Hiking at Torrey Pines

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A happy coincidence of timing allowed me to leave work early last Friday and join the Spring Break college kid on an afternoon hike through our favorite trails at Torrey Pines. We’ve done this many times over the years when he was growing up and he and I have also both taken his grandma from Sweden out here when she visits. So, since she was here the week he was home visiting, we all revisited the beautiful spot. Alex’s (girl)friend joined us and it was a wonderful way to spend his last day in town.

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Yes, it does rain here occasionally

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Today is my first day of winter break – my company generously closes from today through 1/3 – so I am catching up on, well, everything! Two days to get ready for Christmas – no problemo right?! Meanwhile the last 5 days were dominated here in So Cal by an enormous (for us) amount of water falling from the sky. The ground here is just not designed for absorbing  up to 20 inches of rain over that time span! Luckily, in my area it was “only” 5 inches but even that fills up every creek bed, river, lagoon or low lying area pretty darn fast. I grabbed my camera for the drive in to work yesterday to record the coastal impact. I was lucky – roads leading in to work are in excellent shape and far enough away from any overflowing water sources.

A little standing water in the backyard. Not TOO bad. I've seen the whole yard under 1/2 and inch before

Penasquitos lagoon along Carmel Valley rd. Rarely this much water on the east end

Water goes right up to the base of the train tracks. Train service was flooded out, but not here.

Looking south from Torrey Pines Rd at the stormy skies

Muddy waves

Now viewing the lagoon from the west end - looking back at CV Rd. Again, rarely looking this full

On the way home at the end of the day - a post storm sunset splashed cloud

 

Friday beauty – cloud colors

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Nov 17, 2010 - Classic clear fall blue skies & deep blue ocean

Some fog off on the horizon, but otherwise everything is a brilliant, deep blue. Contrast that with the same time of day in early January when a very muggy heat wave rolled through.

 

Jan 3, 2010 - high clouds, muted blue, almost green water

The sun was shining through, but still everything seems pale

1/3/10 - Pastel hues - everything seemed to have a pink blush

Rain rolls back into town this weekend – unfortunately creating an adventure for the Breast Cancer 3 Day walkers this year – though certainly NOT dampening their spirits I know!

Anyhow – Happy Friday!

 

My kind of work out – hiking the Flat Rock trail

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Testing a new WordPress slide show feature. 22 pics should rotate along. Perfect spring day – sunny but cool enough for a good workout without being over heated. After being thoroughly gassed during the first half of the workout Wed night with the group, I decided it’s time to build up the aerobic stamina a bit more. It was darn embarrassing how winded I got! So I drove up to work and walked across from there to the Flat Rock/Broken Hill trail. I alternately ran/walked (trails are too crowded to run the whole way) both down and then back up taking a break at the bottom for water and twitter pics 🙂 The flowers are on display right now.  I’m toying with going back tomorrow with the good camera vs just the iphone. Yellow everywhere with sprigs of red and purple interspersed if you are paying attention.

I passed a LOT of joggers with headphones on. I get that. Not everyone wants to hear the birds like I do, but boy did they miss out! I was able to pick out and identify the songs of about 10 different birds. Jays, towhees, warblers, thrashers, sparrows and hummingbirds all serenaded me.

As I made the turn back off the trail and onto the pavement along the golf course, I was treated to the rare alarm call of the Lesser Amateur Weekend Duffer. He was in fine voice too! A lovely string of  “Gaaaawd DAMMIT! FORWARD FORWARD, not the the RIGHT! Arggggggh!! SHIT!”  Yep – he’s in spring season form all right 🙂

I resolve not to make any resolutions

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Except maybe to walk along the beach below the Torrey Pines trails more often – here’s why:

High clouds created muted, but interesting colors on the water

Guy Fleming trail viewpoint

The boy on Red Butte off the Razor Point trail - 13 year olds are so cooperative with the smiles!

The tree that I use as my profile pic sometimes. Razor Point Trail.

He only agreed to smile nicely since it was my birthday 🙂

On the beack below the Guy Fleming Trail

Willet foraging at the wave line just before he escaped being lunch!

Perfect example of the layers of sandstone that make up the cliffs. Green to tan to red. There must have been a falcon perched up there because...

….just a little further up the beach Sportsboy & I noticed an interesting looking “ledge” of the green sandstone at the base of the cliff & we went for a closer look and I was about to take photos when out of the corner of my eye I saw two birds swooping down from the cliffs straight at him! They swerved right past (he swears he could have reached out his arms and knocked one out of the air) and leveled out and flushed the Willet and chased it up the beach. I thought for SURE the Willet was lunch because I knew right away they were a pair of Peregrines. One noticeable larger than the other and the big one was on that poor Willet’s tail! Somehow the Willet was just evasive enough – I think it used a life guard tower as a diversion – to escape at which point the smaller falcon swooped back up to the cliff face just above us and settled down. The larger one actually perched on the somewhat distant life guard tower rail for a bit & I was insanely jealous of the people near there who seemed clue less to the spectacle! Meanwhile I tried my best to get some sort of shot of the smaller one above us – here’s a cropped version which gives a little bit better look:

Peregine Falcon on a cliff ledge just below Guy Fleming Trail at Torrey Pines

The larger one then took off and came swooping right past us again – got a full view of all those dramatic markings, particularly the face mask and streaked underbelly. Such glorious birds to see in flight like that!

Flat Rock June 2009 (photo heavy)

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Broken Hill

Broken Hill

Flat Rock from above

Flat Rock from above

Cliff face with moss, shells, barnacle debris above Flat Rock

Cliff face with moss, shells, barnacle debris above Flat Rock

Striations in cliff wall face next to Flat Rock

Striations in cliff wall face next to Flat Rock

The boy on Flat Rock

The boy on Flat Rock

Barnacles on surf side of Flat Rock

Barnacles on surf side of Flat Rock

Sea anenome in tide pool on Flat Rock

Sea anenome in tide pool on Flat Rock

Crabs scurrying to get some sun in tide pool on Flat Rock

Crabs scurrying to get some sun in tide pool on Flat Rock

The boy in traditional cave shot. He finally needed to squat down!

The boy in traditional cave shot. He finally needed to squat down!