Bodega Bay Coastline, Northern California

It wasn’t until the end of my summer that I finally decided to go the beach. I don’t know why that is, but I am glad I did. The sights filled me with awe and psychological nourishment, and in realizing that I live much closer than I used to, I may be visiting more often.

Bodega Bay is actually a rather undramatic, enclosed space of water of which, I did not photograph, but after I traveled past the bay a few miles, I was met with this spectacular sight after parking.

I have been to these beaches before, and I will certainly come again, though I hadn’t been visiting enough to realize that if I had gone just a few more yards, I would have found a trail with actual footsteps. Without venturing to find such steps, I instead braved the cliff side, straight down. The advantage here was that, where the other beaches were populated with people, I had this section all to myself.

Here the roar of the waves captivated me, the raw power of the Pacific Ocean. Naturally, I took pictures.

The rocks have abstract, contrasting colors, verifiable evidence of the wonder of nature working over time, rendering my own frame but a tiny speck in the magnificent course of the universe. Everything comes into perspective when I witness the awe with my eyes.

The sand isn’t actually sand, but rather, millions of bead-like pebbles washed over and over again by the crushing waves. When I got home, instead of wet layers of sand, I had a couple of these pebbles inside my shoe, which I kept.

Out in the water there is what I labeled “bird-rock,” where the birds seem to be taking breaks in between their fishing activities. Unfortunately, I didn’t possess the kind of equipment that would’ve allowed me to catch the large birds when they cruise above a wave, parallel with the coastline. When I saw this, I thought of the ecological system working here, but I thought, more so, of what the planet must have looked like when dinosaurs roamed. Every time I see a bird, I think of dinosaurs.

When I saw this…this “thing” in the water, its greenery blazing into my eyes, I knew it was going to be one of the stars of my post. I don’t know what it is, but it is bizarre, odd-looking, and yet miraculous and seemingly, incredibly benign, I think. It didn’t try to hurt me, anyways.

I thought I was being followed, and I suspect the warm, aromatic pastrami sandwich I had in my backpack might’ve had something to do with it.

The splashes took a few shots to get, though I didn’t even realize I caught these. Elsewhere, the shells glue themselves to the rocks in masses.

Behind me, the forces of erosion exposed the roots of a tree, making for a rather desperate situation before the thing will probably plunge down the cliff. It is Manzanita, famed for its twisting limbs. California has tons of it.

And speaking of erosion.

Signs of human activity is evident here in this bit of driftwood construction art while off in the distance, a strange world lurks.

The kelp gets strewn in continual strokes of the tide, and the flies love this stuff. In the meantime, magical geological processes formulate these masterpieces of rock in the cliff side.

And now I’ve just realized, I live critically close to a Redwood Forest. Mmm, I’ve got an idea.

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