Doing the Denman (White City, Oregon) 08-Jun-2021

Oregon’s transition from Spring into summer has always been a little chaotic – the old joke being that summer doesn’t start here until Fourth of July. But, with some extra weather weirdness due to the atmosphere’s ever rising CO2 content, we had 100+°F (37+°C) temperatures in late May (several records were broken), then temperatures plunged toward 60°F (15°C), then it was thunderstorms, downpours (a month’s rain in a day!), and a spritz of snow higher up – all in the space of a few days. The rain was most welcome but had little impact on our continuing severe drought. Makes you wonder about the climate. 🤔

When this climate thing first reached the public’s consciousness, it was known as “global warming” – which gave more than a few folks visions of new bathing suits and extra idyllic lounging by the pool or at the shore, fortified by various parasol drinks. But before this fantasy could play out, the situation was renamed climate change, which is both banal and uninformative. What kind of change? In what direction? Should we get new bathing suits? Where’s the pool? 🙄

But a warmer atmosphere (thanks to that CO2) is both a wetter and more energetic one and this combination generates much more unpredictable and exciting (often not in a good way) weather. We should have gone all in and called it climate chaos. Probably too scary for whatever committee came up with change. Whatever. We’ll adapt – as long as we don’t run short of those tiny parasols.

But amidst such chaos, we had one day of truly lovely weather – sunny 😎 but cool, with a light breeze, artistic clouds, and no bugs. A day to hike for. But various duties called and we could only spare a couple of hours for a stroll. So we headed (again) to the Denman Wildlife Area (Military Slough Unit – entering via Touvelle State Park) to enjoy the ever raucous woodpeckers and to see if we could catch the wild teasels in bloom (we didn’t; too early). It was a nice way to fritter away the morning before we were Zoomed back to reality in the afternoon. 😊

Starting out from Touvelle State Park on the interpretive trail
Moth Mullein (non-native)
Self-Heal (non-native, often found in lawns)
Wild Teasel (before it sprouts its distinctive flower cone)
Upper Table Rock
One woodpecker sat still long enough for a picture
Upper Table Rock over the stalks of last year’s teasels
Wild Rose
Great Blue Heron
Climbing up to the Agate Desert
Upper Table Rock from the Agate Desert
One of the ponds in Military Slough with a good coating of pond weed
Perennial Sweet Pea (non-native)
Circling- back under a beautiful sky
A much diminished Little Butte Creek
Showy Milkweed with beetle
Through the creek-side forest
Open ground under a blue sky
Upper Table Rock over the Rogue River
Strolling along the Rogue River on the interpretive trail
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6 comments

  1. We got 1 day of good rain – certainly welcome but not enough. I suspect any photos I take this summer will feature dryness. And, yes, it looks like an ornate checkered – who eat pollen but also prey on solitary bees.

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  2. Wishing you some drought-breaking rain! You’ve made it all look so beautiful despite the dryness. Is that an ornate checkered beetle? Very handsome but some mean behaviors.

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  3. They probably do, but if it doesn’t directly affect their chances in the very next election, it gets shoved way, way down the “to do” list. 😦

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  4. Thanks!. This wildlife area used to be the site of Camp White – a WW2 training camp that housed up to 40,000 personnel during the war. I believe some of the ponds you find in the slough were built as part of the camp.

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  5. My Dad used to take me out there with our dog in the fall. I didn’t know it was a military slough, but wondered how the ponds got there. Beautiful shots, as always.

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  6. C. C. C. Catastrophic Climate Change. Even a Congressman could remember that.

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