Seacliff State Beach
April 25, 2015
Natural Bridges State Park
Santa Cruz, California
October 1, 2011
Natural Bridges may not be what it once was, as the erosion and weather has caused the main natural bridge to collapse. At least I enjoyed it as a kid. There are always birds on the rocks here – mostly cormorants and this time of the year many Brown Pelicans. Here are several photos I took last month.
A lone Snowy Egret
Moss Landing, California
August 1, 2011
There once was a little sea lion named Lana that desperately wanted a nice warm spot to get some rays and a little afternoon nap. The problem was that there was a big sea lion convention in town for a summer fling, and accommodations were really hard to find. She searched and searched for a spot, but every place she tried, she was gruffly turned away.
“Please make some room for me!”
Well, this forlorn little sea lion was actually quite brave. Even though she got pushed back into the water when she tried to get up on the dock, she used her intelligence to devise a plan. No sea lion in their right mind would go on the other side of the dock and jump up in that big bull’s spot. What I didn’t know was that this little sea lion was from Santa Cruz, and we all know what that means. So she promptly swam under the dock and jumped up on the big bull.
“This bull sea lion does not look at all happy!”
It didn’t take the little sea lion long to realize that she wasn’t wanted in this spot. She got the point after a few nips and some awful nasty growls, but half the battle was won. She was on the dock. Without delay, she decided to find someone a little less frightening to challenge, and started hopping on top of all the sea lions to find a better place.
“Come on you guys, make room for me!”
One thing was obvious. This little sea lion was stirring up the WAH of the community. “Oh, sorry Ethel, was that your flipper?” “I just want to get a little nap and dry off so my coat is pretty and golden like yours, Ethel.”
“Get lost honey, this is our spot!”
“Come on Gertrude, Lana just wants to fit in. Give her a break. Back to sleep. Don’t be such a grouch”
So, Lana the little sea lion found her spot, even though it was on top of Marge and Freda. Things settled down and a few of the girls celebrated by doing a snazzy little synchronized “whatever it was”. Ever try to nap with your head under water? You’ll never know how cool it is until you try it.
“Don’t try this at home!”
And that’s the story of Lana the sea lion. The motto of this story is – “I’d rather be a sea otter!” Or, “Call ahead for reservations.”
Discover Nature’s treasures as you explore one of the most scenic drives anywhere in the world. 17 Mile Drive, which runs through Del Monte Forest, is seventeen miles of sea and sky, immaculate golf courses, and dream homes set graciously behind elegant gates…
Here you will experience the magic of this legendary scenic tour that’s home to The Lone Cypress, Seal and Bird Rocks, Fanshell Beach, Point Joe, and the colliding currents of The Restless Sea, as well as the natural habitat of the black cormorants, brown pelicans, California sea otters, harbor seals, and idle sea lions.
Additionally, along the way, you’ll encounter the emerald fairways of such famous golf courses as The Links at Spanish Bay, Spyglass Hill and the world-renowned Pebble Beach Golf Links. For a gourmet picnic lunch along 17-Mile Drive, visit Pebble Beach Market adjacent to The Lodge at Pebble Beach. Enter Del Monte Forest at any one of five gates for $9.50.
The above 3 paragraphs were taken from some website about the 17 mile drive. The mansions are amazing and fun to look at, but I took no photos of them. The golf courses were beautiful, but I took no photos. I’m a bird/nature photographer, so here is my day with visiting friends from the Marshall Islands – Dick and Cheryl.
Dick and Cheryl are true lovers of the sea. Moving from Ohio to a 3.5 x .5 mile island between Hawaii and Australia. The wife and I spent 5 years with them back in the 80’s and early 90’s, but they have been there for about 30 years. I wish I had been into birding at that time. There were many pelagic opportunities. Believe it or not, Canada Geese, stopped by for a rest each year. They are truly everywhere. But, I guess I’m bird walking. Back to California.
All along the 17 mile drive that hugs the water you find rocks with birds – mostly cormorants. It looks like debris in the water, but it is actually kelp. It made it difficult to pick out sea otters, but we would occasionally find one. Rocks were not the only places to find sea birds. Fly-bys were frequent.
The photo above can be enlarged. Click on it. You may have to click on the photo a second time to get the enlarged version. I’m still getting used to this new WordPress theme.
At one of the rest/viewing area there were quick a few ground squirrels. At least that’s what I call them. I’ve included 3 photos. The first one is a portrait. Now here is a photo that any mom would melt over.
However, in reality, I think this big girl is a momma or soon to be. Now this is just wrong. Squirrel obesity should be against the law. Oh, I forgot. This is California. It probably is!
The gull in the background is a Heermann’s gull. I took a few photos of these gulls. I should have included them in this little field trip, but if you scroll down to photos 931 you’ll see the Heermann’s Gulls I photographed during this trip. Here is one more of the ground squirrel. There were several, so I’m not sure it’s the same one as shown here.
I’ve been looking for a good opportunity to photograph an American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus), and got a little excited when I saw a couple out on some rocks. The lens I was using didn’t have the reach I needed, so I climbed down the cliff and rock hopped as close as I could. These two photos are heavily cropped, but I was pleased that they came out as well as they did.
And finally, here is a Brown Pelican fly by.