Wednesday, November 23, 2016

They really DO exist! and this 'n that.

I tell you..... no matter what age you are or how long you've lived, you can always learn something new!  Before I go any further though, I just want to wish you all a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING.... and sending my blessings to you, each and every one of you.

Now for the rest of my story: Before I post the picture of what really DOES exist that I never KNEW existed, I have to tell you a little story first. Hubby and I took a little trip to the Oregon coast on November 3rd for a few days... to see my son and his girlfriend of almost a year now. 

The little town they live in is Astoria, Oregon. I've always loved that town. It's right on the uppermost northwest corner of Oregon. Beautiful (wet, damp) place! I had forgotten how damp it is at the coast!  It's the first time I'd seen the house he is now living in... a darling little farmhouse on 7 acres.

Neat old farmhouse - only has wood heat.
We had a great time! Ate out several times (pizza, yummy breakfast at Pig 'N Pancake) which is a real treat to us as we hardly ever eat out! Went to the jetty out in Hammond and watched the waves crashing against the rocks and climbed the 2 story tower to watch.. .............boy was it windy, could hardly stand up!

Tidelands inland from the jetty... no water now but when the tides are in, it's full!
We went to Ft. Stevens State Park, which is quite famous in Oregon. From Wikipedia: Fort Stevens was an American military installation that guarded the mouth of the Columbia River in the state of Oregon. Built near the end of the American Civil War, it was named for a slain Civil War general and former Washington Territory governor, Isaac Stevens. The fort was an active military reservation from 1863–1947.[2] It is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

We walked the beach a little bit, and I mean only a little bit, as was COLD and windy! Saw the Peter Iredale skeleton of the wrecked ship from 1906.  Here is my picture of what is left of the huge ship:

Here are a couple of pictures from Wikipedia and a little history of the ship wreck. I've visited this wreck since I was a little girl. I've always wondered when this happened.  Now I know!

Peter Iredale in Seattle, circa 1900. From Wikipedia.
From Wikipedia: The Peter Iredale was a four-masted steel barque sailing vessel that ran ashore October 25, 1906, on the Oregon coast en route to the Columbia River. It was abandoned onClatsop Spit near Fort Stevens in Warrenton about four miles (6 km) south of the Columbia River channel. Wreckage is still visible, making it a popular tourist attraction as one of the most accessible shipwrecks of the Graveyard of the Pacific.

Peter Iredale, shortly after grounding in 1906. From Wikipedia.
From Wikipedia: The ship was named after Peter Iredale, who not only owned the vessel as part of his shipping fleet, but was also a well-known figure in Liverpool,England, where his business was headquartered.

Sailing from Salina Cruz, Mexico, on or about September 26, 1906, the Peter Iredale was bound for Portland, Oregon with 1,000 tons of ballast and a crew of 27, including two stowaways. The voyage up the coast was unremarkable until the night of October 25, when Captain H. Lawrence sighted the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse at 3:20 a.m. local time. The crew altered course first east-northeast and then northeast to enter the mouth of the Columbia River in thick mist and a rising tide. Under strong winds out of the west, an attempt was made to wear the ship away from shore, but a heavy northwest squall grounded the Peter Iredale on Clatsop Sands (now called Clatsop Spit). High seas and wind drove the ship ashore. A lifeboat was dispatched from Hammond, Oregon and assisted in evacuating the sailors, who were tended to atFort Stevens. No casualties occurred in the accident.
There was little damage to the hull and plans were made to tow the ship back to sea, but after several weeks waiting for favorable weather and ocean conditions, the ship had listed to the port (left) and become embedded in the sands. She was sold for scrap.[citation needed] All that remains is the bow, a few ribs, and a couple of masts.[citation needed]
Captain Lawrence's final toast to his ship was: "May God bless you, and may your bones bleach in the sands."
This is such an interesting story, I thought you might enjoy it. I had never really looked up the history of this ship before, so I did learn something new (but this is not the only thing new I learned............)

Riders on the beach! I was envious.

Elk on the side of the road, in Hammond. They are everywhere in Hammond and the outskirts of Astoria. It's a perfect climate for them. My son's girlfriend said most mornings she sees a herd of elk in the pasture across the road from her house.
Astoria is so green and lush and so much water everywhere. The rivers flood the pastures and the tides fill up the meadows when they are high. It has so much history and sits on the mouth of the Columbia River where it joins up with the Pacific Ocean. 

Which leads me to the "new" thing I learned that weekend. 

Do you recall seeing these little red and white things in movies and in cartoons? Red with white polka dots? (not the ones with teeth). I always thought they were from someone's imagination, Walt Disney maybe? Never gave it much mind really, but thought they were cute.

But wait........ my son's girlfriend told me, after I admired them (along with the little pixies), that they GROW ALL OVER AND AROUND ASTORIA! What? I said! Really? no way!..... She said she takes the little pixies and her handmade jewelry (she has a store with all sorts of precious gems, stones, gifts, and her beautiful handmade jewelry), and takes pictures of the pixies amongst the real mushrooms, with her jewelry! She then posts the pictures on her store Facebook page.

