Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Beach Reportage


6/1/22 City of Cannon Beach's Haystack Rock Awareness Program staff offering info and a peek through a scope at common murres.

Given that most of my sketching takes place in uneventful locations like my neighborhood, I don’t have many opportunities for sketch reportage (though when I search my blog for the “reportage” label, I’m surprised that I have as many as 48 posts). I certainly don’t expect such opportunities at the beach! Interestingly, I had two such occasions on this trip.

Every day during low tide, red-vested City of Cannon Beach staff arrive at Haystack Rock in their red truck to provide information about the wildlife living on the rock, post “do not climb” signs, and rope off sensitive areas. After making the sketch above, I went to ask the naturalist about the puffins, whose return each year is highly anticipated by local birders. She told me that the puffin population has been dropping significantly in recent years as rising temperatures have negatively affected nesting. We didn’t see any puffins on this trip, but we saw lots of common murres. The naturalist had set up a spotting scope for visitors to view a murre nest. They look almost like small penguins! 

The next day during our afternoon beach walk, my reportage experience was more urgent. With sirens blaring and lights flashing, a variety of emergency vehicles (a total of eight eventually) raced past us (below). Two were equipped with jet-ski-like vehicles, and others carried surf boards. A man walking in the surf was pointing and gesturing toward the Needles: A surfer, trapped near the Needles, was in danger of being thrown against the rocks. Unfortunately, I couldn’t see enough of what was going on to understand how the rescue was being executed. Thankfully, it was successful, and onlookers cheered. It was exciting to be in the right place at the right time to capture that moment.

6/2/22 Eight emergency vehicles arrive to rescue a trapped surfer.


  1. Good reportage sketching. Sad that the population of puffins is going down. I wonder if they are in Maine also. Glad to see that the surfer made it back safely.

    1. I think climate change is probably affecting wildlife everywhere! :-(


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...