The sublime and the ridiculous

We love the ocean shoreline because it presents a different face every time we look.

The pictures below were taken at Trinidad Bay about 100 feet apart, 4 days apart but the one is only 2 hours later in the day.

It’s true that camera technique makes a difference: the sunshine-and-splash shot was taken at 160th of a second, while the dreamy sunset was a 13 second exposure.

The changing face really spoils us…who needs to tour the countryside or run up the coastline when there’s such variety in one place?

These two illustrate the extremes for light and for mood…I love both photos, but probably favor the sunset because it seems more unusual.


Ho Ho Tahoe

It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to keep tourism alive around Lake Tahoe…we volunteered.

Actually, the father of a long-time dear friend of Robyn’s died, and we wanted to make contact with her. She lives on the other side of Reno from us….it’s a haul over there, and we thought it would be good to spend a couple extra days exploring.

Good move!

The surprise was a lack of snow…the ski areas were hurting…but it meant less traffic for us and warmer temperatures when we were out of the car…

There’s not much to explain about these pictures, except to point out that the red coat in the one photo is you-know-who exploring the ground at his feet rather than taking in the stupendous view before him or taking deep breaths of the clear mountain air….


All the boys

The scenery around here is pretty awesome…but it’s always better with Ross & Ryan…and Jared!

The Big Guy was here from Chicago for the holidays…his first trip to the North Coast.

He found the weather quite balmy….

DSC_8564_aYou’ve already seen how much time we spend on the shoreline….

DSC_8397_aDSC_8894_aDSC_8530_aJared got pretty comfortable with the surf….

DSC_9367_aRoss & Ryan both enjoyed walking with their big brother, and needed some rest after he left! For his part, Ross laughed every time he thought about Jared’s visit!



We love to be around the water, and we love to watch birds.

Here on the North Coast, it’s harder than you might think to catch a clear view of water birds…so much of the water is rough and wild and free!

Ah, you’ll find them standing around the edges of marinas in the few bays that exist here.

We bumped into a small mixed group of Willets and Whimbrels on a recent afternoon.

I like this Willet for its casual, classic pose.

DSC_9145_aThis Whimbrel was flying from post to post with only one leg extended most of the time. He or she eventually settled next to one who had his or her head nearly tucked under a wing!


…and on

Still more remarkable rocks at Trinidad Bay!

Several here would be stand-outs anywhere, but what strikes me is the extreme variety.

DSC_9933_aDSC_9936_aThere’s even an arch…a hole that’s way over on the edge of the bay.

DSC_9984_aThe almost iridescent green color of the rock below can barely be seen for all the barnacles and mussels attached to its surface!

DSC_0012_aFinally, the small & smooth throwing stone…wishing it could be big & colorful like the other rocks…


Rock on

The tides, they come and go, and we keep returning to see what they’ve revealed from yesterday.

Our favorite place, Trinidad Bay, provides endless variety even though it’s just one strip of shoreline maybe a quarter mile long.

We enjoy many things about it, but the rocks in its intertidal zone produce different swirls, splashes, and beauty that shifts with the sun.

The variety of rocks is remarkable for this area….a single beach usually displays a single type of rock.

DSC_0481_aDSC_9832_aThe large stack below reminds me of a peasant woman with arms crossed who is wearing a hat way back on her head with a narrow garland of green around the hat brim that cascades down her back. The fact that a gull sits on her head here, and two oyster catchers sit on the rock in the foreground just adds to my amusement!


The making of a sunset

I understand some people think sunsets just sort of happen.

This North Coast frequently bears witness to the fact that a really good sunset is made.

Let me show you.

With all the emphasis on its coastline…and the fact that the sun usually sets down on the western horizon…I thought we could watch the choreography along the shore.

The sun prefers a photographic scene…really likes clouds and can mix in some fog, and a wash of water helps reflections.

DSC_0405_aThe sun begins to crank up the color, and gets more water washing through the scene.

DSC_0414_aAlthough a wash of color is nice, more focused and intense colors seem to get more applause.

DSC_0308_aThe sun wants more water…let’s do waves!

DSC_0396_aMORE waves!

DSC_0352_aMORE color!

DSC_0380_aAhhhh….now THAT’S a sunset!

DSC_0418_aWait…hold on…don’t leave now! Remember? It’s not over….

DSC_0426_aEven 20 minutes after sunset, the glow is still all over the sky and bouncing off the sand right at your toes….and the waves are still exploding….


Just driftin….

Wow, the ocean can sure wash up some serious driftwood!

Look at this chunk…the root system of a very large tree.

DSC_9513_aYou can see how the lower portion was under water for so long that it had a full complement of barnacles attached. The middle portion is still green from its water exposure.

Another piece nearby:

DSC_9526_aYou’ve gotta wonder how some of these pieces could grow in such complex patterns!

DSC_9529_aSpeaking of driftin….Ross enjoyed some down time while the rest of us ran up and down the beach enjoying each other’s finds! The nearly full moon watched over his shoulder.

Ultimately, each day drifts down to its sunset….


Special places

We have really grown attached to several places around here….some for their beauty, some for their drama, some for their variety, and some for their convenience.

Moonstone Beach is just 5 miles from our coach, and offers several of those reasons to be special.

Funny little place where a river empties into the ocean…and gets rerouted about once a month due to major changes in the sand bars.

It gave us that incredible salmon sky sunset 10 days ago.

Because its beach is quite flat, the waves can be right by the parking lot at high tide, or 400 yards out at low tide!

This pair of rocks offered a photo opportunity the other evening that I couldn’t resist…