“Cape Meares Lighthouse at Sunset”

Cape Meares Lighthouse at Sunset, Cape Meares National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon Coast (c) Mike Utley

BL1-1(S)–Cape Meares Lighthouse at Sunset, Cape Meares National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon Coast
Cape Meares National Wildlife Refuge sits along the northern Oregon Coast near the town of Tillamook (Tillamook is famous for its cheese). Besides providing a habitat for old-growth forests and breeding seabirds, it’s also notable for beaches loaded with driftwood. Cape Meares lighthouse is perched on the end of a finger of land that juts into the Pacific. The lighthouse isn’t tall—many lighthouses on the rugged Pacific Northwest coast aren’t, due to the elevated headlands upon which they stand), but it provides a wonderful view of the ocean, with a trail that runs behind it offering a perfect perspective of the lighthouse and the sea. I visited Cape Meares one late-autumn afternoon in 1995 and found myself at the lighthouse at the day’s demise. This image depicts what I experienced at that moment. A customer ordered a large print of this photo, and the resulting 16”x20” image was glorious. I mentioned to a friend recently that when I saw the sea for the first time in my life in 1995, I felt as though I had finally come home. That feeling has never changed, and this image is a good reason why. Nothing compares to the sea, a lighthouse and a sunset. (Canon gear, Fuji Velvia ISO 50)

44 thoughts on ““Cape Meares Lighthouse at Sunset”

    1. Great minds think alike, or something like that, right? 😀 Lighthouses are magical, for sure! I’ve seen some of your photos of lighthouses and they’re so inspiring and so well done. Thanks so much for your always kind words, Filipa. Much appreciated! 🙂

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    1. Thanks so much, Xenia. I’ve always loved those reflections on the waves, too. The color palette of this image pleases me as well–purples and yellows–as does the flat line of the horizon stretching toward infinity. For a guy who grew up surrounded by mountains in every direction, I was surprised that I loved the open vastness of the sea. I suppose we all yearn for what we don’t have at times. I think that’s why I love the Oregon Coast so much–it has the best of both worlds. 🙂

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    1. Thanks so much, Grace. Honestly, I’d live in a lighthouse if I could, no kidding. There’s something so compelling about the sea and these sentinels that watch over it, an almost forlorn beauty as they stand gazing across the waves to the distant horizon. They’re rather awe-inspiring to me. So glad you liked this image. It’s a special one for me. 🙂

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  1. The first thing that struck me was the height of the lighthouse. Quite short. But the reason is a good one. I love how the brightness in the background and the sober image of the lighthouse balance out each other. I would love to see the lighthouse at night from a distance and imagine a good old sea tale with a lonely sailor and a directionless sail. Maybe a surprise ending… So beautiful, Mike. 🙂

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    1. Thanks, Terveen. Yeah, it’s pretty short for a lighthouse at only 38 feet, but the headland it sits on is a good ways above the water (I saw an aerial image of the cape and it’s quite impressive). I agree about the lighting–the backlighting gives the structure a somber tone as the sun dips into the sea, and there’s a sadness to the image (leave it to me to find sadness everywhere, eh?). A morning shot of this same scene would look completely different, with a well-lit lighthouse and an intensely blue sky and sea. As for stories, man, lighthouses inspire so many ideas, from adventure to romance to horror to sci-fi. One of these days I’ll have to see about writing something about a lighthouse. Anyway, thanks so much for your kind support. I really appreciate it. 🙂

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    1. Thank you kindly, Daphny. I’m fond of this image–it says so much about how I feel about the sea. I hope someday you’ll have the opportunity to see this lighthouse and others along the Oregon Coast. I’d recommend it to everyone. So happy you like this one. 🙂

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    1. Thanks so much, Jane. It really does have a sort of fantasy castle-like appearance. I can definitely imagine that slumbering fairy awaiting her prince! I, too, love the pastel reflections of the sun on the sea. It’s such a tranquil sight. I’m so grateful for your kind support. 🙂

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    1. Thanks, Jeff. A jaunt up Tillamook way is definite recommended. There’s a beach at Cape Mears bursting with all sorts of driftwood, as well as a bizarre Sitka spruce not far from the lighthouse nicknamed the Octopus Tree due to its misshapen trunk. Obviously, the lighthouse is a main attraction despite its short stature. The view is breath-taking. Here’s hoping you can check it out soon. 🙂

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    1. Thanks, Aaysid. I suppose it’s no secret I love the Oregon Coast, eh? 😀 I just can’t help myself. It’s beyond beautiful–it’s my idea of heaven on earth. The sun setting on the water is both poignant and life-affirming. And lighthouses symbolize guidance and protection, making sure everyone is safe. Such a comforting thought for me. 🙂

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    1. Thanks, Mark. The sunset was wonderful that evening, and the colors were so peaceful. I really like the texture of the water and the way the sunlight plays on it. Good memories a-plenty. 🙂

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    1. Thanks so much. It’s truly a gorgeous place. The Oregon Coast is a wondrous locale. Oddly, Oregon has only one national park (Crater Lake National Park), but in my humble (and biased) opinion, I believe the entire coast should be designated as one big national park. There’s so much beauty and ruggedness. I appreciate your kind words so much! 🙂

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    1. Thanks for such a nice comment. It’s my pleasure to share this with you and other readers. I have so many amazing memories from my short time spent living in Oregon. I’d love to return to the coast and spend the rest of my days exploring and making images of this special place. Thanks again for your kindness. Much appreciated! 🙂

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    1. Thank you kindly, cap’n. I’m pretty fond of it myself. I’d love to revisit this place (as well as the rest of the coast). There’s so much I didn’t get to see when I lived there. I’m not sure an entire lifetime would be long enough to fully explore the coast. 🙂

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  2. Pingback: “Cape Meares Lighthouse at Sunset” – MobsterTiger

  3. What a gorgeous photo and view of the sunset sea, Mike. There’s something so majestic and eternal about our oceans. Yes, home, the place life began. I can imagine this is gorgeous as a large print. Have a lovely week, my friend.

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    1. Thank you so much, Diana. Home, indeed. That siren-song… If you ever get the chance, check out Cape Meares and the lighthouse. From this vantage point, the sea goes on forever, and I never tire of looking at it, even though all I have is the photograph. 🙂

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      1. We had gone to Ashland to the Shakespeare festival a few years ago, but there was so much smoke from the fires that it was pretty much shut down. So we drove up the coast and tried to hit every lighthouse. Instead of smoke we had unbelievable fog! Ha ha. That’s Oregon.

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    1. Many thanks, Joan. It’s certainly a wondrous trifecta. I lived in Oregon for a while in the 1990s and tried to visit the coast as often as I could. Lighthouses fascinate me in a way I can’t properly articulate, and the sea…I still hear its call after all these years and yearn to see it again. Fortunately, no matter where I am, I have a sunset every day. One out of three isn’t bad, I suppose. 🙂 Thanks for your kind words. Much appreciated. 🙂

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