What is so rare as a day in January? Then if ever come perfect days… at least if you live in California.
Some errands brought me to the north end of town, and it was such a warm sunny day I thought I’d take a break and visit Natural Bridges State Beach. At this time of year, the beach is best known for migrating monarch butterflies, so first I took a walk along the monarch trail, a set of boardwalks through the eucalyptus grove that is favored by the butterflies.
While historically the butterflies have remained as late in the year as March, the rangers told me that for the past few years they have been leaving earlier and earlier. I only saw one or two fluttering in the high canopy. A bit disappointed –I was hoping for trees festooned in orange masses– I headed for the beach.
It was a really, really beautiful day today. The bridge stood out against the sparkling waves.
There were two arches in the bridge until fairly recently. Here is a very old photo, from around 1927. I found it on Tahquechi Photography blog. It’s a slightly different angle, but you can see the toll the pounding surf has taken on the rock.
It was so beautiful, even the gulls stopped to admire the view.
At low tide, you can explore the tidal pools along these ledges on the northern end of the beach. Not a good idea today.
But, since it was high tide and a fair surf, I was treated to a close-up view of a trio of young surfers. The rock formations at this beach make for interesting wave patterns. Not only do the waves come straight in from the ocean, but there is a secondary set of waves that come in sideways after rebounding from the ledges. It was these sideways waves that attracted the surfers.
I have an old Canon A510 camera, much abused and overworked. It has accompanied me on many hiking trails, usually stuck in a pants-leg pocket. The lens grinds on its way out, I have to prod the shutter to get it to open all the way, and the batteries run out a lot faster than they used to. Nevertheless, I had a great time trying to take photos of the surfers, and am rather pleased with how they came out. Enjoy the show!
And one last look at the bridge.
The weather prediction is that it will be just as beautiful out tomorrow. How is a person supposed to work in this place?