Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn Oakley and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Yarn Along


Joining with Ginny at Small Thing's for this week's Yarn Along .

I finished up Phoebe's new tiny tea leaves last week on our return car ride home from Bandon. I just need to get my cute little one in it to take a photo so that I can share with you all!

And now I am on to knitting Phoebe one of these. I knit her all of the patterns in Phoebe's Sweater for her birthday present, and I have this urge to knit her all of the patterns from Phoebe's Birthday before she gets too big. Is that a weird obsession? Maybe. But it just sort of seems like it needs to happen.

I am reading two on-a-whim books right now. Tibetan Peach Pie by Tom Robbins and How to Build a Girl by Cailin Moran. I snagged both of them off the library shelf last week, which is something I never do. I almost always plan out my reading, put a hold on what I want at the library, and then go pick it up. But this time I chose spontaneous books, totally on a whim. (I am patting myself on the back right now). And they are both hilarious.

Stay tuned for pictures of Miss P in her new, orange, sweater.  They will come. Soon.

What are you reading? What are you knitting?
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Monday, March 30, 2015

Sea Star Wasting Disease: A West Coast Epidemic


Over the past couple of years, I have heard lots of talk about the Sea Star Wasting Disease that is affecting sea stars all along the western coast of North America. Some areas have lost 90% of their ochre sea star populations, and other types of sea stars have seen losses as well. The disease causes the sea stars to get lesions, lose limbs, and die... and often the whole process happens within just a few days. Scientists are not exactly sure what is causing this wasting disease. They know it is a virus, but aren't sure what has made it explode it recent years. The speculation is that it is a virus that has been present all along but warming oceans are stressing the sea stars and making them more succeptible.
Sea stars are a keystone species in the Pacific, playing an important role of predation. They eat mussels that would otherwise blanket the rocks and change the dynamics of the ecosystem.
We went tide pooling in Bandon, Oregon last week over spring break. It was my first time tidepooling in Oregon, and I was nervous that with the wasting disease, we may not even see any sea stars. But when we got there we saw a whole bunch, and I was happy.... I even started to think that maybe this wasting disease was not as big of a deal as I thought.... And then I did a web search for tidepools in Bandon and looked at images from a few years ago.... and the sea stars are everywhere! On top of one another, covering the rocks, everywhere. And that made the "lots" of seas stars we saw seem so inconsequential. And, of course, that made me sad.
Even the sea stars at the Hatfield Marine Center in Newport (who live in tanks inside) had contracted the disease and had to be given antibiotics in order to survive. Apparently the disease can be spread from starfish to starfish through human hands. Yikes.
Anyways, I am keeping my fingers crossed that we see a recovery soon. I can't imagine if my children have to grow up in a world without seas stars. I know that with a changing and warming planet, losses in species will be inevitable, but seeing the reality of it really hits home. Pin It Now!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Spring Break Post #2: Exploring Bandon


This year, we spent spring break in Bandon, Oregon. We arrived late afternoon on Monday in the midst of a terrible storm. The rain was pounding and the wind gusts were huge. The door to our rental home would not stay fully closed, and a small lake began to form in the kitchen. The screen from a window flew into the bathtub, and I spent most of Monday night not sleeping because the floor of the upstairs bedroom where we were sleeping was shaking. I am a bit of a weather wimp and I am generally not a fan of the wind.. I was so relieved to wake up Tuesday morning to calm.
Although the weather was not terrible again, we had mostly cool and overcast days. Not exactly the beach weather I had hoped for. Despite this, Phoebe still managed to get wet just about every time we went to the beach.
We spent a morning tidepooling, which in my opinion, was the best part of the trip. We also enjoyed beach combing, wandering the town and relaxing on the sand. We also visited the Washed Ashore art gallery. The gallery and art work is all about raising awareness about the mass amounts of plastic that ends up in our oceans and how it harms wildlife. There is some amazing art made from found plastic, and it is such a great organization.
I also made sure to go to the Bandon National Wildlife Refuge, as I had heard so much about it, but all we saw there were two geese. The trip was not without wildlife though. We saw elk on the drive down, some harbor seals, an otter, lots of water birds, and of course, all of the critters we found in the tide pools.
We drove up the coast on the way home and made a quick stop at the Oregon Dunes and another at the Hatfield Marine Science Center. I was impressed. As a donation-based facility, the had a lot of great displays. Well worth the visit!
We are all glad to be home again, settling in and finding our routine once again.




















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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Spring Break Post #1: Tidepooling Bandon


For years I have been wanting to tidepool on the Oregon coast, and for whatever reason I have just never made it happen. So when we decided that we were going to head to the Oregon coast for spring break, one of the first things I researched was the tide charts to see if there would be a good time to tidepool. The morning of our first full day here was our best chance, so I motivated the troops and we headed to Coquille Point, just a couple of miles from where we were staying. And we saw tons of animals! A guide to what we saw can be found here.
We all had a great time, especially Phoebe who loved gently touching the starfish and sea anemones (she is my fearless child). And, I can't wait to head back to the coast this summer for another chance to tidepool.














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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Yarn Along


Joining with Ginny at Small Thing's for this week's Yarn Along .

We are on a little spring break road trip in Bandon, Oregon, which is on the southern coast. It is gorgeous here. We have only been here for a day and a half but I already have so many pictures to share (and a few good stories too!). That will have to wait another day or so though, as I haven't even had a chance to sort through them.

On the car ride down to Bandon I finished up the body of the new tiny tea leaves I am knitting for Phoebe. I am now working on the sleeves and it seems to be going quick. They are supposed to be 3/4 length, but I think I may knit them full... that way little Miss P can get more use out of the sweater. I think this is the quickest that I will have knit a sweater-- a 4.5 hour car ride certainly helps with that!

I am currently reading Extras, the last book in the Uglies series by Scott Westerfield. It's easy reading, which is perfect for a spring break trip. I brought a small stack of books with so hoping I can sneak away for some reading this week.

What are you reading? What are you knitting?


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Friday, March 20, 2015

Happy First Day of Spring!







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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Yarn Along


Joining with Ginny at Small Thing's for this week's Yarn Along .

The past week has been super busy. I finished up my teaching term yesterday and got my final grades submitted this morning. Which means that I am officially on spring break. Whoo-hoo! Now I just need to finish organizing next term....

We are taking a little road trip next week for spring break and I am hoping to have plenty of time for car knitting. I have 2 knitting projects and a stack of books all lined up. Although I always seem to be overly ambitious with these things. With two kids, I think I will still be pretty busy.

I finished up the baby sophisticate sweater for my husband's assistant last week. I love how it came out except I think I stink at wrapping and turning. You can tell where I did it along the collar as the stitches aren't even. Hmmm.... something to work on I guess.

I am now starting (another) tiny tea leaves for Phoebe. She has a blue one that is getting too small, and too warm for this time of year. This orange one is a lighter wool that should work nicely for the chilly nights of spring and summer.

I am still reading bits of  A Tree Grows in Brooklyn but mainly reading Inferno by Dan Brown. It's the kind of book that leaves you hanging each chapter so that you want more!

What are you reading? What are you knitting?

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