On Night 13 of the #TheGreatMilkyWayChase, we visit the Darlingtonia State Natural Site, Thor’s Well, Heceta Head Lighthouse, and the Spouting Horn of Cook’s Chasm!
On the way from Bandon, Oregon to Cape Perpetua, we first visit the Darlingtonia Wayside to see the awesome carnivorous plants that live there. Next we shot Thor’s Well at sunset and scouted out an idea Aaron had for shooting the Milky Way with the Spouting Horn. Since the Milky Way would be obscured by the headlands at the Spouting Horn until after 1AM, we popped down to the Heceta Head Lighthouse to photograph it with the Milky Way. If you’re counting, yes, that’s two Milky Way locations in one night!
Today’s Guests –
Cook’s Chasm really brought on safety challenges that kept us tucked in far back away from the chasm and the life threatening, crashing waves. But it was also a little further back from the action of the blast of water the Sprouting Horn would create. Being that far back from the Spouting Horn made it tough to REALLY get this scene to shine. It was tough to light the spout and NOT over-light the foreground rocks, and really tough to get a better angle on the light.
Low Level Lighting
Using Low-Level Lighting on full blast and higher up on one of the landing points of the switchbacking trail above us, we lit the area and the water from the Spouting Horn. It was enough light to see the water but not enough light to capture a shutter faster than 0.5 seconds without using a crazy-high, noise inducing ISOs of 250K+! If I tried to go longer on the shutter it only made the water blast look like a white spotlight coming out of the rocks and without seeing the action happen. It was most likely impossible to interpret as a water spout.
Hopefully, my compromise of a smaller water blast gives enough context for the foreground under the Milky Way.
Light pollution from a nearby ship out off the coast made the few clouds that were remaining in the way of the core very bright orange. But we were lucky to have so much of the Milky Way visible that night after it rained for much of the day in the areas around us. I don’t really love this image, but it makes for an interesting experience while continuing on for 23 Straight Nights of Milky Way!
On the way to Thor’s Well from Bandon, OR, we stopped by the Darlingtonia State Natural Site just north of Florence, Oregon. Darlingtonia californica, also known as the cobra lily, is a carnivorous plant. Insects are lured into the upper part of the plant with nectar. Then they wander inside its vertical leaf tube which is lined with downward pointing hairs. The insects can’t climb back out and escape and they eventually fall into a liquid containing digestive enzymes. The nutrients from the insects helps the lily survive in the nutrient poor wet meadows and bogs in which they grow. The top of the lily has a flared dome with a “forked” tongue which gives the plant its common name.
The Dalingtonia Wayside is the only Oregon state park that is dedicated to protecting a single plant species. It has a boardwalk loop trail that it built over the bog containing these amazing plants. We were lucky to be there while the Darlingtonia were flowering.
Night 14 we head out to Crater Lake for the first of two nights at one of the BEST CLEAR, DARK skies in North America for capturing the Milky Way!
Upcoming Milky Way Workshops
You can listen to…
PODCAST 84: Oregon Milky Way Chase | Bandon, Thor’s Well, Heceta Head, and Crater Lake
PODCAST 64: Very long episode finishing our Oregon Coast trip talking Thor’s Well, Cape Kiwanda & Cannon Beach
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