Point Lobos Cove

The arid landscape that you often find in California is raised up in both beauty and comfort by the Pacific Coast. While you hike, it is hot and dry and sometimes dusty. But here in Point Lobos State Reserve, you feel the ocean breezes and your eyes feast upon the soothing sight of crashing waves. The coast line, pleasingly irregular, hides a new view behind every incline and bend in the path. Just keep walking.

#landscape, #california, #pointlobos, #ptlobos, #statereserve, #montereybay, #monterey, #carmel, #thingstodo, #hike, #hikecalifornia
The hiking path in Point Lobos gives the hiker an ocean breeze and a constantly changing view of the Pacific coastline.

One Secluded Tiny Beach

Hiking Point Lobos State Reserve near Carmel, California, I found this petite private beach. Of course, these public lands are open to everyone, but this tiny secluded patch of sand nestled between the rugged rocks and surrounded by Nature made me feel as though I were on a deserted island.

#pointlobos, #cove, #beach, #deserted, #private, #green, #california, #bigsur, #hike, #landscape, #photography
A tiny cove and patch of sand in Point Lobos State Reserve (near Big Sur, California) offers a quiet spot for meditation.

Don’t you love to get away from crowds, traffic, noise and stores at this time of year?

Meet the Avocet

I met an avocet for the first time at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. These birds sometimes live on the south east shores of the United States, but they are more common on East Texas coast and in California. I was captivated by the unique thin beak ┬ácurving up. The bird is about 16″ tall and slender with delicate legs and beak. If you find it feeding in the wild, you will see it wading along the shore and in marshes, sweeping for little insects and other edible creatures.

#avocet, #bird, #wildlife, #monterey, #aquarium, #shorebird, #wadingbird
The avocet’s delicate beak sweeps the sand for tiny bits of food.

While American avocets display a rust colored neck during breeding season, this one was purely grey and white.

#bird #wildlife, #monterey, #aquarium, #shorebird, #wadingbird, #beak
The graceful avocet at the Monterey Bay Aquarium has an unusual beak that curves upward.

Have you seen this bird? Where?

Big Sur’s Stepping Stones

Just off the coast of Big Sur, these offshore boulders reminded me of stepping stones, but you’d have to be a giant to walk on them. As the surf crashes and surrounds them with white foam, your eye is drawn out to the largest one and follows the more distant line of boulders back to shore up north. The highlights in the clouds echo the highlights in the surf. What a day to test my new Sony Zeiss 16-35mm lens!

#bigsur, #hurricanepoint, #boulders, #granite, #rocks, #surf, #clouds, #coastline, #pacific, #california, #monterey, #sony, #wideangle
This wide view of Big Sur from Hurricane Point on California’s Pacific Coast reveals an interesting pattern of offshore boulders.

It would be challenging to spot a humpback whale in these waters, but they are out there. The whales have been spotted frequently just north of here in Monterey Bay.

What the Cypress Says

If you think this tangle of cypress trees in Monterey are shaped by a strong coastal wind, you would be half right. The wind was not blowing at the time I took this photograph. But surely, the wind makes a habit of blowing off the Pacific and has shaped these trees over time.

#cypress, #dune, #wind, #clouds, #coast, #maonterey, #golf, #nature, #landscape
Strong coastal winds appear to have shaped the trees, the clouds and the sand dune.

This image invites me to ponder: how much am I shaped by my everyday environment? In what ways are you shaped by your world?

Iconic Big Sur

Some days you are just plain lucky, and the Pacific coast fog takes a day off. The day we drove south of Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea was a special sunny day. As we looked south toward the bridge, we could see for miles along the rocky Pacific coast.

#bigsur, #california, #westcoast, #pacificcoast, #landscape, #landscapephotography, #iconic, #route1, #bluegreen, #pacific. #fog, #sun
How lucky can you be to drive Big Sur on the California coast on a sunny September afternoon?

Stay tuned to this blog to see more photographs of the beautiful California coast from my recent trip. I will share lots of ideas to help you plan your next trip.