Coastal Oregon

Growing up within a few miles of the ocean, I have fond memories of the coastal shoreline, the sounds of the waves crashing onto the shoreline and the birds flying about, the smell of the salt air, the winds blowing across my face, the feel of sand between my toes, and watching the sun rise (or fall) across the horizon of the ocean.  I wondered if I would miss it once I became “landlocked” in Colorado.  To my surprise, I didn’t miss it all that much.  It seemed that I traded it with mountains, red rock canyons and landscapes, more varied wildlife, less crowds, and more quiet.

Fast forward to a trip to the coastal town of Cannon Beach, Oregon.  Having visited there before while living in Florida, we found ourselves wanting to return … and so we did.  Immediately, the smell of the salt air and the winds blowing in my face brought back memories that I recognized this year over past visits.

IMG_7380I was fascinated by the lines in the groomed sand.  It was a bit chilly so I passed on the sand in the toes thing … besides which sand in my toes wasn’t always a pleasant memory for me.  LOLIMG_7381We took the opportunity to re-visit Ecola State Park nearby … off the Tillamook Head.  We found that while the views were just as beautiful, the landscape of the seaside slope had changed quite a bit and places that we had explored in the past were now too unstable to safely pursue.  We learned that last winter storms had caused the deterioration by heavy and high seas.850_4005-Edit-EditWhile we search for various shorebirds … I really was on a quest for 2 in particular … black oystercatchers and tufted puffins.  Of course, that didn’t stop me from photographing this lovely whimbrel.500_1979So off I went to Cannon Beach again … towards Haystack Rock.850_3965Close attention must be paid to the tidal tables, so that one can get close to the nesting colonies of birds.  After some time and patience, I finally spotted a black oystercatcher.500_2356Contrary to the American oystercatcher found in coastal Florida (as well as other select areas), the black oystercatcher is just that … black plumaged (as opposed to the black and white plumage).500_2180I was quite excited to see the mated pair of black oystercatchers too.  They are known to the area and have bred successfully in that locale.  They are year-round residents on the Pacific coast.500_2237I found myself quite fascinated with their brightly colored beaks and their bright yellow eyes with that notable bright orange ring around it.  500_2312This pair was getting ready for their breeding season.  They build their nest among rocks or grass on inaccessible areas of cliffs or islands … just above the high tide lines.500_2401I found this one in a quite interesting position in the rocks.  Must have been signaling that it was ready for action.  😉500_2341They would fly in and out, though always returning to the same general area.500_2422They would spend some of their day preening themselves, as well as searching for food.500_2425Of course, the rock formation was home to many other birds as well, such as the cormorants.  I could be wrong, but I believe this one to be a pelagic cormorant.500_2128Then I saw these birds flutting around in a fast and furious manner … though from the backside of the rocks.  At first, I really didn’t pay it much attention at all, then I decided to take a closer look through my binoculars.  To my surprise, and delight, they were tufted puffins!500_2479Again, being nested on the other side (i.e. inaccessible) of the rock, I couldn’t get very amazing shots by any stretch, but I did manage a few fun ones.  Yep, they were speedy ones for sure.500_2508All of a sudden, I heard major squaking and commotion going on.  A pair of gulls seemed to be having a great time on the cliff.500_2607Apparently she had enough and reached back to bite the neck of the male.500_2624Meanwhile getting back to the black oystercatchers foraging around on the tidal floor of the water moist rocks searching for mussels and limpets.500_2697500_2677-EditSuch beautiful birds and I was tinkled pink that I found them.500_2655A coastal storm started rolling in, so we called our time just a little bit short of what the tide would have mandated.  Back to our cabin along the coast … grabbing some images along the way.IMG_7377There were so many beautiful blooms around town as well.  I turned into an iphone photographer at that point on my way to dinner.  LOLIMG_7402IMG_7410IMG_7409Before we entered the restaurant, we took one more long glance at the setting sun … gosh it was so beautiful and the perfect way to end our stay.850_3990Well what a beautiful sunset … and a wonderful Citrus Mule to seal the deal!  Until the next time ….IMG_7398

Next Up:  On top of the Mesa!

© 2018  TNWA Photography / Debbie Tubridy

http://www.tnwaphotography.com                 http://www.tnwaphotography.wordpress.com

 

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Reminiscing About Oregon 2013

How many of you can relate to having a shortage of time?  How about getting busy with the everyday necessities in life that you forget to reflect fully on something that you just experienced?  I hate to admit it, but lately I’ve had those kind of days … weeks … even months.

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So it’s fitting that today I take a moment to reflect on a trip out west that I took last year, almost a full year ago.  See Tom goes out on an annual trip to the west coast.  Specifically Oregon is his destination.  He meets up with some of his south Florida and Pacific Northwest friends for their annual meeting in Oregon for a week of male bonding over RC glider flying.  Not wanting to interfere with the testosterone flow out there, I decided to fly out a week early and spend the time in Oregon with Tom, but with a twist to the arrangement … I had to also visit the Palouse region of eastern Washington.  Agreed!

I’ll start with Oregon first, though in reality it was the other way around.  🙂

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I guess you know what they say about Oregon … “lots of drizzly weather” and I can attest to that fact.  Of course, Tom said that as soon as I headed home, he never saw the rain again.  Though it’s probably true (he wouldn’t lie to me, would he?), funny how that works.

While Oregon has many wonderfully beautiful places to venture, I personally only had about 4 days, so we decided to do a bit of coastal, then work our way back to Hood River, which would be Tom’s home base for the following week.

I arrived in Portland, and we drove to Cannon Beach, OR on the Pacific coast.  What a beautiful place that was too.  We stayed directly across the street from the ocean and the haystacks, which are so infamous with the area.  Most of the time that we were there, the skies were overcast or threatening, but that didn’t diminish the beauty of the jagged coastline, so different to my own home base of the southern Atlantic Ocean coast.

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The town was quiet, which I was thrilled with, and we visited numerous sites in the area, including Ecola State Park, where we were thrilled to be greeted by several bald eagles – adults and juveniles.  What a show they put on for us – between the rain storms that is.  I truly was in heaven observing and listening to their calling out.

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We also visited Fort Stevens State Park, on the coast also, but at the mouth of the Columbia River.  It was gorgeous there as well, the views to die for, and numerous terns and bald eagles, among other birds entertaining us with their antics.

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As we made our way towards Hood River, we had to stop (of course, in the rain) at Multnomah Falls.  While the area was quite quaint and beautiful, and it was fairly non-populated with tourists when we were there, I still found myself challenged with getting that “great shot” of the falls that I had longed for.

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I had to settle for this …

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However, I did have a grand time with the hummingbirds darting in and out of view at the nearby feeders.  🙂  It was really one the first times that I had photographed them (except in controlled circumstances), so it was fun for me.  Probably not as much fun as it was for the “falls” tourists who were so puzzled by my obsession with the hummingbirds … sort of like I had never seen one before … and HELLO … the falls were behind you!  LOL.  Just goes to show that one man’s trash in another man’s treasure…. right?

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Eventually, we made our way to Hood River.  Tom took me up to the top of the area where he flies his RC gliders, as he surely got excited with what was to come.  For me, yes, it was beautiful … but where are the wild animals???  Haha.

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Oh, and we did spot this creature in the woods along the way … he does exist … we have proof!  😉

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Oh, that’s right, we did have birds and squirrels, not to mention this fine view out of our lodge room.

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In the next blog post, I’ll share my images and thoughts on the Palouse.  Stay tuned for more.  🙂

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