Wintry Goodness

Bend’s had a low precip winter through January, now finally getting a wave of storms. Over three days we got a good few feet…

Snowy chicken coop
The term ‘cooped up’ might be applied here
Snowy Bend Oregon
Winter wonderland day 1 – view west
backyard chicken coop winter
Fresh powder here, and lots on the mountains
Do you have feet of snow on your dead-end street that never gets plowed? I’ve the solution for you.
backyard chickens snow
Our gals exploring the snow trenches; photo courtesy of LL


By popular request, I introduce the latest and greatest vehicle in a long and regal line of second cars. I present the Subaru GL 4×4 wagon (aka: Loyale/Leone/Turbowagon). It’s got a 3″lift and a low center of gravity boxer engine (the spare tire is kept under the front hood in fact, so quite flat).


I’ve had the wagon for a couple months now, does great in-town and up on gravel – should see a bit of snow soon.


Tour de backyard

Things are finally greening up, and our chicks are rounding out. Here’s some photos taken during a brief moment between rainshowers.

View from the deck


Rhonda, guest blog writer
Deck, featuring our newly painted privacy/shade; cue Jaeda.
deck and le spa
coop backside: painting in progress, also still need to build on the roost boxes


We had a unusually exciting Monday due to some freak weather conditions. The day started with over and inch of snow – on this tax day – having begun falling before I woke and continuing a couple hours into my morning at work. I was feeling meteorologically inclined today, so here’s a blog post about the weather!


bend oregon snow storm


That’s the view from my office window, no mountains to be seen today!


A good breeze brought the sun, melting everywhere but the tiny shadowy corners by maybe 3pm.




This was followed up by another storm front, dropping an hour of really good graupel. Yep, you read that right. It’s a fairly complex phenomena to describe, here’s a Warticle about it. Supercooled water vapor latches rapidly onto snowflakes, turning into a soft styrofoam-like hail.



It’s really unique when it gets deep. Eventually the pellets changed over to a light snow, but not before coating all the streets over again.


I decided to share the graupel with our flock. The reception was inquisitive and exuberant.





You’ll notice they’ve become rather gangling and bristly since their last appearance on this blog 🙂 Jaeda however…it didn’t amuse her. I think she was also disappointed by my graupelman



Also the word graupel is pretty great.




Pole Creek Fire

dan komning/InciWeb

There’s a really nasty wildfire northwest of Bend, up near Sisters. It’s not threatening any property or people, but still sadly burning deeper into the Three Sisters Wilderness Area deep in the Deschutes National Forest. The Pole Creek fire is over 25,500 acres as of this posting, and only 50% contained. This post/update is especially for my All Around Bend readers, and an advisory to keep clear of parts of the Cascades…any trails, lakes and other attractions southwest of Sisters. Bend’s only getting moderate smoke, and attractions south, such as gorgeous Newberry Caldera‘s Paulina and East Lake should be clear and beautiful this weekend!

Slake your thirst

I was down at the Little Woody Barrel-Aged Beer Festival this past weekend, hustling my guidebooks and also running the PhotoLounge with friends. At the same time, i was also enjoying a wide variety of limited-release barrel-aged beers from breweries such as Deschutes, Oakshire, Boneyard, and a dozen other Oregon favorites. In addition, I really enjoyed some well-crafted hard cider, spending some time chatting with the good folks behind Carlton Cyderworks.


It’s impressive how cider –  real cider – the staple of colonial America, has become a new resurgent market. It was once a drink of farmers and Presidents, from the Shenandoah Valley to the Western Frontier (Johnny Appleseed wasn’t in the food business, you know). However, after crop blights, cheap rum, immigration, temperance, prohibition and unfamiliarity…cidermaking in America had all but vanished until recently.


Wineries and breweries have entered the cider business. Small cider mills are opening all across the country, especially in the Pacific Northwest and New England; such upstarts as Carlton or Wandering Aengus. The drink has begun taking over tap handles at pubs. N/A, low or moderate alcohol, sparking or unfiltered – an entire subset of new well-crafted ciders has emerged!


I received a couple bottles from Carlton and will try to do a blog review on them this week 🙂

It’s summertime and the living is easy

I’ve gone basically two weeks without a post, just wanted to assure my readers that I am still alive and kicking, enjoyed a few days vacation, and having fun taking some in-laws out and around town.

Aside from the 4th of July festivities, we’ve gone whitewater rafting, camping, spelunking, floating and generally cruising all over central Oregon. Whew, entertaining 16 year old girls is quite the workout!


With the warm weather ramping up, our front garden has really come alive. Perennial stuff abound, especially herbs: chives, pineapple mint, rosemary, lavender, oregano, thyme, lemon balm, and sage.

In the foreground is our awesome succulent vertical garden (currently horizontal, ha), made for us by the talented folks behind and


This second shot below is of our side deck and the hops, which seem to be taking over the thing a couple feet a day.

Also, tomorrow is the Summer Solstice, just lettin’ ya’ll know 🙂


Books printed

I am picking up freshly-printed All Around Bend books later this week, Huzzah!


I’m hoping to spend a good bit of this weekend out distributing the books around town. I think putting them online would be a good idea too. Definitely an order/eCommerce shop…but eventually an ebook version could be made, thoughts? Check out AAB over at

In addition to peddling books this weekend, I am also hosting an Adult Spelling Bee down at Dudley’s Bookshop Cafe, should be fun and fairly informal (ie- there will be beer). It’ll be a hoot. Also…when I say ‘adult’, I don’t mean nastay. The event will be more like a trivia-night.