Tuesday, February 27, 2018

18 Clever Storage ideas

It seems we are all striving for less clutter and more storage space.  One good answer is to discard something whenever you buy something.  But here are some more appealing suggestions.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

The Sentinel of Long Beach

Several years after the construction of the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse there were many complaints from mariners that the light was not visible from the north. 


Several years after the construction of the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse there were many complaints from mariners that the light was not visible from the north.

In 1897 the North Head lighthouse was constructed.  It has a 65 foot tower that is set on a 130 foot cliff overlooking the ocean and quite visible to ships approaching from the north. The complex includes two oil buildings and a keepers house and a duplex for two assistant keepers. There is also a barn and other outbuildings on the site.

Washington State Parks obtained ownership from the Coastguard in November of 2012.  Maintenance of the park is undertaken by the state and a group known as Keepers of the North Head Lighthouse, an arm of the non-profit Friends of the Columbia River Gateway.

The North Head Lighthouse still aids navigation through the treacherous confluence between the Pacific Ocean and the Columbia River often called the graveyard of the Pacific.  

Visitors enjoy a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean, Long Beach Peninsula, Columbia River Bar, and the northern Oregon Coast.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Look! It's a Kittiwake!

Take to the beach, you bird watchers.  The black-legged kittiwake has been spotted at the north end of the Long Beach Peninsula near the Ocean Park beach approach.

These birds belong to the species Laridae and  are often found alone at the edge of flocks of other gulls.  The black-legged kittiwake is a bit smaller than its cousins.  Its head and body are white. The wings are gray with solid black tips.  It has a yellow bill and short black legs.  In the winter it sometimes has a gray hind-neck collar.

The  black-legged kittiwake builds its nest on sheer ocean cliffs.

At fledgling they have black 'W' band across the length of the wings and a black hind-neck collar and a black band on the tail.

These birds, as one would expect, are fish feeders.  They are found around the north Pacific and north Atlantic oceans.

So, on your next trip to the beach keep a look out for these beautiful birds.  They are loners.  You won't find them in flocks.  But they can often be found alone at the edge of flocks of other species of gulls.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Small Bathroom Decor

Not many of us can afford the luxury of a large bathroom. While surfing the internet I found some imaginative and unique ways to add storage and the feeling of space to your small bathroom.

Below see the stylish ladderlook for narrow close to the wall storage.

Or Repaint a vintage ladder to match your color scheme.  Hang metal planters on the bottom rung for hair styling tools.

To add interest to an undecorated plain bathroom add a row of contrasting tile as a backsplash.  It's also easy on the pocketbook as it takes only a small amount of tile.

Its ok to mix prints and textures in your small bathroom decor as long as you stay with a single color 

Small shelves can help keep clutter off the counter top.

Below find images of simple inexpensive decor.

or for the small bathroom.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

From Burning Trees To a Lighthouse

Cape Disappointment Lighthouse is located at the north side of the mouth of the Columbia River near Ilwaco, Washington


The Columbia drains a watershed area of about 259.000 square miles. The force of this great river meets the Pacific Ocean's massive mix of shifting channels, violent seas and high winds making for extremely dangerous navigation. Also, despite its wide mouth, mariners, historically, were often unable to find it.

About 1812 a beacon was erected on top of the 700 foot cape by Hudson's Bay Company employees in order to assist the Beaver ( the company ship) in finding the entrance to the Columbia River. They raised a flag and set trees on fire as a makeshift lighthouse.

As time went on the traffic on the northwest coast increased and the U. S. Coast Survey recommended the building of lighthouses at Cape Disappointment at the mouth of the Columbia River and and Cape Flattery at the entrance to Puget Sound. This was about 1850.

