Sunday, May 27, 2012


Port Orford ocean view

Approximately 7,500 acres of the Coquille ‘winter lake’ is a fresh water collector.  This seasonal water trap is the recharge source for the Coquille aquifer.  The dikes and tidal gates don’t just keep tides out, but also helps to keep wet season water in.

The geological plumbing system, faults and fractures, allows for water communication into the aquifer.  This same plumbing can also allow sea water (denser) into the aquifer.  As long as ‘winter lake’ is allowed to replenish the Coquille aquifer it will store fresh water.
When the fresh water is drawn off, or not replenished, the porous aquifer does not stay empty but starts to fill with more dense salt water.  Salt water intrusion is expanding due to sea level rise and fresh water pumping.
During the summer months the fresh water source is diminishing and denser salt water intrudes further up the coquille river channel and its tributaries, channels, ditches and wetlands.  If all the dikes and tidal gates are removed along with digging old ‘channels’, salt water will find it easier to enter the wet lands and the aquifer.
The world is having problems with fresh water sources for humans and agriculture.  If we allow more salt water intrusion into aquifer we will further reduce our fresh water storage and use.

Here is a link to an article published on the Statistical and Applied Mathematical Inst. Web Site:

Thursday, March 8, 2012


It’s a done deal.  The Coquille Valley flood plain (Winter Lake) is going to be bought for Oregon Department of Fish and Game for permanent wetland protection, conservation, and restoration projects.  Or until the next overdue magnitude 9 subduction earthquake re-adjusts the surface geomorphology.

Up to ‘approximately 3,000 acres of lowlands’ of the ‘larger initiative’ will be acquired for the land set aside for ODF&W.  The federal ‘National Coastal Wetlands conservation grant program’ proposal seems to be a done deal.  The ‘primary partners:  Nature Conservancy, Oregon Depart of fish and Game and other groups such as Doris duke Charitable Foundation, FWS, OWEB, TNC, Coquille Tribe, Coquille High School, Bandon High School and Ducks Unlimited have agreed to participate in the land purchase (at approximately $4,028 per acre).

Granted, the actions of Fish and Game will improve local fish production (and bird watching) that provides more money for the local economy (some estimates set about $400.00 per pound for salmon caught by ‘local’ fishermen/women).  Most of the animals, birds, fish and people will benefit.  So will fish eating populations like seals, cormorants, etc. also benefit from eating the salmon?

The ‘benefits to coastal – dependant or migratory birds’ list of 80 or so birds failed to list starlings or cormorants, I guess their populations will not be increased.  As a blueberry grower, I’m always interested in robin populations to increase as they just love our berries!  Maybe some crop damage could be mitigated with money?

There are at least two major concerns about this great plan.  The first is: how about the harm to local farmers who can’t possible afford the cost of summer feed for the cattle, sheep, goats, etc. caused by no source of summer pasture.  The uplands graised by live stock can’t support ‘pasture feed’ livestock during dry summer months.

The second concern of mine is call salt water intrusion.  A study (get it on line – Coquille River Salt water intrusion) already shows salt water intrusion 41 miles up the Coquille river.  What is going to happen to the Coquille Valley fresh water sources if it is made easier for salt water intrusion to take place?

It would be a lot cheaper to let climate change (warmer) raise sea water intrusion into the Coquille Valley as a more ‘natural’ cycle warming trend.  Of course if the great earthquake causes the Coquille River, wetlands to drop more, problem solved.  Coquille River Valley is now classified as a drowned river valley, so it drowns even more.   The ‘normal’ geological time scale is that ‘wetlands’ usually fill in by sedimentation and become great pasture/farm land.  But who are we to stop progress or retrogression even if it is temporary – so is life.

As for Pacific coast salmon, the main problem is that they are old non-adaptive DNA.  That is to say most pacific coast salmon spawn only one time and die.  What a waste.  How about breeding Pacific coast salmon with Atlantic coastal salmon that spawn 2, 3, or 4 times before they die?  They are much more able to adapt (more generations) to earth changes! 

It’s all about the money.

Thursday, February 23, 2012



To turn and burn is what oldies yearn; but life has taken a slower turn.

