Sunday, September 30, 2012

Endless Summer

The sunny weather just won't stop this fall.  Here it is, October, and the scene below continues up and down the Oregon Coast.  Tourists are still flocking to the shore, building sandcastles and chasing after the seagulls.

Everybody's happy!  Well almost everybody...

This grumpy native, perched high atop a piling, 
is clearly no longer amused.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Won't You be My Neighbor?

That's the face I saw when opening the blinds today.  This little lady was all nestled in and her two fawns were romping around the yard eating the heads off of the dandelions (A win-win for this gardener).

She stayed for a few hours, wandering off at some point.  There were quite a few deer roaming around our neighborhood this afternoon.  I finally realized it is hunting season and they have come down from the mountains to avoid the camo-wearing, scope-carrying, manly men who are stalking them.

Not too much later, I was sitting quietly reading my book in the garden sun when the wrens arrived.  A whole band (at least 30) of the crazy guys perched on the fence and looked down at the empty bird bath and then back at me.  Repeatedly.  They made enough of a racket, that I was forced to close my book.  Knowing they had my full attention, they kept squawking and pointing to the birdbath with their little beaks.  Enough with the nagging already, I jumped up and filled the bowl.  The noise stopped and the splashing started.

Now, the sun is going down and the harvest moon is rising.  Bats are zooming around the corner of the house past the picture windows.  In case you couldn't tell, I love my neighbors!

Today's Advice

It is so important
to make someone happy.

Start with yourself!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Brush Stroke

photo of leaf by Nancy Zavada

This could be a painting of a leaf, instead it is a photo of one taken at sunset here at Saltair Station. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Summer at Poop Rock

photo of rock in Tillamook, Oregon by Nancy Zavada

Located in the channel between Tillamook Bay and the Pacific Ocean lies Poop Rock.  Every summer this little piece of real estate turns white thanks to it's popularity with sea birds (as seen here).  Every winter, the abundant rain washes it off and it returns to slate grey.

It may have a more beautiful name, but it will always be Poop Rock to us.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Why Do I Garden?

Photo of Hydrangea Blooms by Nancy Zavada

The magical colors of hydrangea blooms in the
late summer sun.  

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Bahamas, Shamamas

photo of water off Cape Meares, Oregon by Nancy Zavada

Let me set the scene...a warm day in the high 70's...slight offshore breeze teasing my curls...sun on my face...the sound of waves crashing...and beautiful aquamarine water as far as the eye could see.

The Bahamas?

Nope, Cape Meares, Oregon, on Monday afternoon. 

Seriously, this photo was not enhanced.  The sea was showing off her magnificent beauty right here at home.  Plane ticket not required.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Vintage Beauty

Doesn't this luscious bloom remind you of a tube of "Siren Red" lipstick Marilyn Monroe might have carried in her sequined evening bag?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

First, Get Out of the Car

If you want to capture the incredible views along Highway 101, you must get out of the car and stand at the edge of the viewpoint.  As a girl that doesn't even like driving over the peak of Neahkahnie Mountain, I never really considered this an option.

Yesterday was such an beautiful day, I decided it was time to channel my inner Ansel Adams and take the risk.  I grabbed my camera, got out of the car and slowly made my way to the 1,600 foot ledge.  As long as I looked through the lens towards the beach to the south, my fear of heights was manageable.

At one point though, I heard footsteps behind me.  Channeling my inner Alfred Hitchcock, I knew I was about to be thrown off the cliff into the sea by some long lost enemy.  Turning around, I was relieved to see a fellow photographer instead.  He wasn't planning to push me over the edge and looked a little nervous himself.  Drama over, I continued taking photos.

The results were well worth the risk.  This mountain is indeed aptly named, "the place of supreme deity" in the Tillamook language. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

What's in a Name?

This is the color we are painting the house.

One paint manufacturer has a color named "Rockaway Beach" which is grey, grey, grey.  We would like to believe there's a little more blue than grey here so we went with paint called "Myth Grey,"  hoping the grey is now just a myth.

May all the grey skies at the coast this winter be a little more blue 
 (like my hands if I can't get this stuff off).

Monday, September 10, 2012

Small Town Entertainment

The local police placed this gadget on our quiet street which has a posted speed limit of 25.  It is a pretty small street, so you really have to work to get above that.  Anyway, it has been here for months instead of being useful out on Highway 101.

photo of speed machine by Nancy Zavada

It is not fair of me to say it isn't useful because it has actually provided hours of fun for the town's children.  They learned that it won't post a speed if you are just walking by, but if you ride your bike, well, that's a different story.

This week a group of teenagers took up the challenge of seeing who could go the fastest.  They set up a system of spotters to make sure no cars were coming and upon the "all clear" signal, the biker was off pedaling at top speed past the machine.  After several rounds of competition, the winner clocked in at 17 mph!  It must be said there were a few challengers at 15 mph too.

Perhaps this pastime a much better use of tax dollars than having the device out on Hwy. 101 harassing tourists after all.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Birds

photo of birds on a wire by Nancy Zavada

If Alfred Hitchcock's famous film, The Birds, terrified you, stay away!  The Bird Nation of Rockaway Beach is alive and well this week.

The normal flocks of seagulls and shorebirds are busy feeding off tourists down on the beach.  The blue jays are darting about. The vocal crows start before the first rays of the sun come over the Coast Range and don't stop squawking until dark.  Yesterday, at least twenty little wrens were simultaneously frolicking in my birdbath.  They splashed and preened so much, I had to fill it up again after they were done.

For the past several days, a murmuration of birds have been gracing the sky here.  They fly in unison darting this way and that, all moving the same way at the same time.  As I watch, I wonder how nearly 200 birds can possibly be so connected, their movements so precise.  I haven't seen them before on the Oregon Coast and have yet to identify them.

Today, the group stopped in a tall tree above our house and their high-pitched chirping filled the air.  The house was engulfed in their happy music.  After 10 minutes or so, they took flight once again and headed west to the sea.

Oh, how I could watch them forever!

If you haven't seen a murmuration of birds, spend two minutes watching this video and be prepared, once again, to be amazed by Mother Nature

Friday, September 7, 2012

Calling All Butterflies

photo of lily by Nancy Zavada

These lilies have opened their petals and hearts, eagerly awaiting winged visitors.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Right There in Black and White

Posted in the Headlight Herald newspaper, this is the complete classified ad:

"Found a set of keys at the Senior Center in Tillamook."

Do you suppose there is a senior citizen standing next to their car right now in the Senior Center parking lot reading the paper and exclaiming, "That's where I left them!"?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

There's a Word in Spanish

To let go of things that are inhibiting you 
from being who you should be.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Summer 2012

Whether you are young or old, there is nothing like summer at the beach. Nothing!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Dam It!

There's a creek in Rockaway that runs into the ocean.  It has been doing so for a very long time, yet every day children want to change that.  They work and work with pails, shovels, pieces of driftwood, and even seaweed to stop the flow.  By evening, either the tide or the creek break down the barriers and the water reaches the sea once more.

The next day, another child happens upon the stream, has the same idea and begins digging.  Nothing required but imagination and creativity for hours of entertainment.  Often groups of children and even their parents will conspire on elaborate dams, spending all day on the project.  By the next morning, the slate will be wiped clean for a new set of "engineers" to begin.

As I sit here watching the latest effort,  I imagine all of the children over the many years who have spent an enchanted day playing in the sand and water.  Perhaps even my father and his father before him. 

photo of a child building a dam on Rockaway Beach, Oregon by Nancy Zavada

What a wonderful gift this little creek brings to the world!