It was exhilarating to spend a day with the stunning Harlequin Ducks and the raucous, heavy weight California Sea Lions. These coastal eared seals weigh up to about 700 pounds and their high pitched bark reverberates with a rumble over the waves and up the cliffs letting all know that they are present! And of course, the Harlequin ducks would give the Wood ducks a run for their money in any waterfowl beauty pageant. These sea ducks have a system of densely packed feathers that trap a bunch of air within them. This provides insulation against cold sea water for their tiny bodies. It also makes them very buoyant which is why they bounce around like corks after diving for food!
It is an amazing experience to sit on the intertidal rocks just yards away from the wildlife and bask in their presence. I marveled at the awesomeness of this area teeming with wildlife. I felt safe, yet cautious, as I tiptoed my way through the slippery, seaweed covered rocks. It was the first sunny day in a long while and I didn’t want to disturb the much needed sun bath that the sea lions were savoring. In fact, it was clear that wildlife and humans alike were all enjoying a reprieve from the rain and dark skies that have been the norm this winter. Lots of folks were out with their family and pets soaking up the warmth and grandeur of the refuge.
The first week of this month I went to visit my older son, Dan, and his family in Portland. I was chatting with him about my coastal photography project and the meaning that it holds for me. I mentioned that a big motivator behind my effort to photograph with purpose is the concept that I may in some small part inspire my granddaughters to love and care for our earth and its wildness. Fortunately, my son and daughter- in -law have raised their girls to be curious about the wild so they are easily influenced in this direction!
If you’d like to learn more about this area of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge or even look into volunteer opportunities check out SEA (Shoreline Education for Awareness).
Also, check out my husband, Steve’s blog post on this area for more awesome images.
Thanks for reading and if you liked this post a share is always appreciated!
Here’s to Adoring and Exploring the Wild! or…Wild, Adoring and Exploring!
Hmm, I think I just came up with the knew title for my project! I’ve been thinking hard on it. 🙂