Monday, August 6, 2012

Bowling Ball Beach, 7/3/12

The first and last photos in this group are typical of my photo habit.  That is, looking closely at things that are "under my nose."  While I  admire masters of scenic photography like Ansel Adams and Philip Hyde, I'm always captivated by the details that are closer to me.  I like to crawl around on the ground and take what Thoreau called an insects view of the world.  However, sometimes a scene is just too captivating to resist.  El Capitan in Yosemite Valley is a well-known example.  Who could visit Yosemite with a camera and not photograph El Cap? 
To me, the relatively little-known Bowling Ball Beach is such a place.  It would be easy to drive right by BBB and not know it was there.  I used to live in Point Arena, so this past week I explored Bowling Ball Beach on purpose.  It's just south of Point Arena and immediately north of a little estuary called Schooner Gulch.  Precarious parking required at the edge of Highway 1, and a trail with unmarked forks leads ultimately to a descent to the beach down a "stairway" of 6"x6"s hanging on steel cables.  From there, the hike northward along the beach offers wonders.
I immediately resumed my habit of photographing things under my nose - stranded piles of seaweed with thousands of tiny crustaceans and insects hiding beneath, fragments of crabs mostly eaten by seagulls, interesting driftwood, footprints of dogs and seagulls, and occasional human artifacts.  The real excitement over the uniqueness of this place began when my wife discovered the first of many "bowling balls." (Top photo)  To me, this one looked more like an ocarina than a bowling ball, but as we walked on the larger, more spherical rocks, indeed resembled bowling balls.  I remembered from visits years ago, that the most dramatic effect is to view the entire beach at low tide from the bluffs above.  They indeed look like racks of bowling balls lined up.  The scenes in photos 2 through 5 give a hint of the grandeur of this place.  The last photo is a sample of the closeups I love to take.  More on that scale of things coming in the next few days.  I'll have to admit, that sharing photos and stories of our coastal visit could be interrupted by a few posts on the interesting things I've found in Quincy since our return.

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