“Iron Art Deco” bird of the Armitage Bridge

Armitage County Park, where we stayed for a few nights while in the Eugene Area, is situated on the bank of the McKenzie River. The park has a nice paved path along the river. The path leads you away from the main section of the park and goes under Coburg Road, a railroad bridge (the Armitage Bridge), and the Interstate 5.

On a drippy day of late April, David and I took a walk in the park through this day-use area. The river was full and flew fast. The path along the the river was filled with green plants and mossy rocks. This past winter Oregon had seen plenty of precipitation. The park was full of wonderful flowers.

So mossy

Brilliant magenta-color flowers dotted the lush green forest

On the other side of the Interstate 5, we came to another picnic area. There were several big trees. One maple tree stood out. It had a very large branch protruding from its main trunk. It was quite amazing to see how the tree supporting such a heavy branch without being toppled by its weight.

Impressive-looking maple tree with a huge horizontal branch

A near-by picnic area showed signs of being under-utilized. A group picnic area didn’t look like it had been used in a while. However, it’s difficult to say with confidence as Oregon’s wet winter has a way of taking over the outdoor.

Spring was in bloom. The grassy areas were all filled with little daisies. Some had shooting stars blooming. It was simply an enjoyable walk.

Lovely colorful shooting stars brightened the drippy day.

Picnic area

Next to the picnic area there was a down tree that had been recently sawn. There must have been a recent storm that took it down. When we were here last September, the tree was still standing.

Passed by a recently fallen tree

Another angle of the fallen tree

Look closely. Did you see liquid oozing out from the area between the tree bark and wood?

Based on the number of its ring, this tree must have been at least 160 years old.

Now for the bird mentioned in the title. On our walk back to the campsite, we made a detour up the Armitage Bridge. David looked up the bridge trusses and noted about what appeared to be an iron Art Deco bird and something growing on the top. I was busy snapping pictures of the bridge and the iron bird.

The Armitage Bridge over the McKenzie River

The “iron” bird over the truss

Then the bird started moving. That was when we realized that our iron bird was a real bird, probably an eagle, and that something growing on the top was its nest. I only had an iPhone with me, so I wasn’t able to get a better close-up of the eagle.

Keeping a watchful eye on the nest

A multi-use path over the bridge

Some history of the Armitage Bridge. Built in 1887 as a railroad bridge over the John Day River in north central Oregon, the John Day Bridge became obsolete by 1907 and was relocated to replace an old wooden structure of a bridge in Coburg. The bridge was subsequently named the Armitage Bridge. You can read more about the bridge here.

6 Comments

  1. You’ve captured some amazing images with your iPhone. I would have believed you used a DSLR if you hadn’t mentioned it.

    Yes, it would have been great to zoom in on the eagle, but carrying & fiddling with a camera involves tradeoffs that aren’t always worth it.

    When I was a child I used to lay down in the moss growing around my grandmother’s house. Such a soft, cool bed.

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    1. Thanks Teresa. Cameras on mobile phones have come a long way indeed. I used to own an SLR and sold it when digital cameras took over the world. Since then I’ve been using just consumer point-and-shoot cameras due to their portability. The last few years I relied more on the phone for places or in the weather I didn’t want to carry the camera. It did the job so far. I’ll upgrade the camera at some point in near future.

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  2. Such a beautiful walk! I especially love your beautiful photos of the mossy section and the picnic area full of shooting stars (is that the purple wildflower?). My brother was saying that there’s been more rain than usual in the PNW, but it looks like spring has finally arrived in OR. Love the bird story! I totally thought it was decoration, too, until the last few pictures when it became clear that it was an eagle and her nest. You have good eyes to have spotted that the decorations were moving. 😀 Smart bird–she really picked the perfect camouflage!

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    1. Yes, the purple flowers that look like orchids are shooting stars. I like mossy rocks, mossy trees, or anything mossy. It’s like a nature-made carpet. The mossy rocks were lusher than what my photo could capture. It was so eye-catching that both David and I uttered “mossy!” at the same time when we saw them.

      I think it’s about time folks in the PNW get to see sunshine and warmer weather. I too heard that it had been a cold and wet winter.

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      1. Too funny about “mossy”–sounds like something Austin Powers would say. 😀 It’s incredible to think that the rocks were even lusher than the photos–they already look so “furry” in the pics, lol. I think you’re right; I bet the PNWers are probably more than ready for some sun!

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