Hey, meet my new friend

We saw this remarkable burl, and Ross formed an almost immediate attachment to it!

Doesn’t it look like the face of an old man?

Redwoods are prone to form these things as a response to some stress: an injury, a fungus, or virus. Depending on how the burl has grown, it may actually be harvested without hurting the tree (but not usually).

The burls are prized by wood craftsmen for their very unusual grain.

A state park north of us closed a road through its old growth redwood grove last summer every night due to repeated assaults on its trees during the night hours by thieves with chainsaws!DSC_3586

Push harder, son

It’s so quiet in a redwood forest.

No flocks of chirping birds nestled in the branches, no squirrels warning everyone about everything, no wind in the leaves, no branches scraping against branches….

Not sure why, but I think it’s because the trees are so tall, what sounds occur with branches and wind occur waaaaay up there. Too, the redwoods really make such shade that other trees have trouble growing.

Very moist, and the ground is covered with redwood needles, so paths are very soft and quiet.

Squirrels…maybe it’s too much work to climb those trees.

Ross found it too much work to shake the trees….DSC_3575

Robyn’s tree

We love this spot along Scenic Drive on the way to Trinidad. What a view!

There’s a length of the roadway where the cliff drops straight away, and not a blade of grass interferes with the view. It seems the whole of Trinidad Bay is stretched far and wide in front of you.

And of course, the distant horizon….it goes clear to, where, Japan?

But almost all our pictures from this section of Scenic Drive include this tree.

From a vantage point like this, pictures really need an anchor to terra firma….DSC_7861



It’s not enough to see a lovely sunset developing as you reach for your camera.

You need a good anchor for a good shot.

Ohhh, rocks on the beach!DSC_7988

Okay, but reflections on the beach and the rocks themselves have kind of become the picture.

Which is fine…it’s a lovely scene, no?

But if your interest is the sunset itself, we need to simplify the scene.

Moving closer to the rocks will shorten the foreground…less beach run-up and fewer rocks.

Oh sure, easy for you to say…notice that wave coming toward us? Notice how shiny the sand is right in front of us? The waves have been coming clear up past this vantage point, so moving closer sounds like an invite to a bath….

But if you really want that closer, simpler scene…there seems to be a low rock at the end of the big rocks where you could stand….

You know, like this.DSC_7997

Always try to shoot

You know I love to shoot crashing waves and colorful sunsets.

Both at once is over the top!

But even a flat sky, and low tide that sends only small waves toward rocks on the beach can be a good photo opportunity.

Here, I made a 6-second exposure in order to smooth even the small waves that were coming into a small pool around these rocks. It also took the sharp edges off the low clouds that were moving fast…and bringing rain.

I like the peacefulness of the shot.DSC_8032

Big waves & spray in Trinidad

We often show you photos taken at Moonstone Beach.

We usually stop there on our way to Trinidad beach, and then we take a scenic drive along the coast to Trinidad on a road called…Scenic Drive.

It’s several miles long, and in several places is only a single lane wide because the hillsides above and below are too steep and unstable to support more width.

At this time of year…with rain nearly every day…there are numerous little landslides along the drive, and we wonder what we’ll encounter each time we start the drive.

The steep hillside offers only a few rugged opportunities to get down to water level, and only a couple small beaches occur at low tide.

On this day, the weather service cautioned about large swells at high tide.

We found those large swells were curling and breaking well out from land, and were creating quite a haze over Trinidad Bay from the mist.

From Scenic Drive, we managed a few photos through the mist when the afternoon sun managed to peek through the clouds.DSC_7962



Morning in Trinidad

We bid Jared farewell at San Francisco airport at o-dark-thirty, and headed straight back up the coast to the coach in Arcata.

Actually, we drove up Hwy 1 for amusement, but it was raining the whole way and so we didn’t stop for photos.

Can you believe it, two days in San Fran with no rain…Jared’s a lucky guy!

We had to get right over to Trinidad the next morning, to make sure everything was the same as we had left it.

Think so.DSC_6201

A parting shot

We stayed with the elephant seals until very nearly sunset, and realized with a start that we had forgotten about the rest of the peninsula!

We at least had to make sure Jared caught a glimpse of the lighthouse.

This lighthouse was established 300 feet below the crest of land, because fogs were frequent here and they were historically high off the water. It made for a greater effort to operate this unit, because the staff lived on the crest but had to walk down the lengthy staircase you see in order to do their work.

An extra challenge was high winds. It was sometimes the case that the lightkeeper encountered wind so strong, it was necessary for him to crawl up the steps on his hands and knees! The highest recorded wind speed has been 133 mph.

We were probably lucky it was so late in the day…there was a locked gate that prevented us from walking down the steps!DSC_7766