Date: May 23, 2012
Tonight’s Location: Bullard’s Beach State Park, Bandon, Oregon
Weather: rainy – a few sun-breaks
Temperature: start 49º
Wildlife count: Coyote, Steller’s Sea Lion,
Birds: Crow, House sparrow, Robin, Belted Kingfisher, Mallards, Red-wing Blackbird, Great Blue Heron, Harbor Seals, European Starling, Barn Swallow, Canada Geese, Western Gull, Double-crested Cormorant, Common Murres (1000’s), Bald Eagles, Orange-crowned Warbler, Turkey Vulture, White-crowned Sparrow, Band-tailed Pigeon, Pelagic Cormorant
Left the hotel this morning just before the next rain shower and drove a little further up the coast – was supposed to be excellent birding. The wind was not blowing today, but the rain didn’t allow for many bird sightings. So we turned around and spent another hour at Tillamook Cheese Factory, learning the process and watching the people on the line – it was fascinating. Their cheese is heat-shocked, not pasteurized, which means that it is raised to a high heat and then very quickly cooled, which does not destroy certain enzymes in the milk. The cheese is then aged for at least 2 months to add flavor. We had samples and bought several bricks – good stuff!
We took the long way home, which is a closer-to-the-ocean loop, through 3 capes – a delightful journey. We stopped at Cape Meares Lighthouse, where we also saw the Octopus tree, 46’ in diameter and over 200 years old. There were also lots of birds and an Orange-crowned Warbler, a life bird.
From there we visited Yaquina Head Lighthouse and the delightful visitor’s center and museum. Lots of birds were gathered there as well as sea lions. Lunch was in Lincoln City and we had to stop to see the Murre colony at Heceta Head Lighthouse viewpoint. The lighthouse is being repaired over the next 2 years, so it was shrouded in scaffolding.
Our good friends, Rich and Gloria, are north of Florence, so we visited them just to be able to hug on them a little. As their park is just a stones-throw from the Darlingtonia Wayside, AND it was not raining at the moment, we walked in to see the flowers. They were amazing! Darlingtonia is a carnivorous plant, which attracts insects and then dissolves them in the liquid in its tube-like hood. We have looked for them, but they only grow in bogs, and it appears that they need very special light conditions as well, because we have been in LOTS of bogs, but without seeing these incredible plants. (see photos)
Since it was almost 6pm when we reached Bandon, we had dinner at Figaros in Old Town. We split a salad and one order Lasagna, but the servings were huge. We brought home almost ½ of the Lasagna. It was excellent.
Now home and unpacked – just catching up.