April 1, 2011 Oregon Coast
Today was wonderful. We went to the coast on the promise of half a day of sunshine. Lately it been a joke around here that 10% chance of rain means it will rain only part of the day instead of all day. Today wasn’t much better. We got about twenty minutes of sun, then back into the clouds. Drizzle started about 3 pm.
In spite of the illusive sun it was a great day. Rufous hummingbirds have recently returned from the south. They are beautiful little birds, The male is mostly rufous in color and a gorget (throat) that has iridescent golds, oranges, usually red and even a touch of green. Tiny jewels! The female is much quieter with just a touch of color on her throat.
First I drew the female. Then I wandered around Lagoon Campground and found two males setting up their territories. One kept coming back to the same perch so I sat down and painted him.
And I drew this shore pine at Lagoon Campground.
Just as we were pulling out of the campground entrance we spotted a great blue heron in full breeding plumage. At this time of year they have a bright blue patch in front of their eyes and their bill turns yellow and orange instead of dull blue grey. So handsome. But he almost caused us to get a ticket. Cars were coming by at the rate of one about every ten minutes, so we dared park on the shoulder on the wrong side of the road to photograph him from the car. The ‘once ever ten minutes vehicle’ turned out to be from the sheriff’s department. The officer firmly pointed out all the rules we were breaking, checked our driving record, and kindly let us off with a warning. Whew!
We ended the afternoon watching loons, red-breasted merganser, and a variety of grebes in the Winchester Bay boat basin. Finally it was time to ‘eat dinner out.’ For us that meant picking up take-out fish and chips at our favorite little restaurant and taking our dinner up to the lighthouse.
We parked where we could overlook the Pacific Ocean. To top it off another hummingbird entertained us while we ate. He zips up into the sky and plunges back down, over and over. When he finally perched his body seemed no larger that the tip of the Sitka spruce he was sitting on.