Civil War on the Metolius

In the spring, usually the weekend before Memorial Day, the meadow at House on Metolius is suddenly transformed. Neat formations of white tents spring up, smoke rises from cooking fires and ranks of soldiers and horses parade along the river. The year is 1863.

Hundreds of children from schools across Central Oregon attend the event, absorbing lessons about that distant time in a way that no classroom, movie or book can achieve.

When it is over, the tents and the people are all gone and almost every trace of activity has been erased by the cleanup crew. The meadow is quiet once again.

The 6th annual event is scheduled to take place on the 17th to the 19th of May, 2019, and is open to the public on the 18th and 19th.

Swimming Suttle Lake

Anyone driving over the Santiam Pass to reach Central Oregon will recall looking down onto the expanse of Suttle Lake.  This 1.4 mile long body of water has an inviting look to it in the heat of summer.

Suttle Lake is great for kayaking, swimming and other water sports.

Suttle Lake is great for kayaking, swimming and other water sports.

When the water conditions are good, the lake is excellent for swimming.  For those of us who enjoy open water swimming, the opportunity to swim a mile in reasonably warm, clear and fresh water is always a pleasant one.  The water temperature varies quite bit with the season, but is usually in the mid-60s—almost twenty celsius for those that prefer metric—during the summer.

The Suttle Lake Lodge at the east end of the lake is a great place to stop for a post-swim bite to eat, and they also rent various watercraft, if you would like someone to accompany you on your swim.

Birding at House on Metolius

The Osprey.  Photo by Michael L. Baird.

The Osprey. Photo by Michael L. Baird.

The Metolius Basin is the home to a wide range of bird species, including the Osprey pictured above.  Also know as a sea hawk, this bird will get the attention of any fisherman along the river, as it calmly circles and hunts fish.  The fish, in turn, respond by staying under banks and bridges, at least in part to avoid being an osprey's supper.

On the water, you will often see the Canadian geese and also Mallard ducks. If you have a little patience and a little luck, you may also spot Barrow's goldeneye.

Barrow's goldeneye is a more uncommon sight on the Metolius.

Barrow's goldeneye is a more uncommon sight on the Metolius.

Woodpeckers are numerous in the basin.  One of our favorites is the White-headed woodpecker, which make its home in the areas around the House on Metolius cabins... and has a habit of adding holes in the walls, from time to time.

The white-headed woodpecker.

The white-headed woodpecker.

These are only a few of the many feathered residents—we look forward to adding more birds to our blog over the course of the summer.

Hope we see you on the Metolius!