April 5-7, 2015
Now that I have completed the blog posts for The Big Trip, I can focus exclusively on recent trips. When I started this blog in 2012, I hoped it would stimulate more writing. It has done that to a small degree. But blogging has been most effective at pulling the photographer out of me.
On Easter, Chris and I managed to slip away for two days to Morro Bay, about three hours south. Within Morro Bay State Park is a grove of eucalyptus trees that serve as a rookery for cormorants, herons and egrets, each nesting in succession. The row of trees closest to the Bay are lifeless and skeletal, having died from a lethal dose of bird poop. However, the birds still like to roost and nest there and the leafless bony branches make for good photographs.
The double-crested cormorants are the first to breed and they were just starting their pair bonding behavior. The males presented their mates with all manner of grass, seaweed and sticks for the new nursery. A constant stream of male cormorants, coming and going, flew overhead. As part of their courtship, the pairs squawked at each other, opened their blue-lined mouths and made sinuous – I suppose sexy to them – movements with their long necks. There was a lot of wing flapping too. During breeding season, the double-crested cormorants develop two sets of head feathers that are either black or white, creating a handsome and sometimes comical appearance.
For the short time we were there I repeatedly wandered the nearby trails along the water. I kayaked across the bay to the long spit of of sand dunes that nearly encloses the bay and hiked to the open ocean.