Today D. and I visited Pigeon Point Lighthouse (officially, the Pigeon Point Light Station State Historic Park). It's located on the Coast Highway halfway between Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay.
Today was a beautiful mild autumn day. We drove out of Mountain View past grasslands and up over the hills, along winding roads thick with tall redwoods, until we came out on the Pacific coast. On the way we stopped in Pescadero at a place L. told us about called Tom Phipps Ranch, where we had lunch and bought some heirloom beans for tomorrow's dinner.
The beach at Pigeon Point is comprised of small bluffs, rocky outcroppings full of sea palms (which happen to be good to eat) and tide pools. There was also a hostel there next to the lighthouse. The lighthouse itself was closed to the public due to its state of disrepair, but I didn't mind because the surroundings were so beautiful.
We saw lots of chattering blackbirds (one of which chased away a red-tailed hawk by pecking it right on the butt); flocks of brown pelicans soaring gracefully mere inches above the calm surface of the ocean; a harbor seal or two bobbing about near the shore; and a seagull sitting on the rocks with a starfish dangling halfway out of its crammed mouth, looking extremely uncomfortable. I figure the starfish was too big to swallow whole and it kept trying to crawl back out to freedom. The seagull would gulp down a little bit more of it but had to stop because the starfish was just too big to get all the way down. It would crawl out some more, and get gulped down some more. Sometimes life is an arduous struggle.
You can see the gull's upper throat bulging with half of the unfortunate echinoderm.
I spent a while staring at the high tide washing and churning over the rocky shore's submerged tidepools, a cauldron of creation, rich with invertebrate life. The late afternoon's sapphire-blue sea was strewn with sparkly diamonds as the sun turned and began to sink gently in the west. Sometimes life is good. And so we came back home.