… and the girls all get so tanned, according to the Beach Boys (California Girls). That’s true, at best, in the afternoons here, I thought, looking out over the ocean at Aptos. (You can’t call the Pacific the sea, I find.) For the next five days the weather forecast in the Santa Cruz Sentinel is “Areas of low clouds, then sun”; “Areas of low clouds, then sun; cool” or “Areas of low clouds, then sun; nice”.
One morning first thing I took the sprog out for a cycle ride. An hour after I got back his mother could still notice the chill on his skin. At some point he threw away a shoe. We went out again to look for it. Coming back fruitless the sprog shouted SHOE. I did a U’ie and there it was, set kindly on a post.
There are hundreds of pelicans. They live on the pier – there’s a part from which pedestrians are fenced off – and the concrete boat beyond.
When they fly along they look like Grumman Avenger torpedo bombers.
When they dive for a fish they look like dive bombers, though.
(Honestly, they do. This nature photography business isn’t easy, you know. I’ve tried to get a picture of one actually diving towards or into the sea but they only do it when I put the camera away.)
When they come back to the surface they sit on the water and gulp.
Then at the start of the evening, out over the sea, specks of ash – sooty shearwaters – sweep from right to left. There’s a quarter of an hour’s worth of them, thousands; and then the direction of sweeping is reversed.
The sea here has enough fish for all these birds, it seems.
The beach house where we’re staying is full of fish too.
They’re a good deal easier to photograph.
It’s the frog that I covet, though.