Spellbinding Central Oregon Coast on a November Night
(Depoe Bay, Oregon) – The holiday madness is – for the moment, anyway – over. The crowds on the Oregon coast from Thanksgiving have gone home, the storms have ended – mostly – and until the craziness of that week of Christmas to New Year's Eve takes over briefly, all is calm and all is bright.
It all can be quite surreal too. And full of striking surprises. Like at the D River Wayside in Lincoln City (seen above), where evidence of the storms can be seen strewn on the beaches. But for now, the winds are light and some enigmatic clouds are bunched together in the darkness offshore, waiting to do something.
Then they part for a while, and one star comes out a little bit near Lincoln City, as a wildly wispy set of clouds meander in and out of view. Below, the D River itself and the beach are illuminated by lights from various sources, which wash the area in intriguing colors.
Down the road a bit, at Depoe Bay, the colors come out again at the Whale Watch Center. A large chunk of mist hovers endlessly at the baymouth, coming from the constant battering of waves on the rocks. At first it looks like a fog – one that lingers only there (like something out of a John Carpenter flick). You don't see it anywhere else except near these gargantuan waves, though you have to look carefully. And when you do, you slowly realize what's really going on.
Even more impressive and surreal are the dramatic ways the secondary entrance to Agate Beach in Newport displays itself. These large mounds of sand look more like a flat desert in the dark, barely lit by sources from up on the street. A rugged tree is illuminated in odd colors.
But curiouser yet is the misty scene atop Yaquina Head and what lays above it. The lighthouse itself pierces the darkness periodically, creating that shaft of light that darts outward. Near it is another light source that glows in an orb-like, Steven Spielberg fashion.
Then there are the clouds above it and the stars. Since the camera took around a couple minutes to grab this exposure, the stars themselves are a slightly jumbled blur. That hazy mass of clouds almost looks like it's more at home in the deep cosmos, like some sort of nebula, rather than the earthbound weather phenomenon we all know. But really, it looks even more like some gigantic creature from space, lurking above and possibly looking to devour the region. It's stunning and a bit ominous.
A bit further south, you get some incredible sights at Newport's Nye Beach area. Yes, this shot was taken at night – midnight, to be exact. It looks like daytime, but it's not. That's much the charm and utter surprise here. Because of the long exposure, the sea is a glowing, electrified sort of oddity, stretching across the landscape like an ethereal ribbon. Most of that blue is not clear sky – it's actual clouds, probably illuminated by the moon above or perhaps from light sources below that are tainted by atmospheric gasses. It's hard to say.
The sand is wet here, soaking wet from a recent rain. So the patterns are rather solidified, and make for awesome patterns.
Altogether, the whole scene looks like Newport in another universe, another reality. It's a pretty one, too. And luckily there's no sci-fi technology needed to get there,
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