The commander of the U. S. Surveying Schooner Ewing spoke out about the urgency of a light at the mouth of the Columbia River saying, "The greatly increasing commerce of Oregon demands that these improvements be made immediately …. Within the last eighteen months more vessels have crossed the Columbia river bar than had crossed it, perhaps, in all time past"

Coast Survey Sub-Assistant A. M. Harrison, on November 29 1850, stated that the lighthouse should be located near the southern edge of Cape disappointment. This spot was about 250 feet above the high water mark and in position to avoid the fog bank that frequently covered its peak. This location was chosen because it had three-fourths horizontal view and they would not have to cut down some giant pine trees to the north.

It was decided that supplies for building the lighthouse be brought ashore at Baker's Bay which is about 1,000 yards south and below the construction site. A trail already existed from the landing to the top of Cape Disappointment but a new road needed to be constructed in order to transport the supplies to the top.

In 1853 a load of supplies for the lighthouse construction was being shipped into Baker's Bay. It grounded and broke up in the rough bar at the foot of Cape Disappointment. Building was finally begun after a second ship carrying supplies arrived in 1854. The 53 foot tower was finished along with the keeper's house which was a few minutes walk away.

It was two more years before the lighthouse was ready and operational. The cost of construction was $38,500. The wicks which illuminated the lens were lit by the keeper on October 15, 1856. A fixed white light was displayed providing enough light for mariners. But the fixed light while voiding the need for the keeper to make frequent trips up to the top to wind the mechanism he still had to carry 170 gallons of oil daily up to the lantern room.

A fog bell weighing 1,600 pounds was installed so as to give hearable warning as fog was a frequent visitor to the Columbia River mouth. In foggy weather when mariners could not see the light they could hear the bell. It would strike nine consecutive times every minute.

Fort Canby was built nearby during the Civil War. In 1871 during artillery practice the fog bell was shattered. Seafarers complained that they could not hear the replacement bell. Another problem was that ships coming from the north couldn't see the Cape Disappointment light. To support their arguments for a better light they cited the wrecks of the Whistler (1883) and the Grace Roberts (1887).

In 1892 a floating lighthouse was established at the mouth of the Columbia River four miles southwest of Cape Disappointment It remained there until 1909 when it was replaced by a 120 foot sail-powered ship which stayed for 30 years.

In 1898 the 65-foot North Head Lighthouse was built about two miles north of the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse.

Today in 2018 the two lighthouses are still operating. While the waters at the mouth of the Columbia River remain among the most treacherous in the world those two lights have made the navigation much safer than it otherwise would have been.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Pileated Woodpecker

A year round resident at Willapa Wildlife Refuge at the north end of the Long Beach Peninsula in Washington State is the Pileated Woodpecker.   This large bird is the size of a crow and can be seen in deciduous forests of eastern North America, the frosty forests of Canada and parts of the Pacific Coast.  

The bird has a prominent red crest, thus the name pileated which comes from the Latin pileatus meaning "capped".

The bird has a call similar to the northern flicker which is a far-carrying laugh often described as a "jungle bird" call.  The pileated woodpecker prefers mature forests with large mature hardwood trees. But they can be seen in smaller woodlots that contain tall trees.  Their diet consists mainly of insects, especially carpenter ants.  Fruits, nuts, and berries, including poison ivy berries are also on the menu.  The woodpecker will sometimes be seen foraging around  homes or cars.  One might also be attracted by suet-type feeders especially during harsh weather.

These birds make their nests in holes that they drill in dead trees.  They have been known to make such large holes that the tree breaks in half.  They raise their young every year in these holes.   In April the male drills a hole and attracts a female for mating and there they raise their young.  Once the young are raised they abandon the holes and do not use them again.  Other birds an d even some mammals such as raccoons may use them.  That is a male Pileated Woodpecker feeding its young.  The red strip extending from the beak straight back under the eye is black in the female.

The pair is not migratory.  They stay together on the same territory and will defend this territory year round.  They often make quite a racket when they do.  Both parents sit on three to five eggs for 12 to 16 days to hatch the young.  

