Solbit asks, “Hey, when is a haystack not hay?”

Dear Nicalai,

We went walking along Cannon Beach when Nona said, “Hey, look at that big Haystack out there in the water!” We had a long view down the coast, and I didn’t see anything that looked even a little bit like a hay field.  Just a great big rock dominated our view.  I said, “Nona, that’s not hay.  That’s a big rock, almost a mountain right there in the surf.”

Hey, when is a haystack not hay? When it’s a rock!

Hey, when is a haystack not hay? When it’s a rock!

Nona explained, “Solbit, we people have fun naming things with the wrong word just because the shape reminds us of something else. You’re right, that’s a big rock, but doesn’t it look like a haystack?”  Well, I had seen haystacks before but never that big and tall.  On the other hand, I had to admit that it had the shape of a haystack.  “So, you see, Solbit, that’s why they call it Haystack Rock,” Nona instructed me.  OK, whatever.

Another weird thing about the way people name things.  The place where we were visiting in Oregon that day is named Cannon Beach. Now, I know what a cannon looks like, and that beach definitely does not have the shape of a cannon.  Why would someone name a lovely place for walking and relaxing “cannon?”  Go figure.

Getting up close to some of the big rocks in the water, I could see that hundreds — maybe thousands — of small creatures lived on those rocks.  The creatures had hard shells, and the shells covered the rocks.  When the tide was high, they would be covered in water.  When the tide was low, you could walk up and touch them, but you would have to work hard to pull one off the rock. They must get super glue from the hardware store, or maybe they make it themselves? Wonder what it’s like to spend part of your day under water and part of your day on dry rock?

I’m fascinated by the life forms on these rocks.  Papa says that maybe I should study marine biology. I guess that’s something about studying life forms of the seas, huh?

I’m fascinated by the life forms on these rocks.  Papa says that maybe I should study marine biology. I guess that’s something about studying life forms of the seas, huh?

What a strange life form I saw under water here! It looks like a star, but it isn’t a star; it’s a living thing.

If I counted right, the sea star had 5 arms, flexible, too. I wonder if sea stars come in orange, like me?  To me this one looked sort of pinkish.

If I counted right, the sea star had 5 arms, flexible, too.
I wonder if sea stars come in orange, like me?  To me this one looked sort of pinkish.

We looked around the edges of the rocks and could see other things living in the pools of sea water.

I think Nona said that one of those creatures was something called an urchin. Can you see it there in the middle?

I think Nona said that one of those creatures was something called an urchin. Can you see it there in the middle?

So many things get names because they look like something else — a haystack, a star.  I’m going to start a list of those kind of names.  If you think of some, please send me your list so I can add it to mine.  OK?  Thanks!

I’m your friend.

Love,

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Solbit

September 2015

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Solbit, Observes Growing Up Gull in Astoria

Dear Nicalai,

Girl, am I ever glad that Nona and Papa brought me to Astoria, Oregon.  What a cool town!  First, it has water and boats.

Nona said that Astoria offers views that are great for photos. I agree.

Nona said that Astoria offers views that are great for photos. I agree.

When we walked down there along the docks, we saw a bunch of big, sleeping, seals lazing on big wood planks.  Have you noticed how much seals and sea lions like to sleep? Sorta wonder if maybe Papa has some seal DNA in him. Know what I mean?

At least, I’m pretty sure they were seals … or were they sea lions?  Nona says there’s a difference.  I’m gonna go with seals in this letter.

Then, we walked up the hill and around town.  We came to the site of a historic place, a fort.  Built in 1811, a sign said that fur traders (what’s a fur trader?) and adventurers gathered at this place, Fort Astor.

Papa exploring the site of Fort Astor or was it Fort George?

Papa exploring the site of Fort Astor or was it Fort George? He’s taking a photo of a painting on the wall.

Later it was called Fort Astoria and, another time, Fort George.  What should I call this place?  In this letter, I’m going with Fort Astoria.

Oh, you probably don’t want to know this, but, about that “fur trader” thing, I asked Papa.  He said people used to catch and kill furry animals, take their skin off with sharp knives, “cure” the skins, and then sell those skins, called furs, to other people who took the furs and made them into hats and clothing.  Yuck!  And Nona says she even remembers seeing ladies in church with fox heads and fur on their shoulders! Double yuck!

