Tag Archives: tillicum beach

Furry Friends

We had a fun visit with our workamper friends who were camping at Tillicum Beach today.  We’ve met the nicest people while workamping!

Our friends are evidence that you always see what you are looking for.  That applies to nature too.

Alsea Bay Bridge
Pretty day on the Alsea Bay

 But they aren’t the furry ones.  When we got home the doe and twins were just coming into the yard to eat our fallen apples.

black-tailed deer fawn

The black-tailed deer herd is supposedly on the come-back from the hair-loss syndrome caused by mites.

Black-tailed Doe with some hair-loss
Black-tailed Doe with some hair-loss

I see some hair loss on her and the fawns.  But I don’t know if this is an indication that it will get worse and they’ll suffer over the winter?

black-tailed deer fawn
Only a few spots left

Overall they look pretty healthy.  The other fawn has lost all of its spots.  This one just has a few left on its hip.  Such a difference from 17 days ago when they had all their spots on a light brown coat.

Black-tailed Doe and Twins by the Alsea River
Black-tailed Doe and Twins by the Alsea River

Read more about the hair-loss syndrome that has plagued the black-tailed deer in the Pacific NW since the mid-1990’s here:


St Patrick’s Day Agates

Wow!  We got some pretty ones out of this batch of agates gathered from Tillicum Beach over the last year.

Even as busy workampers, we made time to steal away to recharge our batteries.

We've even got some Newport Blue Agates!
We’ve even got some Blue Agates!

Read Wikipedia for the technical definition of an agate: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agate

or Webster: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/agate

Petrified Wood
Petrified Wood

Agates are a variety of chalcedony (if you care).

But if I talk about agate hunting, I really mean pretty-rock hunting.

Red Jasper
Red and Brown Jasper – the dark spot is a reflection of the camera lens

 If you can see light through it, it’s some sort of agate.  If you can’t see light through it, might be jasper or petrified wood or obsidian?

There are probably a couple other choices on the Oregon coast too.

White Agate with conchoidal fractures
White Agate with conchoidal fractures

You (or someone) can actually dye agates; which I find really hard to grasp since they are so hard.

They are basically quartz.  The next one looks like a small geode that was completely filled instead of leaving crystals in a hole.

Amber Agate with color bands
Amber Agate with color bands

I like the ones with designs in them.  Sometimes you can’t see the designs unless you hold them up to the sun; or a flashlight works.

Agate - Jasper - Something?
Not Sure what this is

The tan part polished to a high sheen.  The white and black parts are more dull.  But it is an interesting piece.

Wear Your Agate Proudly
Insets with flashlight display

I need a new zipper-pull.  I think I need the one on the lower left to match my jacket.  I’m guessing it’s a green jasper? (for St Patty’s Day)

The photo inserts are flashlight displays of agates on the upper left and lower right respectively.

I thought these demonstrated the most dramatic visual change when backlit.

Blue agates are the big mystery here on the central Oregon coast.  When I first heard about them, they were called Newport Blues.  That’s because they “could only be found in Newport”.  The agate on the lower right looks blue to me, until you put it up to the light.  So, I’m not sure if a purist would deem it worthy of the title?

But I don’t do this for the experts.

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

Snow Day on the Oregon Coast!

Blackberry Campground got a couple inches of snow today.

Stellar Jay In Snow
Stellar Jay In Snow
Towhee In Snow
Towhee In Snow

Tillicum Beach got hail and wind.  Look what the Area Manager found on the beach!

Black float found on Tillicum Beach
Windy Beachcombing

Beachcombing is a little cold but worth it!  (Sorry about the lack of focus.)

Snow in Tidewater
I’m declaring it a snow day!

We’re staying in Tidewater today.  I love the lack of responsibility of retirement!

Spindrifts Make Rainbows

It’s funny how we can be just 5 miles inland and not have a hint of the blue skies that were lighting up the coast today!

Rainbow in Spindrift
Rainbow in Spindrift

We had an early morning meeting in Cape Perpetua Campground.  It is closed but we can get some work done in the off-season.

Spouting Horn
Spouting Horn at Cook’s Chasm, Cape Perpetua Scenic Area

I’ve been ocean-deprived lately and I warned my hubby before we left.  “You know it will be a perfect time for photos of the high tide and my camera is fully charged and I have an empty micro-drive and…”  “I know.” He says. 🙂

So I commandeered the driver’s seat and headed to Cook’s Chasm after the work was done.

The Spouting Horn was really shooting high.  And look at all that foam!  The waves were making it all the way up to the little waterfall on the other side of the Hwy 101 bridge.

Thor's Well
Thor’s Well

Thor’s Well was gorgeous today also.  We were early enough that it was still in the shadow of the mountains.

Wave Mist Rainbow
Wave Mist Rainbow

I guess I can’t really call this a spindrift but this mist left a better rainbow.

Yachats Today
Yachats Today

Well, it’s time to head back but I’m draggin’ my feet.  The tide was a little high for this spout on Yachats Beach Rd.  Yachats always looks so pretty across the bay.

December High Tide on Tillicum Beach
December High Tide on Tillicum Beach

This is NOT the time to go for a walk on Tillicum Beach.  Enjoy it from the campground until the tide goes back out a little ways.

