Monochrome Monday: Cape Mears

The Cape Mears National Wildlife Refuge forms a steep bluff over 200 ft high at the southern end of Tillamook Bay on the Oregon coast.  The refuge protects a remnant of coastal old-growth forest and the surrounding habitat used by breeding seabirds, including the Common Murre, Tufted Puffin, Cormorant, Pigeon Guillemot and Black Oystercatcher.

Cape Mears Lighthouse
Cape Mears Lighthouse
Cape Mears Common Murres Colony
Cape Mears Common Murres Colony
Cape Mears Cliffs
Cape Mears Cliffs

For the best viewing experience, click on an image to see a high resolution version.

Cheers!

C. S.

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Monochrome Monday: Smith Rock State Park, Pt 2

Here are additional compositions I promised from my previous Smith Rock State Park post last month. I saved these for a Monochrome Monday.

Picnic Lunch Wall and Crooked River Composition
Picnic Lunch Wall and Crooked River Composition
Climbing The Dihedrals 2
Climbing The Dihedrals 2
Monument Wall Composition
Monument Wall Composition
Northern Wall Landscape Composition 3
Northern Wall Landscape Composition 3

Thank you for visiting my photo blog. For the best viewing experience, click on an image to open up a high resolution version from my portfolio site.

Cheers,

C. S.

Oh Oregon! Cape Lookout and Oceanside

North of Nestucca Bay on the Oregon coast, Hwy 101 heads north northeast inland through Cloverdale and Hemlock, away from the coastline, to Tillamook (say cheese!).  One the coastline, west of Hwy 101, along Netarts Bay Rd, are Cape Lookout State Park, Netarts Bay, the sea stacks at Oceanside and the lighthouse at Cape Mears.  This post features compositions from the north side of Cape Lookout and the sea stacks at Oceanside.

Cape Lookout Landscape
Cape Lookout Landscape
Cape Lookout Landscape Detail
Cape Lookout Landscape Detail
View of Oceanside From Cape Lookout
View of Oceanside From Cape Lookout
Oceanside Seascape Composition 1
Oceanside Seascape Composition 1
Oceanside Seascape Composition 2
Oceanside Seascape Composition 2
Oceanside Seascape Composition 3
Oceanside Seascape Composition 3
Oceanside From Cape Meares
Oceanside From Cape Meares

For the best viewing experience, click on an image to view the high resolution version.

Cheers,

C. S.

Oregon Badlands Wilderness, Pt 2

This post features additional monochrome western juniper tree and lava rock compositions from my visit to the Oregon Badlands Wilderness earlier last month. My previous post included details about this amazing landscape. This was supposed to be a Monochrome Monday post, but I just had too many items on my Labor Day to-do-list. So, its my Monochrome Tuesday, Day After Labor Day post instead.

Splintered Juniper Tree Composition 2
Splintered Juniper Tree Composition 2
Fallen Juniper and Volcanic Rock Composition 1
Fallen Juniper and Volcanic Rock Composition 1
Fallen Juniper Landscape Composition
Fallen Juniper Landscape Composition
Lava Rock Wall Composition 1
Lava Rock Wall Composition 1
Dying Juniper and Lava Rock Composition 1
Dying Juniper and Lava Rock Composition 1

My wife was appalled by my consistent grammatical errors and typos in recent posts. She told me “You don’t want readers to think you’re illiterate!” I told her not to worry, its just my ADD, and me getting a little older. She replied “Just read it out loud before you post!” That sounds like some good advice, I’ll give it a shoot.

Thanks for taking time to visit my photo blog! For the best viewing experience , click on an image to see a high resolution version, as well as other images from my Oregon Badlands Wilderness Gallery. Ha, ha “I’ll give it a shoot”! I’m so silly!

Cheers,

C. S.

Oregon Badland Wilderness

My brother-in-law Jim, his pointer puppy Artie and I arrived at the Badlands Rock Trailhead around 8:30 am on a Tuesday morning.  The Oregon Badlands is about 30 minutes east of Bend in Deschutes and Crook counties.  The high desert area is known for castle-like volcanic rock formations, harsh terrain, ancient Juniper trees, sagebrush, and extensive arid land.

Stately Old Juniper Detail
Stately Old Juniper Detail

The Western Juniper is a prominent feature across the badlands and Oregon high desert.  The durable juniper is known to live more than 1600 years.  Its scraggly bark and gnarly branches are quite impressive.  I suspect the specimen above is well over 200 years old. Ironically, the tree is seen by many scientists and land managers as invasive.  It hogs scarce water resources (12 – 14 inches, or 30 – 35 cm, of rain annually in the badlands), and crowds out native shrubs, grasses and flowers – all of which provide critical wildlife habitat.

Splintered Juniper Tree Composition 1
Splintered Juniper Tree Composition 1

Before settlement of the west in the 1800s, the juniper occupied only 10% the territory it does today.  Up until then, naturally occurring fires kept the tree contained.  But settlers and ranchers have since tended to quickly suppress fires giving the young junipers opportunity to spread.  We did notice along the trail evidence of past fire events.

Dying Juniper Composition 1
Dying Juniper Composition 1

Another interesting feature of the badlands is the volcanic rock formations created by ancient inflated lava flows. Jim, Artie and I climbed the 75 ft (23 m) tall Badland Rock outcropping to get an impressive 360 degree view of Central Oregon. The Badlands soil is composed of sand from eroded volcanic rock and ash from the Mt. Mazama eruption (known today as Crater Lake) some 7,700 years ago.

