Adventures, hiking

Hike — Miller Woods Conservation Area

Last Friday we hiked again at the Miller Woods Conservation Area in McMinnville. The sun was out and it was so nice to finally feel warm outdoors again! We had hiked at Miller Woods on February 3rd and were hoping to go back and see some wildflowers. There weren’t as many as we’d hoped, but some lovelies were blooming.

Wild Iris

Trillium, I think.

Camas Lily

Strawberry?

We started with the loop around the pond like we did last time. This time we actually saw a big froggie friend on his raft (in the rather blurry photo below).

We were sorry that we chased the geese away, but maybe it was just as well. I’m not sure how nicely-tempered they are.

Around the pond and throughout the woods are these wildlife cover boards. They have handles so you can lift them up to see if anyone is hiding underneath. Unfortunately once you do that, the little friends are disturbed and go find somewhere else to rest.

This guy was under one board.
Ready for his closeup.

And THESE guys are the reason I didn’t lift any of the boards…what if something jumps out at me? I stood back and watched. Photo by Kangaroo.

Some of the nesting boxes. I think it would be fun to have some on our property. That is, if someone else were to be responsible for cleaning and maintenance.

We followed the trail up and around the picnic area. The Miller Woods trail builders placed benches along the trails in very convenient places.

Convenient bench.

The trail.

After walking up and around, we walked down to the meadow looking for the woods trail. We found a service road and walked up that until we came to the red trail. Once you get into the woods the trails are pretty well marked at junctions, but from the meadow it was hard to find the trails. We looked at the map and decided to take the red trail to the yellow trail, and take the yellow trail back to the pond. In the end we took a shortcut down to the pond on a service road instead of doing the whole yellow loop.

On the way down on the shortcut road we did come upon these, which we hadn’t seen last time.

It was nice and cool walking in the woods. Kangaroo made sure to take a photo of this sign because she too was born in 1971! Sweet Pea had decided not to take too many photos and just to enjoy herself during the hike.

We made it to the “K.T.” Summit and rested there on a very nice large bench while we had a snack. I had something new to eat, pumpkin seed butter. It was with the peanut butter packets at the Natural Grocers so I decided to try it. It was pretty tasty, very mild and sweet. It does have sugar in it, but also lots of protein and fat for sustained energy. Win! During our rest time we were noticing bugs on the ground. Sweet Pea found a neon green spider, and I found this weird inchworm that looks like a stick.

The dark brown stick thing standing up from the bigger stick (lower half of the photo, towards the middle) is the inchworm. Kangaroo relocated him to a safer place off the trail.

This was on a tree at the summit.

Here are a few more photos from our hike.

Bird’s nest fungus.

Pine.

There was a cougar in the area on 4/27. On the Miller Woods website it indicates that the Dept. of Fish and Wildlife captured and relocated the cougar. We were glad to know that.

The bush in the middle with the shiny leaves is poison oak. Leaves of three, leave them be!

This little plant with the red leaves is also poison oak! Beware!

Me, Sweet Pea and Kangaroo

Just keep walking!

~Ninja

Adventures, Animals, Antiquing, hiking

Hike – Miller Woods Conservation Area – Part 2

Here is part 2 of our hike to the Miller Woods Conservation Area near McMinnville, Oregon. Don’t forget to read Part 1 first!

After exploring the pond and field areas, we continued on to the forested areas. The trail was sticky mud in many places and I was glad I had on my waterproof boots!

Kangaroo getting a selfie of us while I get a photo of her, haha!

On the way to see a stream, we found this small plant with a protective fence around it — can you see the plant?

Very spindly shrub.

The plant had this label. Neither of us had heard of a Western Wahoo. Sounds like it should get to be rather a large shrub.

There were these nice benches scattered along the trail, and I thought those people knew how to build a trail right! Oh, how we wished for benches when we were hiking the PCT!

A lovely bench.

We reached this summit…

But this was the view…

In one area some trees had signs. We admitted we would have a difficult time telling the conifers apart without the labels!

Grand Fir

Douglas Fir

Another tree full of nesting boxes

This little guy was on the trail, quite aways up from the stream. We wondered how long it took him to climb all that way, and Kangaroo suggested he might be on a thru-hike 😃

Newt friend. (Photo by Kangaroo – she always gets the best wildlife photos)

This is actually a data collection site for snow. Considering that we seldom have snow here, I thought it was a strange location for it.

After the hike we planed to go to the little town of Lafayette, a few miles away, and go to the antique mall there. We didn’t find anything at the antique mall we couldn’t live without, but there were some interesting items. One was a giant buffalo head that was positioned next to the entry door (I believe they were asking $2700 for it!). Because of the moisture in the air, the poor buffalo smelled like wet dog, ugh! There was also a wonderful secretary desk with supports that automatically came out when you opened the door of the desk. So neat! I didn’t get photos of either of those, unfortunately!

Before we went in to the antique mall we walked a couple of blocks down to get some lunch. We went into the little “Cafeyette” and noticed a sign that said they were serving soup, but no other signs of food except pastries and coffee. I asked the lady what they had for lunch and she said they had sandwiches, ham and turkey. She suggested that olives on the sandwich would be delicious, so I chose to have everything except onions on my sandwich, and Kangaroo chose everything as well and did add onions. As they were making the sandwiches, the lady asked if we would like jalapenos, but we both declined. I got an Italian soda to drink and Kangaroo got a berry smoothie, and we sat down to wait for our sandwiches.

BIG yummy sandwich

The lady brought our sandwiches, and they were BIG and very yummy! While we were eating we noticed a man come in and look around. He asked us if there was a menu, and I replied, no, but there are sandwiches. He went up and put his order in and left the building, and when he came back he had an armful of yardsticks. I was about to comment on his yardstick haul when he said that he was going to be using them for projects, and that the man he got them from had only wanted 50 cents each for them so he bought them all. I said they were nice yardsticks too, and he asked us if WE wanted yardsticks, and we said sure, we’d love one, and he gave us each one. It’s a very nice, strong yardstick from the Power and Telephone Supply Company.

A very nice yardstick.

On the way home we came through Dayton towards West Salem, and I suggested we take the Wheatland Ferry since it would give us a straight shot home instead of going around through West Salem. The Boy works in the McMinnville area and takes the ferry home to Keizer most days. I hadn’t ridden the Wheatland Ferry since The Boy’s first ferry ride when he was a tiny baby! It was a nice adventure to end our day 😊

On the ferry

Leaving the ferry

We enjoyed our hike and decided that we will go back to visit Miller Woods in the spring sometime when the birds and other critters will be out.

Just keep walking!

~Ninja