Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tsunami Debris?

On our morning beach-combing walks, we have been on the lookout for tsunami debris after a dock washed up a few miles down the Oregon Coast.

Sunday morning the beach was littered with possible specimens which we bagged up for further inspection.  They included:

  • Potato chip wrappers
  • Children's shoes (two fairly new pairs)
  • Styrofoam ice cream cup
  • Red Solo plastic cups
  • Firework packaging
  • Half gallon bottle of pirate-labeled, cheap rum (the pirates left a few swigs)

None of these seemed especially Japanese, so we disposed of them (for the record, we did not drink the rum).  Our closest debris candidate was an empty bottle of Ninkasi Brewing Radiant Ale which we thought fit the parameters of being both Japanese and radioactive.  Turns out it is a "carmel malt balanced with elegant hop bitterness perfect for a glorious summer day" brewed in Eugene, Oregon.  Disappointing.

Then my brother-in-law spotted this piece of bamboo washed ashore.  It is about 18 inches long, broken on one end, hollow and looked as though it had been out to sea for a while as it was sun bleached and the grains were raised.  Now, you don't typically see bamboo washed ashore here, so we are claiming it as our first piece of official tsunami debris until further notice.

photo of possible tsunami debris by Nancy Zavada

Flower Pick Up Lines

"Hello there, luscious ladies down at the end of the fence dressed in orange and green.  It's me, over here, in the bright blue hat.

See me?  I poked my head through the fence to check out the street scene, then I spotted you dancing in the breeze.  I can't take my eyes off of you.

Now don't be shy, my delicate dainties.  Say, do you come here often?"

Monday, July 30, 2012

Worth the Wait

As much as I enjoy eating the artichokes, I really wanted to let one bloom so I could see it in full regalia. Bloom it did!   Larger than my hand, the size of a dinner plate, it opened completely to the world yesterday. 

While I was excited, the bumble bees seemed to be ecstatic and spent most of the day closely checking each and every soft purple filament. 

We all agreed, it was worth the wait.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Photographic Memories

"Let's go explore today," I said to my dear friend, Colleen who was making her first visit to Saltair Station.  She was an eager accomplice.

When I found that I hadn't charged my camera battery since my July 4th fireworks photo extravaganza, I was disappointed I couldn't take it along.   These days, I take it with me everywhere, just in case.   Nothing to be done and the day awaiting, I put the battery in its charger and we set off on foot to visit the waves.

It was a delightful walk full of catching up with both each other and the ocean.  A distance up the beach, we spotted a wedding about to begin and walked up to watch.  It was a very enchanting ceremony started off by young children ringing bells and walking in front of the bride.  The little girls wore fairy wings with their brightly colored dresses and the boys carried pirate swords.  The youngest little blonde fairy bounced along behind the others, she couldn't have been more than four.  As the ceremony went on, she became extremely bored with the adult speeches and laid down in the "aisle" to make sand angels.  What a sight--and me without my camera.

Our next stop was a casual lunch on the deck of a restaurant right on the Nehalem River.  We sat in the sun, reminisced and listened to music from the local Summerfest.  Down the river came a miniature steam-powered sternwheeler, gaily decorated for the festivities.  It was quite a sight, never before seen on the Nehalem and me without my camera.

On the way back home we stopped at a place called Kelly's Marina (which Kelly doesn't want called a marina because it is so much more and he's right).  Turns out Colleen has known Kelly for years.  He offered us a cool beverage as we sat in the sun overlooking the docks and he regaled us with tales of the place.  I should probably add that he told us these tales while wearing a crab hat complete with dangling crab jewelry and his hands sported sparkling kelly green fingernail polish.  The place was really hopping on this summer's day with crab cooked to order, boats rented to city slickers, campers moving in and out, kids on bikes and even a goat to trim the grass.  It looked like a place Jimmy Buffett would hang out for a long while.  Again, me without my camera, a frustrated photographer without a lens.

