Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Signs of a South Coast Winter...
I mean, there are some Winter Signs, right? There must be...
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Since I relocated to the Southern Oregon Coast a while back, I think I've (almost) enjoyed the Winters more than any other season. During violent, turbulent, high-velocity windy days, the waves slamming into the shore cliffs are something to behold. I hope to have some really good wave pictures posted here fairly soon. Since I've lived here, I'm no longer experiencing frozen, ice-covered streets and parking lots that have all the traction of your average hockey rink. Nope. I'm not experiencing piles and piles of snow that just get in the way of everything, and complicate even the most simple errand. Maybe I'd just had enough of the average ice-cold inland winter weather.
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Until a couple of years ago, each year I experienced freezing-cold, ice, snow, and all the other winter hazards, and I find it quite liberating not to Have Any Snow. I'd felt like a Prisoner of Winter before...short frozen days where civilization yielded to a frozen icebox of nature every night. One snowy winter, I actually put a summertime picture on my computer monitor, which was quite therapeutic in that my memories of distant warm weather and sunshine weren't All In My Head.

There are gray, rainy days here; a LOT of them over the course of the winter, which can be depressing at times. No, I didn't expect Nirvana when I moved down here, and it's because of that, and the fact that I've endured a lot of hard, snowy winters that I have no problem in handling the worst weather down here. As a matter of fact, I'm fascinated by the sometimes-severe winter weather, and will be until a tree comes crashing down on my house. I've got homeowners' insurance, though, so hopefully I won't have to cross my fingers too tightly. Last year, we had 80mph winds down here, and I'm just amazed at the sudden velocity of the winds and rain pelting down mercilessly.

Sometimes when a day starts out gloomy and gray, quite often those skies will Totally Clear Up by mid-afternoon. When that happens, and I don't have to be in town for a Doctors' appointment or whatever, I drop everything and get outside, for ya never know when the Sun's Gonna Be Out again. The weather forecasters try to predict it, but all they can do is make weak stabs at it, because Ma Nature is especially temperamental down here. And, honestly, I'd rather be OUT on a nice winters' day than inside, which ain't how I felt about winters before where I used to live, in Northern Idaho. Up there, I grew to despise winter, and "snow" became just another Four Letter Word. I really hate snow. I just do.

So anyway, today (December 16th!), was COLD, yes (Chill Factor near zero), but the skies were clear, and 'twas time to go for a nature hike. I'd spied a trail during my travels around here that I hadn't been on before, and it was time to see where that trail led. I felt sort of like one of the Great Explorers, literally shoving aside thick, almost impassible (in places) brush as I groaned and strained to proceed forward, because the rocky cliffs and the Ocean Beyond were beckoning me. The closer I got to the Actual Coast, the thicker the brush became. "Go West, Young Man", and even though I'm not so young anymore, I did...and at the end of the trail, a couple of great views...

The top photo features a couple of trees shaped by the wind with the ocean lurking ominously beyond; I'm actually looking across a narrow cove with a 60-foot vertical drop to the ocean below. At the bottom, another view of the Cape Arago Lighthouse. Just beyond the bushes in the foreground a few feet away is another steep sheer cliff. So I had a most excellent adventure today, taking a lot of pictures and stumbling through the brush, trying to fight off the vertigo I'm dealing with, my ol' trusty driftwood walking stick in hand. I've gotta be nuts, fighting my way thru the bushes and coming close to steep dropoffs with this Vertigo I've been dealing with...
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But getting back to my original premise, that There Must Be Signs of Winter down here, well,there are signs, but they're more felt than seen. When the Sun's warming up the deep blue sky, it's still cold, but not really cold. But the minute you step into the shade, with those ocean breezes still blowing, well, "BRRRRRR." Not unlike standing on a planet with no atmosphere, where the temperature is 700 "F" and the shadows drop you down to 200 degrees below zero. Well, not like that, exactly, but my hands both froze as I was lining up the camera for the next two shots...

One of the relatively few visible signs of winter in the top photo, and there it is, genuine ICE in the Coast Guard Station's parking lot, but no snow in the background. From approximately the same spot, the photo below was taken...The 'Bay' of Coos Bay in the foreground, no snow for miles beyond, but if you look at the top of the picture, you can see a bit of snow in the Coastal Range some 15-20 miles away, and no, I don't want to travel those roads anytime soon.
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Posted below is a photo album of the shots I took today; this'll do until I get the courage to break into this blog, do the 'html' thing and add it to all the other photo albums in the left margin. The ocean in December...a rather cool perspective, actually...



...and below, you'll find another newer post which is somewhat topical, logical, cynical, impossible, critical, pathological and ecumenical (I'm kidding about that last adjective...).

4 Comments:

Blogger Word Tosser said...

Ok, now go to my blog and see the pictures so you will remember what it was like this time of the year.
Oh, the other thing you won't miss.. is all of the Spokane tv channels treating this storm like it is the end of the world. We haven't seen the national news since the day before yesterday. No Good Morning America, no real local news unless it has to do with snow... and no night time National news... Just snow ... breaking news about snow. reporters on each corner of Spokane reporting like they are reporting on the war in Iraq. Oh,you are missing out...NOT!!

8:12 PM  
Blogger some guy who blogs said...

Cis, Cis...I went to your blog, and it looks like you all are getting BURIED up there...The last winter I was in CDA was just depressing. I don't like the way snow just slows down and basically kills off one's ability to LIVE. Yep, it's nice to see the Spokane reporters are 'embedded' in winter snow coverage. It gives them a reason for living, I guess. I had enough of North Idaho winters, and I lived thru a lot of 'em. Go find a Coeur d'Alene Summer picture of the park/lake and put it on your screensaver...and will restore part of your sanity. Hopefully by April, May or June, all of you up there will be warm again...

8:37 PM  
Blogger Dogwalkmusings said...

For some reason I can't get your slide show to play! Is it a Mac thing maybe?

4:09 PM  
Blogger some guy who blogs said...

If the slide-show doesn't play when you click it...try refreshing your computer screen...that might do the trick...

8:49 PM  

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