Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Never Not

It's been warm and sunny here. So warm and so full of sunshine that the news made the front page headline of our local newspaper. The headline said: Sunny weather to persist into and through the week. This is big news around here where the typical summer weather is fog, fog, and more fog. So, we've been out enjoying this good fortune of blue skies and balmy temperatures. There is a minus tide expected this week as well, so our non-existent calendar is full of rendezvous with beauty.

On Monday we went to the marsh for a quick three mile walk in the morning. The tide was almost at its highest for the day. That typically means there wouldn't be many birds or wildlife around, just lots of views of skypools and sunlit mountain vistas. We were surprised though to see this.
If you click on the photo and take a good look there are a lot of birds here. I did a zoomed in shot to try and capture the numbers.
If you click on this you'll see the density of birds here. We were really surprised. And not only that, they all would take off at once and then shift direction at once in the most beautiful graceful dance on wings. We were mesmerized, watching them and saying out loud, "Oh wow. Oh wow." Over and over. Then, we saw the heron that's been hunting the brackish pond. It was here in the tidal zone.
It looked as if it was wearing a fancy scarf on such a warm day. We moved on, but not before we waved and thanked it for being so photogenic for us.

As we were heading back to the car, we remembered that we wanted to take one more look at Klopp Lake (the lake closest to the parking lot) to see if we could see what we thought might be some Night Herons on the first island. When we got there, we still couldn't see the island well enough to see who was there. But I glanced down right in front of us and saw this Night Heron not more than fifteen feet from where we were standing.
Oh wow, we said again and again. We couldn't believe how beautiful this bird was. It made our day. We thanked it many times and left the marsh laughing. I said to Roger, "It's always beautiful here, isn't it. It's never not."


  1. You got the money shots on this walk then. Not sure I'll try counting the birds, there are hundreds

  2. It's a hard time of year for newspapermen. Recent reports in our paper included the news that since supermarkets have had to charge for plastic bags people are using less of them (wow!) and also scientists are researching into why children are frightened of dogs (perhaps because they might bite?).
    Bird migration season seems to be underway on your coast.

  3. It sure is beautiful where you are. I love that you thank the birds - I do that too!! Enjoy your continued sun. It has been pretty rainy and humid where I am. I'm hoping it breaks soon.

  4. I don't know why, but I thank the wildlife I photograph. I do find it a privilege.

  5. Yes, yes! Always thank them!
    That's a lot of birds! Are they quiet or vocal? I can imagine the sound of their wings as they take off.
    The night heron is a lot less flashy than the great blue, but it is extraordinarily beautiful. Do you know why they are called "night" herons? Is it because of something in their behavior?

  6. Great photos! Enjoy your momentary sunshine -- i'm not sure I could handle all of that overcast . But I think you two have found your perfect place .

  7. Love the scarf! And, it's a good thing you instructed us to enlarge the image with the birds, because the "lumps" just look like rocks in the small image; wow--that's incredible, especially for high tide. I had to check my birding guide to see which night-heron you photographed and found that it was a Black-crowned Night-heron. (Here on the East Coast, we also have Yellow-crowned, but they don't occur in California.)

  8. Mercy, that is a ton of birds and how neat that they put on a show for you. They know when they have an appreciative audience.

  9. Bill-- So glad you liked the photos. And seriously, there's no way to count these birds.

    John-- You made me laugh! I had no idea the dearth of newsworthy stories was as widespread as it is. Yes, I think we are about to be in the path of a lot of feathered friends.

    Sharon-- It really is so pretty here. Lots of folks here call it "Behind the Redwood Curtain." Being 270 miles north of San Francisco, and really 100 miles of highway through redwood forests really cuts down on the number of people who venture this way. I'm always grateful for the beauty we get to see. Glad to know you are too. Hope your weather improves!

    Dave-- I love knowing that you thank wildlife too. It is a privilege to be in their company.

    CCorax-- Ah, the chorus of thanks heard around our country. I love it! The birds are very vocal. It is a delight of sound. Our neighbor said that they sound like bells. Yes. And there really is something about seeing them all take off at once. It's like an optical illusion they turn from black to white to black again, as they turn all at once. The Night Heron usually hunts in the evening and night. I think that's how it earned its name.

    Tara-- Arcata reminds me a bit of Capitola. Foggy summer mornings and windy afternoons. It's usually 5-10 degrees cooler here than the central coast. Yep, we love it!

    Scott-- Isn't that scarf just the coolest thing? I was so glad to see it. I wish I could see a Yellow-crowned Night Heron. They look quite beautiful too.

    Arkansas Patti-- This is why we love migration season. The number of birds is truly stunning. We walk around oohing and ahhhing a good part of the time.

  10. I love the vision of "dance on wings." I've seen such dances myself and they are indeed breath-taking.

  11. NCmountainwoman-- I can't stop watching it when the birds are flying like that. It is mesmerizing and beautiful.

  12. One of the best things about nature, is that you never really know what you are going to see. Great photos Robin! I really wish we'd get some fog down here. Fog, rain, snow, sleet, hail, etc. Anything wet would be nice for a change.

  13. Pat-- Glad you liked the photos. It's true about nature, you never know what you're going to see. I wish you would get some moisture there. California is burning again this summer.