Friday, April 08, 2016

A Change In The Weather

We've had days and days of blue skies and sunshine. On Wednesday, we broke temperature records with a high of 78 (25 C). But then we heard the news; we saw the headlines; we checked the weather sites online. All the weather reports promised a big change on Friday, and we'll be back to gray skies and the promise of rain for a week. So, on Thursday we did what we thought was best under these dire circumstances and took a ride to the Pacific Ocean to wave hello to the waves.

We arrived at the Humboldt Coastal Nature Center, where we had visited last November, expecting to take the walk through the dunes as we had done then. But a sign said that the trail had been flooded and that we had to take a detour. The detour wasn't as much fun as the trail; it had a lot of uphill sand dune climbing. I almost wanted to turn back, but we trudged on. We decided that a walk though sand counts as double in distance, so we took it as a good work out. Once we got to the beach we were reminded why we had come this way.

It's always such a sight to see the Pacific stretching out for miles like this. On this little journey we saw only two other people and one dog. It's quiet out there, except for the roar of the surf. It's a little like the planet's own heartbeat.

We walked a bit and noticed that the beach was clean. Really clean. We had been seeing photos and reading articles about the plastic detritus everywhere in the oceans and on the beaches, but we only saw one sign of human garbage, and that was a piece of rope. Instead we saw this one and only shorebird, which we have tentatively identified as a Sanderling.The Cornell Lab of Ornithology says of these beauties, "These extreme long-distance migrants breed only on High Arctic tundra, but during the winter they live on most of the sandy beaches of the world."

We decided on the walk back to the Nature Center that we'd go the flooded way. It wasn't as bad as we had feared, and interestingly we ran into two other people who were headed to the beach on that trail. It made the walk back so much easier.

And we got to see this smallest, tiniest, little blue butterfly we had ever seen. No bigger than a half inch.

By 3:00 on Thursday the skies were already starting to cloud up as the promised change in the weather headed our way. I'm hoping for some rainbows and atmospheric optics in the coming days, making the best of a dire situation.

18 comments:

  1. Well we have been lucky with blue sky's of late but it will change the weekend. Love the last tow blogs of yours especially the crane on the water. Enjoy my view over Oxfordshire

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  2. If you lived in England you could write a blogpost entitled A Change In The Weather almost every day! It looks like a Sanderling to me too, though it's unusual to see one on its own and standing still, they nearly always zoom about like little clockwork toys at the water's edge.

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  3. Oh, those photos are so beautiful. I love the yellow flowers.
    Have you been able to ID the butterfly? Our smallest butterflies are bluets, but yours would have to be a blueandyellowet.

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  4. Beautiful photos and description. We also have enjoyed our warm days with the predictions of different coming. In the PNW, you savor the good when you get it.

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  5. Bill-- It is wonderful when the skies are blue, and there is so much beautiful stuff happening out there in the natural world.

    John-- I was thinking the same thing when I titled this post. Hah! I think this Sanderling might have lost its way. It was alone and not particularly active.

    CCorax-- I haven't been able to ID the butterfly yet. I'm narrowing down the possibilities. Really glad you liked the photos.

    Rain-- It has been a wonderful respite from the gray days of winter, hasn't it. We've been out trying to get every bit of sunshine we can. Yes, savoring the good!

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  6. Beautiful land and ocean! Thank you! It's been clear here, too. Stars!

    Could that be a:

    http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Plebejus-lupini

    Out of range and the size is different, but some of the images match pretty closely.

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  7. Sweet! Amazing to have it mostly to yourselves.
    You wouldn't recognize the Seattle area this week, really lovely warm weather.

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  8. am-- I'm still working on an ID. It really was the tiniest butterfly we've ever seen. I'm glad we're all enjoying the clear spring skies. It's been grand.

    isabelita-- It really is pretty quiet up here. Not a lot of people living on the north coast. Ah, Seattle in the warm lovely spring time. It must be so beautiful.

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  9. Here in the northern Piedmont of the eastern United States, we're forecast to receive a coating of snow overnight tonight. Our winter was relatively mild; our spring (so far) has been cold and dreary.

    Your pictures are really nice, BTW.

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  10. I guess if our screwed up weather has a plus it is that it makes us take advantage and quit procrastinating. Blue skies today are not a guarantee that tomorrow will be the same.
    Love that the beach was clean. Perhaps it was the result some human clean up crews which is always heartwarming.

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  11. Have a great weekend and thanks so much for your comments on my blog. I love all the photos but especially the butterfly! I will try to get my husband to id it as I have not seen one with the yellow on it. Our Spring Azure is all blue. I loved the photos of the beach also. Great Posting as always and lovely visit here. cheers.

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  12. Scott-- The weather news has been pretty bleak back east. My brother in Virginia lost his blueberry crop to the freeze. Glad you liked the photos.

    Arkansas Patti-- Absolutely true, we retired folks can take advantage of the best weather when it's happening. Here it is Saturday morning, and it's bleak bleak bleak.

    Nora-- We were so happy to see that tiny butterfly. I can usually ID them using the website at Butterflies and Moths of North America, but I can't seem to find the perfect match there. Glad you liked the photos.

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  13. Love that tiny butterfly!! Our weather is great today; if cool and windy. The sun is brightly shining and life is good!!

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  14. kenju-- So glad the weather is good there. A brightly shining sun is a wonderful thing!

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  15. You two are intrepid. I love that photo of Roger! Good thing you got out, the weather really turned. We left the house only briefly yesterday to give the dogs a good run.

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  16. Tara-- I really wanted to turn back. Walking uphill at the sand dunes was a killer, but we did persist. Glad we did, too, the weather really changed.

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  17. Robin, I love your analogy of the surf as the planet's heartbeat. I may have to borrow it. :-)

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  18. lindaj-- Glad you liked that. Interesting I just read something yesterday that called it the planet's pulse.

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