Monday, July 28, 2008

Spending a little time in Monterey

I took the day off from work today. And Red and I made plans to drive to Monterey, about 70 miles from where we live, and about a 1-hour 20 minute drive. We focused on the Fisherman's Wharf area because that was the area where Red had seen Brandt's Cormorants nesting when she took a mini-vacation in early May to see poppies and other wildflowers farther south. I was so impressed with her photos from that trip, and I had never seen a Brandt's Cormorant before. So naturally I wanted to see one and add it to my life list. Now I can. But the pictures I have here are of the brown pelicans we saw today, too. Brandt's Cormorants will be in a subsequent post. Below is a photo of some of the brown pelicans we saw on the path from the parking lot to the Coast Guard station where the nesting cormorants would be found. As you can see from the photo there are boats docked around here, which is part of the Monterey Marina, too.
One of the reasons for taking a day off from work this week is because my husband and son went backpacking in the Sierras for a week. They left last Wednesday and will return tomorrow night. That gave Red and me an opportunity to do something together without the guys. And since we enjoy each other's company and taking photos of flora and fauna we took advantage of her day off. Red always has Mondays off since she works half days on Saturdays.
Monterey and Monterey Bay has so much to offer the tourist. There is much one can do there both indoors and out. But it's the outdoors that attracts so many people to the area. There were quite a few folks all around today. It's amazing how we got photos without people in them. I think a lot of it had to do with this path/trail we were on. It was nice and wide and easy walking. It's also available for bicyclists.
The only downside to our trip today was that the fog or what we call marine layer failed to lift while we were there. But we were still able to get lots of good photos. Be sure to click on the photos to see larger versions.


Wren said...

Looks like a great trip. I didn't realize you were so close to Monterey, but my California geography is a little shaky sometimes.

I haven't been there in years, and when I was, it was just a brief visit to the downtown area. But now I'm plotting how to get there on my next visit to LA.

Red said...

That would be a long drive from LA... (5 hours most likely) probably worth it though. It is one of the most beautiful sections of California.

Prasad said...

Brown pelicans look great. I want to go there again as soon as I get my camera back.. Do you know if the pelicans were there all day or did they come in for a meal and left?

Linda in Erie said...

Now those are the things I miss about living in California. The Sierras and the coast. You can have desert, mountains, snow or the ocean all within a few hours from each other. I used to never stay home on weekends. But we have some good things here, too. But I do miss it. I can smell the salty ocean air through your pictures!

Mary C said...

Hi Wren - yes, I think Red is correct that it's about 4-1/2 - 5 hours drive from LA. Monterey is pretty much in the middle of the state. Let me know when you plan to visit - I'll be glad to meet you there in Monterey (if your time permits).

Thanks, Red.

Prasad - you still don't have your camera back? No wonder I haven't seen any photos lately. Gosh, that's been a long wait. I'm certain the pelicans were there all day; and they were all over. It was so much fun to watch these birds in flight. I didn't get any shots of them in flight. I stood there with my mouth open saying "wow!" My daughter (Red) got photos of the pelicans in flight. I think she'll be posting them in another day or two. Stay tuned.

Hi Linda - I know what you mean about missing what CA has to offer geographically. When we lived in New Mexico for a few years I used to yearn to return to CA. And, now I yearn for New Mexico. Sometimes I wish I could have both, if you know what I mean.

RuthieJ said...

Those are great pictures Mary. I visited Monterey once several years ago with my brother. We toured the aquarium (of course!) and hung around on some of the piers watching birds and seals, so it was fun to see your pictures of this pretty area.
P.S. Are you turning Red into a birder?????

Mary C said...

Hi Ruthie - thanks. It's been several years since I was at the Aquarium, but that is one place that is always changing and improving. And it's my loss for not visiting them more often. I think you are right, but I wouldn't advertise that Red is becoming a birder. At least not yet. ;o) Yet I have convinced her to join me and my husband to attend the Monterey Bay Birding Festival that will be coming up in late September. I think she will still consider herself a nature photographer. But that definitely includes birds!


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