Happy Birthday Oregon

My back deck last night right before I went to bed.

Today, for anyone who is not in the mood to celebrate love, let’s celebrate Oregon instead. She is marking her 164th birthday today. In my opinion, Oregon is one of the best states. I’ve lived in 11 states and visited all but 4 of them (and none of the territories), and I still would bet on Oregon. I was born in the southern rural town of Klamath Falls, Oregon. So was my mom. And so was her mom. I guess, for all my travels, I really haven’t gone that far.

First here, of course, were hundreds of indigenous tribes. We have evidence to suggest human inhabitants in what is now Oregon for 15,000 years, and we have scientifically dated artifacts of human life in Lake County as far back as 13,200 years. Sandals made of sagebrush and bark dated to be 9,300 years old were found in Fort Rock Cave. The reason there were so many tribes in this spot is because of the huge amounts of natural resources that could sustain them all. The ocean offers much bounty, and the massive coastal forests do as well. The coastal mountains shelter fertile inland flood plains. There are lakes and rivers and streams and marshes over much of the state. It’s a perfect collection of fresh and salty water and plains and deserts and beaches and woods for many kinds of animals that have provided furs and meat for thousands of years.

The secrets of all these resources wasn’t kept long, once travelers arrived. As early as the 1500s, traders were sending ships to the coast to trade. In 1804-06 Lewis & Clark were sent by President Jefferson to find a passage to the Pacific Ocean, and the Astor expedition followed soon after in 1811. They found a route that was later famously called “The Oregon Trail,” and even more famously, that trail became immortalized in an early video game. British explorer David Thompson conducted overland exploration. In 1811, Thompson became the first European to navigate the entire Columbia River.

The Columbia River is 1,243 miles (2,000 kilometers) long and forms most of the northern boundary of the state, and the Snake River forms most of the eastern boundary of the state.

The Oregon Territory became the state of Oregon on February 14, 1859. Her state motto is: “She Flies With Her Own Wings.” The capital city is Salem and the largest city is Portland. There are 4.2 million people here.

  • Oregon state beverage: milk
  • state dance: Square dance
  • mushroom: Pacific Golden Chanterelle
  • insect: Oregon Swallowtail Butterfly
  • pie: Marionberry pie
  • fish: Chinook Salmon
  • songbird: Western Meadowlark
  • raptor: Osprey
  • state microbe: Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • animal: American Beaver
  • fruit: pear
  • flower: Oregon Grape
  • grass: Bluebunch wheatgrass
  • tree: Douglas Fir
  • state fossil: Metasequoia, or Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides)
  • gemstone: sunstone
  • state crustacean: Dungeness Crab
  • nut: hazelnut
  • rock: thunder egg (geode)
  • seashell: Oregon hairy triton (Fusitriton oregonensis)
  • soil: Jory soil
After last year’s snow catastrophe that collapsed the cage, Pedro and I built a support structure. I see that it is working just fine.
Two metal rods suspending a wooden 2 x 4 seems to do the job.

Oregon has one of the oldest continually operating amusement parks in the nation, Oaks Park, which opened in Portland in 1905. The state has 51 covered bridges (which is a drop from an estimated 450 covered bridges at its peak). Hells Canyon can get to as much as 7,913 feet (2,412 m) deep, which makes it the deepest canyon in North America. Oregon has 11 lighthouses.

The view from my deck down to the chicken pen. As the day progressed it became foggy out.
No signs of hen activity. The Hussies truly prefer to stay indoors in weather like this.

Oregon has five sets of mountains, or mountain ranges. These are: The Blue Mountains, the Cascade Range, The Coast Range, the Klamath Mountains, and the Steens Mountains.

Oregon’s Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States, at 1,943 feet (592 m). Two significant rivers run their entire course within the state: John Day River, at 284 miles (457 km), and the Deschutes River, at 252 miles (406 km). The highest waterfall is Multnomah Falls, at 620 feet (189 m).

While outside, I realized the birds couldn’t find their seeds.
So I cleared the snow and spread more seeds for them.

Oregon has 61 volcanoes. The tallest one is Mt. Hood, my favourite volcano of them all, at 11,240 feet (3426 m).

Oregon contains National Forests, National Historic Landmarks, National Parks, National Scenic Areas, National Monuments, National Cemeteries, National Fish Hatcheries, National Recreation Areas, National Wildlife Refuges, and one National Grassland.

It worked. Within minutes, the Dark-eyed Juncos came back.
I spotted them through my office window.

We like wine here. Oregon has 1,370 vineyards and has planted 39,531 acres. Of those, Pinot Noir accounts for 59%. We also like beer. Oregon’s hops accounted for 11% of the United States hops crops in 2021. There are 310 craft breweries.

With all the white as a background, I realize my flag needs a cleaning.

I was expecting a dusting of snow, and was surprised to measure 5 inches this morning. The forecast was for the weather to warm and for partly sunny skies. So I put on my snow gear and shoveled a path out to the yard, and then went sledding for an hour or so.

Me, at the top of the sledding hill.
I love the red sled and the blue sky.

After I played in the snow, I went for a walk around the pond. It’s fun to see my land in a different perspective.

The sun casts shadows and melts the snow off branches.
Snow makes the tiny island show up clearly.
Globs of snow dripping off branches into the water makes the whole pond burst with activity.

To be clear, I am excited to celebrate love today. I am crazy about mi Pedrito, and he is crazy about me. ❤ I spent the last weekend with him (and the twins) and we exchanged Valentines cards and flowers. This week we have to work. This coming weekend we will celebrate together again, only it will be for Pedro’s birthday! He is turning 50 on the 23rd.

Here’s wishing you an excellent second half of February and for those in winter, I will join you in wishing for less snowy days and more sunny days.

11 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Oregon

  1. Well, Happy Birthday my sweet neighboring state! My niece and nephew have both chosen Oregon as home and I couldn’t be happier. Love to learn a little history here and I really love the way you braided these stories together. Brilliant! Nicely done, Crystal. Happy Love Day 💞

    1. Thanks Bonnie! I love your state too. Nearly everything is the same for Washington: hundreds of tribes, amazing bountiful resources, volcanoes, wine and beer. I imagine the state soil and the state fossil are different. Who knew there were such things? ha ha. Happy Love Day back atcha. ❤

  2. Absolutely beautiful, Crystal. Once again showing what a gorgeous property you have. Glad to see the Hussies are doing well, and that you and Pedro are doing even better. 🙂 Curt and Peg

    1. Thank you Curt and Peggy! Hussies are all well. A couple of them are molting and look pretty ragged, but they are just fine. On the plus side, I still have not had to purchase any eggs from the store, so I consider that a score these days. Pedro and I are doing great. I have enjoyed hearing about your world travels in 2022. It sounds like 2023 is going to be even busier for you and I know you two will have a marvelous year.

      1. As eggs keep soaring in price, Crystal, your chickens are looking more and more like the goose that layed the golden egg. Go Hussies! I can tell from your posts that you and Pedro are doing just fine. 🙂 Yes. adventures!

    1. All seasons are great here, and most of them are wet. So if you like to be wet and cold, then this is the perfect land for you! Autumn is one of the best, actually, because we often have insanely dry summers and those dry spells often linger into Autumn. It’s the best time of year in my opinion: warm and dry. Thank you for the belateds, and back atcha’ I hope your 2023 is shaping up well so far.

      1. Haha. i’m not too keen on wet and less on cold… I’m more tropical… But it’s all right. Looks beautiful. (as long as you have a good heating system…)
        Thank you. Let’s all hope 2023 will be good. 🙏🏻

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