Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Point Lobos.

3-15-17 LOS GATOS, CA: Yesterday Judy, Pam and I went south to Point Lobos State Park in Carmel and walked around the coastal cliffs. At the first place that we stopped the rock of the shoreline was conglomerate, a sedimentary rock, filled with boulders, cobles and pebbles mostly well rounded by the river that flowed into the ocean here during the Pleistocene Epoch. The conglomerate is part of the delta left by that river. Some sandstone strata are exposed that were deposited seaward of the conglomerate.

On land there were a lot of Monterey pines, seaside shrubs mixed in with a lot of poison oak, and a variety of wildflowers. There was a fog bank a mile offshore that looked like a wall. It was slight foggy onshore when we arrived, and then the fog moved in and condensed on my glasses and camera lens before retreating. We saw gulls and cormorants and harbor seals in the surf and on the rocks when the fog lifted.

The site is beautiful anywhere you look. Judy and I were here once before, in the early 1990’s, and we’ve always wanted to go back. It’s still in pristine condition in spite of huge crowds everyday. There were eight cars in line in front of us to pay the modest entry fee, and it was hard to find a parking spot in the park.

We went to a second site to see the igneous rock, which dates from the Cretaceous Period. The Monterey cypress seem to prefer this area. This cove is more sheltered from the surf, and we saw other water birds including a great egret, pairs of mallards and Canada geese and a great blue heron on a treetop. There were more harbor seals and, wait for it, sea otters.

Sea Otter lolling in the kelp.

The conglomerate rock part of the shore line. You can see the clear water and the rocks eroded out of the conglomerate formation.

The granite, actually grandiorite, part of the park topped by Monterey cypress. It's partly hidden by the fog that moved onshore and then back to sea.

Pelagic cormorant on weathered igneous rocks.

Great egret working the kelp bed about 30 feet off the beach.

Harbor seal awaken by the incoming tide.

Great blue heron on a treetop. Advertising for a companion?

That heron surrounded by cypress and fog.

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