Sometimes I just happen to be in the right place at the right time…. as this splendid red-tailed hawk sat there looking at me long enough for me to grab the camera.


Sadly, I wasn’t at all prepared when he took off suddenly. One more disappointing butt shot to add to the collection…. :(


My turn shall also come:
I sense the spreading of a wing.”
Osip Mandelstam, The Selected Poems


stormy skies

I do love the skies the passing storms create. It’s why I favor winter over summer on the coast. Perhaps I hope this to be a metaphor for the stormy events our world is struggling with these days.


To enter water is, of course, to cross a border. You pass the lake’s edge, the sea’s shore, the river’s brink – and in so doing you arrive at a different realm, in which you are differently minded because differently bodied.
Robert Macfarlane, Landmarks

a nice day at the beach


I am one of the searchers. There are, I believe, millions of us. We are not unhappy, but neither are we really content. We continue to explore life, hoping to uncover its ultimate secret. We continue to explore ourselves, hoping to understand. We like to walk along the beach, we are drawn by the ocean, taken by its power, its unceasing motion, its mystery and unspeakable beauty. We like forests and mountains, deserts and hidden rivers, and the lonely cities as well. Our sadness is as much a part of our lives as is our laughter. To share our sadness with one we love is perhaps as great a joy as we can know – unless it be to share our laughter.
We searchers are ambitious only for life itself, for everything beautiful it can provide. Most of all we love and want to be loved. We want to live in a relationship that will not impede our wandering, nor prevent our search, nor lock us in prison walls; that will take us for what little we have to give. We do not want to prove ourselves to another or compete for love.

For wanderers, dreamers, and lovers, for lonely men and women who dare to ask of life everything good and beautiful. It is for those who are too gentle to live among wolves.”
James Kavanaugh, There Are Men Too Gentle to Live Among Wolves

another beach and thoughts on Paris…


This was going to be my posted image yesterday, but I kept thinking about Paris…


I’ve thought about it long and hard and I can’t say it any better than Jesse Berney in this Rolling Stone article. The link takes you to the entire article, but I’ll include the pertinent (to me) last two paragraphs:

We’ve bombed hospitals and weddings. We’ve killed children with drones. If those are the only responses we can muster to terrorism, we will create generation after generation of people who want to strike back. That doesn’t make us responsible for attacks against us; only those who carry them out bear that responsibility.

Our responsibility is to be better than the terrorists, and to show those who might be seduced by their hatred that the world isn’t narrow and ugly. Closing off our borders to terrorized refugees sends exactly the wrong message.

a beach stroll with a surprise

Sunday afternoon, we timed it perfectly between rain squalls. china_beach-5710

We walked 1.5 miles each way before the next rain squall arrived. Again it was perfect weather for a beach walk.


A mile and a half of beach all to ourselves with only a set of tracks left by a pair of horses on this lonely stretch.


On the way back, Eric stopped me because he noticed something in the horse tracks…


Not being entirely sure and not wanting to spook the creatures, I snapped off a couple of shots from a distance.


When they didn’t seem at all bothered, I moved in a bit closer and used a piece of driftwood to brace the camera.


This is the best I could do since it was getting rather dark with the clouds rolling in. Turns out these are Snowy Plovers, a protected species. They are so tiny and cute. Apparently they had decided that the horse tracks were the perfect spot to snuggle in for the night.

A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full or wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood. If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantment of later year…the alienation from the sources of our strength. 
Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder

another Gold Beach sunset

Another Gold Beach sunset… I saved this one for its very own individual post… I really like Myers Beach down south.


Instructions for living a life.
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it. 
Mary Oliver

Continuing the whale saga

A more detailed report on the beached whale at this article from the local Coos Bay newspaper (there’s a video, too!) For anyone who doesn’t care to read the full article or watch the video, here’s the pertinent quote from Bruce Mate, who serves as marine mammal director at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center:

“The last two years there’s been what’s called a warm water blob developing off California and reaching up to our neck of the woods. And we’re bracing for a really strong El Nino this year. All three of those years are going to be really bad for whales that feed on krill,” he said.

He also described the whale as “emaciated” and said it had a “very sick blubber layer”.

So not exactly natural causes. :(


Earlier in the day, looking out to sea catching several whales swimming off the beach at Cape Blanco. I caught two blowing in this shot with the fishing boat. The whales were waaaaay out there, so this zoomed shot is cropped pretty heavily.


A shot of one of the whales a bit closer to shore.


I know it’s considered de rigueur to use a slow shutter speed in order to produce the milky looking waves, but I’ve nearly always preferred to see the ‘action’. If I stare long enough at this shot, I can almost ‘see’ the surf crashing.

To stand at the edge of the sea, to sense the ebb and flow of the tides, to feel the breath of a mist moving over a great salt marsh, to watch the flight of shore birds that have swept up and down the surf lines of the continents for untold thousands of years, to see the running of the old eels and the young shad to the sea, is to have knowledge of things that are as nearly eternal as any earthly life can be.
Rachel Carson

a gold beach sunset

A perfect day… warm, without any wind to speak of, with a colorful sunset. Couldn’t ask for any more.


A bit of follow up on the beached whale- we drove by it today and it looks like they’re chopping up the pieces and burning them. A bystander said that the Hatfield Marine Science Center will likely take the skeleton to display at its research and educational institution in Newport, Oregon. We may even get to discover what the cause of death might have been. I can’t say I envy the folks who were down on the beach chopping up that gigantic, stinking carcass.


To me, homesteading is the solution of all poverty’s problems, but I realize that temperament has much to do with success in any undertaking, and persons afraid of coyotes and work and loneliness had better let ranching alone. At the same time, any woman who can stand her own company, can see the beauty of the sunset, loves growing things, and is willing to put in as much time at careful labor as she does over the washtub, will certainly succeed; will have independence, plenty to eat all the time, and a home of her own in the end. 
Elinore Pruitt Stewart, Letters of a Woman Homesteader

after the storm

Warning for the squeamish… you might want to skip this post


It’s not known what killed this Blue Whale, a species known as the largest living animal in the world, but the combination of the king tides and storms we’ve had recently likely washed the body ashore. Eric was headed home from Gold Beach when he noticed this beached whale.


The size is utterly amazing. They can grow up to 100 ft and weigh as much as 150 tons.


For some fun info on the Blue Whale click HERE…


The whales do not sing because they have an answer, they sing because they have a song.
Gregory Colbert

The SW trip – day 7

Next morning we drove back through Capitol Reef for another dazzling look at the red rock scenes.

But eventually we continued our journey… the Quakies were still putting on quite a show as we stopped to check out Johnson Valley Reservoir. This was about the only time during the trip we had a sprinkling of rain and even a few drops that were thinking of turning into snow. The colors on the Quaking Aspen were brighter and more varied than I’d ever seen before.

We didn’t go very far this day (roughly 100 mi), stopping to spend the night at Yuba State Park. This was one of the strangest campgrounds I’ve encountered so far. It sat atop a hill overlooking Yuba Lake. The setting was pretty enough, but it was a very windy location with virtually no trees (imagine that during a Utah summer) and there was pavement everywhere. I wish I had taken a shot of the campground itself to better show what I mean. There is a peek at the little roofs planted above the picnic tables in the third image from the end (#5323), but it doesn’t convey the full impression of these little roofs planted like mushrooms all over this hilltop.

If you’re interested, I did find a youTube video (click HERE) that shows the general area as well as each campsite (and there were many)! Luckily there were only about two other campsites occupied and we had spread pretty far apart. But Mother Nature put on another gorgeous show with spectacular clouds and an impressive sunset.

A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.
Lao Tzu


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