Saturday, January 11, 2014

A Stormy Day on the Coast

Since friend Dawn's birthday party at her home on the coast was to start at 4 p.m. today, we decided to spend the day storm watching at points south of our usual range, returning north to Lincoln City in time for her party. Gale force winds and high seas were predicted. We had never gone to the coast to storm watch before. We go to monitor Black Oystercatchers and storms are not a good time to do that.

Our first stop was Depoe Bay. In spite of the high seas and waves lashing the rocks, two of the resident Black Oystercatchers were busily foraging, paying no attention to the crashing surf. The distant photo of them is blurry because, unlike the birds, I was being blown all over the place. Thank goodness for the wood railing or I would have blown away.

 When possible on our drive south, I hid inside the car and leaned out the window. The surf was wild and beautiful everywhere.

At Depoe Bay, the sea was whipped into a froth but a dozen or more Black Turnstones (and possibly Surfbirds) were, like the Black Oystercatchers at Boiler Bay, ignoring it and happily bathing in pools created by the waves.

yellow legs on some or all of these, plus gray rather than black backs may indicate Surfbirds rather than Black Turnstones

The Turnstones were in pools right next to that frothy inlet
Continuing southward, we took the Otter Crest Loop Road, stopping at Ben Jones Bridge over Rocky Creek.

The icy wind was really blowing now.

At Cape Foulweather, I decided it was well named and hopped into the car, taking a photo only (from inside the car) of the sign.

Our last stop was Otter Crest and the Devil's Punchbowl, which was not showing much punch today, surprisingly.

 We then turned back north, stopping at Rocky Point. We had missed it on our way down.  Here the water, rushing in between two rocky cliffs, was pure foam.

The wind blew pieces of foam up over our heads where they landed in the grass.

The skies were darkening and rain, intermittent all day, was getting serious. We drove south to Dawn and Desi's home where it was warm and bright inside. But I could not resist stepping onto their ocean-view deck, during a break in the rain, and taking a photo of the sunset.

We enjoyed the evening meeting Dawn's family and friends, talking, eating... and being warm and dry. As we were leaving, I realized I had taken no photos of the birthday party or the birthday person, so I snapped a quick one of Dawn with their beloved cat, Don Diego. Next time I'll remember to focus.

Thanks to Dawn for providing us with an excuse to spend a wonderful day... and evening... on the stormy Oregon coast.

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