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Light Shore
updated: Sep 18, 2011, 4:22 AM

By John Wiley

When the clouds opened up the shoreline as we were flying South along the Oregon coast, I descended to fly slowly and quietly offshore for a closer look. Glancing back at the Heceta Head Lighthouse provided the essence of this region in green rugged coast punctuated by sea caves and stretches of deserted sandy beach.

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Seconds later we glimpsed small dark shapes at the entrance to a cave. In this full-resolution crop of the original zoom photo they look to me like seal pups. The seagull sitting on the foreground sand gives a clue to their small size.

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The white cliffs around another cave testify to generations of seabirds roosting there. But again I didn't see any until noticing in the photo some tiny black dots to the right. On the full-size version they appear to be Brandt's cormorants.

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Then just past the Sea Lion Caves tourist attraction with its enormous grotto we saw this small waterfall whispering into the pounding surf. I see no signs that this is visited by many people, and that's not surprising given that only the locals probably know it's there and the terrain above looks challenging.

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