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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Solstice

Today's the longest day of the year! It's hard to believe that the first day of summer also means the days will start getting shorter. Hopefully that won't be noticeable for a while, because I love this getting dark at 10 PM thing.

Along with the solstice, we get some extreme tides, which makes for great tidepooling. Yesterday I did some climbing among the rocks at Lime Kiln Point State Park; here are a few photos of what I saw:

Acorn barnacle with limpets
Goose-neck barnacle, Pollicipes polymerus
Green anemone, Althopleura spp.
And talk about opposite modes of transportation....paddle-boarding really seems to be taking off here:


The water has undoubtedly been great for kayakers too:
 On my way back to the car, with the macro lens still on the camera, I had the chance to photograph some bumblebees:


The California poppies are in full bloom:


 I also noticed that some of the coastal manroot (also known as wild cucumber, Marah oreganus) was fruiting. I usually see the flowers, but hadn't ever really seen the fruit before. It's very bizarre looking:


This afternoon we went out to the west side and hung out in the sunshine for a couple hours, and towards the end of our time there some J-Pod whales came by. They didn't really end up going north, but rather heading offshore, where they seemed to be milling about and foraging. I thought this was a neat juxtaposition of two very different salmon hunters:


A mother and calf were circling and presumably catching and/or sharing a fish. After they finished and started moving on again, the calf did four big breaches:


It's a real treat to have the whales around on almost a daily basis! What a great way to kick off the official summer season....

4 comments:

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Lomgest day? Really Monika! I thought all days were the same length - 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds :)

Cheers

Davo
PS both our bird lists seem to have faltered recently...

Monika said...

You're right, of course, Dave :) I guess I should have said "longest daylight hours" for my detail-oriented readers like yourself.

You're also right about the year lists....I've got one or two species I could potentially add in the next month, but other than that, it will probably be slow going until the fall migration.

Vera said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vera said...

I always did like the goose-neck barnacle. Your photograph gives it a whole new perspective. Very artistic! And I mean both the barnacle itself and your photo.