Cape Meares Lighthouse

Cape Meares Lighthouse.

This lovely lighthouse is actually a little ways from Manzanita but we visited it on this trip so I thought I would include it as well.  The rain let up for a little while as we visited and let us get pictures without getting too wet.  It was a little cold that day though.  I was glad for a heavy coat and gloves!


To the North

Rock bridge at Manzanita beach with surf spray.

As you look along Manzanita beach to the northwest you will see an interesting rock buttress formed by the collapse of some of the inner rock along the ridge.  It looks kind of like part of an old cathedral and combined with the nice water wisps from the off-shore wind, makes for a lovely capture.

Walking the beach


If you look down while walking the beach you can find a never ending supply of things to look at, like these bivalve shells.  Many are broken by the wave action but there are often mostly whole ones as well.  If you look up you can enjoy the fun architecture of beach homes like these.

Manzanita beach houses on a sunny morning.

Often, the homes will have a more weathered natural look to them as they are created to survive the storms the ocean throws their way!

Back on the Beach


It’s fun to walk along the beach looking for interesting patterns in the sand.  The wave action and water draining back towards the ocean can leave interesting alluvial patterns like this in the sand.


These patterns are the same ones you will see when viewing desert washes from the air for instance.  It is interesting how the micro and macro levels are so similar.

Continuing along the trail


In some of the marshier areas you can find the beautiful but sometimes smelly Skunk Cabbage.  They are a cheery color and are not nearly as smelly as some of the carrion type flowers!

Skunk Cabbage blossoms.

Here is a close-up of a couple of the flowers.

Along the trail

Rocky coastline in Oswald West State Park.

As we continued along the trail in Oswald West State Park towards the cape, we came across views like this of the shoreline.  The colors of the water can be gorgeous and the rocks and greenery make a visual counterpoint to the constantly moving water.


Under the edges of trees and rocks are interesting small-scale scenes like these mushrooms and ferns.  You can see it was raining when I took this shot.  Whenever you are going to the coast, there is a good chance you will be rained on during some part of your trip!

Oswald West State Park

Oswald West State Park trail.

Just north of Manzanita beach is Oswald West State Park.  It offers some of the best preserved forests on the coast and has miles of hiking trails.  It also contains a popular and beautiful beach called Short Sand beach that is protected in a cove a short walk from Highway 101.  The trail pictured leads to Cape Falcon, a photogenic headland that is worth the walk.  Be aware that there are some very muddy areas on the trail as you near the Cape if it has been raining.  Here is another view of the trail.


You have to watch your step with these roots!

Small Things at the Beach

Fox Sparrow at the beach.

There are always many details to enjoy at the beach.  This fox sparrow was hopping through the sedge and keeping an eye on us as we walked along the beach.


There are also usually many beautiful flowers to be seen around beach houses.  Bright colors especially play well at the beach.

Misty Morning on Manzanita Beach

Misty Morning on Manzanita beach.

The next morning, we got up and went down to the beach and the tide was coming in with a little bit of morning mist.  It made a very contemplative look with the person in the distance walking down the beach and the atmosphere created by the mist.


Someone had some fun and built a ‘found items’ sculpture on the side of the stream where it will soon wash away.  The willingness of people to enjoy the ephemeral quality of play that creates these designs seems to be especially strong at the beach.  The vast canvas available on which to make one’s mark, however temporary it might be, brings out the artist in each of us.