Oregon Coast Expanses of Sand: Different Look at Seaside
(Seaside, Oregon) – So you think you know Seaside? The popular north Oregon coast destination is easily identifiable in just about any photo, partially because so many have ventured there over the generations. It has its own style, to be sure.
But it can switch identities radically at times. There’s more to it than meets the eye of the beachcomber.
One good example is the unusual look this usually recognizable beach takes on during a particularly heavy hale storm this past spring. Numerous photos have been taken by Seaside Aquarium of this spot in snow, but this one shows the area in front of the aquarium in what looks like snow. It is only hale, however, but stunning and distinctive nonetheless.
For an altogether unique look at the familiar town, this sunset is perhaps one of the most unusual ever. Taken in October of 2005, something markedly different happened here, as big, fluffy clouds pinched the sunset into a wild pink and a strange triangular formation, which are then reflected in the surf. It is quite reminiscent of a Pink Floyd album cover.
For another appearance entirely, check out the north Oregon coast landmark at night, near the famed Turnaround. Here, as summer approaches, the evenings warm up and bonfires begin to light up the beach more often. The lifeguard station – the tower-like structure in the distance – has been erected onto the beach. A fishing boat in the distance manages to look like a blue sunset, while street lights paint the sand a Martian-like mix of orange and yellow.
Seaside has a distinctive quality of being in the crosshairs of certain ocean currents rich in nutrients that appeal to phytoplankton. Because of this, the area often gets enormous blooms of the microscopic creatures, which then in turn cause the surf to become incredibly brown, even sludgy as shown here. Usually, this only results in brown waves and mysterious brown bubbles, which invariably cause visitors to report pollution to locals (and thus the signs everywhere regarding this phenomena). This heavy concentration of them that causes such a sludge-like look is fairly rare, however.
While it appears slightly alarming to the untrained eye, such bloom events are the sign of a very healthy ocean.
Cannon Beach sometimes gets a little of this – but rarely. Brown waves occur fairly frequently in this area of Seaside, at Gearhart, and all the way northward at Sunset Beach and Fort Stevens State Park at Warrenton.
The Cove area, at the extreme southern end of town, is hugely popular with surfers as well as onlookers. This is where the tidal action gets very different from the standard calm of Seaside’s beaches, as the boulder-strewn area allows for a bit of wave drama at times.
At night, however, colors change drastically and the Cove becomes another world, maybe even another universe. Lights from the town in the distance flood the thick, wet air and illuminate the atmosphere in all sorts of interesting ways. The tide here looks purple, partially because this was taken not long after dusk.
Then at another dusk, these flat sands and calm, low wave conditions make for especially cajoling beachcombing conditions as the last rays light up the clouds with lovely colors in spots. In other areas of the sky, it retains a cold, wintry look. All these shades of blues and pinks manage to become reflected and intensified in the water.
More of the Cove at night, below:
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