Martens, weasels, squirrels, rat snakes and gray hawks are nest predators.  Predators of flying adults are hawks and owls.

The pileated woodpecker can be considered both helpful and harmful  to humans as they control the populations of tree beetles and other insects.  But they are deemed to be harmful if found on some properties because of the damage they can do to trees and homes.

So, you bird watchers, take your cameras and binoculars to Willapa Wildlife Refuge  and watch the show.

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Forgotten Sink Sprayer

I know.  You're faithful about cleaning your sink ie. wiping it down after every use and wiping the faucet.  But did you  think about the sprayer?  After a while the sprayer can become clogged or slow from build-up of minerals in  the water especially if you have hard water.  This junk can get into the nozzle from the inside and clog it or slow down the flow.

Vinegar to the rescue! 

Gather the following items together:
Half and Half mixture of white vinegar and warm water
2 Bowls
3 MIcrofiber cloths

1..Fill one bowl with the vinegar solution and the other with plain warm water
2.  Pull the sprayer all the way out
3. Clean the hose with a microfiber cloth dampened with the vinegar solution.
4.  Wipe down the hose with a second microfiber cloth dampened with plain water.
5.  Use the first cloth moistened again with vinegar solution to clean the nozzle.
6.  If the nozzle is still clogged let it soak in the vinegar solution 30 minutes or even overnight if necessary.
7.  Then use the water dampened cloth to wipe it clean
8.  Dry the hose with the third cloth and replace the hose.
9.  The final step is to run hot water through the sprayer for a few minutes to remove any remaining debris..


Friday, February 9, 2018

Tide Pods On the Menu?

A Couple of "well meaning" lawmakers in New York have introduced legislation to require makers if detergent pods such as Tide to wrap each pod with a warning in order to make them less attractive so teens would stop eating them.
They also wrote a letter to Proctor and Gamble asking them to make their product safer.  These two lawmakers state “We’re asking for all laundry detergent pods to be uniform in color. We don’t need them to look like Gummy Bears in order for consumers to use them,” Hoylman added. “We need to impose clear warning labels on all packaging, including each pod.”
Meanwhile proctor and Gamble say they do no intend to stop making the product.  They urge that the pods be used as intended and that is to wash clothes.
Aren't teenagers old enough to know better and what good would it do to label the pods differently?

In a statement released by the company last month, CEO David Taylor said, “As a father, seeing recent examples of young people intentionally take part in self-harming challenges like ingesting large amounts of cinnamon or the so-called ‘Tide Pods Challenge’ is extremely concerning.”

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

If You See a Stranded Sea Turtle

A female olive ridley sea turtle which was found stranded on an Oregon beach after the recent storms has died.  It was taken to Seaside Aquarium where it was examined and then sent on to the Oregon Coast Aquarium for treatment.  The turtle was active but hypothermic and was red on the underside.  It also had an in jury to the front flipper.  It was apparently a victim of the violent weather the week before.

On arrival at the Oregon Coast Aquarium its temperature was 54 degrees.  The animal was administered fluids and its wound was cleansed.  The turtle eventually died despite treatment.

According to Mochon-Collura of the oregon Coast Aquarium some turtles can survive and some cannot.   Oregon State University will do a necropsy to find the exact cause of death and to collect data.

It is not often that sea turtles are found on the oregon or Washington Coast unless they are stranded.  That happens most often in winter after a storm.  If you find a turtle on the beach you are asked to call  Oregon State Police Tipline at 800-452-7888 or the Marine Mammal Stranding Network in Oregon, Washington, and California at 1-866-767-6114.


Saturday, February 3, 2018

The African-American With Lewis and Clark

Everyone knows the story of Lewis and Clark and their journey from Camp Wood near St. Louis, Missouri to the Pacific Ocean . The expedition set out in May 14,1804 with Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. But very little is known of one of their very important companions. He was a black man named York.

