Sunday, June 24, 2012

Coastal Romance on the Rocks

Male Brandt's cormorant in breeding display - head tipped back over back, distinct bright blue gular pouch inflated, wings fluttering, tail cocked.
I took a photography workshop with Nate Donovan at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve in mid-March. I thought that I had been to Point Lobos in Monterey County before, after all, I moved to the central coast of California from Florida over 25 years ago. We got to the park early and I zoomed down the closest trail for a preview before the rest of the students arrived. Colorful rocky cliffs, foamy waves, wind-sculpted cypress trees and the dense bushy habitat of coastal scrub promising birds, lizards and small mammals with the sun's encouragement.  No, I'd never been here before. Not sure how I missed it.

I've toured the grassy hills of Palo Corona Regional Park above this section of the coast with fellow ecologists, and pulled ice plant at Garrapata State Park to the south, but never had I witnessed this rough and jagged shore with numerous small coves and changing vistas. Coastal California has so many beautiful places, it's hard to keep them all straight. The big clouds of a storm front were blowing in over the ocean and making large waves, so it looked like it was going to be a day of photographing white spray and aquamarine droplets flung at the rugged rocks. Except I got distracted by nature which tends to happen to me at nature photography workshops.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Longest Day

5:30 AM - Woke up to see a gophersnake visiting the birdbath outside the bedroom window.
8:00 PM - Stopped on the way home to watch a mom coyote groom 3 pups.