Fall: Less light, more drama!

In the northern hemisphere, fall means that the days are getting shorter and shorter.  Those short days are then further darkened by voluminous storm clouds that can completely obscure the sun for days, if not weeks.  And yet, paradoxically, it is in the fall when natural lighting conditions are at their most spectacular!

It is the increasing general darkness that leads to a heightened awareness and experience of light.  Suddenly, a single sunbeam breaking through the clouds demands our dreamy-eyed attention – when for the preceding summer months we had taken luxurious sunlight for granted.

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A thick layer of sea fog has enveloped Cape Sebastian. Only at the very top does the sunlight break through.

A thick layer of sea fog has enveloped Cape Sebastian. Only at the highest point of the Cape does the sunlight break through.

When the sun travels lower in the sky, there can be dramatic effects. Here evening sunbeams fall through a hole in the rocks at Meyers Beach.

When the sun travels lower in the sky, there can be dramatic effects. Here, evening sunbeams shine through a hole in the rocks at Meyers Beach.

 

A slight fog mixed with sea mist created a very special scene that day! And Blanca found some fresh kelp to investigate.

A slight fog mixed with sea mist created a very special atmosphere this day! And Blanca found some fresh kelp to investigate.

 

Low afternoon sun filters through tall trees in Azalea Park, Brookings.

Low afternoon sun filters through tall trees in Azalea Park, Brookings.

 

Groups of terns (graceful seabirds) visit Gold Beach only temporarily. I seem to notice them in the fall. They stay close together in a flock and make wonderful sounds.

Terns are graceful seabirds that visit Gold Beach only temporarily. I seem to notice them in the fall. They stay for days or weeks and fish around the mouth of the Rogue River.  It is always a joy to see them.

 

 

During a stormy day on the Brookings waterfront, I photographed this castle of avid watcher of the sea!

During a stormy day on the Brookings waterfront, I photographed this perfect home for an avid watcher of the sea!

 

The fall leaves look best when backlit by a low sun! Azalea Park, Brookings.

The fall leaves look best when backlit by a low sun! Azalea Park, Brookings.

 

I visited Port Orford harbor at sunset. With sunset being so early (4:40 pm today), most excursions include the sunset.

I visited Port Orford harbor at sunset. With sunset being so early (4:46 pm today), most excursions include the sunset.  Redfish Rocks in the distance.

 

Fishing boat returning to harbor before dark. However, some people told me there is activity there 24 hours of the day.

Fishing boat returning to harbor before dark. However, some people told me there is harbor activity 24 hours a day. All boats are hoisted up and parked on trailers in this rare so-called “dolly dock” harbor.

 

The wonderful golden light patterns caught my eye.

These wonderful golden light patterns caught my eye.

 

Paddle boarders in the Pistol River Estuary, with a flock of Bufflehead ducks about to scatter in front of them. That looks like such a fun activity!

Paddle boarders in the Pistol River Estuary with a flock of Bufflehead ducks about to scatter in front of them. Paddle boarding looks like such a fun activity!  It was the first time I had seen anybody do it here.

 

A flock of starlings having a happy bath party in Crescent City. Autumn rains create plenty of puddles for bird bathing! :)

A flock of starlings having a happy bath party in Crescent City. Autumn rains create plenty of puddles for bird bathing!

 

For the first time, I happened to arrive at the lighthouse in Crescent City during low tide and was able to walk onto the island it sits on.

For the first time, I happened to arrive at the lighthouse in Crescent City during low tide and was able to walk onto the island it sits on.  Two girls on the left are taking a selfie.  It was well worth a visit, a charming lighthouse currently in use with a keeper.

 

One of the selfie girls got me back! She is on the far left takng a picture of me!

One of the selfie girls got me back! She is on the far left takng a picture of me!

 

During a winter storm, it must be hard to even go outside the building.

Battery Point Light is the official name of this lighthouse.

 

It was a lovely afternoon! Unfortunately, no dogs allowed on the island.

It was a lovely afternoon! Unfortunately, no dogs are allowed on the island.

 

This is the view out of my window, and I just love those pigeous that frequently sit perched on the line. The white horizontal line below them is the ocean.

This is the view out of my window, and I love those pigeons that frequently sit perched there. The white horizontal line below them is the ocean.  During the summer, we have many months of endless blue skies and sunshine, so a tumultuous November sky is quite a welcome change!

 

A Dungeness crab at low tide under gray skies. The reflective beach creates a surreal indistinct landscape that is beautiful.

A Dungeness crab at low tide under gray skies. The reflective beach creates a surreal, indistinct landscape that is beautiful.

 

Blanca has grown somewhat blase concerning crab encounters! :) Or is she posing for me?

Blanca has grown somewhat used to encountering crabs!  She did subject this crab to her usual very close examination, though!

 

The main beach in Gold Beach under a November sky. Two people are walking in the distance.

The main beach in Gold Beach. Two beach walkers are barely visible.  In the distance is Cape Sebastian amid some rain showers.

 

One of the tremendous trees that get washed up occasionally and can remain for many months.

One of the tremendous trees that get washed up occasionally and can remain for many months.

 

When there was going to be a very low tide just before sunset, I decided to visit China Beach again.

I decided to visit China Beach again when there was going to be a very low tide before sunset.

 

It is a 30-minute drive and then a 20-minute steep hike down a treacherous trail. It looked very gray and rainy. There was no one else there.

Getting there involves a 30-minute drive and then a 20-minute steep hike down a treacherous trail. It looked very gray and rainy. There was no one else there.

 

But I did get lucky in that there was just enough of a break in the clouds to let in some light and some color. It is a very magical place!

But I did get lucky in that there was just enough of a break in the clouds to let in some light and some color. It is a very magical place!

 

I was wearing rubber boots, which was wise because occasionally a wave kept coming and coming up the beach.

I was wearing rubber boots, which was wise because occasionally a small wave would wash over the wet beach.

 

It was just us and seagulls in this spooky and wonderful cove!

It is a spooky and wonderful beach – but it’s not for the casual visitor!  Hiking back up in the semi-dark, I relied on Blanca to lead the way and had a flashlight to see tree roots and rocks.

 

There weren't many sticks on the beach, but Blanca found a good one!

There weren’t many sticks on the beach, but Blanca found a good one!

 

Beautiful reflections get the most out of the toned down light.

The smooth reflections bring out the full beauty of the subdued lighting.

 

A fairytale setting for a princess! :) The rock on the left makes me think of Easter Island.

A fairytale setting for my spotted princess! The rock on the left makes me think of Easter Island.

 

Less light but plenty of drama on nature's everchanging stage!

Less light but plenty of drama on nature’s everchanging stage!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Comments

  1. John Hayes November 29, 2015 at 5:04 am #

    Wonderful images. Cool how your background starts off black and then changes colors further down. Nice shots of the lighthouse. I was there one year ago but not at low tide or in good light. I stayed about a week and that whole area is nicely photogenic. Very good, and Blanca is spectacular as usual.

    PS – your blog site is so fantastic that it deserves more viewers and I wonder if you know that in the WordPress “help” section there is a link for ideas that might interest you. Also, I’m looking forward to more of your splendid portraits.

    • Claudia Kuenkel November 30, 2015 at 12:18 am #

      Thanks, John, for the encouraging comment and the tip!

  2. carol thompson December 1, 2015 at 11:51 am #

    Wow! These are great.

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