Saturday, August 10, 2013

There's nothing like a puffin

Alas from wikipedia
I probably never was closer than 100 feet to them. They have short wings with respect to their chunky bodies so they must furiously flap their wings in flight
 While babysitting Daniel a few weeks ago, he insisted that I read him There's Nothing Like a Puffin.
This should be the theme story for Cannon Beach Oregon. Statues of puffins, protect wildlife signs with puffins, puffin guides.....

We didn't go there for the puffins. In their bay, there is the huge Haystack Rock surrounded by smaller rocks creating very rich tide pools.  Low tides happen twice a day with one usually at night.At breakfast, 30 miles of slow beach traffic away, I notice that low tide was going to happen in just 15 minutes giving us not much time to see these famous tide pools. Lets get cracking!

It was very foggy that morning. I ran along the River Walk in Astoria past old canneries, still in use canneries, decaying piers with lots of moss. Astoria is the oldest non-Spanish settlement on the West Coast located at the mouth of the Columbia River  discovered by Lewis and Clark. John Jacob Astor located his fur empire there. The town is a working town but also caters to tourists and artists. It has a lot of interesting old houses, we were staying in one. And it is in a beautiful location.

But on to Haystack Rock. We were not the only ones capable of reading a tide table so the tide pools weren't difficult to find though parking was. I raced ahead of Steve barefooted.  The tide was coming in rapidly so I waded out to some of the pools in the icy water. Beautiful bright green anemones  ,orange stars, purple stars! I took lots of photos with both cameras as did Steve. Loved it! Looked for crabs and octopus but only found a sea cucumber. The tide came in..time for Puffins. Puffins need some soil to dig a nest in. The like big beach rocks for protection but their main enemy are the always present gulls who love to eat baby puffins.  The rock had lots of species of birds. I needed help from the puffin guides to actually spot the puffins clinging to the rock and in flight but I saw the. No photos though. Update: see Prince of Tide Pools

We packed a lot in during the last few days..will continue later

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