Friday, December 3, 2010

california day IV, pelicans, egrets and more...

i'm nearly drug free for the night. i am on call. the upside is that i had planned on muddling through one night of misery at work and my friend gail at work took pity and put me on call. as day for in california was also thanksgiving..i am thankful for the kind coworkers i have. they are friends as well as co-workers and try to do the best by everyone. i do feel better overall, but i still sound like crap. the downside of being on call is that i can't take any nyquil or hycodan for my cough and cold symptoms.
on thanksgiving morning my brother and his family loaded us up and headed us out to bolsa chica to a preserve. i have always loved pelicans and this is a great place to get up close and personal with pelicans. i've never really been able to watch them fish, but they are quite skilled. i watched them dive bomb the water repeated and come out successful but they seem to be randomly divebombing and we were all surprised they came out with anything at all. they haven't survived this many years out in this tough world without skills though, however clumsy they may appear.
later we went to dog beach in huntington beach to let thier dog romp about, and for me to get my dog/beach fix. they go here fairly often i gather and all seem to enjoy it.
back to more pictures from the waters in bolsa chica. i'd never been here before...amazing to grow up in a place and see so little of it.
pelicans are just such ancient looking birds. quite grand looking, really. i could have stood on those raised walkways for hours taking photo after photo of them. we stayed a few minutes and then wandered off on the trail system in the preserve.
it was just jeffs family and i for a small thanksgiving dinner. simple, they had bought a ready made meal and wils just reheated it. the ham was quite tasty. i'm kinda wanted the whole turkey thing though i must admit. lucky for me jeff did the whole roast/mashed potatoe thing a few nights later. we always had tons of mashed potatoes and fresh gravy growing up. no meal is complete without it. jeff is pretty picky eater and i must say i was impressed that he ate the mashed potatoes that were provided by the store....lots of chives. wils and i weren't sure how that would go over.
later we joined friends of wils and jeffs for deserts. it was a relaxing and lovely day.
above is a pelican divebombing seemingly haphazardly at the water. he almost flipped himself right over and yet...he got the fish. it's not pretty but quite effective. once they decide to dive it's all rather rapid. i should have switched to video...
wils with ian and ella. loved the cool sunglasses. wils says he just figured out that they coverage includes one pair glasses for each of them per they bought the kids these cool higher end sunglasses. guess i've been wasting my coverage as well. now i'll have to buy actual perscriptions though.
so much to be thankful travels, overall health(despite my temporary setback),i live in a beautiful place, great canine and feline companions, fabulous friends, ability to travel to and enjoy amazing places, animals and scenery, family...
the world is full of wonderful places, beautiful animals and kind and loving people. one doesn't have to look far to find any of these things and i am forever grateful to the powers that be for the gifts of this earth.
we did manage a walk in the bog today. it looked like it may snow, and may have a smidge. blossom was sure happy to be out there. i think she is happy anytime, even just chilling with me on the couch as i cough and wretch.
don't think it was as cold today, but that isn't to say it's gotten warm. if i don't get called in tonight i will have until next thursday. i really should get a little tree and do some christmas decorating. i haven't started with my cards yet. i need to write a little christmas letter. i do hope mine isn't one that will be read with mockery. i know we had a letter that we recieved each year from a particular family that was read aloud each christmas eve. the annual event. my uncle would read it and we would all laugh at the letter boastful nature.
chatted with my neice for a bit today. claire and i chat from time to time. i was bummed i missed her this trek out. she went to utah to be with her siblings and all that. happy to chat with her though. we are, in many ways, more like sisters. she is just 13 years younger than i am and we just always have related well to one another. of all my nieces and nephews we just had the opportunity to hang out the most. she lives in minnesota now so we have cold weather in common as well.

family photo's....i'm sure they have a zillion of them. of course, they probably have more pictures of one or the other of them with the kids rather than both of them with the kids.
ella wasn't too keen on all the walking, but she did fine and even walked again happily once we hit the dog beach.
we lost electricity briefly that day due to a car accident down the street, weren't sure if we'd be able to cook up the thanksgiving meal. the other funny thing was that the gardeners were there working on the sprinklers on thanksgiving day...felt kinda odd sitting down to a feast while they worked outside.
this one is a cormorant of some sort.
then there were many egrets as well out there. like the swans i find the egrets to be a graceful and lovely bird. they are great to photograph because of thier grace.
i'm a sucker for reflections as well so this was a perfect opportunity for me.
i was told what type of egret, but i'll just be fine with egret....this is why i will never be able to be an official birder. i'm fine with egret...that just wouldn't be acceptable.
this bird seems more duck or grebe like...i have no idea of it's actual identification...such a failed birder i am. he looked nice out there though.
liked this of wils and ian. ian was quite tolerant of the sunglasses. they were wrap arounds so not entirely easy for him to just yank off.

we only explored a bit of the wet lands, much more was out there, but we had other things to do and so the birds were left behind eventually.
i would definitly recommend it to anyone who enjoys nature and birding in particular....seems to be quite the hot spot.

we took a short cut back to the car. still flowers out there, which is fun for an alaskan to see.
we get the same plants in some cases, they just have a much shorter life. i'm always amazed at how quickly things grow to maturity up here, only to die off for the seasons passing.

these next few are from dog beach. liked the one of ella as she often sees the camera and poses, as most kids/people do. fun to catch kids just being kids and enjoying life.
dog beach was fairly crowded on the turkey holiday. seemed mostly under control and civilized. saw one dog poop in the water, just like in the marley movie. the owner seemed non-plused about it. showed no interest in retraining the dog or cleaning up.
long beach is in the background.
huntington pier...
wils, ella and thier dog pucca.
dogs all seemed so happy on dog beach. wish blossom and rio could enjoy it there. i know they'd love it.
several dogs did take off and enjoy the surf. there was a labradoodle there. overall, the folks out there weren't as friendly as the folks i meet here at our dog parks, could be that they get to know each other as the regulars.
california has many smaller dogs whereas alaskans tend to have the larger breeds. that doesn't mean little dogs don't live here or viceversa. saw one mastiff on the beach. i'm going to try and get some rest and hope they phone doesn't ring. hopefully, my cough doesn't keep me up.

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