Ellen Steen

Ellen Steen

We were taking a walk on the beach the other day when we ran into neighbor Kristi Ostroff. She had a rather shocked look on her face and told us, “I just saw a dead owl on the beach! I’ve never seen an owl on the beach before.” We hadn’t, either, so we marched down the beach to take a look at it. It was at the edge of the surf, in danger of being swept out to sea, but we managed to take a few pictures of it. It was a small, mostly brown owl with yellow feet. Pete, who is a birder as well as the captain of our wooden drift boat, said he would look it up in his reference books at home.

On our way back up the beach, we ran into another neighbor, Kevin Burke. We told him about the owl and he said, “Second one in a month!” Now we were really wondering what was going on.

Back home, Pete checked his reference books and determined that the owl was a barred owl. These owls are uncommon in our area. Although we cannot know for certain, it could be that this one met its death at the claws of an eagle; Kristi saw an eagle flying overhead when she first spotted the owl.

You never know what to expect along the ocean. I heard that up the coast, a couple of sea turtles, usually found only in warm waters, had beached and were rescued by aquarium personnel.

Many thanks to Tillamook Public Works! A road crew was busy trimming back trees overhanging Bayocean Road right ahead of a big rain and wind storm, plus they quickly responded to a request to fill giant potholes on 3rd St. NW. We appreciate all the road folks do for us.

Speaking of roads, Cape Meares resident Bob Garrigues has been a member of the County Road Advisory Committee (CRAC) for over a decade. He brought to my attention the fact that our village has seen great benefit from the last road bond. We have had paving on Bayocean Road and 4th St/Pacific Ave. to the ocean. We’ve also had some streets graveled, with leftover gravel used to fill potholes. That bond is also paying for the county match required in the new Loop Road $24 million project (the Road Dept. has $2.2 million invested in the realignment). There is a project on the books to make drainage improvements to the beach parking lot; the Road Dept. is looking to secure a contractor for that. Last but not least, the Road Dept. annually stages a backhoe at Memaloose to quickly respond to slides. Bob encourages us to vote for future funding to maintain and improve roads throughout Tillamook County.

Capt. Pete and I wrapped up our fall salmon season on Halloween. We brought home a mean-looking buck Chinook that weighed 21 pounds, and he topped off our freezer. Now we’re ready for our five adult children, their spouses, and 14 grandchildren to visit—but hopefully not all at the same time.


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