01 May 2009

First of May


10am, Friday morning, the first day of May, just before low tide.

Unusually calm out here this morning. Almost no breeze to speak of. A flat, gray-blue sky. The ocean quieter than it's supposed to be. Feels more like a summer on Blue Hill Bay than the roiling Pacific coast.

A western grebe sits just out of reach atop the placid sea, wrestling a slender silvery fish into position for the long slide down his white gullet. Further out a black'n'white-backed loon rises and falls on modest swells.

Reading Rock seemingly floats above the ocean six miles out. The ebbing tide uncovers a rocky path from the north side of the creek to the Sisters. Dark boulders, usually unseen, surround Little Girl Rock. A single long wave breaks a hundred yards offshore indicating a shallow sandbar raised by gravels carved from the redwood hills and transported downhill in the belly of the creek.

The sun tries in vain to crack the gray clouds. It never quite makes it through, though the sky brightens and warms my neck nonetheless.

Three cormorants zip by as I reach the mouth of the creek. The waves are taller here and crash more loudly where they meet the creek's rushing waters. The mouth bends to the south, the lack of recent rain slowing its push to the ocean.

Three dozen gulls rest on the peninsula separating creek and ocean. Western gulls, California gulls, and a single Heerman's gull, his orange bill and charcoal gray body distinguishing him from the rest. Two Caspian terns soar above the small seagull gathering, followed a moment later by a solitary pelican gliding inches above the waves.

I follow a single line of heron tracks from the mouth back to the calm estuary. The timeless drumming of the surf gives way to the twittering of a thousand songbirds. This place comes alive in the spring. It’s long past time for me to do the same.

1 comment:

Carson Park Ranger said...

Great way to start the day.
Uh, how was the traffic?