at Forest Knolls since that was the only new thing of interest I noticed along the route. I was originally hoping to find some shorebirds to photograph, so my first stop of the morning was Drake’s Beach. The fog was thick and the wind was blowing hard and cold. I’d worn shorts, thinking I’d soon be enjoying the heat wave, but at least I’d had enough sense to pack long jeans, a windbreaker, and a knit watch beanie.
I needed them all as I started to walk east to the beach. There was no pool of water on the beach in front of the parking lot and the rocky reefs were still covered in sand. My guess is that the new lagoon (so new it doesn’t show up on the Google Maps satellite view yet) holds all the fresh water that runs off the hills. Shorebird action seemed pretty sparse, so I let myself be swept away by a few cheery patches of purple sand-verbena dancing in the wind.
After taking a few pictures of the wildflowers, I turned to the west and headed towards a mixed group of gulls, but there just wasn’t enough interest in the scene to take pictures. It was peaceful there with small waves crashing on the nearly deserted beach, the cliffs rolling away in the mist, and a wide expanse of Drake’s Bay to soothe the soul. It was a beautiful morning for a walk (the cliffs blocked out most of the wind), but I decided to head out and try to find some photographic inspiration at Abbott’s Lagoon. Even before getting out of my car at Abbott’s Lagoon, I saw a small, dark creature leaping across the field in the distance. I grabbed my binoculars, but I believe the critter dug into a burrow (the mound of dirt from which I could see) before I could see it properly. What this creature was, I have no idea. It looked more like an otter than anything I could think of, but it didn’t make sense to see one so far out of the water.
A car pulled up next to me, and when the guy got out, he said to his wife, “It doesn’t look like the fog is going to lift, does it?” “Nope.” They went for a walk. I got out of the car and photographed a California quail on a lichen-covered fence post, partly in the hope that I might spot a bobcat if I just kept my eyes open for a little while. The quail finally took off from her perch to join the rest of her gang gleaning seeds and clattering in the dry grass and brush at her feet, and that was my cue to take off and check Limantour beach. I made a brief stop at White House Pool on the way, photographing Black Mountain as the morning fog lifted.Even though the weather was nice just off Limantour Road, the beach itself was still foggy so I stopped at the Limantour Estero viewpoint which for a long time has no view of Limantour Estero. The visual basin has been overtaken by the forest. Nonetheless, hearing the elk howling in the distance made it worth the stop. I parked in the east parking lot of Limantour and walked to the beach. The same gulls massed right and left, at least until the dog walkers chased away the group on the right. The dog, Bruno, was an inquisitive and friendly four-month-old dog with lanky legs, which the owner hoped would be good at hunting turkeys and deer. I watched a few pelicans go by, along with a tern or two, then decided to get back to the car and drive home quietly.