May 29th, 2010

The sun was out when I woke up at 7:30 so I knew the weather had finally turned and it would be clear and possibly warm on the trails. Thankfully it was not that warm, but yes it was gorgeous. Not a cloud in the sky. Impossibly blue water and just a gentle breeze. I’ve noticed the larger yellow flowers (daisy & sunflower families) are waning, but the small concentrations of whites, yellows, pinks, reds & purples are still going strong. We had a very high rainfall season this year so I expect the color to remain longer than usual. I know I’m seeing a lot more floral coverage across all the trails than normal. It will be interesting to see how long it lasts.

I arrive at 9:30 and this time kind of reversed what we did last weekend. I ran down the hill all the way to the beach and that was my work out portion (no way I am in shape enough to run UP yet!). That’s 1.5 miles which for me is unheard of while jogging. So, woohoo! I cooled down on the sand and took out the camera. I immediately heard the cries of a peregrine falcon. Right there over the parking lot and life guard tower a pair were chasing each other, but quite high up in the very bright sky and into the sunlight. So, no pictures but a lively 3 minutes of aerial acrobatics until they settled in separate perches very high up the cliff face.

The tide was high so there was less sand to walk on as I headed north to flat rock along the beach and then back up the trails from there. I veered back south heading up and then branched out to the new and improved Razor Point lookout. It’s been so long since I took that trail off of the beach trail that I forgot how long it was! I did spend a little time sitting on the new stone bench and helping some tourists take photos together, but then I picked up the pace heading back out to the bathrooms and then fast walked up to the car. It was easily a 5 mile day at the end with that detour and 2 hours long.

Making progress for sure! When I started these Sat am jog/hikes I would be VERY sore the next couple of days due to the running. Hips, knees, shins would all be barking. No longer!

After the Peregrine sighting, it was actually a pretty decent day for taking photos of birds. I am really not equipped for that in general and have to get very lucky and have the birds pose out in the open for me. A few of them actually did!

Last thought – I really should mention the scents out there. I have a pretty heightened sense of smell for some reason and one of the things that always strikes me there is how it smells. At certain points the dominant smell is the ocean/salt water. At other points in the pine scent from the Torrey Pines. But underneath at all times is the sweet smell of sage. On the main cement covered path that ends up going past the golf course, the sage is *intense*. The formal name for the terrain is Coastal Sage Scrub. A not quite desert blend of plants which can thrive on low water & sand/clay soil. It is quite fragrant!

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Peregrine Falcon

Western Gull

Snowy Egret

California Thrasher

Western Towhee

Annas Hummingbird

Common Raven


Western Scrub Jay


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