Oregon Photo Essay: Startling Spring Subtleties of N. Coast
(Manzanita, Oregon) – If you think a rainy day at the Oregon coast is all dreariness and gray, think again. Late spring in the region produces some mighty wet moments, but these clouds are special clouds, often not like those makers-of-overcast during the rest of the year.
Memorial Day on the north Oregon coast: the holiday lived up to its soggy reputation after a weekend of primarily good, sunny conditions. As in Seaside, pictured above. But even these gray moments produce wondrous surprises.
One moment, it's misty and drenching at Tillamook Head. A few minutes later, something intriguing about the atmosphere changes and creates this remarkable scene where the sun is poking through a lighter layer of clouds just enough to make the sea and clouds a higher contrast. It is a tad otherworldly in its subtle beauty.
The following day, in Manzanita, the clouds break up just enough to show off their puffy yet stark outlines. Reflected in the sand they are take on a new, ethereal life.
At Hug Point, near Cannon Beach, the clouds are again showing off. Once more, it's proof that even gray days have their extraordinary beauty and subtle layers.
On the Wednesday after Memorial Day, the skies inch closer to being sunny – but never quite. Still, these big clouds and rambunctious skies of spring again present surprising layers and complex subtleties. The shapes and shades are nearly endless here at Manzanita.
Then, in Cannon Beach, the end of the day is like a sudden, shocking plot twist. Those billowing clouds of spring do that most revered (but still somewhat secret) thing they are known for: they make the sunset bounce off them in unbelievable shades and hues. The palettes of spring sunsets are often the most extraordinary of the entire year.
It is the “money shot” on this Oregon coast photographic expedition.
Thursday becomes even more insane and full of amazing developments in scenery. Much of the day is mired in gray, mediocre conditions. It starts to become uninspiring to some degree. Then, at Arch Cape (near Cannon Beach), as the day comes to a close, another rabbit-out-of-the-hat, visually.
Even more exceptional are the mix of wild spring cloud patterns and a set of downright surreal slits that allow the sun to go poking through.
As the day wanes further, the colors intensify.
It's again further evidence that spring creates the most extraordinary sunsets of the year.
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