Terra's store in downtown Astoria, on Commercial Street. If you are ever in that area, you HAVE to visit it. It's awesome!

She said these mushrooms are mostly past their prime this time of year, but if she saw any on our drive, she'd point them out to me.

I was flabbergasted.. and excited maybe to see some real ones! I would not believe it until I saw one.

As we drove over to Fort Stevens, and were headed out to the jetty, she did a quick stop and a U-turn, and back down the road we went..... we got out, and there.... was one lone one along side the road! Snap goes the camera. It's real! It's called Amanita Muscaria or "fly agaric" and is highly poisonous.

She went back to her car and got a little gnome she had hanging from her mirror, so we could get some shots with the gnome!
Clapping my hands! I want to see some more!
 On to the jetty we go..... .then back to town to eat.. then on back to their house. I go inside to warm up, and later, she comes in and says, hey.. come here... I want to show you something.. and bring your camera, and a few pixies. By then she knew I was a camera nut, just like her!

So we trudge through the wet and muddy ground, up a long (and steep) path to her pasture, through the tall (and wet) grass.... me wearing my hubby's shoes (that were too big), as I couldn't find the old ones I had brought for just such a thing as this..... up towards the deep dark forest (where the 3 giant trees stand guard over the woods)..... to the far side of the meadow.... and.... voila! three more red mushrooms!  Click goes the camera again.. Click, click........MANY times! 

These look a little flatter and more orange.. and see the one leaning? In my excitement to place the little pixes for their photo shoot, I knocked it over... darn! So I carefully put it back for picture taking. It was so fun posing the pixies.

I had brought the Christmas pixies, "just in case", thinking I could pose them in the moss for Christmas cards. She brought this little guy as she knew that he would be posing on top of a big flat mushroom! She said not to touch them, and if you do, do NOT rub your face or eyes.
See the baby one? No polka dots yet.

We had such fun.. spent about a half hour there taking tons of pictures. Giggle giggle. Snap snap. I was still so amazed that they really do exist!

And wasn't I just a wealth of information today? :-) 

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by the ones you love. I'm off to start cooking for the big day.

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  1. What a fabulous post! One of the most enjoyable posts I have ever read. Sure looks like a fun, fun experience. So lovely that your son has a special friend. It sure sounds like you are very happy and doing well. I am so happy for you. Sounds like your move has been a great decision. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. Blessings.

  2. I agree with Mary! This was such a cool post full of interesting tidbits, not the least of which was the mushrooms. That is sooooo cool that they really do exist. I would have been so tempted to touch them, especially the first one. It doesn't even look real!

    Your son's house looks lovely and so cozy, and his girlfriends shop looks fabulous too!

    Happy Thanksgiving my friend!


    1. I agree! I did love doing this post.. it was so fun. I am IN LOVE with these mushrooms.... what beauties. Now I want to make some felt ones to give to my son's girlfriend. Of course, she gets to see the real ones all the time! They kept telling me DON'T TOUCH so I was a good girl, though I really wanted to! Hope your Thanksgiving was good also. Mine was great.

  3. Hi Marilyn: You must have had a magical time with your son and his lady. Great pictures and now I am a believer! Don't worry, I always was..Hope you had a good Thanksgiving with your family. We had a wonderful time. Back home again now, and business as usual..Judy PS: We have been to Astoria a few times but not recently. Love all of Oregon..

    1. Judy.... thank you for the lovely comment. We did have a really nice Thanksgiving as my son and his girlfriend came to our house. Really nice. Today, Nov. 26th, I do feel relief that the TG holiday is over for another year... so much work to cook that big dinner, and then it's gone in 15 minutes! Astoria has grown quite abit and has some new things, like a big cinema and some other big motels. It's quite the touristy town now.. I just love all the old Victorian houses and old buildings, and that it's so close to the ocean. Now for the Christmas countdown! Hugs.. Marilyn

  4. Fun post! Loved-loved the mushrooms and pixies so much! So nice that your son has such a sweet girlfriend that you have some things in common with. Looks like a place I would like to visit. Soon when we have less pups to worry about, we will travels and see all the places on this side of the country. I love everything about it. Glad you had a nice trip and visit. Quiet and cozy Thanksgiving here. Enjoyed all your photos. Talk to you soon!

    1. Pammy Sue.... aren't those mushrooms just darling? I really DID think they were just a product of someone's imagination! Astoria doesn't compare to where you live, but it is a lively and fun town to visit and lots to see.. lots of water too which I love. Glad your Thanksgiving was nice and cozy. xoxoxo Marilyn

  5. Hi Marilyn, I came to tell you thanks for the great comment you left on my blog and then I got so caught up in your Astoria tale I nearly forgot! Wow I love that little town and you really captured it's essence in your photos and stories, great job!

