road warriors

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Walking up the river road I meet neighbors who’ve weathered many seasons around here. Looking both ways at the edge of their domain, witness to the comings and goings of those who brought life to wooden gateposts.

This conjunction of logs stood in ground seems to be a commentary on the riverland, its past and present. The future is in the boxes.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threshold

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An outstretched finger of the volcanic flows at Cape Perpetua on the central Oregon coast will frequently catch and just as quickly release a variety of drift logs, this one a fitting threshold to the next stretch of beach.

free range

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Along the river road are a number of designer farms featuring a variety of fauna, here Belted Galloways (oreo cows) enjoy the spring sunshine…

The neighborhood elk herd takes advantage of the verdant pastureland as well…

A pair of spike-antlered bulls appear to gaze longingly at the herd of cows and calves; this will be their last summer before joining the adult bulls skulking just inside the forest, never far away but seldom seen unless one knows where to look.

Llamas, goats, horses and a wide variety of other cattle enjoy the riverside pocket pastures along the narrow two lane blacktop, the only way to safely photograph them is by hiking the long and winding road to town. Slowly…

 

Weekly Photo Challenge… reflection

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A couple o’ favorites from the tide pools of Cape Perpetua… photos are taken underwater, the reflection is on the underside of the surface.

perspectify

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Venturing out this past week to one of my favorite beaches and bringing along a couple of props…

…here an antique glass net float acquired from a local collector; it found color and geometry with sand patterns left by the receding tide.

Strategically placed in the rippling flow of sand, a last remnant of sea creature completes a vision of it’s possible identity; mirroring an impression in sterling silver I had brought along to photograph…

A swirling Medusa created by the flow of fresh water around a beach rock…

… and a mindless action figure kicking back in the wrack.

One of the few “war stories” my grandfather ever told me was about finding an octopus in a tide pool during his time in the Navy, likely the Puget sound area. Ever since moving to the Pacific coast I have been looking for one, and suddenly there it was:

Photographed exactly as found, and likely to have originated in Japan going by the manufacturers mark. Less well traveled is this golf ball found in a tide pool… I had imagined it perhaps being driven off the stern of a cruise ship before looking shoreward up the bluff and espying an expansive beach mansion with a wrap-around deck.

The photo is inverted… as I was looking through the viewfinder I saw the complex play of light, shadow and reflection… and a full moon rising over the ridge.

tympanum

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Tis the season of the frog, from the rain drenched hills and vegetation arise the varied and oddly musical croakings of amphibians. Pacific tree frogs in the alders and thimbleberry thickets, a few as yet unidentified voices in the marshier spots. As yet I have not seen a one…

Frogs hear by means of a tympanum, a drum-head of skin just behind each eye. Sensitive to vibration of all forms, even in silence and carefully tender steps I can rarely approach the chorus before it instantly ceases. Listening at night to the various frog spots, I can tell where a 4 legged prowler is by the instantaneous cessation of frog voices.

Dwelling in a yurt made of modern fabrics stretched over a sturdy wooden frame tight enough to function as tympanum I hear everything outside quite well, even the low reverberation of the ocean surf 8 miles distant. Thunder vibrates through as a wave, rainfall can be deafening. Imagine living inside a bass drum. I can easily relate to Mongolians living in wool felt covered yurts on the vast Eurasian steppes, and the advantage they might have had in hearing the sound of approaching weather or hoofbeats. They may have known exactly where their herds were without being able to see them.

Over the years I’ve lost some hearing, especially high frequencies at low decibels. I can no longer hear the soft sweet cheeps of ruby-crowned kinglets and chickadees moving through the forest and find that lower vibrations of sound have gained prominence in my awareness. The forested canyons beneath my abode funnel sound, I hear a lot of what goes on in the valley below. If there is a low cloud cover the effect intensifies, the moisture trapping and bouncing vibrations back to earth.

The frogs are warming up to their evening jam as I write. In a reverse effect, music played inside is amplified to the outside, frogs seem to be attracted to jazz in particular and are now hanging out under the deck. Must be the bass.

anenome street

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Warm afternoon sun tempered by a cool onshore breeze played with light and shadow along an undersea avenue.

The ubiquitous green sea anenome inhabits the entire tidal zone and readily shape-shifts…

Their palette of color splashes the carpet of sea life firmly attached to bed rock, and can appear galactic in scope within the universe they inhabit.

gaggle o’ guillemots

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The full moon drew low tides out far enough to allow access to offshore rocks where the neighborhood guillemots gather.

Found on a favored perch over a narrow channel through the lava formations; they were engaged in a pattern of flying out to alight in the ocean just beyond the surf line, then returning to the same gathering spot about every 20 minutes.

The red legs are in striking contrast to the formal black and white of their attire.

They sit at ease on the ragged basalt much more comfortably than I, by now my legs are going to sleep from rock pinched nerves.

The interior of the mouth is the same scarlet hue as their feet. A soft high pitched “creeet” barely loud enough to be heard above the noise of the surf is all that emits as they hold their confab.

meet the Sanderlings

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A sunset low tide found a flock of sanderlings busy feeding on the beach at Seal Rock, Oregon. Low light didn’t provide the best photos, yet this was too much fun to pass up.

An incoming waves herds the sanderlings into a close pocket between myself and other beach-goers, they took flight to get out of the bind.

Alighting nearby to where I hunkered down in my brown coat close to a brown rock, they begin again their skitter at the edge of wave across the sand, feeding on small crustaceans.

The bodies seem motionless as their legs scissor-dance, the secret to moving so rapidly appears to be lifting both feet off the sand as they stay just ahead the edge of froth.

This one forgot something and had to go back…¬†they sure are cute.