Saturday, December 12, 2015
Friday, November 13, 2015
Waves breaking over the South Jetty
Today the national weather service’s forecast included the following warning:
...HIGH SURF ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT PST
TONIGHT FOR THE SOUTH WASHINGTON AND NORTH OREGON COAST...
A HIGH SURF ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT PST
TONIGHT FOR THE SOUTH WASHINGTON AND NORTH OREGON COAST.
* WAVES: WEST TO NORTHWEST SWELL OF AROUND 20 TO 21 FEET WITH
PERIODS AROUND 17 TO 18 SECONDS WILL CONTINUE TO IMPACT THE
WATERS THROUGH LATE THIS EVENING.
* TIMING: WAVE HEIGHTS PEAKING LATE THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING.
* IMPACTS: AVOID WALKING ON JETTIES...ROCKS...COASTAL CLIFFS AND
ALONG THE WATERS EDGE AS WAVES MAY RISE UNEXPECTEDLY AND SWEEP
YOU INTO TURBULENT AND FRIGID WATERS.
I am always looking for an opportunity to experience a good storm at the beach and this afternoon’s show didn’t fail to impress. When I arrived, the rain was driven by a thirty MPH wind. It was difficult to hold the camera steady while attempting to brace myself from the buffeting of the wind. Fortunately, it was a pretty mild afternoon temperature wise so I was able to capture over fifty images before becoming soaked to the bone.
A wave just before they crashed into the South Jetty
The beauty and power of the ocean is best experienced during a storm!
Saturday, November 7, 2015
Behind the South Jetty looking south to the viewing platform
Technically, it was about about a half hour after sun rise but the sun was low in the sky. It was a very quiet time an the beach, I had the entire area to myself. The only sound you could hear were the waves crashing against the jetty.
Saturday, October 31, 2015
Planning for the Halloween trick-or-treaters is always a dilemma. Who wants to be known as the only house in the neighborhood that ran out of candy. Surely not me! On the other hand, we have averaged less than twelve kids over the past ten years.
When I purchased candy this morning, I picked up a bag that will serve fifty. It’s always best to be prepared, you never know!
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Water flooding the dunes behind the South Jetty
Today was the first day this month of what is known as the king tides. Wikipedia defines the king tides as follows: “a colloquial term for an especially high tide …… "King tide" is not a scientific term ….. Use of the term "king tide" originated in Australia, New Zealand and other Pacific nations to refer to an especially high tide that occurs only a few times per year. The term has now come to be used in British Columbia and the United States as well.”
The skies were overcast the majority of the day but I wanted to witness the flooding caused by the high tide. On a typical day, you could walk across the area shown in the picture and keep your feet warm and dry. This afternoon, the amount of area inundated by the high water was staggering.
Saturday, October 24, 2015
Standing in the dunes at Fort Stevens State Park looking north
The morning began with a light breeze with the skies totally overcast. My plan for the day was to complete the last outside painting project of the season, but the weather forecast called for rain. Surprisingly, by early afternoon the clouds parted so I decided to head for the beach with the camera. Maybe the painting will be completed later this week, maybe not.
The skies at the beach were hazy; not exactly the most interesting light for photography. As I hiked through the dunes, I made a number of images and decided to share this one. Enjoy!
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Sunset from the South Jetty
I love to watch the sun as it dips into the Pacific Ocean but in the summer months, the sun doesn’t set before 9 PM. Being more of an early morning person, that’s pretty late for me to be out and about. As fall progresses, the golden hour happens much earlier in the evening.
A recent post by Monte inspired me to grab the camera and make a trip to the beach to watch the setting sun. It was certainly worth the effort. Thanks Monte!!
Looking south to Seaside from the South Jetty as the setting sun paints the jetty and the beach
Thursday, October 15, 2015
Looking southeast from the South Jetty
I have always been a morning person; my daily routine is to rise at 4 AM, exercise, eat breakfast, then visit the coffee shop. Now that the days are shorter, sunrise is well after seven AM in Astoria. This leaves lots of time to hang before it’s light enough for outside actives.
Today, I decided to take a drive to the beach and see if I could catch the sunrise. If you are lucky enough to find a location which includes a view of the eastern sky, the results can be interesting.
Saturday, October 10, 2015
The Pacific Ocean breaking against the jetty
Every morning I read the weather forecast issued for our area by the National Weather Service. Today’s forecast included the following special weather statement:
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PORTLAND OR
1208 PM PDT SAT OCT 10 2015
...HAZARDOUS BEACH CONDITIONS ALONG THE SOUTH WASHINGTON AND NORTH
AND CENTRAL OREGON COASTS TODAY...
...WINDY CONDITIONS ON THE SOUTH WASHINGTON AND NORTH AND CENTRAL
OREGON COASTS TODAY...
