Saturday, November 15, 2008
'SO CAL' STATE OF MIND
I am very lucky, my husband has clients who live near San Diego, so twice a year we 'have to' travel there so that he can meet with them. They are wonderful people with a beautiful house in the hills. Once a year we stay with them and once a year we splurge and stay in Del Mar. Well, this weekend, which just happens to include my birthday, is our weekend for staying in Del Mar and I must say after a couple of weeks of feeling pretty lousy, there is no better medicine than waking up to blue sky and sunshine, next to the seashore! Both my husband and I grew up next to the Atlantic Ocean, all be it on opposite sides of it, so for us there is no greater treat than to be by the sea. This morning we grabbed our breakfast in a bag and headed down to the sea. I swear there could not have been a more beautiful day.
Yes I know! If you live in Southern California it is lovely every day but I think coming from the Midwest that we really do appreciate it!
We had to be patient because the tide was very high but gradually as we sat and watched, the beach started to appear as the sea slid back. I love to beach comb and there is always something different to see. Whether it is a pile of rocks worn smooth by the waves and just catching the sunlight perfectly
Or a twisted mass of kelp, left behind by the receding tide
Or a tiny shell, half buried in the wet sand
Gradually as more sand appears, various waders start to arrive to feed on invertebrates buried in the sand.
The flocks of Sanderlings Calidris alba are always fun as they rush in and out with the waves
I love how they move as one, rather like a shoal of fish.
The Willet Catoptrophorus semipalmatus is much more of a solitary figure, using its long beak to dig deeply into the fresh sand.
This little immature Black-bellied Plover Pluvialis squatarola (I think!) seemed a little bewildered to find himself alone on the beach, he tried to hang out with the Sanderlings for a while but all their frenzied running back and forth soon became too much for him.
There is a belief that everyone is better looking in California, well I am not convinced about the Homo sapiens but it certainly is true when it comes to the gulls! This is the Heermann's Gull Larus heermanni, far more handsome than the Ring-billed Gulls of Chicago or the Herring Gulls of my home town in Cornwall.
Photo Credits - CJT & Dominick V
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