Not So Close

A male bighorn sheep stands on a boulder and grazes from a bush beside a river in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming in July 2004

This is a wider shot of the bighorn sheep I posted a while ago, the telephoto shot made it look like I was rather close but not only was I a ways away beside the road, there was a river between us. He came down the cliff behind him to graze at the river’s edge then went back up the cliff. From my trip to Yellowstone in 2004.

Elephant Skin

Rock formations resemeble an elephant's skin on a vertical cliff face at Cobble Beach in Yaquina Head Outstanding Natura Area in Newport, Oregon

There is so much I will miss about the Pacific coast, but there are three places I’ll miss most of all: Rialto Beach in Olympic National Park in Washington, Enderts Beach in Redwood National and State Parks in California, and Cobble Beach in Yaquina Beach Outstanding Natural Area in Oregon. All three are scenic and all three have good tide pools. But the reason I’ll miss Yaquina Head so much is not just that it also has a beautiful lighthouse, but it has harbor seals. Up close. I could watch them for hours, and I have.

It also has elephants, of a sort.

While watching the harbor seals swim near the southern end of Cobble Beach, I turned around and saw an elephant in the cliff wall right behind me, or at least an elephant’s skin. The rock formations of the vertical cliff face are fascinating, to the point that I stopped photographing the seals for a while and started photographing the rocks.