Looking at a site of an old Fort may be fun for old you-know-whats, but I got bored. So, Papa said, “Solbit, let’s go to the beach and look at birds.”

The momma gull is the gray and white one, and the juvenile gull is the black one.

The momma gull is the gray and white one, and the juvenile gull is the black one.

We saw a mother gull and her child, a juvenile gull.  They provided some drama.  What fun! See, the juvenile gull wanted the momma to feed it.  The momma gull kept saying, “No.”  That would be in some kind of gull language, of course. I don’t speak any gull languages, but I could tell what she meant just by her “body language.”

Eventually, the juvenile gull got really, really insistent that momma had to give it some food.  That’s when momma gull put her foot down, so to speak. She turned her back on him or her, whichever.

Papa said, “I think momma gull is trying to make the juvenile gull become independent,” and I said, “Yes, and the young gull sure doesn’t like that.”

Papa said, “I think momma gull is trying to make the juvenile gull become independent,” and I said, “Yes, and the young gull sure doesn’t like that.”

When momma gull turned her back on her child gull or whatever you call a juvenile gull — the child gull started whining, really screeching at her.  I think maybe that’s what a lot of children do when they don’t get their way.  Though I’m sure that when he was a child, Papa was an exception to that generalization.  I wonder if Nona would agree with me?

Well that’s my news from Astoria for now.  Stay tuned! Bye.

I’m your friend.

Love,

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Solbit

September 2015

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Solbit Says Goodbye Victoria; Hello Astoria!

Dear Nicalai,

Oh, girl, did we ever get into trouble at the border! I thought Papa was going to jail, but Nona says no, it was worse than that; we might have gotten a $500 fine!  Personally, I think jail would be worse, but Nona does have to watch our budget.

Driving from Vancouver, BC, Papa got us to the border crossing into the US.  He wasn’t familiar with the traffic patterns.  Did you ever make a mistake, realize it too late, and couldn’t get out of it?  That’s what happened.  Papa got into a lane that was only for people who had paid a fee for a special card to let them skip the long lines.  That would have been ok, except for one little thing: Papa didn’t have one of those cards.  He tried to find a way out of the line, but barriers on both sides of the lane made him go right up to the booth where the Border Patrol guy sits.

After a polite scolding and a warning that, if this ever happened again, then Papa would have to pay a big fine, the nice Border Patrol man let us go.  Whew! Even though it was an honest mistake — that’s how Nona described it — Papa had guilty feelings all day for having gotten ahead of everybody.

Now our day got better, we sped down the interstate highway to visit a bunch of friends in the state of Washington.  Girl, Nona and Papa have friends everywhere, and they all like to eat! Real food, mostly plants, and not too much.

Oh, hey, I have to tell you about our amazing find. In Washington, we picked up another friend and drove south to Astoria, OR.  What a beautiful old town!  We were walking along and almost tripped over a sandwich board (it’s a big sign, not something you would eat).  The sign said to come in and visit the restored old theater.  So, we did.  Look at these pictures.

I love the colors and the tone of the light in this chandelier above the theater.

I love the colors and the tone of the light in this chandelier above the theater.

The Liberty Theater is historic — that means old, like Nona and Papa, only even older. They had old paintings on the walls.

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Scenes of Venice, Italy hang in this theater way out here in the wild west. Don’t you wonder why?

They showed an old movie.

The theater was running old black and white films of some guy who walked in a funny way; his name was Charlie Chaplin, I think. I guess he was famous.

The theater was running old black and white films of some guy who walked in a funny way; his name was Charlie Chaplin, I think. I guess he was famous.

I liked everything about the theater, and my favorite was the ticket booth at the entrance.

They called this feature a “kiosk.”  I have to look up what that word is.

They called this feature a “kiosk.”  I have to look up what that word is.

After our theater tour, we hurried off to a late lunch at the Blue Scorcher Bakery & Cafe.

They didn’t have any special iguanodon food for me, but that’s ok, few places do have; and Nona & Papa shared their food with me, and, like always, I pretended to eat; it’s the polite thing to do.

They didn’t have any special iguanodon food for me, but that’s ok, few places do have; and Nona & Papa shared their food with me, and, like always, I pretended to eat; it’s the polite thing to do.

Well, pretty soon, we’ll be in Portland, Oregon to see Uncle Josh & Aunt Tanya.  Bye for now.

I’m your friend.

Love,

signature

 

 

 

Solbit

August 2015

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”