Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Forest Park Hike to end 2013 - Lower Maclaey to Audobon Society

 We took a quick 2 hour hike into Forest Park. The trip was about 3.5 miles and started at NW 31st & Thurman just above MacLeay Park. The hike took us up from the neighborhood into the Park through the Holman Trail and then onto the Wildwood Trail.

The GPS tracks of the trip are included here: 

The kids kept each other motivated and they really enjoyed stopping at the Stone House which was about half way through the hike.

The trail follows Balch Creek for awhile and offers some great views with trees down across the valley. The trail raises up out of the base of the floor to the top where the Audobon Society. The sanctuary at the Audobon Society has 4.5 miles of trails within their area of 150 acres south of NW Cornell Road.

The Audobon Society had a couple of kestrels in cages at their Wildlife Care Center facility.

The Portland Audobon Society has a great Guide for the plants that are throughout the area
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Thursday, August 8, 2013

2014 rides

Beer Here! Six Brewery Rides http://www.bicycling.com/ride-maps/featured-rides/beer-here-six-brewery-rides

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Abby's 4th Grade Homework Assignment - Presentation Explaining a Topic

Abby picked Playmobil as her assignment for what to describe to a group of five classmates.
Here's what she came up with. She typed the first part and I helped her upload the photos and take some of them.
My Subject is Playmobil
I selected this because it is my favorite toy brand and I like animals.

I brought several animals today. The animals are:
A leopard and her kittens
Young giraffe

I need four volunteers to help me with the habitat design. WAIT FOR ANSWER

Each of you will get an animal and you are supposed to try to find out where it lives. If you need help ask me.

Before I give out your animals, I am going to use the meerkat as an example.

Meerkats live in the desert and so I have cut out a space for them on the yellow paper and drawn a hole that is its home.I can add some green plants using the pencils and markers that you have here. I have also drawn a frog because they eat them.

A good animal habitat requires lots of space, food from plants and other animals, water, and places to hide (different types of homes). We have paper for cutting out

mud wallows
pond or rivers

The steps for designing habitat are the following:
1. draw the outline of what you are going to cut (you might want to know how big the animal is - see above)
2. cut it out
3. place it in your square
4. ask for the next piece of paper
5. repeat until done

We're not using glue because if you want you can take your land pieces home to play with, or you can leave them with me.

Pulling the habitat together, we're going to place the land around the hut. You can see from the picture that we had someone do a grassy (green) one, a mostly water (blue) one, and the black is the hut footprint and my meerkat desert is the yellow portion (not a square).

Another part of the presentation is putting the hut together and the other pieces.

Two of you will build the cage and two of you will build the hut with me and the land terrain and I will need one person to help with the station. The other two will build the landscape
how to build the Oambati station, which is the main piece of the setup.
1. put the walls together

2. snap the walls in place on the platform
3. place the roof on the top of the walls

The cage gets put together with the following steps.
1. Cage wiring goes inside the silver frame
2. Snap the back to the side pieces.
3. The front frame which is about the same size as the back snaps onto the wall side pieces
4. two columns go on the back to complete the shelf
5. the final step is to snap the gates into the front of the frame. The one without the lock goes on the right side (it is a little tricky, but it should swing out).

The Habitat
1. The tree limbs need leaves and those snap on top.
2. The plants can go in the holes any where they fit.
3. This is the easiest of the sets to put together.

The Animals
I am going to tell you where the animals go. This is where I use my imagination and what I have learned about animals from books and watching a movie called Life, which is about animals and plants and how they live.
the cats can go in the cave or in the cage because the leopard just had cubs,
the zebra and the giraffe can go on the plants (because that is their habitat), and
the monkey can be in the tree.
The human can stand in front of the hut.


Amelia turns 7 - Grandparents on the big day!

We hosted both sets of 'rents on the big day and had Amelia's favorite dinner: tacos (soft pan fried tortillas, hamburger, and beans) with dessert of Lemon Meringue pie made by Nana. Suddenly Chocolate Tillamook ice cream was the backup, but Nana made a great dessert we could all enjoy.