York was a slave owned by Clark's father and passed down to Clark in his father's will. It is believed that York married just before setting out on the famous 28 month trek west. It is not known if he had any children. We know very little of York and that is through the writings of Clark and other members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. As many of the Corps of Discovery members were illiterate, so was York.

According to historian, Robert Betts, he was allowed a considerable amount of liberty on the journey. He even was allowed to carry a firearm. York helped the company with peaceful negotiations with the Indians along the way. He was apparently shown some respect by Lewis and Clark as they named a couple of discoveries after him. They were York's Eight Islands and York's Dry Creek. Unlike some of the other men in the group he was able to swim. This may be a reason for some of the respect and freedom he was afforded.

After they reached what is now Pacific County, Washington, near the mouth of the Columbia River, his opinion along with that of their Shoshone guide, Sacajawea. was considered as to whether they would camp on the north or the south side of the River. 

After returning from the Columbia-Pacific most of the members were given honors, double pay and acreage. That is, everyone except York. He remained the property of Clark and kept the one word name of "York" as if he were a pet animal ranking him at the bottom of the social ladder.

The rest of the story remains in dispute.

According to author Washington Irving, Clark said that he eventually gave York his freedom about ten years after they returned from the west. Clark told Irving that York subsequently failed at a business he started and wanted to reunite with him. He said York eventually died of cholera. It is not known if he ever found his wife.

Historian Betts suggests that York escaped to freedom after refusing to return to Clark's custody. It was reported that an African American man was found living with the Crow Indians in North Central Wyoming in 1834. This African man told Mr. mcKinney, a trader who met him, that he first came to the area with Lewis and Clark. He returned to south central Wyoming after the expedition and had been there about ten or twelve years. It appeared that he was a chief among the Indians because he had four wives and lived with all of them alternately.

A third source claims that York continued with Clark as a slave and that he asked for his freedom and Clark refused.
According to this source Clark did send him to Kentucky so that he could be closer to his wife. Then after ten years he was granted his freedom. He worked i the freighting business in Tennessee and Kentucky where he died of cholera in 1832.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Pesticides and Cranberries

There are several pests and diseases that could devastate the cranberry crops in Washington
State say the farmers if if lawmakers pass a bill requiring growers to give the Washington State Health Department up to seven day notice before spraying.  Many of the most crop destroying pests get out of control in much less time than 7 days.

Senate bill 6529 was introduced by Seattle Democrat Rebecca Saldana raising opposition from cranberry farmers.
Washington Wheat farmer Nicole Berg was asked to rate the bill's threat on a scale from 1 to 10 She answered "10".

Under the bill  farmers would be required to give 4 business days notice before spraying.  I you add holidays and weekends it could extend the time to a week.  Then Health Department Officials would give schools and residents within a quarter mile  a 2 hour notice.

The amount of pesticide to be applied for each spraying would have to be made public each month and farmers not filing the correct information could be fined $7,500.

February 2 is the deadline for passing the bill in order to keep it alive.  In light of the opposition it is not likely to pass this session.  Saldana wants to work with the farmers to refine the motion for next year.  She said  “This is something I’d like to continue to work on,” .


Representatives from the Washington State Labor Council, Columbia Legal Services, Washington Environmental Council, Washington Education Association and Washington State PTA endorsed the bill at the hearing.
Farmers and pesticide applicators stressed they don’t know four or more days in advance whether the wind and rain will let them spray.
“Most often aerial applicators are Minutemen for growers,” said Gavin Morse, a Warden applicator and president of the Association of Washington Aerial Applicators. “Wind and environmental conditions do not operate on a schedule.”
The state Department of Agriculture in 2017 issued seven fines in incidents that exposed people to pesticides from farms. In the worst case, which did not involve applying a pesticide, fumigant tablets that were improperly disposed of exposed 11 men, including farmworkers, a garbage truck driver and emergency responders, to poisonous gas.