187: Weekly Photo Challenge: Ocean

(Point Reyes, California.)

I could never stay long enough on the shore, the tang of the untainted, fresh and free sea air was like a cool, quieting thought.

~ Helen Keller

This week’s photo challenge from The Daily Post is Ocean.  I love the ocean.  If I had my druthers, I’d live near the ocean.  East coast, west coast, it doesn’t really matter.  I am probably most familiar with the Atlantic Ocean, having grown up on the east coast and vacationed there frequently as a child and as an adult.  But I do love the Pacific as well.  I think the advantage of west coast living would be the proximity to mountains and desert as well as the ocean.  Just think of all those different worlds and climates to explore.

Since I obviously cannot step outside or take a short drive to gather new photos of an ocean, I decided to dive into ye olde archives and bring out some photos from a place I visited briefly and would love to return to someday.  Point Reyes, California.  M and I were given a quick tour of the area by a friend back in 2006.  Our trip west was to San Francisco and nearby areas, and it happened to be a very rainy spring that year.

It rained off and on the day we went out to Point Reyes with our friend.  Even with the rain, the clouds, and the fog, I thought it was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen.

Point Reyes is a peninsula that was first inhabited around 5,000 years ago by the Coast Miwok Indians.  There are over 120 known village sites within Point Reyes National Seashore.  The first European explorer to land at Point Reyes was Sir Francis Drake, in 1579.

Point Reyes Lighthouse

The Point Reyes Lighthouse was built in 1870 and retired in 1975 when they went to an automated light system.  We were not able to visit the lighthouse that day because the stairs were closed.

The views from where we stood when I took these photos were incredible.  You could turn in any direction and fill your eyes and soul with beauty.

Point Reyes National Seashore is home to a wide variety of plants and animals.  The animals range from large marine mammals such as the northern elephant seal to small butterflies.  The area is characterized by Mediterranean vegetation.

We did see quite a few animals that day.  Unfortunately, most of the photos I took of the wildlife (including a number of birds, some seals, and tule elk) did not turn out well.  Those that I did capture fairly well, such as the fallow deer, turned out to be non-native species.

If I could, I’d like to spend at least a month there, exploring and hiking around the area.  I’d better start playing the lottery.  😉

Today’s Outdoor Adventures

Not much has changed.  It’s another chilly, blue-sky day with a brisk north wind.  We woke up to frost and fog, and another pretty sunrise.

I had a lovely walk today.  We had a few visitors to the pond.  The mallards, who seem to have decided to stay for a while, were swimming around. They let me get closer than usual.

We also had a great blue heron stop by for a few hours.  The swallows, of course, are swooping and swirling around, catching insects near the water.  I did not see any of the turtles today.  I wonder if the frigid nights have driven them back into hibernation?

Sunlight on a tree limb

I stayed out for a while.  I thought I should enjoy the sun and clear skies while I can.  It’s supposed to get cloudy tomorrow.  And snow on Friday.

Perhaps we put away the cross-country skis too soon.

A part of the sun

(Last night’s sunset.)

I am part of the sun as my eye is part of me.  That I am part of the earth my feet know perfectly, and my blood is part of the sea.  There is not any part of me that is alone and absolute except my mind, and we shall find that the mind has no existence by itself, it is only the glitter of the sun on the surfaces of the water.

~ D. H. Lawrence

(First sunflower of the season.)

Our sunflowers are late this year.  Later than those around us who planted early and well.  We planted early — and perhaps well — but the rabbits ate the baby plants.  The slugs ate the second planting.  M sprayed the third planting to discourage both slugs and rabbits.

I don’t understand the rabbits.  We have fields of flowers and grasses and seeds that they could be munching on.  Yet they insist on eating the flowers in the gardens.  The zinnias, hydrangeas, petunias, and sunflowers all seem to be tastier morsels to the ravenous bunnies.  There is a rabbit hanging out in the vegetable garden, too.  We’ll have to do something about that eventually.  Fix the fence, maybe.  Scaring it off doesn’t appear to be a permanent solution.

The sunflowers seem brighter to me this year.  This one is shedding a few raindrop tears but it is mostly a happy fellow.  The honey bees are busy buzzing and pollinating and keeping the flower company.  If you’re looking for the green in this Green themed post, it’s in the sunflower.  And surrounding it in some pics.

(Sunflower, honey bees, and sun flare.  Playing with Photoshop version.)

Having spent a decade in northeast Ohio, I have an appreciation for and understanding of sun worship.  It feels natural to want to glory in the light of the sun when it shows up, even in the heat of the summer months.

(SOC version.)

Our housesitter will be arriving later today to get settled in.  M and I leave bright and early tomorrow morning for a two week Rocky Mountain adventure.  I am really looking forward to it.  We will not only get to see and spend time with M the Younger and his lovely wife, we will also be sharing part of our vacation with M’s sister.  It will be fun to show her some of the places we discovered last year.

(My feet at sunset.)

I have new hiking boots this year.  Some of you may remember that I had trouble finding new boots last year.  I ended up using my old hiking shoes which worked out well enough.  I’ve been wearing the new boots around the house and property, making sure I won’t have any problems with them.  They are comfy although I’m still getting used to having all that ankle support.  Izzy and Bella (the cats) do not appreciate the noise from the new boots.  It’s hard not to stomp around in them.

(Going for a swim at sunset.)

I think I’m pretty much ready to go.  I’ve been busy this week putting the house in order.  M has been outside mowing and battening down the hatches in case of storms.  Keep your fingers crossed in hopes there are no major power outages while we are away.

We should have internet access for most of the trip.  We’ll be spending time in Boulder, Colorado to start, as we did last year, to help us acclimate to the higher altitude.  Then it’s off to the mountains for a while and then back to Boulder again before coming home.  I’ll check in when I can and I’ve scheduled some posts to go up when I can’t.  Hopefully that will keep me covered for this month’s NaBloPoMo.

That’s about it from the Bogs for now.  I have to go finish some last minute laundry and packing.  We’ll be making an early night of it since we have to be up at 3:00am to get ready to go to the airport.

(This morning’s view of the pond.)

Favorite Photo

(Point Reyes, CA. Photo by Robin. 2006)

The last of the photo challenges came from Sock Girl who asked to see my favourite photo. Talk about a tough challenge!!

Almost every photo of friends and loved ones (especially my granddaughter) is a favorite so I thought I’d continue to avoid photos that are peopled with people.

Some of my favorite photos are from our trip to San Francisco and Yosemite. The Yosemite photos have a dark and mysterious look to them due to the weather at the time (snow, rain, and fog). In San Francisco, I marvelled at the colors. The surrounding area reminded me (a lot) of Scotland for some reason. I fell in love with Scotland years ago during our first visit so anything that reminds me of Scotland has got to be good.

One of the places we got to visit on our trip to San Francisco was Point Reyes. What a wild and lovely area! We didn’t get to spend nearly as much time there as I would’ve liked (that was true of the entire trip). The photo above is a small sampling of the many beautiful things we saw during our visit to Point Reyes. It was very difficult to pick just one, but I think this is most representative of the area.

That should wrap up the photo meme challenge for now. Thanks to everyone for your suggestions!