Wednesday, May 11, 2011

By the fabulous sea...

A bit over a week ago, a friend and I took advantage of another friend's offer to stay in her beach home for a weekend on the beautiful North Oregon Coast. Just breathing the air here lightens your load and allows you to breathe deeply of the sea and rugged shores teeming with wildlife of the sea, land and, as in the case of the above warbler, the air itself.

After settling in, our first stop was the beautiful Cape Meares located just outside the quaint town of Oceanside, Oregon. I was for the first time in years without cell phone or internet service and luxuriating in the ability to feel guilt free in avoiding the computer and phone messages.

We were greeted by the sun, a rare site here for the last year. Felt so good to drink in the heat of the day and take in the beauty of the wildflowers, bravely blooming despite the unseasonable weather.

We walked the trail to the Cape Meares lighthouse, no longer functional, but still stately on its precarious cliffside perch.

Off from the shore, the seabirds circle the rocks where they come each year to nest. I hoped to see a puffin, but instead saw gulls, terns, cormorants, ducks and geese in the air and the sea. A few sea lion heads bobbed up and down in the water looking for food.

The savior of a thousand ships trying to navigate the rocky Oregon coast now stands silent, but with a fresh coat of white paint and crystal clear lenses, it takes little to imagine the lighthouse in its heyday with two keepers manning the light at a time.

A small sparrow sang to us as we walked by, not much concerned with the human foot traffic that walked by in fits and spurts. We were joined by a pair of bird watchers from Texas who were travelling the country together.

Finally we ran out of sun and reluctantly headed back to the beachhouse for a good night's sleep.

THe nest day we spent a bit of time exploring the galleries of Cannon Beach before taking a walk down the beach itself to the famous Haystack Rock where the puffins nest. We were treated to another beautiful summer's day as we entered the beach where this small creek joined the ocean.

You can see Haystack Rock in the background of this photo....seemed so far away but we beachcombed as we walked and were there before we knew we knew it.

But alaw, this was the only puffin I saw at the rock, although the rock was teeming with all kinds of birds and alive with the calls of both adults and babies.

The tide pools were exposed by the receding waves and full of life such as this anemone...

or these huge starfish, clinging for life to the rocks until the tide comes in again.

Each step along the beach brought new discoveries and a new appreciation for the diversity of life found everywhere in nature.

Soon it was again time to call it a day. Back to the house and photos of the sunset from the deck and a warm, crackling fire and home cooked meal.

As we prepared to leave the next day, I found these banded pigeons in the top of a nearby fir tree, ruffled up against the cold morning air.

and on the way out took time to photograph the wildly blooming skunk cabbage alongside the creek near the road.

We left refreshed and ready to return to our landlocked homes with many memories to savor until we can breathe the sea air again.


Suzanne Reynolds said...

Beautiful photos, Jan. I, too, love being near the ocean.

Lenall Siebenaler said...

Jan, Have you ever thought about being a professional photographer? Your work is beautiful! I love the design in your photos. It is excellent!