Monday, October 31, 2011

Sketching at Simpson Reef

Oregon Coast, USA: Oct 21, 2011
This is one of the best times of year to visit Simpson Reef. Year round there are always harbor seals here and a few sea lions, but at this time of year the California sea lions males are migrating and hundreds pause here for a rest. They breed far to the south of Oregon, but come north for a better food supply. Steller sea lions breed in a few locations along the Oregon Coast, but not here. But here we do get to see both sexes of Stellers and pups young enough to still be nursing.
A page from my journal -- a harbor seal at the top, a California sea lion lower left, and two pelican cormorants on a guano encrusted rock.

A harbor seal sleeps on an exposed portion of Simpson Reef. The tide is so low today that we even see starfish clinging to the wet rocks. At low tide there is plenty of room for all the seals and sea lions to haul out for a rest, but at high tide, space is at a premium. The harbor seals are forced to take to the water and often some of the sea lions do too.

Some of the rocks that ride above the high tide line are heavily frosted with guano by the end of summer. At variety of birds use the rocks: gulls, cormorants, brown pelicans, and sometimes we even see a peregrine falcon or a bald eagle. Fall rains will wash away the guano.


  1. Gorgeous pages Elva! Just love those Cormorants and the guano on the rocks!

  2. Elva, these are really captured shapes and poses. It's almost like being there beside you.

  3. Thank you for your kind commnets. Often I feel as though I am skeching under less than perfect conditions (that is what field sketching is all about), that that day was special.

  4. Elva, a bit late in the day I join in the praises. Lovely journal page, I wish I could lay it out so nicely.


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