Tuesday, August 28, 2007

2007 Vacation with friends - Part 3

3 July 2007: A visit to the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport. This woodcarving was done by Brian McEneny, and I've admired it everytime we have visited the aquarium. It's made from big leaf maple burl.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium has several rooms of inside exhibits and outside enclosures for sea mammals and coastal birds. One of the main attractions is the aquarium with sharks where you can walk through a tunnel and see everything in the tank on all sides.

It's hard to take photos of the inside exhibit, but here's a tank with shrimp that was interesting in the lighting they had for the exhibit.

I always enjoy seeing the various jellyfish exhibits.

My favorite exhibit is the seabird aviary.

This is a pigeon guillemot.

The tufted puffin is my favorite coastal bird. The ones in the aviary are always showing off and just begging to be photographed.

Common murres look a lot like penguins, except they can fly.

This is a rhinoceros auklet. We saw this species and the tufted puffin during our ferry ride out to the San Juan Islands later in the week. I'll post photos from that trip soon.

What the heck is this? Aquarium staff members were checking on the nests. It's nice to know that the birds in the aviary are producing young.

Another favorite exhibit - the sea otter enclosure. This sea otter was quite comfortable snoozing in the window. It's sleeping with its paws on its mouth.

My dad got a kick out of the sleeping otter. Meghan was up there in the window trying to get the perfect snapshot.

One of the other sea otters was playing and swimming out in the open.

Not far from the sea mammal exhibits is an enclosure hosting snow plovers. What a treat to see this rare bird being cared for so well.

I didn't take any photos of the exhibits in the walk-through tunnels, but the light playing off the top of the tube was interesting.

After visiting the aquarium, Steve, Dennis and Gigi wanted to walk across the bridge crossing Yaquina bay. I took my dad and Meghan back to the beach house and then drove back to Yaquina Bay lighthouse to park the car.

I walked the bridge from the lighthouse side to meet them in the middle.

They just don't make things the way they used to. Some of the architectural details on this bridge are very interesting.

Here's a picture of Gigi taking a picture of me taking her picture.

This is the Highway 101 bridge that crosses Yaquina Bay.

It looks like it's in good condition.

All of the pilings below the bridge are covered in birds - either perching or nesting.

Most of the nests here were cormorant ones.

The Yaquina Bay lighthouse is no longer an operational one, unlike the Yaquina Head lighthouse I posted earlier. It is a beautiful building, though, and it's worth taking a tour through the interior.

It's not all that large, but the keeper and his family must have been comfortable here.

Everything is paneled in wood and there are hardwood floors throughout the structure.

The stairs are narrow, as are the hallways.

Every window has a beautiful view - especially the ones in front with a view of the ocean and bay.

This was the master bedroom.

This Hair Display was in the parlor. You can read about it by clicking on the next photo.

The details are pretty intricate.

I can imagine the amount of time it took to weave the hair strands into these shapes.

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