were treated to a White Tail Doe that has twin fawns.  The lighting was low but I was able to get some decent photos.  The pasture had just been cut for hay that afternoon and the fawns were out running around like rabbits enjoying the short grass. 

Then this morning Jeri wakes me at 6 am and says "Quick, come see what is sitting on the post just outside the trailer!"  The two young owls that I posted earlier have grown up and are now hunting.  With the grass mowed the field mice and gophers are now readily accessible to the owls.  I took these pictures from inside the trailer through the dinning room slide window.  I knew if I tried to open the door they would fly off.  

Mom or dad watching and waiting.
And this, folks, is one of the reasons why we will continue to return to Eastern Oregon and will treasure times like this as gifts from God.  We were able to watch these two for over an hour

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Back home in Oregon

We have been back in Oregon  for a month and have enjoyed being where it is green, there are an abundance of pine trees, the Elk are calving and the owls have hatched and are growing.  The young owls are what I want mostly to share with you in this brief blog.

There are two siblings that tend to stay together.  They are Great Horned Owls and definitely have different personalities.  One could care less if you are around, the other will tolerate you in it's area just so long and then will fly a short distance away.

 This was taken a few weeks ago when we discovered them on the ground.  They apparently were experimenting with flying because they would hop and fly short distances.
It is always exciting to see the Elk in the spring.  The calves are still kept hidden in the woods behind our house.

And we are privilaged to see the moon here at 6 in the morning in a way that we don't get to see in Hawaii because of Mt. Mauna Kea.

Friday, April 27, 2012

This and That

It has been an interesting four months that we have been on the island of Hawaii, aka "The Big Island".  We have learned the nuances of a different culture, dealing with a whole different set of insects, adjusting to a different climate - which was not difficult - discovering and enjoying all the different culinary choices that are available here.  But what I really want to do at this time is again share some pictures of what we have been able to enjoy and see most days.

Rio Grande Turkey
  Turkeys are abundant on the island. There is a golf course just a mile and a half from our house (surprise, surprise) where turkeys and peacocks are thick, and wild pigs are a nuisance.  Haven't been able to take a picture of a pig yet as they seem to run around at night.  Residences on the island in some areas have had to resort to fences and lava rock walls to keep out the wild pigs, sheep and goats. 

We were at a free Hawaiian music concert at the Waikoloa Beach Resort and there were around 200 people in attendance.  This Heron was sitting on the wall of a fish pond right next to where the musicians  were playing, surrounded by people, yet his focus remained on the gold fish and koi that were swimming in the pond.  I wish I could stay focused that well.

This Cardinal shows up every morning and some afternoons and squawks at Jeri if the bird feeder is empty.  The problem is if we fill it, 50 to 75 various and sundry birds show up, fighting to get their fill, and they can empty it in about a half a day. 

We saw this vehicle outside of a restaurant called Jackie Ray's and it belongs to the restaurant owner.  It is a Mercedes Benz and he drives it around town. 

I saw this pick-up while at a yard sale. It has obviously spent most of it's time on the East side on the Island, probably in the Hilo area where they receive over 140 inches of rain a year.  I would imagine that if the owner hits a chuck hole body parts will separate from the frame.  Not much holding this truck together. 
You see all kinds of people and attire at events held virtually every weekend somewhere on the island.  Couldn't resist snapping this one!  She was one happy camper.

Not sure but I think this is the Hawaiian version of the Boogy man.  We were at a Hawaiian cultural event that was free, no vendors, just lots of local artisans showing how things were made in ancient times.  Very informative and nobody was trying to sell you stuff.  People were demonstrating hat weaving, cloth making from plants, how to make a nose flute and lots of other items.  Jeri participated in the nose flute construction and she got to keep hers.  Yes, a nose flute is played by blowing air from your nose across the hole in the flute and is made out of bamboo.  I saw an eight or nine year old boy play one of those things and he was really really good. 

They are big on gourds over here and they have some beautiful art work on them. 
A couple of weeks ago we went to an Earth and Ocean event where they had booths and demonstrations about the Island, Ocean and some of the bays and beaches in the area.  Entertainment was provided by a Jr. High School Group that all played the ukulele.  They were all good but this kid in the center of this photo was knock out talented.  It was amazing to hear the music that he could produce from a four string ukulele.  He was as good as most professionals.  Hula dances were provided by the girls.

Hibiscus, Hawaii state flower

Spider Lilly

Can't tell you what this is but it is pretty.
Red Bougainvillea
Purple Bougainvillea
This is a Wiliwili (Weelee weelee) tree discovered on my sister and brother-in-laws place.  When they purchased the property it was obscured by other trees.  Once they found out what it was they had the other trees removed and a path way built during their landscaping adventure.   This picture was taken in early April and it is just leafing out.  It will produce flowers in May.  Neither of us will be there this year to enjoy it. There aren't many of these around and so it is special if you happen to own one.

  Wiliwili means "repeatedly twisted" in the Hawaiian language and refers to the seedpods, which twist open to reveal the seeds.
Native Hawaiians made a number of items from wiliwili wood because of its low density, such as mouo (fishing net floats), ama (outrigger canoe floats,[9] and extremely long papa heʻe nalu (surfboards) called olo. Olo, which averaged 18 feet (5.5 m), were exclusively ridden by aliʻi (royalty).[10] The wood was sometimes used for the waʻa (hull) of outrigger canoes intended to be used near-shore, for recreation, or for training.[11] The shiny orange-red seeds were strung into lei.  (courtesy of Wikipidia)