Thursday, June 25, 2009

Cormorants, Puffins, and Yarn Shops. Oh My!

OK, so there aren't exactly any Puffins in this picture but I did see some earlier, honest! There is a large variety of sea birds nesting here. They come to nest in spring and summer. In this picture the black bird is a Brandt's Cormorant. The cute black and white ones are Common Murres. There may be a Western Gull tucked in there as well. There are literally thousands of sea birds nesting on the rocks. I was able to get this close to one of the large rocks they are nesting on because there was a minus tide. Usually the rock is surrounded by a very cold Pacific Ocean. I also had to use the zoom feature on my camera.

I continue to be fascinated with the marine life and all the wonderful moods of weather and ocean here. I grew up by the sea and I don't think I will ever lose my love and respect of it. The picture on the right was taken on the same morning. Again, this area is usually submerged in water except at very low tides. In addition to the birds there are huge, fat, purple and orange starfish, urchins, mussels, various seaweeds, barnacles....and much more. There are broken sand dollars sprinkled all over the place. I did find two large whole ones and threw them back into the ocean.
Twill and I have been enjoying long walks on the beach. Twill has a propensity to roll in the dried seaweed and heaven-only-knows-what-else that is a bit disconcerting. I have to watch her. She usually picks a moment when I am busy photographing something!
Before I get to the local yarn stores, some of the sea birds to be found in this area during the summer are the following; Common Murre, several varieties of Cormorants, Tufted Puffins, a few varieties of Auklet, Leach's Storm Petrel, Western Gull, Pigeon Guillemot, Black Oystercatcher, Pelicans (I think Brown but am not sure), and various shorebirds too. The birds go elsewhere for the chilly dark winters.
Cannon Beach has a lovely yarn store called Coastal Yarns located on the north end of the main street of Hemlock. They are well stocked with knitting yarns and supplies. They had a few very small bags of wool fiber for needle felting and other small projects but not much else outside of knitting.
My favorite LYS is one we found in the little coastal town of Manzanita, about 15 miles south of Cannon Beach. We spent the afternoon browsing the town as we were, ahem, celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary relaxing and enjoying the moment. I wasn't looking for a yarn store or anything but this one caught my eye. It is called T-Spot, Yarn, Teas, and Chocolates. The store lived up to its name with a lovely variety of yarn, tea, and chocolate. Hard to go wrong with that combination. They had a bit of dyed roving as well. I plan to go back and get some Soy Silk yarn and a bar of pure chocolate and sugar. Two ingredients, nothing else added. The owner had the cutest little needle felting kits and the store was set up beautifully. The website for T-Spot is here an in my fiber links.
I really like Manzanita. It isn't as touristy as Cannon Beach. We actually stayed there on a past Thanksgiving with some friends. We are making plans to meet our friends there one day again.
Finally, we are about to move for the month of July to a spot east of Astoria, Oregon. The disadvantage of not having several months notice to make reservations is that every RV place worth staying at on the coast is full. We will be coming back for the month of August though before heading to Ashland in September. We are not used to hot weather and wanted to ease into a warmer climate. It is cool and wet here on the coast.
More to come! -Renee


Life Looms Large said...

I'm somehow surprised that there are puffins there. I always think of them as an east coast of Canada bird. There are some in Maine, and lots by the time you travel north to Newfoundland.

That yarn shop sounds great! (Well, they both do!) But tea, chocolate and yarn are some of my very favorite things!!

From google maps, it looks like Astoria is still somewhat coastal - on a big river or inlet. I'm enjoying following your travels! Quite the adventure!!

Have fun!

Sunrise Lodge Fiber Studio said...

Wow! It sounds like you are really having quite the adventure;)

Theresa said...

Lovely pictures and prose Renee! Please, give a holler when you get into Ashland in September. It does get mighty hot in the valley, but the mountains do stay a bit cooler.