On our drive north to Portland, we planned several short stops for an exercise break and some nature. One of those stops was at Mt. Pisgah Arboretum just south of Eugene, Oregon. We brought a picnic lunch and then walked around a bit. Beautiful trails and area. We did some very easy walks, but there are hikes of all sorts of length and difficulty depending on your desires. They also have bathrooms. There is a parking fee of $4.
We started with a walk through this Oak Savannah. Long ago, the Kalapuya Indians of the Willamette Valley used these savannahs as a place to hunt deer and gather food. They used fire to drive deer to hunting locations and the fire kept down conifer seedlings and other plants that would take over the oaks. These Oregon White Oaks are fire resistant and survived. Nowadays, the Arboretum uses some controlled burns and mowing to keep other trees from growing and plants new baby oaks as the older ones die.
This is the Octopus Tree. It is an old Incense Cedar Tree that grew like an octopus. It is actually having a bit of a survival battle because visitors keep trying to climb on it, breaking branches and compacting the ground, which makes it harder for the roots to grow. They have a sign up to view it from a distance, which we complied with.
DD3 was very interested in the flowers and kept asking me to take pictures of them. Then she’d say she wanted to gently stroke them after each photo.
Along our walks we came across a wetlands exhibit that had some cool interactive things and low walkways to get closer to the wetlands for observation. A bit too chilly of a day to see much wildlife out and about. We also saw this really big tree slice–DD tried to count its rings!
I love taking photos of waterfalls, no matter how big or small. To get the silky smooth water, you need a very low shutterspeed. This means using a tripod so that the photo is still sharp. I like to travel with my Joby Gorillapod as it is compact enough to fit in my bag and pretty light. I screw on my camera and the legs bend and twist to get just the right angle. They also have versions for point and shoot.