Hello and Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends and followers. As some of you know, I am already in California visiting friends near Santa Cruz before I make my way to Santa Clara tomorrow to get ready for the PIQF.
The last few days have just flown by. Every day we have explored the area and Santa Cruz itself. Yesterday I finally got my walk on the beach. I could not wait to take off shoes and socks and walk in the warm sand with the Pacific Ocean licking at my toes.
To avoid the Sunday afternoon crowds near the amusement park we opted to visit the Rookery. Imagine my surprise when I spotted rocks high above the ocean surf populated with thousands of American pelicans. We have pelicans where I live, but they leave the area every winter. And never have I been able to come so close to these majestic birds. I love the way they sail through the air so effortlessly despite their large bodies and beaks. My friend suggested that I might consider the pelican for a new series… the seed has been planted.
I took hundreds of images but when I downloaded them this morning not very many are actually that good. I opted to take my back up camera on this trip to stay within the luggage weight set be the airline. I barely made it… but now I begin to wonder if I made a mistake. I find a lot of the images were over exposed despite using a polarizing filter. Maybe it is the operator and her lack of knowledge with the camera. I was disappointed when I had to delete a lot of images due to camera shake and lack of focus. You are being treated to the best images I was able to capture of pelicans in flight.
I not usually too fond of large bird populations (maybe due to watching Hitchcocks” “The Birds” when I was barely 12…), but yesterday afternoon I could not get enough of watching the pelicans soaring overhead, flying just beyond the rocky out-croppings and dive bombing to catch their next snack.
The afternoon ended with a visit to the Santa Cruz Pier, which kicked off its 100 year celebration last Saturday. I am was glad we had missed the crowds. It was easy find a parking spot and soon we were exploring what is below the pier.
Sea lions were barking and their haunting song beckoned to descend the stairs to the dock. I was not able to capture many photos. I tried, but with the low light my camera didn’t respond fast enough.
This character face was the best I could capture…
Sunset from the pier looking west toward the light house that is hoe to the Surfer Museum. I heard a rumor that Santa Cruz Beach is the place where the surfer culture was born.
I have one more day to explore – see what I find in tomorrow’s post. Enjoy your holiday Monday, everyone.
I love Pelicans too! One day I was driving through (inland) Oregon, passing a place called Pelican Bay, and there were hundreds of huge white penguins floating in that water! It was just astonishing to come across something so unexpected. Your flight pictures are beautiful. And love the close-up of the sea lion. I am glad you are having a little time to enjoy California before your teaching begins. Looking forward to meeting you!
I am looking forward to meeting you as well, Debby!
Happy Thanksgiving, Anna! Love your photos & commentary. Hope you enjoy the rest of your time in sunny California.
Thanks, Susan. Heading over to the conference hotel tomorrow and looking forward to meeting the other teachers and judges. Have a great week!
HAPPY THANKSGIVING ANNA…. Some amazing photos there – I love seeing the pelicans in flight. What a privilege to see them that close! Enjoy your time down there ~
Thanks Shena, and Happy Thanksgiving to you!
One more day of leisure – then the work begins and I won’t be close to the beach!