Badlands Rock Composition 1
Badlands Rock Composition 1

Finally, the high desert landscape is complemented with visual interest from big sagebrush, rabbitbrush, Idaho fescue and bluebunch wheatgrass.  Artie loved bouncing around the thickets of sagebrush and bunchgrasses, sometimes flushing a flight of Mourning doves.  As it was early August, the desert wildflowers were waning, but there was still numerous pink dwarf monkeyflower, Oregon sunshine and sulfur buckwheat to be found.  I particularly found numerous sulfur buckwheat  subjects for photography.

Juniper Root and Sulphur Buckwheat Composition 1
Juniper Root and Sulphur Buckwheat Composition 1

Below is Artie scoping out scenes from the Badland Rock Trail. You can see big sagebrush, rabbitbrush, bunchgrass and junipers mentioned above.

Artie Surveys from Badland Rock Trail
Artie Surveys from Badland Rock Trail

Look for more posts featuring this amazing landscape! For the best viewing experience, click on an image to view a high resolution version from my portfolio site.

Cheers!

C. S.

Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area, Pt 2

Following up on my last post, here are more compositions of this amazing destination on the Oregon Coast.

Cape Kiwanda Great Dune Composition 4
Cape Kiwanda Great Dune Composition 4
Cape Kiwanda Great Dune Composition 3
Cape Kiwanda Great Dune Composition 3
Cape Kiwanda Northern View Composition 1
Cape Kiwanda Northern View Composition 1
Cape Kiwanda Cove and Cave Composition 2
Cape Kiwanda Cove and Cave Composition 2

For the best viewing experience, click on an image to view a high resolution version.

Cheers!

C. S.

Oh Oregon! Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area

Chief Kiawanda Rock Composition 1
Chief Kiawanda Rock Composition 1

During our trip north along the Oregon’s scenic Highway 101, we detoured off the highway along the northern boundary of Nestucca Bay to Pacific City and the Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area.  I specifically wanted to see (translation – photograph) the iconic Chief Kiawanda Rock – a sea stack geological formation.   Upon our arrival, I found the tall sandstone cliffs jetting out into the ocean and the enormous Great Dune equally impressive.

Cape Kiwanda Great Dune Composition 1
Cape Kiwanda Great Dune Composition 1

The sandy beach and adjacent sand hills were popular among the numerous visitors.  My younger son Parker and I climbed the sand hill to reach the top edge of the sandstone cliffs.  A fence warned visitors of the dangerous cliffs.  Seeing a few others exploring the cliffs and boulders, we cautiously and perhaps foolishly climbed under the fence to gain a better view from of Chief Kiawanda Rock.

Cape Kiwanda Landscape 1
Cape Kiwanda Landscape 1

Making our way to the top, we backtracked to find a safer route to the top of the cliff.  My rule for Parker and I was to stay 20 feet away from edge of cliffs.  I’m glad we did; while researching the area for this post, I learned 7 people have died – falling into sea from crumbling sandstone cliffs! Below is a photo of Parker with Pacific City in the background.

20ft from Cliff Edge at Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area
20ft from Cliff Edge at Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area
Cape Kiwanda Great Dune Composition 2
Cape Kiwanda Great Dune Composition 2

The area was originally inhabited by the Nestugga and Killamook Native Americans.  The names evolved into Nestucca (as in the Nestucca River) and Tillamook – the city to the north with the huge cheese factory.  The sea stack was named after Chief Kiawanda, whose name has also changed over time to Kiwanda.  In the past, some referred to the sea stack as Haystack Rock, but this is often confused with the also iconic Haystack Rock 65 miles to the north at Cannon Beach.   Today the locals in Pacific City, and most maps, refer to it as Chief Kiawanda Rock.

Cape Kiwanda Cove and Cave Composition 1
Cape Kiwanda Cove and Cave Composition 1

At 341 feet (104 m), Chief Kiawanda Rock is actually 100 ft taller than Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach.  It looks smaller because it is actually almost 3800 ft (3/4 mile, 1189 m) offshore from the beach at Pacific City.  Sea stacks are formed when lava flows collapse under the upper crust and later erupt back to the surface.  Ocean waves and wind carve the rocks into their current shapes.  Most of these sea stacks are considered bird sanctuaries and as such are off-limits to human visitors.

Cape Kiwanda Landscape 2
Cape Kiwanda Landscape 2

I wished we could have stayed longer and had a beer at the original Pelican Brewery location in Pacific City. But, there was still much more to see along the Oregon Coast. For the best viewing experience, click on an image to view a high resolution. Thank you for stopping by!

Cheers,

C. S.

Oh Oregon! Smith Rock State Park

Smith Rock State Park is an amazing volcanic rock formation rising above the high desert plateau in central Oregon.  In addition to its gorgeous scenery and abundant hiking trails, it is also considered one of the best rock climbing destinations in the western United States.

Morning Glory Wall Composition 1
Morning Glory Wall Composition 1

We arrived in mid-morning and were able to hike a couple of miles before it got too hot.  As usual, I was constantly lagging behind my family, sister and brother-in-law, stopping to take photos.  So many amazing photo opportunities!

The Dihedrals Composition 1
The Dihedrals Composition 1
Climbing The Dihedrals 1
Climbing The Dihedrals 1
Smith Rock Tuff Monochrome Composition 1
Smith Rock Tuff Monochrome Composition 1
Smith Rock Tuff Composition 1
Smith Rock Tuff Composition 1
Phoenix Buttress Vignette
Phoenix Buttress Vignette
Asterisk Pass Composition 1
Asterisk Pass Composition 1

There are more pictures from Smith Rock State Park to curate for a future follow-up post.  For the best viewing experience, click on an image to view a high-resolution version from my portfolio site.

Cheers!

C. S.