Saturday, April 23, 2016

Northern Exposure

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My wife and I drove up the coast to chill out in Mendocino for a couple of days, and we stopped at Salt Point State Park on the way up to stretch our legs and enjoy some northern exposure.

I think I could photograph the tafoni sandstone formations at Salt Point all day. I spent maybe half an hour in one small area while Pam took in the inspiring seascape and spotted a couple of gray whales heading north and spouting off fairly close to shore.

The tafoni formations are one of those subjects that you never finish exploring. The possibilities are endless and invite many interpretations and compositions. Eventually you have to move on, but you do so knowing you weren't truly done, and that one day you will return to explore some more.

We walked north along the bluffs from the paid ($8) parking area. There was lots of sea pink, or sea thrift, as well as goldfields and iris and poppies. The bloom wasn't as fantastic as I chanced to see it one fine day in May a few years back, but it was still pretty good.

We'd just reached this promising area for more minute exploration, with carpets of purple johnny-tuck and pillows of poppies, when it started to drizzle. We didn't want to head back to the car, but the drizzle kept intensifying, so we made a reluctant retreat and continued our drive up the coast to Mendocino. 

I mainly used my pocket camera in Mendocino and came home with a bunch of tourist pix that I thought I might sprinkle on the blog until I realized it was just too much. After a brief, wonderful stay, we drove down to the headlands this morning for one last look. We were harried by rain yet again, but it was all good.

Springtime in Sonoma and Mendocino counties is awesome, and rain enhances the experience if you let it.

This one little cove was churning with heavy swells, but farther down the coast it wasn't rough at all.

When I first walked out onto the headlands with my wife I only brought my pocket camera, but after seeing how splendid things looked I had to run back to the car for my D800. 

There's nothing quite like this stretch of coast in our neck of the woods. Every now and then it's good to head north and get exposed to something a little different.

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