The sun dropped low and we returned home.  When we arrived, my battery was fully charged and ready to go--too late. 

As the evening went on, I realized I didn't need any photos of our delightful day to remember it by.  With my camera at home, my memories will be forever imprinted on my mind.  I can replay them at will along with the laughter, friendship and comfortable camaraderie that comes with spending time with a good friend. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Beach Biking

photo of couple biking on Rockaway Beach by Nanzy Zavada

Not a bad way to see all eight miles of sandy beach that Rockaway has to offer.  She just needs a bottle of wine, loaf of bread and some cheese sticking out of that basket!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Reservations Not Required

photo of Johns Island by Nancy Zavada

"The lasting pleasures of contact with the natural world are not reserved for scientists but are available to anyone who will place herself under the influence of earth, sea, and sky and their amazing life."

--Rachel Carson

Friday, July 13, 2012

Gun Show

This is what happens when you take Muscles Bob to the well to pump water on Johns Island.  Not quite satisfied with just filling the jugs, it becomes an opportunity to pose for the camera.

photo of Bob on Johns Island by Nancy Zavada

Thank goodness we have running water at home!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Recipe for Heaven

This morning I got up and set about the task of watering the garden.  The air was fresh and smelled green after yesterday's heat.  My time spent wasn't as much of a task as it was a privilege.

As I lovingly watered each plant, I watched the morning sun dapple their leaves and blossoms.  Some of the plants like to be watered on their feet only and others--like the huge deer ferns--love to be misted as well.  I sprayed the ferns a long time today, they reminded me of toddlers running through the sprinkler who didn't want to stop.  The lettuce and spinach were as grateful for the water as the tomatoes have been for the warm sun finally reaching the Pacific Coast.

My favorite time of year, combined with my favorite time of day, mixed with being outdoors is my recipe for heaven. 

I lingered as long as possible in the garden among these friends before rejoining the rat race.  I left with the promise to return tomorrow morning to continue our conversation.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Wet N' Wild

When this firetruck reaches the end of Rockaway's Fourth of July Parade...

It gears up and starts shooting water...lots of it!

At first the spectators beg for it...

photo of parade crowd in Rockaway Beach Oregon by Nancy Zavada

Then it hits, full force...

photo of parade crowd in Rockaway Beach Oregon by Nancy Zavada

And the holiday tradition continues...

photo of parade crowd in Rockaway Beach Oregon by Nancy Zavada

Note:  The adult in the crowd was having a ball as evidenced by his great big grin!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

All American City

Once a year, the sleepy town of Rockaway Beach, Oregon becomes a hotbed of flag-waving activity.  The Fourth of July Celebration is something to behold as the normally 1,400 population swells to over 15,000 people.

Here's a guide to surviving (no, thriving) over the patriotic holiday:

  • Highway 101 is the only way in or out of town...expect delays.
  • The local restaurants are taxed beyond belief...plan to cook at home.
  • The only grocery store has lines out the door...bring your hot dogs and s'more fixings with you.
  • Our usually "screaming fast" internet stream is but a drip...turn off the computer and go outside.
  • Speaking of drips, the water and sewer system are at peak capacity...cross your fingers.
  • Every home is occupied and most of the yards have tents too...wave to your neighbors.
  • If the parade staging area (aka early morning cocktail party) is outside your house...plan to get up early and join the fun because the "Sponge Bob" float will be blaring it's theme song--guaranteed.
  • If the fog rolls in just in time for the fireworks...seek higher ground for a better view.

If the sky is clear...sit on the beach, watch the spectacle dance overhead and join your fellow citizens in a symphony of "Oooohs and Aaaaahhs."

Monday, July 2, 2012

Reflecting Beauty

photo of mirror stand by Nancy Zavada

Beauty is life when life unveils her holy face.
But you are life and you are the veil.
Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.
But you are eternity and you are the mirror.

--Kahlil Gibran