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The Marvels of Lunar Moments on Oregon Coast

Published 06/29/21 at 7:25 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

The Marvels of Lunar Moments on Oregon Coast

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(Oregon Coast) – When you're at the Oregon coast, it's easy and understandable to just get lost in the scenery, the waves, the sand and the curious rock formations. On top of it, you're likely doing this all only by day.

Maybe you should be checking the area out at night – and look up as well?

Cruising around the coastline at night with a visible moon has its own wildly distinctive flavor and cajoling aspects. It's like an entirely new landscape, an alternate reality. You see new shapes and enchanting, muted colors you've never seen before. Then when you photograph this deliriously beautiful spectacle, it's a whole new set of realities altogether, where beauty, astronomy, weather science and mood combine to create a host of surprises.

Case in point: moon halos. This was taken on a chilly winter's night in Depoe Bay several years ago, where the moon for a time erupted in this unique phenomenon. It's due to the presence of ice crystals high in the air, which create refraction – the bending of light. Here, it's hovering over the Whale Watch Center giving the place an especially heavenly vibe.

At the top photo, Cannon Beach is no shirker to wowing moon moments. At this moment, ways after sundown, Haystack Rock is framed by a collage of emerging stars and a fuzzy moon that's occasionally shrouded by moving clouds, all of which get reflected by the wet sand. It’s visually delicious.

However, as we all know, the moon can be visible during the day as well. Here, on the northern face of Pacific City's Cape Kiwanda, it reveals itself under the sun. With those massive sand dunes just below it, the place looks like something out of the first scenes in Star Wars.

Closer to Depoe Bay, at Cape Foulweather on a summer's night, a monstrous moon shines down on the ocean and lights up the sky just beyond a variety of fog layers to turn it blue – like some sort of fake daylight. Photos capture it differently than what you actually see as the camera picks up colors in things we humans can't, but the actual sight was even moodier.

In Newport, a stunning full moon lights up the Yaquina Bay Bridge on this summer's night – actually a day before the Fourth of July one year.

Above Manzanita, some 500 feet closer to the lunar body, the overlooks at Neahkahnie have become remarkably surreal, between the car lights driving by, the fog, and a car's taillight casting a red glow on that pyramid-like rock. The moon peeks out from behind.

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