The winter storms thrash the ocean waters at Cape Disappointment into violent upheavals of foam. The roiling waves toss debris and stun the occasional fish allowing the opportunistic Bald Eagles patrolling near the water to swoop down and catch an easy meal. The foggy mist envelops the area and shrouds the cliffs and the lighthouse. The waves are relentless. The waves are mesmerizing. Despite the stormy, wet, and windy conditions, it is exciting to watch the drama of the waves unfold. The scene had no color so I converted this image to black and white.
What a way to end a week of phenomenal photography! On our last day of shooting, the stormy skies calmed and the clouds gave way to a rainbow directly over the North Head Lighthouse at Cape Disappointment. The brief respite from the relentless rain storms that pummeled the coast was a welcome change and the rainbow was just the icing on the cake.
Standing on the edge of Waikiki Beach, bracing yourself against 30-40 MPH wind gusts and the cold, pelting rain, with a couple of friends and a Nikon Z6 at high tide is an exhilarating way to spend a morning. I was not on Hawaii’s expansive Waikiki Beach but rather in Washington State on tiny Waikiki Beach at Cape Disappointment where the mighty Columbia River empties into the Pacific Ocean. But as winter getaways go, I’ll take this over Hawaii any day. Winter storms and high tide create an unforgettable spectacle of raw power and beauty at Cape Disappointment. The waves are never the same twice and the wave patterns are not the same two days in a row. The roiling surf with its crashing waves is at eye level separated by a huge unstable pile of logs that shifts constantly by the powerful tide surges. The eye level view makes it possible to get photographs that create the illusion that the photographer is standing in the surf. What better way to get a feel for the magnificence and awe of the ocean?
“There be fury on the waves” said Nathaniel Hawthorne in his short poem The Ocean, written in 1825. A visit to Cape Disappointment in Washington State Sunday morning during high tide was a perfect illustration of the fury on the waves. We were standing in a parking lot facing the lighthouse at Cape Disappointment along with a few dozen other photographers there to witness the phenomenon. A Washington State Park Ranger appeared and for our safety, ordered the vehicles parked behind us to move immediately as the imminent high tide could force not only water into the parking lot but also huge sodden redwood logs that could crush us. The ranger came by often to ensure our safety and would have moved us out of harm’s way if the fury of the waves posed a danger to us. The waves are an incredible sight, no two are the same. What a way to start our latest adventure! I can’t wait to see what the rest of the week brings.
You don’t always need a macro lens to focus on and isolate the details of an interesting subject. The very handy and capable Nikon Z50 with the tiny Nikkor 18-50mm lens captured this image of a clump of mushrooms that created an interesting diversion from the drab winter sidewalk landscape.
The morning fog has been persistent in the Valley since the new year and on foggy mornings, I take my Nikon Z50 with me on my walk. It’s the perfect camera for this because it is small, weighs almost nothing, and doesn’t get in the way when I’m not taking photographs. I love the look of the massive valley oaks partially obscured by the fog.
The cool, damp weather has produced large clumps of Physalacriaceae, a form of gilled mushroom, along my daily walking route. Their shapes and colors are fascinating. I used my small Nikon Z50 DX camera with the 16-50mm lens to capture this photograph.
The little Pine Siskins at The Ranch in Montana were constantly on the move either pecking at the seeds in the feeders, jostling for space on the edges of the pond, or disappearing en masse as they all took flight at the slightest possibility that a predator was in the area. This is one of the rare moments that one took the time to sit still in peaceful repose for what was probably just an instant but it is frozen in time now. It somehow reminds me of a diorama in a natural history museum, its namesake pine muted in the background.
The tiny Red-breasted Nuthatch seems intent on whatever it’s watching beneath the perch at The Ranch in Montana last summer.
This female Anna’s Hummingbird was chilling out on one of the perches that I placed strategically in a pot near one of the feeders a couple of months ago. She was so relaxed that in about half of the shots I took of her, her eyes were closed and she looked like she was starting to fall asleep. The female Anna’s seem to be more tolerant of me and my camera and will sit in the open while I’m standing there. The male Anna’s are territorial and object to me being outside at all. In fact, I can always tell where they are because when I go outside, they start their squeaky sounding call. I don’t always see them right away because they are usually tucked away in the shadows unlike the females who are content to perch in the open but by following their voice, I can usually locate their hiding place.