On New Year’s weekend, I journeyed to California’s North Coast. Although I’ve blogged about hiking through the giant redwoods in this region when it’s warm and dry, this was my first trip in the winter. My friend and I stayed on the coast, the seasonal home of wading waterfowl. I often get these look-alike birds mixed up, so it was helpful to travel with expert birder Brian who could identify species.
Layered up in the cold rain with few people around, we spotted wildlife at Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary. A peregrine falcon plucked the feathers from her breakfast. A trio of otters watched us before swimming away. I managed to sneak in a few photos between the raindrops.
Snowy egret (left) and great egret
Visiting a place in a different season is a wonder of discovery. At Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge, we encountered dramatic dark clouds and enormous storm waves, miles of beach with no other footprints, bright berries and spongy lichens as the earth thrived on plentiful water after so many years of drought. Waves swirled around giant redwood stumps as the sanderlings skittered between the waves to feed on molluscs in the wet sand.
Low-growing berries and lichen
This may have been my first trip to the North Coast during the winter, but it was so beautiful that I don’t think it will be my last.
Beautiful and inspiring as your posts always are. Really nice to see what winter brings to the North Coast. Thank you for the beautiful pictures and descriptions!
Thanks. It was like visiting a new place to go in winter.
Beautiful, Beverly. Love seeing your posts.
So glad you enjoy them!
Beverly, you have beautifully captured the calm within the eddies of winter storms.
I always appreciate your feedback with your photographer and writer’s eye.
Excellent photos. Thanks for sharing your trip. I hope all is going well for you.
Great to see your note, and wishing you the best as well.
Oh I love the beautiful North Coast. Like something out of a novel. The berries and lichen are especially striking in your post.
Yes, it was magical and those plant colors in all that gray were striking. Thanks.
Beautiful pictures! It’s so lovely to see someone enjoying this area even if the weather isn’t that great. I just moved to Humboldt County, and even if it rains a lot, I still love the scenery. You can’t beat the beach – even in winter! 🙂 Thanks for sharing.
Someone once told me, “The weather is always perfect,” meaning you just have to be properly dressed for it. Thanks for your comment. I confess to being a little jealous that you get to live in Humboldt County year-round.