Fog and Photography

Our last day on the Central Coast is spent at Hearst Castle. As a first time visitor with limited mobility (Plantar fasciitis) my  choice was the Grand Rooms Tour. I ordered tickets online, and arrived ready for an early morning tour.

Woke up to plenty of fog. It actually felt like a misty continuous rain.

Our group met at the Visitor Center where we hopped on a bus to take us from the coast up the winding road to Hearst Castle.

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Our enthusiastic docent met us outside. Group of tourists seem rather reluctant.

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Neptune’s Pool under renovation.  Use the imagination and wait for a sunnier day.

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I liked the way this image takes you along as a tourist.

Taking photographs during a walking tour I needed to up my ISO (lighting sensitivity).

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Dark colors, dim lighting, and dreary day gives the room as sleepy feeling. Doors and windows are elegant.

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The dining room. The docent explains that Hearst sat in the middle with his most important guest to the his right. The longer a guest stayed the further away he was seated.

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This is where you sat if you overstayed your welcome. The End.

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After dinner activity before a movie. Can you guess what this is?

 

This pool is quite spectacular.

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Tennis anyone?

Once outside I had to keep my camera safe from the elements. I grabbed these quick shots. I would have loved to spend more time outside.

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I just love walking around and seeing all the landscaping.

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The fog added so much to this image.

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Beautiful Entry Door

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When cold even the marble statue has a drippy nose.

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Well my foot has had a workout.

I am so impressed with the way the fog and light made these flowers pop.

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Pink Fuchsia 

 

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Gardeners hard at work

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Hurrying through the garden cause of the rainy mist

 

 

 

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The Hearst still have a cattle ranch at San Simeon, and retain much of the land.

I say good bye to Hearst Castle. There is much to see, but I am not sure I will be back.

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I enjoyed my stay in Cambria. Moonstone Beach may call my name again.

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White Water Inn in Cambria

Now for the 6 hour drive home to Fair Oaks. Passing some lovely landscapes. I caught these images from the car window.

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Home and time to settle in for the hot summer.

 

 

Continuing up the California Coast

Leaving the Elephant Seal Rookery we drive up the coast until we reach the Big Sur closure. After massive storms in March 2017 Hwy 1 was cut off  between Cambria and Big Sur.  Big construction trucks pass us going south on Highway 1. Cal Trans has been busy working to reconnect north and south. I spoke to this employee and work is ahead of schedule. Opening may be in July.

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She is here to open the gates for the construction trucks

Heading back to Cambria we stop and admire the foggy coastline.

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Thick fog yet it was not cold or windy.

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Graffiti boulder. I loved the colors and thought it worth a photo.

We happen upon another gem. And again, no parking fees. Yeah.

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Took one look and decided that I would heed the warning.

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Narrow uneven steps

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Braver and younger take the trail to the beach.

 

This public art points at Big Sur.

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A pretty garden path leads to a nice restaurant.

 

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Pride of Madeira

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Bougainvillea in my favorite color

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Right outside the restaurant this bird was enjoying a dip.

Such a nice day exploring the Central California coastline. Quiet, no hassle, get away from the noise kind of day I needed.

Nature and my camera (Part 2)

Sacramento is located 2 hours from the Northern coast, and during the hot summer days this is a welcome relief. This location takes a bit longer (about 5-6 hours). The central and northern coastal beaches are beautiful, rugged and cool.

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The fog is dense. Feels like cool misty rain.

We drive north  on Highway 1 from Cambria, and about 4-5 miles north of Hearst Castle and come to Piedras Blancas Rookery.  This is a most amazing place.

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Elephant seal line the shore, take over the beach.

The seals started coming to this beach in 1992 when one pup was born. In 2016 5300 were born. There are always some seals here, and we arrive at a time when the seals are molting. Shedding and growing a new skin layer. When at the rookery the animals fast, and they conserve their energy. No eating or drinking at the Rookery.

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Different colors represent molting stages

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“Make way. I’m coming through!”

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“Don’t mind me. Just out for a stroll!”

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Young juvenile males sparring on the beach. 

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Sparring at the shoreline the juveniles are playing. This time it is not serious. 

 

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Males sparring in the ocean

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Time to cover up.

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I’ll just quietly make my way down the beach.

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Do you mind if I get some sand on you?

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Love the way I captured the sand motion.

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A docent from Friends of the Elephant Seals provides information. Docents train for 20 hours and commit to 4 three hour shifts a month.

Male elephant seals develop their distinctive nose (Proboscis) after they mature at 5 years. The nose is part of their status during the breeding season.

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At peace. 

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Able to get a good view from a safe distance. I am using a 150mm lens. Equivalent to 300mm since this is my Olympus OMD E5 camera. Pictures are not cropped.

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All quiet on the Central Coast of California

One of the best parts of this experience is that there is no fee. Plenty of parking, easy access, wheelchair accessible,  knowledgeable guides, no reservations, and the ability to safely watch these magnificent animals. WOW!!!

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Amazing place. Elephant Seal Rookery now covers two beaches. Docent will point out best spot if they see you are a photographer!

For more information follow my links provided above. You can even watch the elephant seals be web cam.

Nature and my camera

My camera and I ventured to the central coast of California last month. There I got away from the noise of life. Our destination town Cambria met all the requirements for peace.

Our cottage across from Moonstone Beach provided a lovely, easy morning walk. Many dogs accompany their owners along the boardwalk.

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JoJo stops to pose for me

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And they continue on their way.

The first day the air was crisp without even a breeze. Dare I take a macro shot. Usually when I think of it the wind starts up.

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California poppy

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Sea Gull (my high school mascot) hangs out

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Each finds something to enjoy on this walk

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Finding faces in the rock formation

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Pride of Madera put on quite a show

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My shutter is so quiet I quickly caught him. He soon hopped out of sight.

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Checking out the tide pool

Spent some time watching this couple. Trying to imagine their conversation.

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This first morning in Cambria enjoying Moonstone Beach clears the mind. Where do you go to clear your mind?

The rest of the day was perfect and I will share in the coming weeks. Nice to remember this anniversary vacation.