On the last leg of our Oregon Coast visit, our last stop before heading east to Portland was the Arcadia Beach State Recreational Area. This area is just south of the Cannon Beach and features sandstone bluffs and rock formations, and accessible tide pools.
Araucaria araucana, or monkey puzzle tree, is native to the south-central Andes of Chile and Argentina. The leaves of this confer are thick and appear as triangular scales encircling the tentacle like branch, the pattern similar in structure to a pine cone. While the leaves last on average 24 years, the tree can live as long as 1000 years.
Its English name was derived during its early cultivation in Britain in the mid-1800s. While visiting an estate in Cornwall, a lawyer noted his friend’s specimen tree “would puzzle a monkey to climb that”.
The round globes are the female cones. Indigenous people in Chile and Argentina continue to harvest the edible seeds. Our Airbnb in Portland was named after this specimen. I am impressed on how striking this tree works as a monochrome composition.
Thanks for stopping by today. To appreciate the character of this tree, click on an image to view a high resolution version.
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.
For the best viewing experience, click on an image to see a high resolution version.
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.
For the best viewing experience, click on an image to view the high resolution version.
Initially, I imaged a dreamy, glow treatment for these compositions, but ended up with a watercolor wash treatment using Filter Forge. This was after taking the color version to monochrome while retaining the color in the bubbles. The idea was to further abstract the fantasy color bubble concept a bit further.
To best experience the creative treatment, click on an image to view the high resolution version and to visit my Cape Kiwanda gallery. There you’ll also find the prior color and monochrome versions of these compositions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!