The Oregon Coast

As promised, this post is about the Oregon coast (although I’m not talking about the geology quite yet — research!). My sister and sister-in-law were here this past week and, of course, they wanted to see the coast that I have been raving about since I got here. I love the look and feel of Oregon’s coast! It’s wild, interesting, and filled with lots of bonuses (murres, cormorants, seals, sea lions, whales — and, I hear, puffins), but I do have one complaint: you can’t swim in the ocean here! Well, you can if you are under 10 years old, or are wearing a wetsuit. . . I do miss the east coast shore for the swimming, but I’ll leave it to you to judge whether the east or west coast shoreline is more beautiful/interesting.

So we headed out to the coast, and although it was much cooler than Portland and there was the potential for rain, we figured the sky would clear up in the afternoon, like most days. We started out in Cannon Beach. Everyone must see Haystack Rock (the one at Cannon Beach, not Pacific City), because it’s a well-known destination in Oregon. It is amazing to see, particularly when an eagle flies near and scatters the seagulls who nest on it (as one did while we were there). I didn’t get a photo of that, but the Needles and Haystack Rock were pretty cool. . .

The Needles (note the young gull just getting its sealegs!)
Haystack Rock

While we were at Cannon Beach, the sky became much darker, the wind was blowing, and it started to rain. I think it was in the 50s or 60s on the beach, and we weren’t expecting that (this is typical, however, and you’d never know this was my 4th or 5th trip to the coast!). We were getting cold after a half hour on the beach, so we hurried back to the car, stopping in at the candy shop to pick up saltwater taffy.

I wanted my sisters to see the view from Ecola Park, so we drove up there and looked over the outlook rail — through the driving wind and rain — to see the beach from above. Needless to say, we didn’t stay more than a few minutes, although I did manage to shoot a few photographs (I’m all about atmosphere. . .). Here are my guests, and some shots of the coast from Ecola Park:

Frozen Guests
Cannon Beach from Ecola Park
Storm at Sea

We left Ecola Park and talked my sisters into continuing in hopes of better weather. So we drove along the neighborhoods around the area, running into something I’ve wanted to see since I arrived here:  elks!

Inquisitive female elk

There were several of them, including a baby (what’s a baby elk called, anyway?), lunching in someone’s yard. . . I had gotten a photograph of a female elk in the woods while we were on one of the numerous winding roads, and just as the spectacular male came up the hill to meet her, we moved to get off the main road. . . Ah, well, such is the nature of nature photography!

Our next stop was at an interesting creek we passed along the way (we’re all about out-of-the-way places). The atmosphere was fabulous for these shots!

Ming Creek
Another view of Ming Creek

Continuing on, we passed an area where we saw rocks hosting cormorants, cranes, and seagulls, who apparently get along just fine in close quarters!

Birds of a feather

Finally, on our way back, we passed another shallow area, where herons were standing, and I ended up with this high-key photo of one. . .

Blue Heron at an inlet

I apologized profusely for the bad weather (as if I had anything to do with it), but at least my sisters got to see the coast and surrounding areas. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of going there, given the varied photographic opportunities available with the changing weather and seasons. . .

I’ll be posting more photographs on my website, so check it out at

Thanks for reading!

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