Follow by Email

Visitor Count

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Nature and Nutria invading our garden

Yesterday I had the treat of watching this little fellow wandering around our garden for about half an hour. I say little, but an adult nutria (or Coypu is some continents) weighs in at anything up to 20 pounds, the size of a large cat.

After munching on grass for a while, watched from a distance by two of our cats, he found this fallen pear more to his taste and tucked in with relish.

Those orange teeth are natural, and quite capable of giving nasty bite if roused. Fortunately this one was quite docile and didn't seem scared of me at all, as long as I stayed five feet away.

We've recently lost a willow tree down in the creek due to animal activity, and our neighbor blames a beaver, but  these nutrias burrow and undermine the banks too, so much as I enjoy having nature on my doorstep, we may have to take steps to discourage them. The previous owner shored up the bank, and filled in their holes, with cement, and we may eventually have to adopt the same approach. For now though, I'll enjoy the show.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011


A week ago my Brother-in-Law Chris and I hiked up Spencer Butte, the biggest Butte (hill) near Eugene, offering spectacular views when the weather is right. We hadn't expected much view when we left the house, as the top was hidden by cloud, but only a few minutes after we left the car park the sun came out, and we were treated to a rare clear winter day.

That's me, celebrating our 3/4 hour hike. Autzen Stadium, home of the Oregon Ducks, is visible down in the valley. The Butte is 2055 ft high.

This group of antennae is visible from most of Eugene, but you don't normally get to look down on it. (I think) the antennae provide radio, TV and cell phone coverage for the valley.

Looking southwest towards the coastal mountain range. Lots of farmland that way and not many townships.

I'm pretty sure these snowy peaks to the southeast are the ones around Crater Lake. The bearing and distance are right anyway.

Chris's camera was much better than mine, and these are all his shots. This is Mount Hood, 11,240 odd feet in height, and another unofficially inactive volcano. The odds of an eruption in the next 30 years are estimated to be 3-7%. If it goes pop I'm going to be up here watching it.   

The sprawl of buildings west of Downtown, centred around West11th Avenue, with the radio masts in the foreground. You can see the mountains from WalMart's parking lot, a sight I enjoy all too frequently.

The smoking chimney behind the masts is just south of our old apartment at Heron Meadows, and used to get odd smells if the wind was from the south. Happy as we were to be in the apartment, we are a lot happier not to be in that apartment now.