Soaring Above the Oregon Coast

Florence, Ore. and surrounding area from the air with Apex Helicopters (Byron DeVries) Photo © Tim LaBarge 2015

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Hovering in a tiny helicopter above a colony of seagulls, suspended in the salty breeze above the Siuslaw River, I realized I was in a dream.

I’d always wanted to be high in the air, looking down on members of my favorite taxonomical rank: aves. I see birds at the feeder in the yard and flitting between trees while I’m on a run. They swoop, they bounce, they wrestle. I’m not a birder of the competitive sort, but I could watch birds all day.

So when I spotted a full gang of gulls jump toward the sky and point to the sea, I asked the pilot to circle back around and I shifted about in my dream and made pictures.

The osprey, the eagle, the hawk, the vulture, the raven. They soar and they observe. With each turn and shift, the land below revealed its folds and colors and waters. I tried as hard as I could in that short time as a bird to capture it because I wanted to remember it forever.

Pick up a copy of 1859 Magazine for a story about the Florence area and take a look at more images from the flight below. And if you want to be a bird too, contact Byron at Apex Helicopters in Florence, Ore.

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