Alsea Bay - December High Tide
Alsea Bay – December High Tide

The water was splashing over the seawall today so we stopped in Waldport too.  There was a seal watching me take the photos but I didn’t catch him on camera.

Alsea Bay Bridge - December High Tide
Alsea Bay Bridge – December High Tide

If you’ve only visited Waldport, Oregon, in the summer, you’ve probably never seen this much water in the Alsea Bay.

Day One on the Alsea River

Some may say we live out in the sticks.


I love old barns.  This one is along the single-lane-dead-end road where we bought property last year.  We are full-time RVers but wanted a place to live in case we had to stop travelling.  I mean, besides parking in our children or parent’s driveway. 🙂

Yesterday's Sunrise from Tillicum Beach
Yesterday’s Sunrise from Tillicum Beach

We’ve decided to take the winter off.  We’ve been workamping at Tillicum Beach Campground for the last two years.  I’ll try not to whine, too much, about missing my sunrise/sunset/whenever beach walks.

Woodpecker or Sapsucker?

So look who greeted me this morning, “at the river”, before I even opened the door.  I’m not sure what it is.  I’m still trying to ID it.  S/he has really worked-over our apple tree though.  Look at the rows of holes in the tree.  If you look closely at the bird’s feet, he’s using the holes as foot-holds.  They are precisely the right distance apart!  Smart bird!


I love nature sounds!  This morning, as I sat on our deck overlooking the Alsea River, I heard the woodpecker, a king fisher and the river rippling over the rocks.  At high tide there are no ripples.  This is at low tide.  I couldn’t resist the reflections and then turning the photo upside down…just for my morning giggle.

a Walk on the Beach

September is a beautiful time to explore the Oregon coast.

Generally the rain hasn’t started yet, temps are cooler in the valley so there’s not as much fog on the coast, and the crowds are off the road.

Ghost Forest - Day 1
Ghost Forest – Day 1

Tillicum Beach is never really crowded; not in the way that Galveston or the Los Angeles beaches are.  I’ve never seen it more dense than about 1 person per 100 square feet. (That’s not a scientific measurement.)

Ghost Forest - Day 2
Ghost Forest – Day 2

Anyway, I saw 2 people and 1 dog on my morning walk today.  There was a little bit of fog but not too much.  I can’t seem to get a good picture of how much sand the ocean is removing.  It looks like a shelf of about 2 or 3 feet high is left from the bluff to about half way to the low tide line.  This part of a ghost forest shows how much sand was removed in one day.  I took the first pic yesterday and the 2nd today.

I did not get wet to get these 2 agates
I did not get wet to get these 2 agates

I quickly realized that I should have worn my rubber boots this morning.  I was staying dry until I “thought” I was stepping onto an island.  I was so proud of myself for going after one of these agates and not getting wet.  It was out of reach in a small pool.  But there were 2 larger rocks within reach.  So I threw one rock closer to the agate.  I balanced on one then the other, reached down to snatch the agate and quickly jumped to the sand.  I guess I got careless after that.

I REALLY wanted this agate!
I REALLY wanted this agate!

These are in about 3″ of water.  If you can’t spot the agate, you’re not my competition. 🙂  I stared and thought and planned.  One shoe is already wet.  What do I care if both are soaked.  I could roll up my pants.  But I don’t have a spare set of shoes.  I could take off my shoes and socks…but that water is really cold.  Okay, I’ll see what else I can find.  If I still want it after I’m finished, I’ll reconsider.

I didn't go for this agate either
I didn’t go for this agate either

This agate is a nice piece of red jasper with quartz.  I was happy enough with the others I found to not get wet…ter.

Archaeologist’s Discovery on Tillicum Beach

A famous archaeologist came to Tillicum Beach, years ago, by long-boat.

The treacherous seas were no match for Dr. Karson Scott Tracy in this self-designed canoe with oars as long as the boat.


Dr Tracy came to research reports of the elusive giant hummingbird.  He was thrilled to find it, flying freely, on Tillicum Beach.

He found it interesting that the giant green hummingbird was friends with the green-guilded guillemot.

Long-legged Green-guilded Guillemot (left) - Giant Green Hummingbird (right)
Long-legged Green-guilded Guillemot (left) – Giant Green Hummingbird (right)

You can see why Dr Karson would want to find this giant hummer!  Look at that long tail and those long front feathers!

Happy Archaeologist
Happy Archaeologist

Dr Karson Tracy was SO happy that he found this elusive bird.  BUT THEN…he discovered something even MORE amazing!

Ancient Fish - Claw-jawed Salmon
Ancient Fish – Claw-jawed Salmon

Evidence!  No one even knew there was such a salmon!  But, there it was!  …just laying on Tillicum Beach right in front of the famous Dr Tracy!

It’s an ancient salmon with a jaw that looks like a crab claw!

This new discovery will be named the Karson Salmon, after the incredible Dr Karson Scott Tracy who discovered it.


He was SO happy that he couldn’t stop singing!

Singing Praises of Discovery
Singing Praises of Discovery

Dr Karson Scott Tracy will be honored at a special presentation dinner on Tillicum Beach.

There will be a roasted pig, grilled pineapple, and lemonade served after the National Medal of Science is presented by the President of Tillicum Beach.

(Bedtime story from Grandma)