Best of All

The five days we spent at the Oregon coast were delightful for many reasons, but most of all because it gave me a chance to catch up with the Colorado Websters. It was fun talking with the kids over the campfire at night while cooking S’mores or while they were taking a break.

Leslie and I  got more exercise than usual walking the beaches, but we didn’t even try to keep up with them most of the time. On the last full day Jen rented them wet suits and boogie boards, and we sat on the logs and watched Zoe, Logan, cousin Harley, and Sydney head out to their new adventure.

They spent the next four hours goofing around in the water.

Sydney, the youngest, enticed the family dogs into the water, 

and Tyson and Jen kept them happy with a run up and down the beach.

We sure can’t keep up with them anymore, but it was fun spending five days trying to catch up with everything we missed since we saw them last year.  


Cormorants and Murres, Oh My

As thrilling as it was to see the Humpback Whales, I was just as fascinated by the Harbor Seals

because I didn’t immediately recognize them as Harbor Seals.  The Harbor Seals I know are almost inevitably gray and black, but many of these seals were pure white,  and there was even a jet black one.  

There are lots of Cormorants in Puget Sound, but this is the first time I’ve seen a colony with chicks

and I want to go back with my 500mm lens w/doubler and tripod and really focus in on the chicks and nests.

A Common Murre is even rarer in Puget Sound, 

and I’ve only seen colonies of birds this large on TV.  I still wonder how a parent can locate its offspring in a colony like this, 

much less how it can even manage to land without crashing into a fellow Murre.

It was an amazing experience that bears repeating next year, perhaps when the chicks are younger so they are easier to spot.


Humpback Whales at Yaquina Head

Bringing my 400mm lens and EOS 7 to Yaquina Head the next day made it possible to get shots of the Humpback whales that I couldn’t capture the day before.  In fact, my greatest problem was trying to decide which shots to keep and which shots to delete. 

Here’s a long shot of the female Humpback whale and her calf.  The gash on the back of the mother positively identifies her as the whale that was here the day before.  In fact, the BLM Ranger told us that this same whale has shown up with ac calf for thirteen straight years.  They speculate that she is old enough that the wound on her back is from a  harpoon, which would mean that she is quite old because Humpback whales haven’t been hunted for several years. 

I’ll have to admit that seeing the whales in person was much more exciting than the shots convey.  I was pretty thrilled with this sequence of shots when I took it.  

Sitting in front of my computer, I’m definitely not as impressed as I was taking the shots; I’m even less impressed when I look at images on the web and see pictures of Humpback whales jumping out of the water.  Still, it’s precisely those images that make it such a thrill to see the whales yourself.

This calf seemed huge even in the distance,

but not nearly as huge as this female looked when she came in amazingly close to the shore.  

I’ll have to admit, though, that I regretted that I hadn’t brought my 500mm lens with the doubler to see what kind of shots I could have captured.