Wednesday, April 26, 2017

March 19, 2017 A Sunday Morning Hike at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve


Christy and I spent the morning hiking at Bolsa Chica on the Pacific Coast Highway. This little wetlands park is a great place to see birds and get away from the congestion of the Southern California strip malls.

Just a few feet away from PCH and you feel like it is miles away.
This area would be just another housing development if a group of women, The Amigos of Bolsa Chica, hadn't protected the wetlands starting in the 1960's. Muchas Gracias Damas!
American Coot

Snowy Egret

Marbled Godwit

maybe a Northern Pintail

maybe it isn't

Snowy egret

Great Egret

American White Pelican

the beautiful wetlands

there are raised earth walkways through areas like this


Great Blue Heron 


another great blue heron

Chrissy took a lot of amazing close up shots


there were a lot of herons in trees on the backside of the park



on a dreary day this area had a lot of color

i love the contrast of colorful flowers mixed with cactus


a brave snail out in the open with all these birds flying overhead



This bird was very popular with the many photographers here. I believe this is a reddish egret.

Osprey

Great Egret and Snowy Egret


I think this is a family of Marbled Godwits

This duck had a message for us.

Snowy Egret

Of course there are oil fields here too. 

An old school oil rig which is very common around here.

A snowy egret searching for food...which is what we did after our two and a half hour hike at the wonderful Bolsa Chica Wetlands.







Friday, April 21, 2017

March 18, 2017 Spending the Day at Crystal Cove State Park

We are in California for my mom's 70th birthday party tonight. So Chrissy, Jeff and I decided to spend the day at Crystal Cove State Park.

We headed down to the beach then walked south to the historic district.


Jonathan Livingston looking for food.

I love the ocean and spending time walking on the beach.

A talented and patient person left some artwork on the beach.

It's impressive that this stayed upright for who knows how long.

The first part of the historic district that we saw was fenced off. These buildings have not been rehabbed yet.
 
But the flowers have taken over the land.

I had to shoot through the fence. Some houses look worse than others.

At least the overgrowth is colorful.

I can see the potential in fixing these up to use as rentals right on the beach.

Someone built this sand castle on the beach

We arrived at the historic district that has been rebuilt and was very crowded on this beautiful morning.

We relaxed on a bench for a few minutes.

Colorful flowers are everywhere.

These houses are available as rentals which will hopefully bring in money to repair the rest of the houses.

There is a swimming beach at the historic district but we headed further south to the rocky beach.

We walked out on the rocks to see the tidal pools, take photos and relax with the sound of waves crashing around us.






Two brothers on the rocks.







More rentals in the historic district

Walking through the district looking for lunch.

I love the nostalgic old signs. 

We asked a local for a lunch recommendation...

...he told us to eat at the Shake Shack up on the Coast Highway.

The Crystal Cove Alliance runs the visitor center and the house rentals. If you are in SoCal, why not stay on the beach and support a good cause.

We took the staircase up to the Shack Shack for lunch...

...the food was good but the shake was incredible.
We walked back to the car up on the cliffs where Chrissy took pictures of  the colorful flowers.


Every day spent on a beach is a good day. Living in the Midwest has some advantages but I really miss the ocean. So today was definitely a good day for me.