A Walk in a Snowy Woods of Southern Oregon… Join Us!

Snowing in the Upper Applegate Valley

Woohoo! Peggy and I looked outside and the snow was coming down. We haven’t seen much in our neck of the woods lately. The D word is making the rounds again. The D stands for DROUGHT. We try not to use the word in case we might invoke it!

Fresh snow in the Upper Applegate Valley

New snow means we have to go out for a walk. And you are invited. Please join us.  We have to go out soon. The snow normally doesn’t last long here— a few hours at most! This view is from our patio looking west.

View from Mekemson patio of snow in Southern Oregon.

We will start on our patio…

Snow gathering on railing showing perspective

We may have all of two inches! But beware, danger lurks…

Peggy Mekemson and snowball

Peggy simply cannot resist new snow…

Ceramic sculpture by Jeremy Criswell

Moving around the house the sun breaks out briefly. I’m not sure Cockle Doodle is as happy about the snow as we are…

Daffodils in snow

Nor are the daffodils who are about to burst out in bloom proclaiming it is spring.

Toyota pickup on Upper Applegate

Big Red was disgusted…

Quivera the Van

…that Quivera the Van was protected in our pole barn while he was forced to sit out in the open.

Douglas Fir on Applegate River dusted with snow.

The walk up our road takes us past this Douglas fir lightly dusted with snow…

Young Douglas fir covered with fresh snow

And past its cousins.

Rogue River National Forest

Soon, we have entered the Rogue River National Forest that backs up to our property.

Quartz in Rogue River National Forest

A piece of quartz has retained enough heat to reject the snow and reminds us that “Thar is gold in them thar hills!”

Old Essex car wreck in Rogue River National Forest

Several miners’ cabins once stood above our home. All that remains is a cave and this old auto body. Our son-in-law’s dad, Doug Cox— who knows about such things— says that this is likely a 1919/20 Essex.

Oak tree branch covered in snow, Rogue River National Forest

Gnarly oak limbs have a way of pulling me in to admire their beauty in fresh snow…


Ponderosa pine in snowstorm, Rogue River National Forest

As did this Ponderosa pine reaching for the heavens.

Madrone lightly dusted with snow in Rogue River National Forest

A madrone showed off its unique bark by forming a V.

Black and white photo of trees in snow, Rogue River National Forest

I thought these trees deserved a black and white treatment.

Manzanita in snow, Rogue River National Forest, Upper Applegate River

Peggy insisted that I photograph this manzanita.

Manzanita covered in snow, Rogue River National Forest in Southern Oregon

Manzanita leaves decorated with snow.

Sanctuary animal home covered in snow, Upper Applegate Valley Southern Oregon

A slight detour gave us a view of the Upper Applegate Valley and Sanctuary 1, a home for farm animals that don’t have a home. Blackberries have a front-row seat.

Oregon Junco tracks in snow, Rogue River National Forest

Normally fresh snow provides a whole world of animal tracks for us. This time, all we found were a few bird tracks. These were made by an Oregon Junco. Peggy and I wondered if the local cougar was hanging out in our area again.

Rogue River National Forest on a snowy day

Blue skies suggested that our snow storm was about over.

Old oak tree in Rouge River National Forest with Curt Mekemson

Peggy insisted that I pose in front of an old oak. We call it the Hobbit Tree because it looks like it would fit right into Fanghorn Forest or the Shire.

Fanghorn Forest tree in Rogue River National Forest, Southern Oregon

It’s a tough old coot. Wait, was that why Peggy insisted on photographing me there.

Peggy Mekemson under snow covered Douglas fir limb

“Why don’t you let me take a photo of you under the Douglas fir limb, Sweetheart?”

Snow falls off limb onto Peggy Mekemson

Whoops! 🙂

Upper Applegate River area

Later, when it was time to go on our newspaper and mail walk, the snow around our house had pretty much melted but was hanging on in the surrounding hills and mountains…

Applegate River looking spring-like in February

While the Applegate River had returned to looking spring-like.

Applegate River in February

My last photo for the day. On Monday we return to our trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Thanks for joining us on our walk today!




47 thoughts on “A Walk in a Snowy Woods of Southern Oregon… Join Us!

    • Mother Nature is really confused, Cindy. It isn’t unusual for us to see a bit of snow in February and March, but that doesn’t stop our plants from hoping for warm weather and budding out. As for drought, we had hoped it might be past given last year’s snow and rain in the Sierra’s and Cascade’s. Sigh. On the positive side, Sierra passes may improve my chances for a major walk this summer. 🙂

  1. We had to head up into the hills to find any white stuff to play with. It was perfect for snowballs. Great to visit, but I’m getting soft in my old age… don’t want it sticking close to home for long.

  2. What a gorgeous walk! Your ‘hobbit tree’ does look like it could strike up a conversation some day- beautiful. Ha! Poor Peggy- hopefully she got some ‘snowball revenge’ for the Douglass fir trick…

  3. We have seen no snow yet this winter but forecasters are promising a major fall this week. Apparently weather is coming in from Russia and is billed as the ‘Beast From The East’
    Great pictures!

    • The “Beast from the East,” eh. Sounds like our polar express when really cold stuff comes in from Canada and other points north.
      Thanks, Andrew. I can’t resist running outside with my camera when the snow falls because of the beauty and because I know it won’t last long. We had fresh snow this morning and I was out in my slippers. The slippers had a discussion with me about inappropriate use. 🙂 –Curt

  4. The Douglas Fir trees are made for a dusting of snow – they look so idyllic! Until standing under one of course and snow cascades down! Curt, it’s been lovely to join you both on your snow walk … we are promised some next week as part of the arctic freeze! The landscape becomes pretty but not so wonderfully dramatic as yours! Hope the D threat lifts for you all.

    • Snow here again this morning, Annika. It makes the third time in the last couple of weeks we have awakened to our winter wonderland. It should melt pretty quickly. At least I am hoping so since I have to drive the 30 miles to town! Thanks on the D. –Curt

    • I’ve noticed since we moved here seven years ago, Dave, we’ve had late-winter snow here several times. Shooting stars, another early harbinger of spring, are also starting to poke up out the ground. They haven’t bloomed yet, however. Did you get much snow in Portland? –Curt

  5. What a wonderland. Really magical (Even more so, compared to the mud from, all the rains here!)
    I really like the picture of the car parts dusted with white (just like sculpture), the Ponderosa pine (those always smell like the mountains to us), the black and white treatment and the one Peggy insisted on.
    Lovely (Spring is arriving here with robins, monarch and citrus tree blooms already – too fast! – Scorching heat not far behind UGH)

    • We love it Phil. We came upon it a few years back when I was doing genealogical research in the area. It just happen to coincide with a search we were doing for a place to land after three years of travel. Other that what seem like inevitable forest fires in August (and smoke), it is perfect for us. Good choice of photos. Thanks. –Curt

  6. Magical photos 🙂 I really enjoyed them, thanks for sharing. I love that you can actually see the snow falling in that first one – I was never able to master that while living in a snowy climate!

  7. The botanists call spring’s “now you see them, now you don’t” flowers by the name “ephemerals.” It occurs to me your snow shares that quality; it’s an ephemeral, too. Some people get snowdrops, and you get snow-drops!

  8. The most perfect kind of snow. Arriving for some snow photos and play and gone by the time the mail/newspapers arrive. You and Peggy are having way too much fun! All my best to both of you, – JoHanna

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