California Coast in Spring

September 30, 2015 at 8:06 pm (California, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildlife) (, , , )

Pacific Coast Highway, California

Pacific Coast Highway, California

Spring comes to Southern California in winter, at least along the coast. The five-hour drive from my home in the High Desert took me through citrus groves and blooming almond trees, into the emerald green hills that looked like Ireland.

Near Carrizo Plains National Monument

Near Carrizo Plain National Monument

I made several detours, too.  On one winter visit to the coast I spent several hours at the Carrizo Plain National Monument. Even though the flower season wasn’t at its peak, the wildflower fields just popped. I had hoped to see fields of California poppies amid the famed oak trees near Paso Robles or Pinnacles National Monument, which is accessed off U. S. Hwy 101 (El Camino Real), but it was still a bit early.


I did find a nice oak tree silhouette at sunset though.



I checked several wildflower books and have not been able to identify these ubiquitous yellow flowers.


Great Blue Heron, San Simeon, Calif.




One thing I noticed about California state parks is that many charge a “parking fee” rather than an entrance fee. So it’s common to see a lot of cars parked along a road outside a park entrance, even if it means the visitors need to walk a mile to the beach just to save the $10 parking fee. I was glad to pay it, with these amazing views at Point Lobos.

Point Lobos

Point Lobos

Point Lobos, California sunet

Point Lobos, California sunset

Point Lobos sunset

Point Lobos sunset

Sea Otter

Sea Otter

California condor, Pinnacles National Monument

California condor, Pinnacles National Monument

As you can see, I’m very very late posting this. I was on the go as often as I could, and the photo editing just piled up.I visited the coast in August with my mom and the lyrics to the Kate Wolf song rang true. “Here in California The fruit hangs heavy on the vine. There’s no gold, I thought I’d warn ya. And the hills turn brown in the summertime.”

But it was still pretty darned gorgeous!

Romantic sunset

Romantic sunset

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1 Comment

  1. mbkircus said,

    Could those flowers be the wildly invasive mustard? that is all I used to see when I visited my daughter in the San Francisco area.

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