Your body needs to stay fit - to stop causes it to quit.
The old line of “use it or lose it” does really make your body fit as long as you don’t pollute it.
Things we accumulate as we grow old will eventually leave you cold.
“You are what you eat” is really true but how much you eat defines you.
Americans eat too much.  We need to cut back on that lunch.
Obesity is the disease of the day as it seems to be an American way.
To cut back on caloric intake slows down our bodies break-down rate.
This three meals a day makes your body pay.
Our bodies store things that cause physical dings.
To clean your body out, you need to keep good calorie count.
Cut back on empty calories.
Good nutrients are what you need to seize.
Your good diet has lots of clout
Keep diseases out a
and extend your lifetime route!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


The Westminster Dog Show has named it's 2012 champion, a pekingese named Malachy.
My dog would eat this for lunch.  My cat wouldn't waste the time - too much hairball potential.

Congrats, I guess.  I'd like to see it herd some sheep....

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


So, did you feel it?   The earth moved for ALL of us on Valentine's Day!!

At 7:31 pm, Tues, a 6.0 earthquake rumbled through the area (along with a little bit of thunder).   The quake was centered 150 miles west of Coos Bay.

It's always a good idea to restock up on water, batteries, and dry goods (like crackers, cookies, pastas, etc - things that don't require refrigeration to last).  And don't forget the toilet paper!

Take this moment to remind the family where to meet in a disaster, where to go for a tsunami, and create an out-of-town contact person that everyone knows to call in case of separation. 

For more tips, go to the US Government site on earthquake preparedness.  Now, take down that expensive vase for a few days, just in case...

Monday, February 13, 2012


My favorite show, Top Shot, returns tomorrow (Tues) on the History Channel.  It involves shooting, followed by some shooting, with each episode ending with some shooting.  I LOVE IT!!!

Just in case you haven't seen Top Shot, it is amazing.  The contestants get spun, flung, and zipped through the air, all while shooting.  There's not a whole lot of "beeyatch stole my makeup!" crapola.  But there is a whole lotta talented shooting going on, filmed with imagination and edited for maximum suspense.   It's a fun show - be sure to check it out!

Here's  a link to the Top Shot website.  You can catch up on past episodes, check out the new cast, and generally revel in the joy of shooting, without the political garbage that usually accompanies it.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Several colors of spun yarn

(Note:  The following article is from the Mrs.  My better half.  She who must be obeyed.  I'm always accusing her of spinning her wheels.  She's found a way to turn that into something productive!)

I have always been interested in spinning.  The process of turning wool into yarn seems like magic.  A couple a years ago, I took a spinning class at Wild Rivers Wool Factory.  Soon after the class, I bought a spinning wheel,  which I now use on a daily basis.  I use an electric spinner - a Hansen Crafts Mini Spinner.  A manual spinner uses a foot treadle, which is great as long as your knees are strong!

Feeding the electric spinner

I did not imagine that the wool from sheep, goats, rabbits, etc. could be so different.   Some fleece feels soft and luxurious while others feel like the beard of an old man.  Some breeds of sheep have fleece that could spin themselves while others remind you never to spin that type of wool again.

Spinning wheels also differ as greatly as sheep’s wool.  Some are a dream to spin on while others seem to backlash (go backward when you want them to go the opposite direction) just by looking at them.  When I first took up spinning, I thought one spinning wheel was the same as another.  I now realize that you need to spin on the wheel that you think you may buy – not just buy it without trying it. 

Spun yarn, just off the wheel

A great place to try spinning wheels is at a wool-gathering, like the Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene.  It takes place once a year and has spinning wheels, fleece, carters, drop spindles, etc. - all this plus live animals.  If you find fleece addictive, this is a dangerous place to go with credit cards or money.  There is so much to look at, feel and buy.

I found that you can travel with your addiction to spinning.  All you need is a drop spindle and some fiber.  You can spin while waiting in line, at airports, and as a passenger in a car. While walking around stores it is possible to spin.  The drop spindle is very portable and you can make a lot of yarn with them.  It came before the spinning wheel.  Columbus’s sails were the product of the drop spindle.

Measuring yarn length before pricing for sale

I think there are two types of spinners.  The spinners who enjoy spinning for the sheer pleasure of watching fiber turn into yarns.  These people do not plan to make anything out of their yarn.   I fall into that group.  Other people spin their yarn and create garments from their labor.  They either knit or weave – sometimes both.  We both enjoy what we do.  Also, if you want to exercise while you watch TV,  spinning is for you!