June is an odd, unpredictable month when it comes to weather. Here, on California’s central coast, we complain if the temperature varies by more than 5 degrees F, and we complain a lot in June. But today, I find a nice hour in the afternoon when the wind settles and the sun is mild. I go for a walk.
I want to see what is happening to the seasonal ponds in the dunes. These low areas fill up with water after it rains, but we have had a month of sun and wind, and I am thinking that they will be dry today.
When I reach the dunes, I find a little water, but it has turned swamp-y. I think that the mallard ducks I noticed last time have found a better place to settle. I see several curlews sticking their long, curved beaks into the sand of the dunes, and I wonder if they are testing out potential nesting places. Then I think more likely they are scrounging for the little plover eggs that I have never seen, but are said to be everywhere on this protected area. Curlews, apparently, ignore the warning signs.
I tab back through my photos to find an earlier picture of the ponds, and compare to what I see now. The potential duck home then:
My attention is called skyward when a large group of sea gulls flies overhead. I turn south to see wave after wave of the birds all flying north past me toward the town of Cayucos, maybe even farther. I wonder what would have caused this. A cluster of seafood in the waves farther north on the beach? As more and more make the flight northward, it is apparent that the birds know something I do not, and it makes me curious. Blue herons and a vulture or two join the flight north. The sky is so filled that I get distracted with the sight and forget I have a camera in my hands. By the time I have things in focus, the migration has passed.
If I could fly, I could find out where the gulls and their companions are headed, and maybe the reason for their flight. But I am feet-only today, and it is time for the walk back home. I often wonder about measuring my afternoon walks, curious as I am about distance and time. Then I decide the better measurement is in pictures, however flawed and intermittent. Happy walking!
Linked to Restless Jo’s Monday Walks