Along the Trail to Enderts Beach

trail to Enderts Beach

There is an overlook along the coast south of Crescent City, California, adjacent to a trail head. This coastal trail, which is a part of Redwood National Park, leads to Enderts Beach and beyond. It is a short drive off of Highway 101, and worth the detour.

view of Enderts Beach from trail

We arrived at the parking lot in the middle of the afternoon yesterday, after the fog had dissipated. It was warm and breezy, perfect weather for a short hike and beach excursion. Along the trail, we peered over the edge of the gentle cliffs, through the assorted vegetation and down into the surf and rocks below.

above Enderts Beach

An Osprey passed us as it cruised along the cliffs. The vertical drop was considerable, but the trail was long enough so that the descent was gentle. We were rewarded upon reaching the shore with the sight of a pair of Osprey fishing in the surf.

Osprey pair

Osprey pair one divingOsprey rising with fishMale Ospreyfemale Osprey with fish

An easy half mile hike took us back out to the parking area, and we continued south on 101 to Humboldt County as the fog crept back in and thunderheads danced above the coastal mountains. It was a very good day.

Enderts Beach

 

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Shell Games

four gulls

It has been so windy here on the north coast of California for the past two weeks that the last time we tried to walk on the beach we didn’t get far. Yesterday morning the wind died down long enough for us to climb the dunes and hang out with the gulls and a fisherman.

Arcata fisherman

This is Mad River Beach at its best. The tide was coming in, and the gulls and I were chased back from the edge of the surf every few waves.

shore shell 1

With an eye on the surf, I managed to photograph several pummeled shells that nestled in the drenched sand. I’ll be back for more today!

shore shell 2

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Jack is Back

There was a family of Black-tailed jackrabbits in the “backyard” of the cabin last year, frequently seen by Sam and myself cruising through the neighborhood. They appeared to have vanished until the past couple of weeks. We thought the coyotes had feasted on them, or maybe the Gray fox that I spotted again this spring. Then there is the pair of Red-shouldered hawks nearby, along with an assortment of other likely predators.

jackrabbit 1

Finally a lone critter, younger than one I photographed over a year ago, hopped across the hill behind the cabin a couple of times recently, and I saw it further down in the neighbor’s yard as well. We’ll see if any more show up this summer.

jackrabbit 2

 

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Above the Marsh, Near the Bay

Arcata Marsh wildflowers 1

Sam and I spent this past Memorial Day weekend in Humboldt County, and while we were there visiting we managed to find time for our customary walk at the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary.

Arcata Marsh poppies

We enjoyed perfect late spring weather and a quiet, peaceful atmosphere while surveying the local wildflowers in the early afternoon on Sunday.

Arcata Marsh lupine

As we began our stroll around Klopp Lake, I spotted a raptor flying low along the edge of Arcata Bay. I didn’t see it again until we reached the far side of the lake, where we encountered a cluster of birders who were watching and photographing an Osprey that was circling overhead.

Arcata Marsh Osprey

This was a rare treat. It has been a very long time since I have seen this amazing fish hawk, which is one of my favorite creatures. It seems that each time we venture out to the coast, there is something unique to enjoy.

osprey at Arcata Marsh

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Postcards from California’s Central Coast

On Mother’s Day weekend earlier this month, I drove across the state from the northern Sierra foothills near Auburn to the San Francisco Bay Area, and then down the coast to San Luis Obispo County. On the central coast leg of my adventure, I spent quality time with my sister, my niece, and both of my daughters in Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo, and Nipomo. Although the wind was extreme at times, we managed to enjoy ourselves outdoors, exploring the marina in Morro Bay, walking around downtown SLO, and venturing out across the boardwalk at Oso Flaco Lake to the beach. Dining was also on our list of things to do, which we spread out over all three locations!

Morro Rock

The weather was beautiful on Monday morning, and as always it was hard for me to tear myself away from the coast. After a stroll I took these photos on the waterfront before my sister and I left Morro Bay to return to our daily lives.

Morro Bay

boats on Morro Bay

Morro Rock and Bay

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Birding on the Bay, or What’s Black and White with Long, Pink Legs?

On a recent trip to the San Francisco Peninsula from the Sierra foothills across the state, I avoided the congestion of the interstate and took the less traveled route. Winding my way through the Sacramento Valley and Delta, I found my way on Highway 84 through Niles Canyon and across the Dumbarton Bridge. Then I paused to join a friend and walk the trails at Bedwell Bayfront Park. Although it was quite windy, we enjoyed the exercise and a variety of birds. egret untouched This Snowy Egret was showing off in front of my parked car in the mid-afternoon light. What a beauty! snowy egret Nearby, Black-necked Stilts hid their long, pink legs in the blue water while they foraged. black-necked stilt The distinctive birds emerged to dry themselves along the shore. stilts The rewards of venturing out into the wind after hours of driving were worth the effort. What a treasure to find such interesting and beautiful creatures in a semi-wild spot amid the pavement and structures of human civilization.

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Trinidad, California Beaches

near Houda Point 1

Even on a cloudy day, Humboldt County beaches have a lot to offer. Here is the view looking northwest near Houda Point south of Trinidad. Below is nearby Camel Rock.

Camel Rock

College Cove is a popular, secluded beach just south of Trinidad Harbor, below the lighthouse which includes a memorial to fishermen lost at sea.

trinidad lighthouse

The beach is protected by cliffs, with steep stairs that take you down to enjoy the panorama

near Trinidad

and share the view with Harbor Seals.

trinidad harbor seal

Once you reach the pier, it’s time to take one last stroll before a tasty fish dinner. But don’t forget your coat and hat, because it’s always windy!

 

 

 

 

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