    I never ever would have believed those mushrooms existed, I would have said you were pulling my leg if you hadn't posed the pixies with them. And I grew up around here! Amazing what's right in front of us that we miss isn't it. Your combination of story telling and photos was great I truly enjoyed it. Next time you come this way let me know so we can get together. Maybe we will get your way this summer. Patti

    1. I sure didn't mean for that Astoria post to be so long! I just wanted to make it about the mushrooms, but as usual, I got carried away! I was amazed about those mushrooms too and was so excited to see a real one. I grew up in Portland and then around Washougal for 30 years.. and never saw one of the red dotted mushrooms.. they must grow (maybe?) only along the very WET coast!

      I do make it up there now and then.. it used to be going to Washougal only, as my son lived there and my step-son also.. but now my son moved to Astoria, so have a long trip to make there too! I do miss Vancouver and Washougal in many ways and miss the big trees and forests.. just don't have those here.

  6. I really enjoyed your post and love learning about things...the ship was very interesting and sad it couldn't be saved. I would never have thought either that those mushrooms existed...quite strange and beautiful all a the same time. Also some beautiful scenery..

    1. Thank you Cathy. I didn't mean for the blog post to get so long. I got carried away as usual about the story of the ship and the mushrooms. I'm so darned long-winded! Glad you enjoyed the little bit of Oregon history and like me, learned something new! ~Marilyn~

  7. I LOVE this post! The Oregon coast is a magical place but the fact that those sweet little mushrooms actually exist makes it even more so!!!! They are perfect for posing pixies and you got some great shots. Thank you for such a fun, informative post!

    1. Jeri, I'm glad you liked that post on the mushrooms! I sure didn't mean for it to get so long, but I got carried away as usual! It was so fun finding out that they ARE real.. I was so excited to see a real one! I wish I would have taken more pixies for the photo shoot... she had so many darling ones.. but when she took me to the pasture, I wasn't sure what I was going to be seeing.

      Yes.. the Oregon coast is magical and beautiful. There are so many different "climates" just along the coast, and so many different types of flora and fauna. I love it. ~Marilyn~

  8. I would love to visit Oregon and Washington. Astoria is the little town featured in that movie Kindergarten Cop. I've heard it is so beautiful. I love your son's farmhouse and the elk.

    1. Valerie.. thank you for your comment! Oregon and Washington ARE two of the most beautiful and diverse states (in my opinion) in the US. I'm lucky to have lived in both of them. And yes.. Kindergarden Cop! I loved that movie and still watch it about once every two years... so going there reminded me so much of that movie. I do love little farmhouses, but they can be awfully damp and chilly.. they fortunately have wood heat which really helps. ~Marilyn~

  9. Hi Marilyn☺ I thought those beautiful mushrooms were imaginary too! Your son's farmhouse looks so cozy and charming ♥

  10. Hi Marilyn: Just checking in to thank you for your visit. I might be thinking over my decision to have a real tree as we still haven't got ours yet. I have seen so many ways to get some real tree smells in the house that I might change my mind..Happy Holidays..Judy

  11. Good Morning Marilyn, my, my, my, what an interesting post. First of all I love your son’s home . . . seven acres that’s amazing and that big farmhouse is beautiful. I don’t know if I could ever get used to the rain, but I love how clean and fresh and full of oxygen the air is along the coast.
    I loved your history lesson on the Peter Iredale and the photos that you found. You put a lot of time into this post and made me want to take a road trip. I have never been to Port Stevens. Our neighbors go almost every year, maybe I should stowaway in their 5th wheel, next time they go, LOL.
    Love the little shop and the mushrooms. Many years ago we took a day trip to the Olympic Peninsula Rain Forest and we were amazed at the many variety of mushrooms. Afterwards I purchased a National Geographic handbook on mushrooms.
    Well, if I write anymore, this will be a short story and not a comment, LOL.
    Thank you for a great read.

    1. Oh Connie... so glad you enjoyed this little "story". I read back over it and sure didn't realize how LONG it was! I have a tendency to write "books" for my posts! I'm very wordy and enjoy the writing. I bet the Olympic Peninsula does have a ton of different mushrooms. I wonder if the red ones with white dots live there too. I would think they would. The Ft. Stevens park is a really neat place to visit... places for RV's and camping and a nice big KOA campground with all sizes of cabins! So much to see there! You should stow away and go see it! Take care.. Marilyn

  12. Ok, I seriously JUST had a conversation with my hubby on this topic. I never knew they were real either until recently and I so envy that you got to see one in person! Also, I think I like your son's girlfriend! ;)

    1. Isn't that funny that so many people thought they were just "make believe" mushrooms! I was one of them! I like my son's girlfriend too... we are so much alike, it's kind of scary. Who says the son doesn't marry someone like their mother??!!! (Well, they're not married yet, but I'm hoping......

  13. Those pixie pics are so cute! I think Astoria is where the movie Goonies was filmed. My kids loved that movie when they were little. (So did I!)

    1. Thank you Deborah. It might have been.. I know Kindergarten Cop was filed there and I still love that movie! I loved Goonies too! I've gone over to your blog and made a comment. Thank you for visiting. Love your blog too! Marilyn


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