Brook no boring sunsets

Sometimes, we can’t help ourselves…just gotta get in the car and roll….

Rolled 100 miles up the coast into Oregon, to the great little town of Brookings.

We’ve stopped there twice (a bunch of arch rocks along the 12 mile long state park), and knew we needed to come back and spend much more time exploring….

Landed at Lone Ranch Beach this time long enough before sunset that we could take a nice look around….

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The high vantage point helped….

I was able to find a rock in the wash of surf that had a flat top about 6 feet up…that I could stand on with my tripod…to keep the camera & me out of the water but right in the action!

Hoo boy, was there ever some action!

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The sky went nuts and the waves went nuts!

The beach was quite flat, so the surf could crash waaaay out there, then roll and roll, and finally crash on smaller rocks 200 yards farther in toward shore where I was standing.

Still, as the sunset quieted down, the waves became a little more subdued. This image seems completely placid…but that’s mostly due to it being a 30-second exposure.

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Right in the very middle of that image, what looks like fog behind the low wall of dark rocks is actually the spray from waves repeatedly crashing in that area during the exposure!

Yet this sunset could never be called boring. Even after the sun had dropped below the horizon, it was creating colors in the high clouds that caused soft, shimmering colors on the surf. This exposure of 6 seconds shows a more accurate image of the active water. If you click on this image to have it fill your screen, you’ll see there is a large wave coming right at you that is about to curl and crash.

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Are you sure this is the same place?

We frantically looked for access to the shoreline in an unfamiliar area south of Eureka, CA one evening…because the sunset was suddenly exploding with color.

Managed to find a narrow spot on Humboldt Bay with some old pilings to add character to the foreground!

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The other evening we were driving near the same spot as the time for sunset approached, so we pulled off the highway to see what might develop.

The sky wasn’t nearly as spectacular….

Ah, but that means you just work a little harder to get something interesting!

I had a little fun with a 30-second exposure…and produced an image I find more compelling than an intense orange sky.

So different from each other!

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Like I said

We left supper in a hurry this evening, because the pending sunset looked interesting.

Ran up to Moonstone Beach.

Almost turned into a dud…but…then it got interesting….

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What a place!

The tide was waaay out, so as I trudged the 300 yards back toward shore, I spotted in the distance what looked like spinning flames.

Indeed!

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We keep coming back

Moonstone County Park is just a speck on the map, but its beach is a monster.

The oddly named Little River (because it’s one of the biggest around here) pours into the ocean on the edge of the park, and defines one end of the beach. The other end bumps into a towering wall of rock.

But in between, there’s a very deep, flat beach of sand that is host to numerous rocks that really add character to the place.

Remember this:

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Or this:

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You know, character.

Often, we find the rocks are such perfect foils for a remarkable sky at sunset.

Ha, not the other night! It was soooo dreary, we almost didn’t get out of the car.

Heavy clouds overhead, a thick bank at the horizon, and just white light from a narrow band near the dropping sun.

But the tide was out, so there was a lot of beach to walk, and Ross & Ryan needed the exercise…

Look what developed during 30 minutes as the sun set (these are in the sequence they were shot). It sure pays to hang around….

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Ya just never know

We decided to walk a new beach the other day.

Nothing terribly dramatic…it was north from a spot where we often stop to watch the ocean, and toward a spot we visited just a week or so before.

Turned out we hadn’t missed much…nice smooth beach, not much driftwood, waves that curl nice and come in multiple sets but no high drama.

After about half a mile, we had nearly reached the point where Redwood Creek pours into the ocean and we’d have to turn around.

Decided to rest on a wee bit of dune.

Looked toward the river, and noticed a bunch of logs on the edge of a small pool. One moved…

Seals!

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A pod of about 40 seals had come in from the ocean, probably just resting from their migration trek. I slowly maneuvered to take photos.

They noticed.

I waited and they relaxed. I moved some more.

I eventually reached their limit.

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Still waving

Sometimes the rhythm of the ocean seems out to lunch!

DSC_8490Waves will come at various angles to the shoreline…and CRASH into each other before banging into the shore. Other times they just don’t seem able to crest..they just swelllllll, then kind of collapse and squish all over the shore.

There’s always the problem of water from the last wave that washed up on shore…it’s pouring back toward the ocean just as a new wave comes pounding in…and they meet with a crash!

But under the color of sunset…waves of any sort are good.

DSC_0032And they just keep on waving….

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…after wave

No two waves are alike, and they are almost totally unpredictable.

You can watch a swell coming…much larger than the others…and you wait for it to absolutely EXPLODE into the waiting rocks or onto the shore.

Dud.

Ahhhh, just wait, another is coming….

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Yeeaahh, like that!

The waves vary from beach to beach…because the ocean floor is different from one bay to the next. Some beaches produce multiple sets of breaking waves, while others produce very large single sets.

DSC_1940But the waves always keep on coming!

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Whether the tide’s coming in or going out…the waves keep on pounding. As the sun sets and activity on the beach ceases…the waves keep on pounding.

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