There are many reasons we love living here. Fresh air, waves, and less traffic are just a few.
While driving home from this morning from the weekly grocery shopping trip, I was reminded of another reason and inspired to make a post.
Being this close to the ocean, and in fact close to the forest and coastal range mountains, we are surrounded by nature. The reminder this morning was seeing an osprey (this is not the one we saw, but some may not know what they look like )
Flying over our car, with a fish in his talons, and a crow hard on his tail trying to steal it.
We were on Hwy 101 through town, so I had to divide my attention between the road and the bird (we were going slowly though). It made me wonder how much people miss while driving along the coast.
Now in the driver’s defense, there is a LOT of beauty here that will keep people from seeing the creatures around us. These two shots were taken in the last couple days from different parts of 101.
With all this, AND traffic to worry about it would be easy to miss the animals and plants around you.
But at the same point I took the sunset photo, Siletz Bay, this guy hangs out there all the time.
King Fishers love to sit on the wires over the Schooner Creek. But, as you drive south over the bridge, you can easily miss him.
Further south recently, this caught my eye.
If you look closely to the left of the river you will see 2 white spots…
These two were just hanging out on the river bank. I was there taking photos, while cars zoomed by at 55 and 60. It’s too bad. I meet people here all the time who have never seen a bald eagle before. When I point out the pair that hangs out at Yaquina Head Light house
they are amazed. But, with this to look at, I can understand why they miss the birds.
Back on 101 though, a little further south and a week before, I spotted, these two and one other
Three juvenile bald eagles hanging out in field. Even I almost missed these guys. Again, I was snapping shots and people were cruising by without a seconds hesitation.
At Depoe Bay, people DO stop to look at nature. However, they are looking, for the most part, for whales
I don’t blame them in the least. I do as well. But, if you take the time there is more to see.
Like this guy here
Where? Right here
I know, I know, you can see seagulls anywhere.
But I was having a blast watching this guy chowing down. This barnacle and seaweed covered rock was his own personal buffet line. He was hopping all over and seemed happier than if he was at a seafood restaurant. Just goes to shows you that not all seagulls are like my French Fry eating buddy at Fathoms
I wasn’t going to disturb the whale watchers around me to watch the seagull on the rock chow down. But I enjoyed it!
But it’s not just birds. Trees can grab your attention as well.
I just think the mossy trees we have here are worth checking out.
Then there was this one I spotted 2 nights ago.
If you look closely, these two trees share a stump.
But look even closer and you see there are two different trees!
A leafy tree
And an evergreen.
Now I have done a LOT of hiking in my time. I have seen new trees growing out of old stumps
But I have never seen to different species of trees sharing a trunk. I wanted a closer look, but the no trespassing signs, and area under surveillance notices kept me on my side of the fence.
I understand, as your resident Oregon Coast Cyclist,
I have a distinct advantage over cars in spotting nature.
AND, as a paranoid claims adjuster, I don’t want people traveling at 60 mph to take their eyes off the road when driving.
But, I would encourage car passengers to put down phones and keep an eye out. Also, whenever possible, get off the main drags and hit the back roads.
You can go slower and who knows, you might spot a herd of elk!
Or better yet, get a bike, and ride.
Barring that, park the car and just walk a bit.
The slower you go, the more you will see, and the more you see, the more you will fall in love with the nature around us.
I am just damn lucky to be surrounded by it!