A LARGE SOUTHWEST SWELL CONTINUES TO BUILD ALONG THE COAST THIS
MORNING...AND IS EXPECTED TO PEAK AROUND 15 FEET ON TODAY. THIS
BRINGS THE POTENTIAL FOR LARGE WAVES TO BREAK OVER AREA JETTIES
WITH A SIGNIFICANT SURF TO IMPACT SOUTH TO SOUTHWEST FACING
BEACHES. THESE WAVES MAY RESULT IN BEACH EROSION FOR AREAS THAT DO
NOT COMMONLY SEE IMPACT FROM INCOMING WAVES. VISITORS TO THE COAST
SHOULD EXERCISE CAUTION AT AREA BEACHES AND REMAIN OFF JETTIES AND
OUT OF THE SURF ZONE...AS BREAKING WAVES CAN SWEEP PEOPLE INTO THE
The high tide was predicted for just afternoon so I took a drive to the beach to see how the waves were developing. When I arrived, the gusting winds made it difficult to keep my hat on, but the rain had subsided. I climbed to the top of the South Jetty viewing platform and enjoyed the sights with several other hardy “storm watchers”. The ocean waters were definitely angry but the waves were not exactly what I had expected. On the other hand, I was very thankful to not be sailing in a small boat today!
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Today the world lost a great American philosopher, Yogi Berra. He is probably better remembered for his sayings than his accomplishments in baseball.
Whenever he spoke, his words were sure to be memorable. Two of my favorite “Yogi Berraisms” are as follows:
“You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I’m not hungry enough to eat six”
“You can observe a lot by watching”
Yogi Berra 1925 - 2015
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Sunrise Over Beards Hollow
I awoke this morning and realized that today was the last day of summer so it seemed fitting that an adventure was in order. I loaded the camera and my mountain bike before dawn and headed for Washington’s Cape Disappointment State Park.
I began the day with a hike to the top of McKenzie Head. Although the summit is only a half mile from the parking lot, the trail is rather steep. Nothing gets the blood pumping like a non-stop hike up a steep slope.
Next, I spent time hiking around the Beards Hollow wet land and made numerous photos in the early morning light. The nice thing about late September is that the tourists are long gone and you have the park pretty much to yourself.
To end the morning, I took and eight mile bike ride along the Discovery Trail. The trail runs along the beach and approximates the route that Captain Clark took while exploring the area in November 1805.
The majority of the next two weeks are loaded with volunteer commitments so the next adventure will have to wait!
Thursday, September 17, 2015
Six day a week I spend one half hour pedaling a stationary bike for exercise. During the month of September, my daily routine is disrupted by the gym’s annual closure for maintenance. During this time, I will ride my mountain bike in the great outdoors, provided the weather is acceptable. If you have ever been to coastal Oregon, you know that September frequently offers some of the year’s best weather.
One of my favorite destinations for biking and sightseeing is the Columbia River Gorge and the Historic Columbia River Highway. The highway was built between 1913 and 1922 and was the first planned scenic highway in the United States. Today, only traces of the original narrow and winding two-lane road remain. One five mile stretch, which runs east between Hood River and Mosier is reserved for use by hikers and bicyclists. Biking this portion of the highway offers incredible views of the Columbia River Gorge and the river far below.
The Columbia River looking north to Washington State
The landscape near Mosier is dominated by grass covered slopes and scattered Oak trees
A section of the original highway; even in the day, it must have been unnerving to meet another car head on
My “bike riding buddy” Dale waiting for me at the trail head
This is me hoping we will find a place for lunch that has lots of cold lemonade
Someone recently asked me why I would drive for nearly three hours just to take a ride on my bike. My response was that the scenery alone is worth making the trip. It’s also a chance to spend the day with a friend, get some exercise, and enjoy a beautiful day.
Saturday, August 29, 2015
Sunday, August 23, 2015
Jetty Lagoon, Fort Stevens State Park
When it’s finally over, fire season 2015 in the Pacific Northwest will be remembered as one of the most destructive and costly on record. In Oregon and Washington alone, tens of thousand acres of brush, grass, and forest have been ravaged by fires this month alone. In one fire, twenty-seven homes were reduced to ashes in less than an hours as the fire marched across the landscape. One fire in Washington state this past week was responsible for the loss of three young firefighters who were working the fire lines trying to make a difference.
The fires have also generated massive quantities of smoke, much of which has drifted east of the Cascade Range driven by winds predominately out of the west. Yesterday, the winds shifted and some of the smoke was pushed west toward the Pacific Ocean. While atmospheric smoke is never pleasant, it does create conditions for incredible sunsets. I spent the hour before sunset last night and came home with this image.
Sunday, July 19, 2015
Sunrise over the Columbia River looking east to Tongue Point
Yesterday was one of the rare days in Astoria when the temperature exceeded eighty degrees. When I retired for the evening, the temperature in the bed room had finally dropped to eighty-one degrees so we slept with the windows opened. That only happens about three times per year for us!
Just before sun rise, the fog began to move on shore so the temperature quickly drops. It and can also make for a spectacular sun rises if the timing is right. Today was one of those lucky days!
After a quick stop for my morning coffee, I decided to take a drive up river and make a visit to the Twilight Creek Eagle Sanctuary. As I drove, it occurred to me that it’s been nearly two months since I last drove this far east up the river. Never mind that the sanctuary is less than fifteen miles from my house; I need to get out of town a little more often.
Early morning light at the Twilight Creek Eagle Sanctuary
It’s not typical to see a bald eagle this time of the year but it’s still worth making the trip.
Sunday, June 28, 2015
I was headed to Starbucks early this morning for coffee when I spotted the most incredible sunrise. The past few days have been rather hot here in Astoria with the high temperatures in the low eighties. We even slept with the windows open and that’s something we seldom do!
Some of you would argue that eighty degrees is balmy, but for us it’s pretty hot! Then it could be worse; I spoke with a lady the other day who just returner from a visit to Pahrump, Nevada. The day she left, the temperature was one-hundred and ten!