A picture-perfect beach day

A long-billed Curlew searches for lunch just north of Malibu. They migrate from Northern California to winter in Southern California.

It was the first full day of autumn, and it seemed only appropriate that we should play hooky by going to the beach and soaking up the vestiges of summer rays. The air was calm and the temperature a balmy 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 C). And best of all for two introverts, we pretty much had the beach to ourselves.

We have our ocean-side excursions down to a science. We plan our arrival for an hour or two after high tide. As the water recedes, it sweeps away all the debris, as though the beach was just swept clean.

We didn’t see any dolphins or seals on this outing, but the waterfowl were abundant.

The Pacific waters along the California coast are at the warmest during the fall,
but still only reach 69 degrees Fahrenheit (20.5C).
From small sailboats to trawlers and gigantic container ships,
sea-going traffic plies the waters off the California coast.
One of the casualties of the recent heat wave in Southern California:
Hundreds of mussels scorched by the blazing sun.

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