Monday, March 26, 2012

Whale Watchers, Kite Fliers, Surfers, Dog Walkers, and Sand Castle Builders

It is spring break!  The tourists have descended on our quiet little beach town.  The traffic has slowed to a crawl along the one major thoroughfare through town, restaurants have long lines of people waiting to sample clam chowder, and the shops are crowded and noisy, and Safeway runs out of milk, cereal and donuts.

Our seven miles of pristine beaches are the main reason people visit our little tourist town, though.  Many times we can walk a mile or more on our beach and never encounter another human.  But during spring break week, the beach comes alive with whale watchers, kite fliers, sunbathers, dog walkers, smash-ball players, surfers, sand castle builders, hole diggers, rock hounds, and shell seekers.  I love it.  The people watching just doesn't get any better!

Donning my earmuffs, gloves, coat, and beach shoes I head for the beach looking the part of a local--someone who knows how to enjoy the beach even with the bite of the wind or an occasional spatter of rain.  Ready for people watching during this spring break week.

The tourists (kids, teenagers, adults) also look their part-- exposed legs and arms bright red after a screamingly cold dip in a 45 degree ocean or a brief moment of sunbathing, beach gear galore from buckets and shovels to umbrellas and towels, rented wetsuits with boogie boards or surf boards dutifully strapped on ankles--all ready for a day at the beach. 

Then there are the dogs.  I think for a dog the beach is like Disneyland--one of the happiest places on earth!  There is so much room to run and run and run and run and splash in the ocean and roll in the sand!  Dogs of every shape, size, and color chase balls and frisbees of every shape, size, and color. 

Won't you join us?  It is spring break on the Oregon coast!  The best place on earth!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

White On White

After nearly two days hurricane force winds, blistering hail, and relentless rain pounding our little house by the sea while watching the ocean become a ferocious force 
with 25' swells and pounding surf, 

all was totally and perfectly still.  
Even the ocean 
quieted itself.

Dropping from the sky were heavy perfectly formed white flakes of snow.  Snow that covered every wind-battered branch of every shorepine, snow that covered every beaten down blade of grass and struggling daffodil and primrose, snow that covered every piece of mighty driftwood and every smooth and shiny rock on the beach.  Our wold was covered perfectly and evenly by five inches of the gentle beauty of snow.  Even our favorite seagull sitting high on his snow covered perch was unable to dodge the snow.  

White on white.  
God's "rainbow" after the storm.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Heaven's A Little Closer In A House By The Sea

Wheeling seagulls!

Sun glinting off crashing waves at sunrise!

Kai swirling above the breaking waves in the afternoon wind!

Barking sea lions!

Golden hued Jacob's ladders streaming through the clouds at sunset!

Ships' lights on a dark night!


Friday, March 2, 2012

The Dancing School of Silvery Fish

I was mesmerized!  I have always loved aquariums and had just spent a perfectly lovely day walking through what was then the very new, very smart, very over-the-top Manly Aquarium in Sydney, Australia.  The developers of what was described as "an underwater viewing stage" had created a stunning jaw-dropping aquarium.

One of its headlining features is the underwater tunnel through which aquarium patrons glide along on a moving walkway while sharks and all manner of other fish glide overhead allowing fish and human up-close-and-personal encounters.  This was the first underwater viewing tunnel I had experienced--and indeed was only the second in the world to exist! It was nearly too amazing to imagine!   New Zealanders Kelly Tarlton and Ian Mellsop, had built the first for their native country in Auckland just two years earlier.  (Today I read that the company Tarlton and Mellsop began, Marinescape NZ Ltd. is a leader in aquarium design.)

Yes, the walk-through tunnel aquarium was astounding, but the most marvelous, most memorable aquarium display I have ever seen in any aquarium anywhere in the world, was an astoundingly large tank several stories high and many feet wide.  Comfortable benches placed in a semi-darkened room facing the wall of shimmering crystal clear water beckoned to this tried aquarium visitor.

I sat down hoping for a quiet respite from the eager crowds being moved through the "shark tunnel".  Upon relaxing, I became aware of Vivaldi's Spring Concerto floating through the pale blue room. Ah, music to soothe the soul, and a bench on which to rest.  Perfect!  Ah....but that was not all.

There were fish--tiny shiny silvery fish in that shimmering water!  Hundreds or maybe even thousands of them!  Dancing!  Cavorting!  Slipping through that silky water in perfect unison!

Painting the music of Vivaldi for all to see!