It had been a long and intense day, and I was exhausted. After all, I was only a visitor on the West coast. My body clock told me it was nearly 11 PM, but the sun told me it was the golden hour.
It was still at least a half hour before sunset. My daughter and her family had just left my beach condo after a rare family dinner, and I gathered my keys and camera to head out in search of photos.
With no clear destination in mind, I headed south down Highway 101, hoping for inspiration. The sky was filled with bulbous, ominous clouds, and although the sun glinted through as it sunk towards the horizon, rain spattered across the windshield of my rental car.
I had waited all day for this time to wander the coast alone with my camera, and now rain.
I pulled in to a favorite wide spot just across the bridge at Siletz Bay, and gamely crawled out into the drizzle. I’ve taken photographs in the rain so many times before; I stuck to my plan.
And found this….
These are some of my favorite photos from my entire visit in Oregon, this past April. The sun’s last light felt like it lingered forever.
Perhaps it is a trick of the latitude which makes the sunsets here so languorous.
The back lighting made for dramatic images of these bits of Earth poking up from the bay.
The next morning, with my sleepy granddaughter, I returned for more photos of the bay while her mother was at work. We stopped on the near side of the bridge this time, in a little area with restaurants and shops, a pier and a boardwalk. The sun was as bright and warm as any day on my trip; the air crisp and fresh, blowing in from the Pacific.
I settled her into her jogging stroller, without waking her, and set off to explore.
This was one of those moments when I’m happy to be a novice photographer content with a tiny little Nikon camera which fits easily in my palm or pocket. I can operate it easily with one hand, and did just that as I pushed her stroller from smooth sidewalk onto the bumpy old dock.
And what a different view I found in the morning light! The Bay was completely transformed.
Low tide and clear morning light gave me a completely different perspective on the scene.
This is one of the great truths of life the unfolding decades have shown me. Our notions of reality and truth are completely shaped by our perspective. If we can somehow shift our perspective, we’ll see the same thing in a different light. Not only will see see it differently, but our feelings about it will shift as well.
That is why it is wise to withhold judgement for a while when we encounter someone or something new.
Our first impressions may be lasting ones, but they may not be entirely accurate. They are true, but may not be the entire truth.
It is wise to wait for the wind to shift and the light to change; for the tide to turn and ourselves to grow a bit wiser… or at least let ourselves rest a bit and have some caffeine … before making any important judgements or commitments.
But I also learned that my initial impression of this little coastal community is still the one I treasure.
This is one of the most beautiful spots on the continent. And I look forward to returning here again and again as my little granddaughter grows up in this spectacular place.
Barbara, at Silver in the Barn, invited me to join the Five Photos Five Stories challenge, and this is my third post in the series.
This is a simple challenge: To participate, you simply post a photo each day for five consecutive days, and tell a story about each photo. The story can be truth or fiction, poetry or prose. Each day one must also nominate a fellow blogger to participate in the challenge.
And today, I am inviting another West Coast blogger, who takes amazing photos and tells wonderfully entertaining stories, to join the challenge.
Allan and I chat about the pros and cons of using different cameras from time to time, and so I always look forward to his interesting photos. Please visit Allan at Ohm Sweet Ohm, and I hope he is game to take up the challenge!
Woodland Gnome 2015
* * *
Five Photos, Five Stories: Dormant Isn’t Dead
Five Photos, Five Stories: Hot
Five Photos, Five Stories: Turtle Mama
Five Photos, Five Stories: Chocolate Cake
Beautiful words and images, WG. The light is amazing. I hope to someday visit Oregon (and other parts of the northwest coast).
I hope you will too, Robin. You will be amazed when you do. I hate to sleep when out there because there is just so much to see and enjoy! But do go further north up into Washington to see the Cascades, Puget Sound, and to enjoy Seattle as well as Portland. It is Zone 8, believe it or not, along the coast… but without the pervasive humidity we have in summer. Theirs comes as fog and drizzle… but not the temperature extremes we ‘enjoy.’ A wonderful place for gardening!
Extraordinary photos. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you, John. It is an extraordinary place. Best wishes to you for the weekend. I know you devoted your life to service, and I’m so happy you are enjoying a beautiful retirement now. WG
Woow! Love these pics , especially the seagul !
Thank you, Roz 😉
You tell the best stories.
Thank you, Rickii. 😉
The only part of Oregon I’ve been to is Portland and I must change that. We toured a bit of WA state last year and just loved it. I hear the wineries are spectacular in OR too. Plus there’s Powell’s Books in Portland which is worth the trip in itself.
Yes, you two would love driving along the coast on Highway 101, or flying from little airport to little airport. Plan at least 2 days around McMinnville, both for the fabulous air museum and the wineries in the region. I haven’t done the winery tour, but was sent home with a bottle of lovely OR wine from my daughter’s husband’s family. Don’t get me started on WA. We hoped to move to the Puget Sound at one time- in the islands- and retire in perfect peace and beauty there. If you’ve not done the islands, include it in your plans, please. 😉 (We usually zip right out of Portland headed for the coast. Maybe one day I’ll take a few days there for the gardens and Powell’s books 😉
Oh no my dear, you would be surprised at my continuous “disabilities” and need to learn, and their need to be gently steered and guided. Love as always. The photography is stunning beyond words
Thank you so much 😉 Experience is the best teacher, but the harshest. Butter and eggs warming on the counter, a cake on the way…. 5:30 OK with you two for tomorrow?
Yes, perfect. Looking forward to it. What a great day for baking is today!
Beautiful photos! I’ve never been to Oregon. I love revisiting places in various weather and different seasons…it opens up so much more to discover when we shift perspective.
Thank you so much for your kind words, and for your follow. I hope you will find your way to Oregon one day soon. The mountains flow right onto the beach, and make our lovely Blue Ridge appear as only foothills. As you land, you’ll see snow capped volcanoes all around you. It is magical 😉
Sounds magical. I have a cousin and a friend who live there so it’s a good excuse to try to get out that way.
Your writings are worthy of quotable quotes! May I “quote” from them? As teaching tools to my daughters.
Sent from my iPad
Quote away, my friend. Your daughters are already wise beyond their years, however, and would have little to learn from me which they have not learned already from you, Sri Mahatma 😉