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Juliet Schreckinger - Murphy the Common Murre and Her Lighthouse


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Murphy the Common Murre and Her Lighthouse
7”x9”, Ink and graphite on Arches hot pressed paper

Standing 93 feet tall, the Yaquina Head Light was first lit in 1873 and is the tallest lighthouse on the coast of Oregon. This lighthouse and the area surrounding it are home to one of the west coast's largest nesting colonies of Common Murres. Ever since Murphy first got a glimpse of the shining light overhead, she was entranced. The other common murres appreciated the tall lighthouse, but none were as in love with its glowing beauty as Murphy. Growing up, as she got taller and taller, she always felt just a little closer to the lens. She would stretch her neck as far as it could go and stand on her webbed feet, straining to get a closer look into the very top of Yaquina. As the murres she grew up with slowly reached their full size, Murphy kept getting taller. She grew and grew, and every night she reached for the light. On a foggy cold night, she had finally grown to be eye level with Yaquina's magical lens. She rested her head against its warm glass, and stared into the dreamy light as it slowly rotated. She had never in her life seen something so perfect. It was more beautiful than she could have ever imagined. She smiled, and felt so warm against the light in the cold dark night.