Rialto Beach & the Pelican Parade





A rather cloudy, forlorn sort of day. To be expected at the edge of the rain forest. We did get a rather interesting parade of Pelicans streaming by.

(If you wish to see any of the above in greater detail, click on any image to start the slideshow.)


My sorrow, when she’s here with me, thinks these dark days of autumn rain are beautiful as days can be; she loves the bare, the withered tree; she walks the sodden pasture lane.” 
― Robert Frost



the magic of clouds and light

Caught this on the way up the coast yesterday. It’s the closest I’ve ever come to catching the way the clouds and sun shining through them paints the ocean below…


Whether we and our politicians know it or not, Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do. 
― Wendell Berry

Wildlife in the Rainforest



Apparently one needs to be an early birds in order to catch photos of elk crossing the river. Me, the night owl, did manage to get up in time to see the otters at play in the river, but not conscious enough to snap any pictures.

Queets campground fee: $8 (senior discount) 😀
If you wish to see these in greater detail, click on any image to start the slideshow.

The Peace of Wild Things
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.” 
― Wendell Berry, The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry

Travelogue -PNW

Heading up the West Coast of the Olympic Peninsula, into the Rain Forest,  I’ve had an extremely hard time trying to narrow down the many times I snapped the shutter. It was such a green, moist, lush area, I couldn’t seem to help myself. I almost wanted to grow gills. Most appreciated after our dry summer back home.
If you wish to see these in greater detail, click on any image to start the slideshow.

“To become a person does not necessarily mean to be well adjusted, well adapted, approved of by others. It means to become who you are. We are meant to become more eccentric, more peculiar, more odd. We are not meant just to fit in. We are here to be different. We are here to be the individual.”

Travelogue -PNW

Our September trip, north along the Pacific coast…
I’ve decided that the only way I will ever keep details straight in my mind is to post it in sequence.

So with map, calendar, a bit of google, date/time stamps on images and Eric’s better memory, I’ll attempt some semblance of order…. Someone suggested I keep notes. The best I could handle to resemble anything like that was, quickly scrawled notations for miles traveled (almost) each day on the map. No smart phones.

Day 2 – Beverly Beach, OR to Cape Disappointment, WA (I didn’t think to record miles until the next day) – estimated miles 150 (240 km).
(as always, click on an image for a closer look – look for the ‘X’ to get back to the post)

The second day… we took the scenic Three Capes loop as we headed north. The day was a bit sullen, but it never actually rained until that night.

PNW_trip-06212A Pelican hangout at Netarts Bay. It’s hard to tell from a distance, but so many Pelicans naturally caught my eye.

PNW_trip-06217An iconic shot at Garibaldi -Tillamook Bay with the Cormorant tree…

PNW_trip-06224Eventually we arrived at Astoria, the northern most city along the Oregon Coast. Here, a rather strange metallic wild hog… or something?

PNW_trip-06226A preserved theater caught my eye. Some are more impressive than others. I liked this one.

And then… gasp…

PNW_trip-06232I have to admit that the Astoria Bridge has always given me the willies. There’s just something about that very tall first rise that looks like it drops into the mighty Columbia River. I’ve never attempted it on my own. At least with Eric driving I could distract myself by shooting pictures. Yes, no tripod and shooting from a moving vehicle. But undoubtedly you get the idea.

PNW_trip-06234On the approach to the bridge over Astoria…

PNW_trip-06235This looks like a relatively normal bridge, until….

PNW_trip-06237there’s that precipitous drop halfway across the river.

PNW_trip-06238Crossing the mighty Columbia River, the border between Oregon and Washington.

PNW_trip-06244Washington straight ahead.

PNW_trip-06246Looking back at the bridge from quite a distance. Shows just how wide the mouth of the Columbia is. The lovely clouds couldn’t be beat that evening.

We camped at Cape Disappointment State Park that night. The sunset was certainly no disappointment. If you’re at all curious about how it got its name- here’s the link.

Not all those who wander are lost. 
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Travels up the coast

This was the beginning… We didn’t hit the road until noon and made very few stops as we headed up the Oregon Coast. Most of it was rather familiar territory this first day. We stopped to camp for the night, about halfway up the coast at Beverly Beach State Park, hidden in a forest between Cape Foulweather and Yaquina Head.

The shutter started clicking the next morning as I encountered some local residents:

PNW_Trip-06149This little Fox Sparrow checked me out for a moment

PNW_Trip-06155But then opted to go back to some blackberries for breakfast.

PNW_Trip-06143Looks like this Western Red Squirrel was having breakfast, too.

Not focusing well with the speedy descent, but fun to watch this little one scamper down the tree, stopping by the side of the road for a nibble.

PNW_Trip-06170Our neighbors at the campsite, AKA the Western Campers are well equipped for the rain. We were pretty lucky for most of the trip as it seemed to rain mostly during the night. There was just one day that had a bit of heavy rain- the day we stayed at Neah Bay. That gave us a chance to enjoy the Makah Museum to the fullest. A great stop for some history of a unique and fascinating Native American Tribe. Pity photos were not allowed. The T-shirts were quite nice, too.

The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness. 
― John Muir

same old scene…

But with a different sun and clouds playing over the water… (my favorite sort of weather)









Ethical behavior is doing the right thing when no one else is watching- even when doing the wrong thing is legal.
― Aldo Leopold

smoke season

For nearly 25 years, I’ve experienced two seasons here on the Oregon coast: wet (winter) and dry (summer). We seem to have added a third toward the end of summer: smoke season. Can’t remember the last time we had any rain.

Yesterday, we headed into town to do some errands and watched a large plume of smoke spread toward town. It’s part of the ongoing Klondike fire which was started by lightning on July 15th. At this point it’s estimated to have burned 93,358 acres and is 37 percent contained.


So far, we hadn’t seen any really thick smoke, but according to the Forest Service website “A large smoke plume developed yesterday afternoon as the fire burned through dead and down trees killed in the 2002 Biscuit Fire. Northeast winds blew smoke in the direction of Gold Beach and Brookings.” Above, is one of the first shots I took at roughly 3 PM as the smoke spread over the town of Gold Beach.


The slide show above (click on any image to start the slideshow) shows the scene as we headed home from Brookings around 6 PM.


I returned to the beach around 7 PM to see what the setting sun was going to look like. Above you can see the progress as the sun dropped to the bottom edge of the plume.


Hoping for rain… though given our drought, it could be another month or more before we see any…

One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise. 
― Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

Smoky moon…

Been staying in quite a bit because of the smoky skies and what they do to my allergies. smoky-05784

This was the orange moon from a couple of nights ago. Looking out at the sky tonight, it looks like perhaps the wind shifted and pushed some of the smoke in another direction. Hoping for some rain… soon.

Conservation is getting nowhere because it is incompatible with our Abrahamic concept of land. We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect. 
― Aldo Leopold


Life’s been busy lately and things have been a tad hazy outside…

firewater-05686but I couldn’t resist this shot of the orange sun reflected on the waves. It’s been another smoke filled autumn again, but at least our area hasn’t been nearly as bad as last year when we were in the thick of it.

I am glad I will not be young in a future without wilderness. 
― Aldo Leopold

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