Not everything has feathers

Our time on the west coast often coincides with the gray whale migration south to Mexico and then their migration back north around Alaska.

Very tough to get a real good view from land, but sometimes you get lucky.DSC_2763

As I was waiting for more whales to pass, I noticed something odd to my right, at the spot where the Yachats River empties into the ocean.

It looked like a bunch of kelp leaves sticking up…except they kept moving erratically. Robyn trained her big binoculars on them.

We could see noses!

Probably California Sea Lions (lost, because this was waaaay into Oregon. I’m kidding, their habitat extends beyond the CA state lines).

They will float together on their backs for camaraderie and rest, with their flippers extended out of the water to catch warmth from the sun!

Rafting, it’s called.

We think there are four in this picture.DSC_2683

Not another….

Wow, these guys are everywhere!

Sure enough, Robyn found a bald eagle out on Yaquina Head! This one is a juvenile, so its markings make it much more difficult to identify (I would’ve missed it).

He was sitting on a distant rock, where we identified him. When he flew, I made this shot…which was more interesting to look at, although much, much poorer to see him and identify.DSC_2588

Another reason to celebrate

We’ve just gotten over Robyn’s birthday last month, and our anniversary for traveling in the Big Taxi last week….

Today is the 22nd anniversary of the day Robyn and I said “I do!”

Those years have seen some amazing transitions…from three youngsters at home to two adults at home and one adult showing us how it’s done out there!

From three boys in school to three high school graduates.

From nearly-constant medical appointments for Ross & Ryan to routine annual check-ups.

But of course, the biggie: from living in four walls planted on an acre to living over four wheels that gather no moss….

We took this picture on the Oregon coast just before we put the Big Taxi in “drive” and began the lengthy, circuitous, and scenic route back to Dayton.

These posts will be a bit intermittent as we travel. Still actually have a bunch of photos to share from the Oregon coast!

But for today: Happy Anniversary to my Sweetness!



Another familiar light

Waldport sits in the middle of an Oregon coast that produces some great stuff to see and to shoot!

We ran up to Newport to visit Yaquina Head. Here’s where we saw four Peregrine Falcon nestlings a year ago.

Too early for them this year, although a new female was scoping out the nesting ledge.

Just a lovely day to see the coastline north and south from this peninsula…and to once again see the tallest light on the Oregon coast, Yaquina Head Lighthouse.DSC_2591

Thwarted again at Thor

So you saw that last photo in yesterday’s post….

Nope, that wave convinced me this was not going to be my day to shoot Thor’s Well.

Oooooooooooooo, but wait, look at the sunset…..DSC_1709

That’s the Well, near the bottom, the dark hole in the right third. See the three photographers to its right, at the very bottom of this image? They know a background when they see one!

Quick, get the right lens, get down there, and get the shot!

I hesitated for some reason, and happened to get the next shots because I had the camera set to shoot continuously at a fairly high rate.

These images have been heavily cropped from pretty much the same scene as above, so their quality for detail and sharpness is seriously lacking…but I think you’ll get the point. You can click on any image to have it fill your screen.DSC_1710












They survived the blast…and already here comes another wave!DSC_1722

Thor’s Well, revisited

Some of you know about my long-standing interest in Thor’s Well.

This modest hole in the rocks along the Oregon coast south of Yachatz is a magnet for photographers who want to highlight ocean shoreline drama.

Part of its status derives from its peculiar function: it’s a 15 foot diameter hole that sits about 4 feet back from the water on a volcanic plain just feet above sea level, so waves splash into it, but because it has volcanic tubes that run down and into the ocean, it doesn’t fill up. Except when the underwater forces push water up those tubes and it comes gushing up out of the hole!

Another part of its status derives from the difficulty in getting an interesting and clear photo. The waves that make interesting pictures also threaten bodily harm! Standing back is not really an option, because the Well tends to blend into its surrounding rock. And there is usually quite a lot of wind that blows salt spray all over your camera equipment.

These issues are besides the usual ones of lighting, sky color and clouds, and frequent coastline fog or haze.

It’s a challenge, and I have wanted to see what I could get.

We parked in Waldport only 12 miles from Thor’s Well, so we drove down there as soon as we could on the day we arrived.

Poor sky, pretty strong wind, but the tide should be good, and the waves should be heavy.

From waaaaaay up in the parking lot above it, I checked the conditions, and took a couple pictures with my 300mm lens.DSC_1577

That’s a puff of mist coming up out of the Well, with some water running into it on the right and left sides. The late evening sun makes for a little extra interest.

The water this side of the Well is quite shallow…just inches deep…but its presence tells you there have been recent waves pouring onto that plain.

You know, like this:DSC_1602

The little people

We enjoy Yachatz for a number of reasons.

It has a number of small, quirky, local bakeries and restaurants. You’ll recall we had some fish the last time here at a place called Luna Sea Restaurant.

We enjoy the baked goodies and lunch-time wraps and sandwiches at The Green Salmon Cafe. Despite the name, everything is vegan, including the brats and reuben sandwiches!

But the coastline is so accessible and fascinating.

I could have taken this little guy’s picture from the car, but I moved for a better angle.DSC_2013