Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Monkey's Puzzle (Florence, OR)

A Throne Fit for a Sea Lover - Nye Beach, Newport, OR
We drove south of Florence on Hwy 101 a few days ago.   For most of the trip, we barely saw the shoreline.  We stopped by to see the Umpqua River Lighthouse that is still maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard.
Umpqua River Lighthouse
 In Coos Bay, we headed southwest towards Charleston to get some better views of the ocean and to see Cape Arago Lighthouse.  This is as close as we can get to this one.  It is owned by the Coquille Indian Tribe and is off limits to visitors.  I would love to see the lighthouse up close and the view from there must be spectacular.
Cape Arago Lighthouse
While looking at the lighthouse, we came across a couple with a handful of blackberries.  They pointed us in the right direction.  My disappointment was forgotten while I picked some delicious sweet berries.

Oh, there were more ripe ones, but I picked them before thinking to take a photo....yum!
The Puzzle Begins
We drove to Shore Acres State Park to see the botanical gardens left from a timber baron's home.  His mansion is gone, but the formal gardens and the caretaker's house is still there.

We started with the ocean viewing area because we were hearing sea lions.  Instead,  we were awestruck by the view.  We just stood there watching the waves crash against the most unusual rock forms.   
Shore Acres State Park
I know I was puzzled over this landscape.  Did it happen all at once or over time from weather and sea?

One woman walked up to us and said, "Don't you sometimes feel like you have just walked into another world?"
 We could only nod a yes.

But, wait!  Where were the sea lions?  We could hear them.  Maybe in a cave or in a nook?  Dan usually spots them swimming, but not this time.
Hmmm....  We followed a path along the sea lions, so we decided to go see the gardens.

We have seen trees like the one below a couple of times during our travels along the NW coast.  It looks like a twisted pine tree until we get close to it.

Monkey Puzzle Tree
Then we would see the needles are leaf-like and very thick.  The sign called the tree a Monkey Puzzle Tree.  If I had a yard, I would love to have one of these trees for my garden.
The gardens are gorgeous!  The Rangers do a great job of keeping up the formal gardens.  I took a lot of photos.  I don't want to overdo the photos so here's a sample of the pond, the roses, and the dahlias.

 Yep, definitely need to upload some photos to Webshots....

Oh, and we finally found the sea lions further down the road.  They were all over the rocks and some were swimming (little black spots)...:0)  They were barking so loudly that it was echoing down the coast a couple of miles away!

On The Cutting Board
Done!  I finished the Lotus quilt.  This is not the best full-length shot, but we are in another densely shaded site.  This volleyball net was nearby and almost in the least, you can see the pattern and colors.
The black binding framed the colors quite well.
 I used variegated thread on top and black on the bottom
 The black backing worked out well in showing the quilting pattern.
Happy Quilting!


  1. I love the gardens at Shore Acres. You got some great photos of the flowers. It is so amazing because even though it is close to the ocean, there is enough protection from the surrounding trees that many things grow there that you wouldn't think could handle the sea air.

  2. Great photos, and a beautiful quilt! We visited Coos Bay a few years ago during a 10 day "road trip" with three of our late teens children from the Redwoods to Seaside, OR. Thanks for the pictures and some memories!

  3. Love the quilt!

    I had heard of monkey puzzle trees but never seen one and then two bloggers posted pictures of them today. They are very interesting looking. The flowers are really lovely and the scenery is breathtaking.

  4. Great job on the quilt. The person who requested it should be more than satisfied.
    Those Monkey Puzzle trees get VERY large. There was a huge one in my daughter's Portland neighborhood and the new house owners cut it down. Everyone was so upset.
    (and you never have too many pictures ... but I have said that before ... probably more than once).

  5. Oh my...Every time I visit your blog I feel like I'm right there with you on a travel adventure!
    Beautiful photos (I love the lighthouse), and I am such a sucker for photos of flowers!
    from Blogging Buddies

  6. What a gorgeous quilt, and your photos always amaze me! That tree is really cool. Thanks for sharing. :)


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