Monday, June 8, 2009

Now Where Am I, Again?

The Humboldt Bay Area is well-known--no, FAMOUS for it's fog. Sunshiny days right on the bay are infrequent enough that EVERYBODY comments on the weather. The early part of last week was very grey and drizzly, so when Saturday dawned calm and clear, it was an easy decision to go OUT and DO something. P had his camera with and he got some great snaps, which I am borrowing for this blog.

I had a college buddy over, so she, me and P all piled into the car and went for a sojourn. We headed out to Ferndale and browsed in the shops for a good while--nice antiques, great buttons at Foggy Bottoms Yarn, The Blacksmith's Shop (always a fun place to browse), and Golden Gait Mercantile. Good times!

We then headed out to Centerville Beach, where the waves were uncharacteristically flat. T-shirt weather at a north coast beach! Wow! And tiny waves? we don't baby surf like this very often.

Surf's NOT up!:

After Centerville Beach, we popped into Loleta Cheese and tormented ourselves looking at goodies that are not South Beach approved. Still, we got an eyeful of what was there and we will be able to add back some richer cheeses in the not too distant future.

After leaving Loleta, we took the backroads out to the South Jetty. I admit, I have never seen it so calm! Even the North Jetty was almost like glass; usually it gets the brunt of the waves coming into the mouth of the bay. Saturday, there was nothing. Often a walk to the very end of the Jetty is intimidating because the waves can actually break over the walkway. Not Saturday--a stroll out seemed like a must.

South Jetty, no waves:

'rie and me, strolling along:

It was calm enough to get right down to the edge:

There were a lot of critters right down at the edge on the bay side of the jetty: starfish of all colors were everywhere--purple, red and orange. There were dozens of starfish and they were scattered all over the rocks, and tended to cluster around clumps of mussels, that abounded. Some were above the waterlinne, some below. The tide was pretty low, so we really got an eyeful!

Starfish herds:

There were other critters, as well. The water was shallow enough that we could see down to the kelp leaves, which reflected a bluish iridescence. There are several forms of seaweed, some eelgrass, and the really find-- agumboot chiton! I have seen them on the beach, all dried out, so this was my first live one. It was a quite bright red--almost startling.

A bright red gumboot chiton. Weird, eh?:

A glance over to the other side of the jetty wall--the seaward side--showed a bit more wave action (but not much) and clumps of sea palms. The palms looked like a strange Dr. Seussian forest of trees with draggly wet hair.

Sea palms:

Anyone see the Lorax?:

The end of the Jetty is all concrete riprap. The riprap is verey cool; it looks alternately like giant jacks tossed together or like some immense concrete crystal structure. P got some really great shots:

Giant jacks?:

Or space alien crystals? You decide!:

At one point, 'rie and I had a harbor seal pop her head up and give us a lazy eye. She lingered a bit and the dove and disappeared. What a time to not have my camera! Still, the biggest thrill was the jellyfish. There were a couple dozen all along the edge. They were coasting and flexing through the current, falsing grey, light blue and lavender as they moved. Some would get caught in an eddy and were pushed into little calm pockets of water, affording really good, close views. I really like the 'shamrock' in the center that would flash and then disappear. It was neat to see them move--they can get around when they want to! They looked to be ranging for 6 inches to a foot in diameter. So cool!

Pink jelly with P's shadow:

Lucky shamrock jelly?:

It was a lovely outing! The whole weekend was great weather. I'll do another post soon about the hike we took Sunday...

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