Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Trinidad Lighthouse

View from the sandy parking area
we read in the local paper that the lighthouse on trinidad head would be open to the public on sunday, January 31st. so we went. we have been to trinidad head before and hiked the trail around it. a very dramatic setting. we parked by the beach and took a look and some pictures of the ocean and sky and shore, and headed up the narrow road, closed to cars, to the lighthouse. it’s about a half mile or so. some parts steep. on the way there are stunning vistas of the coast, which reminded us of our walks in fort worden in port townsend where we walked often. the same coastal plants and shrubs and mossy trees, the same nip in the winter air. today there was a brisk very chilly breeze. we were prepared.
This photo is from the lighthouse history page
the lighthouse itself is a rather unimposing. a square brick building some 24 feet tall. its location though is quite dramatic. perched on a rock outcropping 190 nearly vertical feet above the ocean. the original light is gone. replaced by a modern high-tech thing that isn’t even inside the tower. Here's a link to some details of lighthouse history. I think the thing I found most interesting is that this little lighthouse was built in 1871. That's a very long time ago in California time. This is a fairly remote and hard-to-get to part of the coast, even now. Back then it must have been wild.
One of the cool things about going to the lighthouse on this day was that the Bureau of Land Management, which helps manage it, had one of their employees come dressed as the wife of the second lighthouse keeper. She quite enthusiastically shared the stories of what her life was like back then in the late 1800s, on this coast with her husband and three children. She was delightful, and the stories were grand. We listened while we waited for our turn to ascend.
View from inside the lighthouse
the ladder from the entry room up to the lantern room where the light should be is very steep. there is room for only 3 or 4 people up there. killer view (see above).


 the original light was a revolving fourth-order Fresnel lens.
 it lived on this post arrangement inside the lantern room.
the new high tech electric light.

 when we were ready to leave. robin pointed out the sign saying “face ladder to descend.” 
so we did. this woman is descending properly. It is straight down.

This photo is from the local newspaper, not us, but close enough!
we got to be alone for a bit when we were up at the top. This is what we must have looked like to the people waiting in line for their turn to come up the narrow ladder.

We had a great time and were really glad we ventured out on sunny Sunday morning. We arrived right on time when the touring had just begun, and had only a ten minute wait to take our turn at the top. The newspaper on Monday reported that more than 400 people came to see the lighthouse that day. 

This post was a joint effort by your Dharma Bum hosts. Roger types only in lowercase.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

End of January Photos

Here are a few January photos that didn't make it on to the blog this month.
Halo with hints of sun reflections

Kestrel hunting

Moonlit clouds

Shorebirds in the rain-soaked pastures

A rainbow closeup

Another kestrel looking back at me

A hint of rainbow in the eastern sunset sky

Robin robins robins

Monday, January 25, 2016


I have come to the conclusion that the persistent cloudiness (nearly two straight months of unrelenting gray and rain) has clouded my judgment about what constitutes a worthwhile photograph. My desire to be outside and looking around for things that grab my attention has been thwarted by a monotonous monochrome backdrop of boring. I continue to photograph things that I think in the moment have the potential to be interesting, but when I get home and download the photos, I see that I have been seriously mistaken.

Take for instance our latest trip to the marsh. We did get to see and photograph two species of birds that I have been absolutely hoping to see, these Cinnamon Teal and the beautiful blue-billed Ruddy Duck. Their presence made the walk absolutely worthwhile.

But I also tried to photograph the reflection of gray skies in the bay side of the marsh. Mmmm.... what did I see that warranted a photo? I'm not sure. There was something about reflected gray clouds in the very still gray waters that had an interesting depth. But when I look at the photo, it doesn't convey what I saw. Maybe I've just seen enough.
So we walked on and came upon the reflection of two trees in one of the marsh ponds.
Actually there was something that I liked about this moment in the photo, it's the hint of sky color at the base of the reflected trees. That's what the sky looked like at noon. I remember seeing colors like that in cloudy Port Townsend skies at mid-day. It's like a soft sunset color at the horizon, except the sun is high in the sky. Not sure where this color comes from, but I find it interesting.

Is it interesting enough to do a blog post about? I don't know. That's why the title of this post is Discernment. I'm afraid the rain may have washed mine away. I'll keep looking for it, and if anything interesting to photograph comes up, I'll keep you posted. Hah!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Before and After Sunrise

Click on the pic to see the planets and stars
I ran out early Wednesday morning hoping to see five planets. Four were definitely visible. I think Mercury hadn't risen yet, but I couldn't tell because of the cloud cover over the mountains in the east. The sky looked just the way it did Monday morning at 6:00 am when I saw four planets. Silly me, I tried to photograph it then, but it really was not possible for me to get all four planets into one photo. I did get three (Venus, Saturn, and Mars) plus two named stars (Antares and Spica). I was absolutely thrilled with that, and waved hello to Jupiter while I was out there.
Shortly after sunrise the sky lightened. The foreboding storm clouds were still over the mountains heading east, and those beautiful layers of dark and light grays met up with a clearing blue sky.

It was interesting to see the variation of cloud types and colors. The surprising part was a hint of iridescence wrapped in the hint of crepuscular rays.

Sometimes it's a good idea to take a crazy shot and zoom in, looking for surprises. No Mercury, but interesting details in a changing sky. I was happy.

Monday, January 18, 2016

January Blue

It's been another week of rainy weather with brief respites of "run outside and look around" bursts of sunlight. I'm typing this on Sunday, and we have gotten almost three inches of rain in the past 24 hours and lots more on the way. So I took a look at the photos of the past week to remind myself of what the lighter moments looked like. It sure is nice to have a visual record, otherwise I might have convinced myself that the sky had not been blue for forever.

Sometimes called the Cheshire or Wet Moon of Winter on Monday
.01 inch of rain

Varied Thrush looking for worms in the rain-soaked yard on Tuesday
.66 inch of rain

Two ravens were having words with a hawk on Wednesday
.46 inch of rain

 Venus in the morning sky on our suburban street on Thursday
.69 inch of rain

Multi-layers of dark, light, and sunlit clouds on Friday
.29 inch of rain

The moon waxing eloquently on Saturday
.07 inch of rain