Monday, October 30, 2017

A-maze-ing

The stalks grow tall at Gayley's Farm.
The corn grows tall at Gayley's Farm...
Last weekend, the family took our young nephew to local Gayley's Farm for their annual Corn Maze of Horror and Crazy Train Ride.

The day was appropriately rainy and grey. As we wound our way through the maze, birds -- mostly crows -- were everywhere to take advantage of the free food growing "on the vine".

A pumpkin stands watch over the crowds below...
Dark skies...

Friday, October 27, 2017

Coast line

Oregon's dramatic coastline...
Encroaching cliffs threaten seaside homes...
Not far from The Devil's Punchbowl -- mentioned in my previous post -- was a lookout with this magnificent view of Oregon's coastline. The Devil's Punchbowl is the visible point of land that you see in the top part of the photo. For two days in a row we watched local pods of humpback whales feeding near the kelp beds close to shore.

If I lived in one of those homes that you can see, I'd be very nervous. They are very close to those seaside cliffs. I expect that some of them will have to be abandoned at some point in the future.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Wayback Wednesday: The Ghosts of Halloween Past

Today's post is a highlight reel of some of my past blog entries -- along with artwork -- related to this most scary time of the year. Enjoy...

Monday, October 23, 2017

The Devil's Punchbowl

Seawater fills up The Devil's Punchbowl.
Water fills The Devil's Punchbowl.
Continuing on with our Satanic theme in Oregon, The Devil's Punchbowl is a seaside geological formation north of Newport. It is thought to have been formed by the collapse of the roof of a sea cave.

As the tide rises and falls, it fills the bowl with churning sea water through the former cave opening.

The interior of The Devil's Punchbowl...
The dramatic interior of the punchbowl...

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Fancy float homes

The posh palaces of Westbay Marine Village...
The posh palaces of Esquimalt's Westbay Marine Village...

I've featured the float homes of Fishermans Wharf often in this blog, but there is another float home community nearby in the town of Esquimalt.

The luxury homes at Westbay Marine Village are considerably upscale than the ones at Fishermans Wharf and they command correspondingly higher prices on the market. It's also a gated community... they are not so welcoming of visitors as Victoria's version.

Monday, October 16, 2017

We stand on guard for thee...

A Canadian warship on patrol...
Canadian warship on patrol...
On a windy day off Victoria's waterfront, a Canadian Patrol Frigate (CPF) goes through its paces...

Friday, October 13, 2017

Devil's Creek

The suspension bridge over Devil's Creek...
75-foot high waterfalls spill into Devil's Creek...
I'm not sure why, but a lot of natural landmarks along our Oregon route were designated "Devil's this" or Devil's that".

On this particular day, we hiked in to see the suspension bridge and the 7-story high waterfalls at Devil's Creek.

Sunlight through the trees near Devil's Creek...
Sunlight streams through
the forest near Devil's Creek...



Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Wayback Wednesday: The Lady-in-Red says adieu

If you've read this blog or my previous one (Alternate Tales from the West Coast Cafe), you'll be familiar with The Lady in Red who watched over Victoria's Fishermans Wharf from above.

Over the years, I took many photos of her in different outfits. I never wanted to ask her caretakers about her, preferring her origins and purpose to remain mysterious. In my mind, I imagined her as a guardian angel looking after visitors to the community.

Some weeks ago, I was upset to see that she had disappeared from her customary spot on high. I made it a mission to return to see if she had truly disappeared, or was just off somewhere getting "cosmetic surgery".

About ten days ago, I returned to Fishermans Wharf and was disappointed to see that she was well and truly gone. The houseboat that had previously been her home for years was freshly painted, suggesting new ownership. I guess the Lady in Red wasn't welcome anymore.

Somewhat disappointed, I decided to wander the jetties for other photos opportunities.

Surprise! The Lady wasn't gone... she had found a new home (with a new ensemble, doncha know) at the end of the jetty outside the door of another houseboat.

The Lady has a new address...
Lady on the move...
I'm glad that she'll still be around for awhile yet, but I've decided to "let her go" so to speak... she won't be making any more appearances in this blog.

Now that she has been discovered by tourists who are posing with her at her new location, I feel like our special connection has come and gone.


Monday, October 9, 2017

Bigfeet

North America's mysterious Sasquatch...
Sasquatch is an ancient expression for 'marketing opportunity'...
Tourist shops in Oregon and Washington states capitalize on the Sasquatch legend, pedaling coffee mugs, key chains, postcards, snow globes and similar stuff that feature the mythical forest dweller of the Pacific Northwest.

My wife made it her mission to take as many Bigfoot photos as she could on our trip. I can't help feeling that the one on the right above is just a little bit racist.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Doppelganger

The former tourist attraction on Victoria's inner harbour...
-- Victoria's Undersea Gardens
photo: Ryan Bushby / Wikipedia
Pacific Undersea Gardens was a fixture of Victoria's inner harbour for more than 40 years until it closed in 2013. It allowed visitors to descend below the water to observe some of the local sea life in their natural habitat.

During our Oregon trip, we were strolling Newport's waterfront tourist district when we experienced deja vu. There was Victoria's former tourist attraction attached to a jetty.

Newport's version of Undersea Gardens...
Newport's version of Undersea Gardens
Well, not so fast...

Despite the similarities, Newport's version has been around for twenty-five years or so. The connection between the two appears to be that they were both owned by Victoria's Oak Bay Marine Group.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Those Daring Young Men in their Flying Machines

A mix of man, machine and kite flies over the Lincoln beach.
Man, machine and kite come together to create colour and noise...
After Pacific City, we pushed further south to the cities of Lincoln and Newport.

Lincoln is also known as a kite-flying mecca. On the breezy day that we went to their main beach, I brought along my 5m kite. I was setting it up when the buzz of this machine passing overhead caught everyone's attention.

Our intrepid flyer wasn't very high, and I wondered at the legality and safety of a contraption like this flying over a public beach... but, it WAS fun to see.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Hello wave(s)

Heading out with surf board in hand...
The waves at Manzanita beckon...
While staying near Cannon Beach, we drove down the coast to try surfing near Manzanita. Oregon's coast is a surfer's wet dream... many of the beaches are ideal for beginners as the waves are regular and well-spaced.

Here on Vancouver Island, the surf can be chaotic, making it hard for beginners to even get past the break point to the good waves.

Short Sand Creek beach near Manzanita...
The protected bay at Short Sand Creek beach...