For your listening enjoyment - New Monsoon
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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sonoma Coast Revisited

My daughter was excited to be able to drive herself to camp this year, where she is now a counselor. Unfortunately her car broke down just before she was to leave, so it gave me another opportunity to explore the Sonoma Coast.
Unlike last year, the marine layer was several thousand feet thick so the coast was shrouded in fog. The Humbolt Current offshore brings frigid water down from the north creating a layer of fog over the ocean. Under the right conditions this layer is pushed offshore and the beaches are sunny, other times it comes rolling in over the hills.

[click photos to enlarge]

A pair of vultures circle above the hills.

The fog filters through the trees, condensing on the leaves and providing moisture through the resulting rain off of the foliage.

Several shots along the road down to the beach at Goat Rock.

Agent 99 put her embellishment to this shot.

Colors abound in the low clinging plants overlooking the beach.

The surf was too high to do any beach combing.

After leaving the beach we move on to Pomo Canyon in hopes of finding a campsite in the Redwood Grove at the center of this shot.

We lucked out. The place was full, but someone was pulling out and we snagged their site on the hillside before anyone else could claim it.

Looking downhill from our site.

Our home for the night perched on the hillside.

The early day fog...

gave way in the late afternoon to let the sun sneak in.

Typical to the Redwoods, a family of younger trees grows from around the base of an older fallen tree.

The Bay Laurels go to extremes to access the sunlight.


The next morning after packing up we return to the beach to explore further.

A vulture glides along the air currents over the hills along the beach.

A gull poses for me.

Looking north from Goat Rock.

And to the south.

The path through the dunes opens onto an immense sand beach just south of the mouth of the Russian River.

Low tide leaves mud flats along the river below Jenner...

where well camouflaged shore birds hunt for food.

Old pipes stick out of the embankment along the river.

A lone Harbor Seal lays along the beach.
We wondered if it was ill or injured since it was isolated from the rest of the pack.

Plants along the coast are well sculpted by the wind which blows almost continuously here.

The Harbor Seal rookery at the mouth of the Russian River.

The seals lay ready to slip into the water at the slightest disturbance.
The rookery is protected and people must stay at least 50 yards away from the seals.

The tide is coming in, flowing into the mouth of the river which runs backwards until the crest of the high tide.

Looking north, the river enters along the base of the cliffs at the right of the photo. Highway 1 runs along near the top of the hills in the distance.

People on the beach silhouetted in the fog.

More wild life...

the molted shell of a crab

What is a photo shoot after all without some old rusty thing?
(The idler wheel from the track of an old bulldozer half buried in the rocks along the beach.)

It even came from my original home town!

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