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.

 

 

Gemini and Personality Two

My astrological sign is Gemini and up till now I didn’t feel like the definition fit. But looking at an Internet definition a Gemini is, “Expressive and quick-witted, Gemini represents two different personalities in one and you will never be sure which one you will face.” Ok, I may be indecisive at times. And the tug of war between going out to be with others, or just staying contently alone at home may fit. Yup, I’m a Gemini when I come to think of it. Probably explains why I’m busy sharing my life in this blog, and why  you just don’t hear from me sometimes. Just saying.

Here are some Sacramento Zoo photographs I captured in twos.

 

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Just helping remove a bit of schmutz.

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Thanks for pointing out my imperfections,

 

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I can spit further than you!

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If I stay very still, they may think that they are seeing double.

 

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I will follow you…

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Hold me, squeeze me, never let me go…

 

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Is the photographer still there? I’ll come out when she is gone.

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We are there for each other.

And today I am in a sharing kind of mood.

People who need people are the luckiest people, or so they say. What do you say?

Until the next time.

 

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Point Reyes National Seashore: Ocean Calling, but first explore the area’s history.

My friends know that I am drawn to the ocean. So we head to Point Reyes on a Saturday morning.

First stop is the Bear Valley Visitor Center where we meet with other photographers from Exploring Photography Meet Up. Laura picks up a hat, and I purchase a tee shirt celebrating the National Parks 100 year anniversary. 100% cotton, and made in the U.S.A.

We head out for a hike. Following the Earthquake Trail This is not my first time on this trail, but this time I have my Nikon with me.

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Easy, short 1 mile hike

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Serene lush setting

The San Andreas Fault line runs through the Point Reyes National Seashore area. The Pacific plate moves 2 inches per year, but on April 18, 1906 a 7.8 earthquake caused the Point Reyes peninsula moved 20 feet northwestward. The San Francisco earthquake caused much damage due in part to the fires that followed.

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Walking along the San Andreas Fault line

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Bird grabs a blackberry

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Morning Glory

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Quiet bench along the way

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Spider web captures the sun

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Hanging moss

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Profile of relaxing pose

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Elephant running

 

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Much information to assist in preparation for the “Big One”

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Don’t ignore the power of mother nature!

This meet-up has set up an itinerary, but the schedule allows for some changes. Before we head to our next destination, we pay homage to the infamous S.S.Point Reyes. This 380 ft. cargo ship is grounded on a sandbar in Tomales Bay. Located in the town of Inverness this ship has been a magnet for photographers. It was towed to its location, and was never shipwrecked. The protected inland area allowed the slow decay of this vessel. Until one night about 6 months ago when it accidentally caught fire during a photo shoot. Damage was done to the back end, and there is a question as to how long it will remain here. There are so many photographs that I was not totally interested in capturing it myself. But  how can I resist. Recommended time for shooting is the golden hour, but with fog that was not going to happen. Anyway, I Iike the foggy atmosphere.

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A perfect photographic spot to end its journey.

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I played around with some processing techniques. It is not hard to see this as a painting.

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During the earthquake in 1906, the pier in Tomales Bay sustained considerable movement. During restoration it was found to be curved, and 12 feet shorter.

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Bailey’s pier at Inverness

Our next stop was to Abbott’s Lagoon. Here my friends and I encountered an easy trail with much nature to photograph. Now that I am home I can learn about some of the plants in the Point Reyes National Seashore.

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This is a thistle, but I’m not sure which kind. I like the splash of color it lends to the area.

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Even with closer photographs my chart to identify this plant is lacking.

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My path forward

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California Quail

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There was a crooked tree…

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This black beetle may have landed on some Cow Parsnip.

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Two friends resting

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Abbott’s Lagoon trail

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This may be Brownie Thistle

Our next stop was Pierce Point Ranch. No sign of promised sun, and we picnicked nearby. I was surprised by how many dairy farms were located so close to the coast. Pierce Ranch was one of the most successful dairy ranches in the area, and the buildings provide some interesting photo opportunities.

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I like the way the fence leads your eye to the farm house.

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Lovely light in this barn

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Foggy and cool

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Outhouse

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Reflections and foggy

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Reflections and a peek through the door

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Self guided tour through the farm complex

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Goldfields

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This interesting bumble bee is targeting this yellow wildflower.

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I can’t identify the flower, but the bee sure knows what he wants.

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Monochromatic capture

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Though the fog I see the Pacific Ocean

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Careful not to step on this catarpillar

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Farmhouse scene

As we were leaving the Pierce Point Ranch area we finally see some Tule Elk. This is also home for the Tule Elk Preserve.

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Tule Elk

Still hoping for sun we head to the Point Reyes Lighthouse. Too foggy to even see the lighthouse.

We head to North Beach, and here comes the sun. Yeah!

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Only a part of North Beach is open for the public.

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Finally get to hear the roar of the ocean waves!

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Wildflowers along Point Reyes North Beach

Great day, and a big thank you to my friends Anne, Laura, and Linda!

Until the coastal waters call to me again.