January 1, 2012 Carmel, CA
On December 31 2011, we had beautiful weather with a temperature of 68 degrees, some clouds and a light wind that blows the air into shapes. To end the year we walked on Carmel River beach and the waves were high and explosive. I never realized how much waves are like a dynamite charge. The water rolls up and is a sheer green wave that begins to curl on one end and then runs along the sand in a series of white explosions and bursting, smoky foam. Then as it curls down it crashes on the beach with the boom of an explosion.
The lagoon has spread like a lake after they cut the channel incorrectly and it flooded the parking lot. It is full of birds, probably about 500 hundred gulls, pelicans and other seabirds. Suddenly the pelicans flap their wings and the smaller birds lift off and wheel overhead in a flash mob, over the waves creating crazy eight patterns until there is not a single bird in the lagoon. A few minutes later the pelicans fly over the lagoon few times and then land and within seconds so do the gulls and the terns, milling around in a crowd on the water’s surface.
They repeat this a few times and then settle down on the lagoon. Why do they do it? What signals them to rise, flap wings and soar?
We join the “sun setters “on Carmel beach, finding a bench to sit on for an hour and photograph the final sunset of 2011, on the continent. People walk on the beach and more people gather on the walking path on Scenic Ave with their dogs and kids. All around us cameras click. I do love the digital camera, which allows one to click away like the paparazzi.
Every holiday that we have been here for in the past ten years we have enjoyed the decorations of people we do not know. We drive past their house at least a few times in a week. Their Christmas decorations are beautiful with Victorian carolers, Santa in a red hot air balloon, reindeer, animals, wreaths, holly and Ivy. On Christmas day they added a large Santa waving to those passing by.
Yesterday we drove by and the Christmas decorations were gone, replaced by a clock, set minutes to midnight, a sparkly banner twirling snow flakes.
I share that with you and wish you all a sparkly 2012