Tag Archives: lighthouse

Mysteries on the Oregon Coast

The Japanese dock that washed up on Agate Beach in Newport, Oregon, is being removed this weekend.  They sent a chunk of it to the Hatfield Marine Science Center to study the invasive species of sea life on it.  Another chunk will be used to make a memorial for those who lost their lives in the Japanese Tsunami.

Agate Beach Tsunami Debris Removal
Agate Beach Tsunami Debris Removal

When the Willamette Valley (the I-5 corridor) gets hot, the coast gets foggy.  The coast is cooler so LOTS of people head to the coast to cool off.

Our campgrounds were packed this weekend.  I had frantic calls from poor-planners all weekend.  After 10pm, I didn’t know what to tell them other than to keep driving south until they found something and they “may end up in California” 🙂

Neptune State Park
Neptune State Park

This weekend the fog wasn’t just a thick blanket.  It came and went and came and went; giving us glimpses of the sun and making pretty formations against the rugged coastline.

Heceta Lighthouse in the Fog
Heceta Lighthouse in the Fog

 Did you know there is a ghost story about the lightkeeper’s house at Heceta Head Lighthouse?

Foggy, Minus Tide, Sunset
Foggy, Minus Tide, Sunset

After a long day of workamping, I got to enjoy the foggy sunset from Tillicum Beach.

Fog Affects Shapes
Fog Affects Shapes

The fog seems to distort and enhance the beauty all at once!

 

How to deal with rain

How do we deal with so much rain in the northwest?

Skunk Cabbage
Skunk Cabbage

We get out to see what it has given us!

The Western Skunk Cabbage is one of the first flowers that I notice because it is so bright and large enough to see it from a distance.

Trillium
Trillium

The trillium is a beautiful, and not overly abundant, flower in Oregon.  I’m always excited to see one.  Trillium normally take 2 years to germinate and 7 to 10 years to reach flowering size.  Please, NEVER pick a trillium.

Ferns Uncurling
Ferns Uncurling

I never noticed that ferns “uncurl” until I lived in Oregon.

Heceta Head Lighthouse Gets a Raincoat
Heceta Head Lighthouse Gets a Raincoat

Looks like they’re finishing putting the raincoat on Heceta Head Lighthouse today!

That should help with the restoration work.

Heceta Lighthouse and Sea Lion Caves

The rain held off all day on the central Oregon coast today.  I forget what these yellow wildflowers are called.  But they are blooming all along the cliffs of Hwy 101.

Spring flowers blooming on the coast
Spring flowers blooming on the coast

Heceta Head Lighthouse is undergoing renovations.  It is expected to take a little over a year.  You can still hike up to it.  The B&B and gift shop are still open.  It’s a beautiful place!

Heceta Head Lighthouse
Heceta Head Lighthouse

The sea lions were out sunning themselves today.  We could see them to the south of the Heceta Lighthouse overlook; towards the Sea Lion Caves.  We could hear them but not as well as when they are right below the overlook.  Click on the picture to enlarge it and look at the marking on one of them to the far left of the picture.  I wonder who marks them and why are they marked?  I also like the 2 (or 3) in the center of the picture who are nuzzling up to the dark one.  Is that called “necking”?  🙂

Sea Lions outside the caves
Sea Lions outside the caves

According to Bryan Wright, Biometrician, Marine Mammal Research Program, ODFW, here’s the LD on the branded sea lion:
It looks like 121R, which would be a female we branded at Rogue Reef in 2001 (almost 11 years old).  This is a good sighting because it appears she hasn’t been seen since 2009.  Before that she’d been seen most years, almost always at Sea Lion Caves.  She has also been seen at St. George Reef in California, and a couple sites in Oregon (Orford Reef, Cape Arago).  Sea Lions are branded as pups and they are put to “sleep” to do it.  They brand them to keep track of survivability and location.

Mississippi, Alabama

We were impressed by the plantation-style Rest Areas in Mississippi. This was actually a visitor’s center but still very impressive. We stopped to get some info on campgrounds near the beach. The good one, Buccaneer, is still closed from hurricane Katrina damage. The one we found was not on the beach and not too spectacular but it was after dark and we were ready to stop.
We saw lots of cotton fields. Marian took me to a field for some closeup shots. Starting with the left pic: before the pod opens; next: pod is just opening; next: fully opened cotton pod; last: cotton ‘modules’. They are not called cotton ‘bales’ anymore. Modules are larger than the old bales. They spray a defoliant on the plant before the can harvest the cotton. That is so the cotton is not colored green by a live plant; which decreases the value of the cotton. Marian remembers, as a child, having to get into the cotton containers and stomping it down to compact it. These modules are compacted by large equipment similar to the garbage trucks that compact the contents using hydraulics. I just think it is amazing that you can make clothing out of a plant!

This is our friend’s, Gil and Marian’s, ‘nut farm’. We learned all about pecan farming…well, not ‘all’. They made it look simple but they have been working at it for years and Gil is a natural when it comes to farming anything. They were very gracious hosts and we loved spending time with them, as usual! Their farm is a beautiful and peaceful place.
They treated us to all the sites in the area too. We saw Pensacola Beach. I guess this water tower is a ‘must have’ for the spring break picture-taking crowd. They took us to the Pensacola Naval Air Station. The lighthouse was closed but we toured the great museum. Don was interested in how those Navy guys adapt airplanes for use on the water.
They also took us on a boat tour to see dolphins! That was great fun. I couldn’t believe how white the sand is on the east side of the Mississippi River! I grew up closer to Galveston and that beach sand is the color of mud (it’s down-current of the Mississippi). The beach pic is at Gulf Shores, Alabama.
They fattened me up for days for the next outing; threatened to feed me to the alligators. We went to Alligator Alley. I held a 4-foot gator (after he taped his mouth shut)! One amazing fact we learned is that gators only eat about 10% of their body weight per year! This gator, on the right, is eating a chicken and that’s probably the last thing he’ll eat this year. How could you grow on that kind of a diet?

Gil and Marian drove us everywhere! But before we headed back west, we noticed our odometer rolled over 100,000 miles on the ole’ Dodge.