Monday, July 16, 2018

Minus Tide At Houda Cove

We had been planning to drive 10 miles north on Friday the 13th for an early morning walk during a -2.0 tide at Houda Cove. The lowest tide of the day was at 6:30 am, and we were ready. But when we opened the blinds and saw how low the fog was here two miles in from the coast, we knew it would be crazy to head out. We wouldn't be able to see a thing out there. So we waited for Saturday morning when the tide was still a -2.0 and at a more reasonable hour of 7:30 am. We woke Saturday morning to the clearest skies we've seen for a while. We got our stuff ready-- tea and toast, kibble for Harold who we planned to feed before we headed for the short drive north. Then we looked out the window again... oh no... the fog was blowing back in. We thought about it and decided to go anyway, and we are so glad we did. This is what we saw when we arrived. The hint of fog made for wonderful optics, and the blue sky over the Pacific was perfect.
The beach was still in the dark shadows of the hillside. We walked down the long stairway,  headed toward the ocean and then turned around to look where the sun was just coming up over the hill.

This is what we saw,  a beautiful view of crepuscular rays lighting up the beach there. What a grand start to the day! We met a woman who was looking at the rays as well. She asked us if we were planning on going into the cave that's only approachable at minus tides. We said, "No way! We've watched the videos of the kids trapped in the cave in Thailand. No no no!" She said, "It's only 60 feet deep and worth the trip. Mmm... we wondered, should we do it? So of course we did. It was pretty interesting in there.
Roger at the back of the cave photographing me walking out
There was lots of sea life on the walls, particularly close to the opening. Here I am walking back into the light.
We walked north on the beach for a while and the sun continued to light the beach in the most beautiful way.
And in every direction the views were grand.
 This is the rock that has the cave. It's nice to see it from the outside too!

We spent quite a while out there-- breathing in the ocean air, walking, laughing, and skipping over water flowing into the ocean. And for a little while the whole world was just this, and it was perfect.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

the bums go to the beach

we went to mad river county park, hoping to see the rivermouth and some seals. i think that the rivermouth must have been near when the park was made. now the river parallels the beach going north, where the ocean relentlessly pushes it.

endless waves

himself looking for the river mouth. there is a sliver of the river visible to the right.

the area

we had thought to walk north from the parking lot on a trail closer to the river and return along the shore. when we couldn't find the trail at the parking lot we struck off across the dunes to the beach, turned north and walked happily looking out at the ocean waves pictured above and relaxing in their calming low rushing sound. we explored inland toward the river about a mile up the beach. grassy tufts, sand, minor dunes, low scrub brush, no trail. so returned to the beach and strolled on back to the trail through the dunes to the car. actually the most tiring part of the walk, on soft sand.

when we lived in arcata 10 years ago we would park at the end of murray road (see map above) and walk down along the river to see its mouth right there.

here is a bit of interesting history of the mad river. i wonder if the diversion of water to the canal (use the link. read the short informative article) started the rivermouth on its journey north.

Monday, July 09, 2018

Great Egret Rookery

We drive by a Great Egret rookery whenever we head into the city of Eureka. We drive over the 255 bridge that crosses Humboldt Bay. There are NO PARKING signs posted everywhere, so we can't ever stop to take a photo of them, but we have been admiring them for the past four years. I can't tell you the number of times I've tried to photograph them from the car when we're zooming by. I know you know that does not work at all. When we were at the Family United rally last Saturday I noticed that I could see the rookery from the waterfront there. It's pretty far away, but definitely visible. So, we went back on Tuesday to get a better look.
To give you some idea of how far away this rookery is from the waterfront. Here's a perspective for you.
Beyond the boats and the statue on Woodley Island is Indian Island where the Monterey Cypress trees stand. On those trees is the rookery. Beyond the rookery is the bridge we drive over to get into town. It would be grand to get a photo from the bridge, but that's a no-no. I did find an article in a local newspaper from 2011 that talked about the history of the rookery, and the non-native trees the egrets have been using for more than a hundred years!
On a beautiful summer day it really is lovely at the waterfront. And with a good zoom I can also get a nice close-up the Fisherman statue.
Lots of fishing, crabbing, and oyster production been going on here for a long, long time. No wonder the egrets love it.

Monday, July 02, 2018

Signs of the Times

It's been almost 50 years since I marched in protest. The last significant march I participated in was in Washington DC on May 10, 1970. That day 100,000 people marched to protest the shooting of four people by the National Guard on the Kent State campus in Ohio. My siblings and I drove from New Jersey to participate. We had marched many times before then, throughout the late 60s protesting the war in Vietnam. Some of those marches were local, some were big and loud on the streets of Newark. I remember the ride home from that Washington DC Kent State protest. The world had changed, it seemed. I was just about to turn 18 years old and graduate from high school. My family was getting ready to move to California in June. We were leaving the old world behind and heading west to make a new life. My marching days were over...
Roger and one of the other early marchers!
...until this past weekend. On June 30th Roger and I went to a Families Belong Together rally and march in Eureka. We arrived early, forgetting in a way that we live in an unpopulated part of the world and that there would be plenty of parking for everyone. When we got there it was mostly quiet except for the organizers and some musicians singing some fine old folk tunes. It would be a good half hour before 1500 more people showed up with the signs of the times.
We saw so many wonderful homemade signs. It was grand to be out there with our fellow citizens.

There were speakers who told stories of incarceration, of ICE harassment, of family separations. A representative of our Congressman's office spoke. Then, we were ready to march the streets of Eureka!
Lucky for us the rally was held at the beautiful waterfront there. So, as we marched we saw got to breathe the beautiful sea air before we headed on to the streets.

The local newspaper reported that we were three blocks long of chanting impassioned protesters. The front of the march was so far ahead of us, we didn't even hear what they were chanting.

We marched. We shouted. We were glad to add our voices to the sum of voices for humanity and sanity. It felt good to march again after all these years.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Walking It Off

Canada Goose family at one of the ponds
We've been walking miles and miles everyday. We start before 7:00 in the morning for our first mile bringing the skinny black kitty cat (who we've named Harold and now has an appreciative full belly) some kibble. He sits on the driveway and waits. There are always empty food bowls strewn about. I carry a small bag of kibble in my pocket. He gets up and walks over as soon as he sees us. I'm not sure I wrote it here, but I got to go inside the house to drop of 25 pounds of kibble we had picked up at Costco last week. There is more than a hundred pounds of kibble in there, plus a case of large Friskies wet food. Harold is old, and now he is loved. There's plenty of food for everybody.
Black-crowned Night Heron looking for fish
Then, we walk home, have tea and toast and plan another couple of miles of walking. Some days it's a trek to the co-op for something (two miles round trip). So we check our lists to see what we need.We like that we can run some errands and get in a three mile walk before noon. That's life in our small college town.
Great Blue Heron
If we don't have to go to the co-op for anything we'll take a short drive over to the marsh for a good three mile walk there. In the summer there really aren't many birds. Most of the beautiful migrators have come and gone. The locals are spending lots of time on their nests. So, we don't get to see many feathery friends. When we do, though, we are really so glad.
Black-crowned Night Heron walking in the tidal flats
We are planning to go to a march next weekend to protest our country's treatment of immigrants and their children. To say we are outraged, appalled, brokenhearted, and stunned would be an understatement. My older brother went to a detention center on Saturday with hundreds of others to protest. We must each take a stand for humanity. If not now, when?

Until then, we go walking. We're walking off the stress of these times we are living in. What are you doing for stress management these days? We'd love to know.