A couple of weeks before my birthday, which is today, Mrs. C proposed a trip to the North Coast for a walk on the beach, which we planned to do yesterday. A week ago we noticed that rain was on the forecast all the way to the coast, so we thought we might end up taking a sedentary drive, and eat crab on the way.
We met at her house, where across the road I found sourgrass – Oxalis pes-caprae – in abundance. I didn’t know until I looked up the botanical name just now that it is considered a noxious weed around here. Its bright color drenched with rain made it reflect all the midday light.
Mrs. C has peach blossoms by her deck. I’m glad she is the kind of friend who doesn’t mind slowing down while I take pictures of everything. Well, not quite everything.
You can see from these photos how the sky was white or gray with clouds. We had our umbrellas with us when we set out.
After we enjoyed our little lunch, sitting in her truck on a bluff overlooking the ocean, we walked down to Schoolhouse Beach, not even bringing our umbrellas, because there was no sign of rain. I know God held the rain off because He wanted me to have a birthday walk on the sand. 🙂
And not just a walk, but a look at the sand. We sat on rocks and sifted through the sand that on this particular beach is very gravelly. No grain of sand was too small to hold separately in our fingers. Here is a close-up:
Remember when last month I saw the sand display in Pacific Grove? Soon afterward I did buy some small bottles in hopes of filling them with sand from my explorations. I managed to have two with me, and I collected the first sample at this beach. It even contained a piece of beach glass.
You might notice in that photo above the blue sky in the background. For much of the afternoon we were under a clear and blue ceiling, though we could see fog banks and clouds moving in on three sides of us.
Mrs. C didn’t bring a camera or a bottle, but she made her own collection of some of the larger pebbles.
This beach is dangerous for swimming, as are many on California’s North Coast. It has a sharp drop-off that I think is somehow connected to the frequency of “sleeper” or rogue waves, plus undercurrents that are hard to escape from. Just last month a woman was swept off a rock here and drowned.
After a while we drove five minutes south to Salmon Creek Beach where the sand was more like sand. The fog and clouds had covered the sun, and the sea gulls were lined up facing the wind. Those birds must have known that we had no food, because they ignored us on both beaches.
We walked even more along here, after I scooped up “plain” sand into my second bottle. Iceplant and sourgrass and other flowers I don’t know are starting to bloom. This one I haven’t been able to identify so far:
It was growing on the edges of a lagoon that has been receding. Salmon Creek flows through the lagoon on its way to the sea, making always-new carvings through the sand. This was our last view as we reluctantly made our way up the cliff and left the wide views behind us.
It had been a lovely gift of a day. Within a minute of my leaving Mrs. C’s house, thundershowers began, and I drove through ten or fifteen of them before I got home.
I need to put a couple of empty bottles in my bags right now while I’m thinking of it, and start planning my next adventure so as to include sand. 🙂