Monday, July 11, 2016

Last pictures of the central coast

Since we'll be away from the coast until around July 22, I wanted to get caught up on our last excursion north from Florence.

sea mist blows toward the Cape Creek bridge

Not far from Florence we  explored Cape Cove beach, the crescent shaped beach below the Hecata Lighthouse and its beautiful Cape Creek.   The tide was low and we could reach the interesting caves below the lighthouse and poke around a few tide pools before the rising tide chased us up the creek.

The famous red and white lighthouse and its spectacular, rocky setting over 200 feet above the ocean were something to see.   I didn't take any photos of it because I was sure I did the last time we were there.   Wrong.   I searched through all my photos and could not find a single one.   I seem to remember that it was under renovation then so perhaps that's why.   At any rate, no lighthouse pictures for you.

The day was cool and cloudy with ever present wind.

I asked him to show me some color.....oh Dave

We decided to head up Cape Creek to see if we could get out of the biting wind and find a spot for lunch.

We walked under the beautiful Cove Creek Bridge and along the creek.  Built in 1932 it is reminiscent of ancient Roman stone aqueducts with its two tiers of arches and columns.

The creek's water was smooth and clear and birdsong in the thick forest along its banks made us sure this would be a stellar spot for lunch.

We found a huge drift log to sit on along the shoreline.  The sun was beginning to peak out of the gray cloud cover and by the time we got lunch unpacked we were sitting in full and warm sun.   What a bonus.   I took no pictures.   We sat and enjoyed the birds and our lunch and the sound of the water dancing over small downed logs and rocks.

By the time we got back to the beach we discovered that the sun had brought people so we hopped in the jeep and continued our journey.

I wanted to see Seal Rocks.   I had heard that, at low tide, wonderful tide pools were revealed.   That was my only disappointment, since it was no longer low tide the pools were well under water.    We stopped at the Seal Rocks Waypoint and looked down on the large rocky outcroppings that jut out into the ocean and follow its coast for what looks like a few miles into Seal Rocks State Park and beyond.

As we looked out over the ocean we noticed a really pretty little seabird paddling around in the calmer sections of the surf.   Soft grey/black feathers, white wing patches and ridiculously red legs and feet.

Pigeon Guillemot

We started looking around and saw more of these little beauties clinging to the sandy cliffs below us.

These two were directly below us and asked for a bit of privacy please.

  As I zoomed my camera into the more distant sand walls I saw more and more.

On one of the rocky tops we saw a Black Oystercatcher striding along.

We continued about a mile down the road and turned into Seal Rocks State Park for another look.

A beautiful path led us to a steep trail down the cliffs ending on the driftwood strewn beach below.   We pushed on through a light misty rain into the twisted coastal trees.

Yes, Dave, we see you

Once on the beach we saw this little guy.   He didn't appear hurt, but then again he didn't look very happy as we walked by.    I think he is a Common Murre.  At first we thought he was a penguin!

We crawled around the rocks and down the beach.

The rocks above us were filled with adult gulls, and cormorants with their chicks.

We continued down the beach toward a small stream of what looked like fresh water coming out of the hillside and cutting a path into the sand.

It was collecting a large number of gulls.   They were drinking and bathing and enjoying the fresh water.   A gull spa!

We forgot about looking for seals as we became entranced with the sea gull's antics and personalities.

The shallow main stream attracted the smaller Heermanns Gulls but a deep pool higher up in the rocks was the destination for the Western Gulls.

It had a strong flow running through it with a few small waterfalls on its way to the beach.

Some of the gulls walked purposefully up the slope and waded right in.   Some of them, however, carried beakfuls of dried grass into the pool.

Evidently it wasn't appropriate spa behavior because they caused quite a bit of "conversation" among the other birds when they arrived.

We didn't even notice the rain running down our noses as we watched their antics.

Well, actually we did eventually notice the rain.....and headed back down the beach leaving the gulls to their spa time.

Its fun to step on the sea weed's air bladders and hear the sharp pop as we walk along.    Small pleasures.

Back up the steep slope, through the twisted coastal trees to another path high on the cliff top for a look in the other direction.   Seals perhaps?

Just one.....


Wet and happy we ended our exploration of Oregon's central coast with the knowledge that we will be back.   Too many things left unseen.


  1. Those Romans! They sure knew how to build beautiful structures.

    How is Lew?

  2. Enjoyed the photos and it is nice to know you get to go back isn't it? I so love that area.

  3. Thanks for taking me on your lovely walk!

  4. So much to see! Love the complicated puzzle of the bridge structure. Dave's color is priceless :-) The gull spa is wonderful as are the beach art pieces left behind by nature. Looks like a most perfect day.

  5. I always find the Oregon coast is magical on those dreamy, misty days. Small pleasures in life. :-) You do a mighty fine job of identifying your birds!

  6. Wow, lots of beautiful pictures of the Oregon Coast. And lots of new birds for me.
    Dave is so sweet for showing you a bit of color in a sea of green.

  7. What a fun day! How neat that you were able to get into the caves with low tide. Love Dave's color...haha! The Common Murre does look like a penguin! Even sits up like one. I saw you Dave:)