Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Oregon Coast Revisited

I've written about the Oregon Coast before (here, here and here), but I can't get enough. The scenery is stunning, the food is delicious and the nature-viewing is spectacular.

Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach. Thousands of sea birds (including puffins and murres) nest on the rock while some of the best tidepooling on the Northern Oregon Coast is at the base.
The last time we went we only had half a day to explore before we had to be back in Portland but it was better than nothing. We chose to go to Cannon Beach as it was the quickest trip from Portland (about 1.5 hours) and had guaranteed wildlife viewing. We had no idea what the tide schedule was when we went, but as luck would have it the tide was out, making the tidepooling great.

The Friends of Haystack Rock have a wonderful intrepretive program in the area and the guides are eager to help identify the marine life in the tidepools. They also have viewing scopes set up so that the public can see the birds nesting on the Rock.

Sea anemones and sea weed in a tidepool. The reflections on the water make photography a bit tricky. This was my best shot of the day.

A harlequin duck watches the surf.

Watercolor of ochre sea star

With the constant wind and moisture from the surf, it is challenging to sketch on the beach. Given our short time there, I decided to draw what we saw later. I planned on just a quick watercolor sketch of this lovely sea star but as is typical of me, I ended up spending nearly 2 hours on this piece. Ochre stars are very common along the coast and the only type of sea star I've ever seen there. This great website shows all of the other sea stars found in Oregon. Since I hope to be able to go back to the Oregon Coast again and again, maybe I'll get to see some of these other species someday.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Possible Delays

I'm making a few changes to my blog so there's a chance things may be wonky for a little while. If you notice anything amiss, please check back later and hopefully everything will be working again soon. Thanks for your patience!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Hot Date

Did the post title perk you up for a minute in that supermarket tabloid kind of way? Did you wonder if perhaps I was finally going to admit to some colorful personal details that might make your day a little more interesting? Well I'm going to dash your hopes. My hot date was just an artist date I've been promising myself since we moved to a town with its own small zoo. I'm as sick of all the boxes and unpacking as you would be if I kept posting about it, so time for a field trip!

There's nothing quite as sleepy (and smelly) as a zoo on a hot summer day. All the animals are hidden away in the shade somewhere and the flies are out in abundance. I was also counting on the fact that the humans would hide away in their air-conditioning, leaving the zoo to me, my sketchbook and the hot animals.

Of course first I had to find some animals to sketch...

Water - relief from the heat and the flies.

This big guy found a comfy hollow in the dirt in which to sleep away the day. The rock provided a little privacy from all the paparazzi.

A couple of hot mountain goats dreaming of cool green alpine meadows.

Let's not give in to all the roasted turkey comments we could make.

This marmot was not part of any zoo exhibit and seemed unfazed by the heat.