Amelia's Birthday Party

We had a lot of fun with turning 7 today. The original plan was to take a nature hike in the park for some flower picking but because the rain was heavy at times we scratched that idea and went to plan B which was art projects, snacks, and cheesecake.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Signs of Spring by Abby - 2nd Day of March

One of the class assignments for 4th grade was to walk around the neighborhood and find a few signs of Spring. Here's Abby's report. 
These look like Silver Bells!!! 

Michle , Jackie ,and Snowflake eating grass.
Disorderly Chicken named Hog 
Jackie and Stripe looking for food
Camillias are bright pink and blooming
Don't these look like tulips?!
So do these!!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

2013 Wine Tour for Llewellyn Elementary Tour

Susan and I joined the Trillium Elementary School Bike Tour last year and had a great time. We visited four different wineries in and around Carlton. There was a bit of riding on gravel (which I would have us avoid if possible) but the weather was fantastic and the company was even better. We had a superb time and it was a great fundraiser for the school.

Here's pictures from Jonathan Maus:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/bikeportland/sets/72157629922856813/

The route for folks that are interested in how far we're likely to go is here at this GPS Link.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Amelia designs her first bicycle facility - Put her on the Greenlane Project

In an early sign of future greatness as a transportation engineer, Amelia designed what was supposed to be a bridge for cycling. After a few attempts her project path follows my career in that it turned into a conceptual transportation project as opposed to a bridge that could handle structural loads.

In the engineering curriculum, I realized it was enough work to just worry about the striping on the street.
Amelia's project turned into just the cycletrack that she saw in the Netherlands.She said "the bike is a different level so it's safer." Amen, kid!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Sun River Ski Trip

The family ventured into Central Oregon for a post TRB week of skiing, hiking, and relaxing. It was the first vacation we can remember where there was no list of things to see or clear plans for each day. We spent 3 days on the slopes of Mt. Bachelor and the rest around the town. I blogged about the latter on my professional site.
Skiing is still relatively new for the kids so there is a bit of exploration there. They enjoyed three days of the bunny hill with the exception of a trip down Home Run and one spectactular challenge (for Abby and I) of getting across the mountain on a different lift.

Amelia's Spelling Test - 1st Grade

I am proud to say she is following in her big sister's spelling prowess.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Father's Day from Amelia

I recovered this from the art bin and thought it was worth saving. Note the colors of the bikes.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Skiing with the kids at Bachelor

 We had another great day of skiing on Mt. Bachelor. It was a warm one with the high reaching nearly 50 degrees. That was a bit surprising given that when we left the condominium in Sunriver it was 15 and there was frost on the windshield and it was frigid. The kids were ready to go when we got to the parking lot and it seemed like it was going to be a good day.

 Amelia wanted to ski with Dad in the morning and so I was backwards for most of the time helping Amelia get started down the hill. I was lucky to have the old hockey skating experience to be able to do that in a reasonable way. After a bit, I got her to say "Pass" when she was going to fly by her dear old Dad! Once she did pass me, it was hard to catch up. She was moving down the mountain at a screaming pace.  There wasn't that many times that we were all together, so I was glad to get all three of the girls in the same photo.
 This picture was from the top of the run called Home Run, which was the one that Ameila wanted to stay on the entire day. Abby was a little more adventurous today then on Saturday, so she did Milky Way which was adjacent to the Home Run.
The sun was obviously out and we were really lucky to have such wonderful weather as a part of the visit. It wasn't all perfect skiing though as  Abby demonstrates in this fun photo. Susan is enjoying the moment laughing at her oldest daughter in a wicked sort of way :)
 Amelia dominated the time with Dad and Abby and Susan enjoyed the time together crusing the hill alternating between the two runs. I love taking pictures of the kids in front of the signs as they get ready for the trip down. There's obviously a sense of accomplishment as they make it up and down the hill throughout the day.
The girls were so fast down the hill at the end of the day it seemed like we were on the lift more than we were skiing. The good news with that on a day like today was that the weather was perfect, almost too warm.