journal
A bird rock sunset
USA
California
June 30, 2011

So I was unable to leave earlier to go photograph sea birds yesterday but I thought I would just stay to see the sunset. It was a clear sunset and the nice yellow and round egg yolk sank into the shimmering ocean quietly and smoothly. Unfortunately, it was not as colorful as I had hoped. I arrived about 45 minutes before the scheduled sunset, and waited to see how the clouds would arrange themselves. As evening drew closer, the once scattered clouds formed into a layer of darkness, thus eating away all possibility of a vivid scene.

In the meantime, I noticed the population of humans and dogs increasing around me. It turns out that this spot in Bird Rock is quite a popular spot for sunset viewers. Dogs chased each other, barked loudly, and one in specific went to the water fountain, stood up and drank from it. I did not have a camera with me then so I cannot show the amazing feat.

Instead of focusing on the sunset and uselessly collecting sea salt on the front of the lens, I took interest in an ice plant of some sort that grew on a rock. Each part of the pink plant was covered in tiny water sacs, which helped reflect some of the setting sun's light. In retrospect, the plant was not that interesting, but really, due to a deficiency in plant life and variation, there was nothing else to look at.

At the end of the day, there was no green flash, and the only pictures I got were of this plant gathering plenty of salty ocean water. Also, despite the 60 degree weather, the fourteen mile per hour wind chilled me really well and although I stayed until the end of the sunset, I was ready to go ten minutes after arriving. Maybe the plus to the day was watching birds as they flew back home. Egrets moved on south, probably back to the river to sleep for the night, while sea gulls, pelicans and cormorants flew north toward La Jolla. Even after the sun had set, two terns were still actively fishing. Next time, more birding!