nature, photography, travel

Cape Kiwanda Sunday

We spent Sunday on the Pacific coast with our mother’s in mind. There were lots of families enjoying the day with their mommas, children, and friends. It was a beautiful overcast day, perfect for a little exploring and a few hours of surfing. We started in Newport, worked our way up to Pacific City at Cape Kiwanda, then headed back down to Otter and Agate Beach.


Cape Kiwanda is my most favorite beach locale. It was crowded, as I expected it to be for a weekend holiday, so it wasn’t as pleasant as it could have been on say a Monday or Tuesday, or a non-holiday for that matter. I won’t complain though because it is always good to see people out enjoying nature and nice weather — and celebrating life!

A collection of haystack:

haystackSylvankiwandarockSylvanJesshaystack haystack2 PCHaystack pacificCity

The landscape is so naturally vibrant, wild, and beautiful. The colors and textures are so diverse that they make me want to try and recapture it. Silly, right? I wonder how many people try to mimic the wild coastal veg through landscape design?…I’ll assume lots.


The sandstone rock glows a golden orange on any day. It was quite overcast, so we didn’t have that striking orange that we have seen in the past, but it was magnificent as it was.

kiwandarock4jessHaystack2 kiwandarock14kiwandarockSylvan7kiwandarockSylvan6

Cape Kiwanda is actually a bit of an oddity along the Oregon coast: it’s about the only major headland that is not made of basalt – the black rock that is created by ancient lava flows. Kiwanda is considered unusual in that there is relatively little presence of the massive lava flows that covered much of the area from 60 million years ago onward, and created most of the major landmarks we see in and around Oregon. You can see the evident delicateness of sandstone in all the rock writing and stick drawings from past tourists carved all over the rock.


The cape is a canvas of flowers, blooms, and hardy native plants shaped and gnarled by the salt spray and coastal winds. The bluff was covered in wild coastal strawberries, which were currently in bloom. Salal shook all over, scotchbroom scorched the hills, and shore pine twisted in every direction. The pine cones were loaded full with pollen powder, which flew wildly around upon the lightest touch or gust of wind. I haven’t experienced any pollen related allergies in the three years since moving to Oregon…until yesterday. The coastal pollen explosion left me with stuffed sinuses and watery eyes that even the salty air couldn’t remedy. I couldn’t take my eyes off of the Indian Paintbrush and there were Lupine whorls galore. The paintbrush pigments are so rich against the sandy cape.

redflower1 redflower2 coastalcolor_purple coastalcolor_purple3coastalcolor

After some cape exploring and reflection time, we drove back south to the familiar Newport coast and suited up for a few hours of surfing. It was pretty weak and small, with waves coming in every which direction. Sylvan wanted more than anything to just get in the water, so we suited up and enjoyed a few small waves, and paddle splashed around for some in between entertainment. No pictures, only memories and sore arms. 😀


And I thought I would share a few native plant ID resource sites I enjoy perusing (and actively using) and want to most definitely promote:

Oregon State Plant ID

Washington Native Plant Society

Native Plant Society of Oregon 

Hillbilly Blue ID query

I would love to gain even an ounce of knowledge that these site authors have stored in their wild, flower brains.

nature photography travel
  1. [ Smiles ] An excellent view!

  2. These pictures are absolutely beautiful. Even in dreary weather. I would love to go there.

    • Thanks! It is just as beautiful on the dreary days as it is on the sunny days. Silver vs gold, both are winners! 😀

  3. Oh how I miss the ocean, thank you for sharing with us.

  4. love Haystack Rock and always love the Oregon Coast – great photos!

  5. What a wonderful place and what a lovely set of photos. I also live near a cape, Cape Cornwall. I’ll have to post some photos of it one day.

    • Thanks! I would love to see some cape scapes from across the world! They are so majestic!

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