Sunday, January 19, 2014


we made a quick escape last week, first spending the day east from here in the carrizo plain, and then heading west, back to moonstone beach for a few days in cambria, on california's central coast...

no time for camping this trip, but even a day in the carrizo is a treat. this is a place where quiet pervades and time stands still...

we watched this wild burro, they look so sweet and mild mannered. knowing better i'm choosing to opt out of an upcoming trip next week, which includes riding on one into the wild for a few days...they make me nervous!

our eyes played tricks on us, first this mirage, and then!...

something we've been looking for here for years!! can you see what it is?

it's the san joaquin kit fox!!  a pair!!

we are a looong way off. i am shooting with a 300mm telephoto lens, and the foxes are still a looong way off. no sooner had we turned off the truck and sloooowly stepped out, one of the foxes leapt in three quick jumps and down his den he went.

the other stayed and sat, watching us...

which led to this

crawling, slowly...

so slooowly...

quietly edging


(i am holding my breath. and thinking that's got to hurt his elbows.)

but i know him, and he is not thinking about that...

he is thrilled...

to fiiiinallllyyyyy get to see the san joaquin kit fox, to be this...


 beautiful! fantastic!

:)  yes you are!

thank you little fox, what an honor to meet you!

the san joaquin kit fox is one of the smallest of the north american foxes, adult males weigh about five pounds and are approximately 20 inches long. their numbers have steadily declined as their habitat shrinks. they are listed as endangered on the federal list and as threatened on the state list.

we hiked to an abandoned farm house. and dreamed about what it must have been like for the early pioneers who settled here.

we searched around the ancient cottonwoods, finding nests, owl pellets and one large feather!

we're at the coast now, hiking through scrub

to get here

 harmony headlands state park

 we found a snake

and of course chuck had to touch it. a good hike.

i've shared many times before, but a trip up the coast has to include a visit to the piedras blancas rookery. located on highway 1 seven miles north of san simeon on the california central coast. this rookery is home to about 17,000 animals...

can you guess what it is?

it's The Northern Elephant Seal, Mirounga angustirostris! 

hee hee! 
they are so funny and fascinating to watch. they make various (LOUD) noises, 

but even asleep they command attention, they are HUGE!

chuck is actually very far from them in this photo, but to give an idea of their size : Females grow to 9-12 feet and weigh between 900-1800 pounds.  Males grow to 14-16 feet long and weigh in at 3000-5000 pounds, or more.

hee hee :)

it is the birthing breeding season. in this photo there are four newborn pups, i lost count trying to keep track of all the 'weaners'

safely perched above, we had a perfect spot to view

 nursing babies

majestic ocean

 a happy mummy

and baby  :)

we stayed until the sun began to set

goodbye ellie seal

and then began the long hike back

time for a welcome hot shower at the inn and then a romantic dinner in town...

next day, on the way home, we happened upon

the morrow bay winter bird festival

we'd planned a quiet visit to morrow bay's estuary

but that would have to happen another time  :)

thank you for coming along! it is always a pleasure to share, i hope it hasn't been too much! i'll be back soon with photos we took up north of my newest knit, this post is looong enough. have a wonderful week ahead!


  1. From inland to coast- what an absolutely lovely trip. Thank you for sharing your insanely beautiful images and your words- always so fun to visit here Lori.

  2. You two go on the best trips. Love the photos and the foxes and the seals and the sweet burro! I lived in Cambria for 6 months about 18 years ago, feels like a lifetime. xoxo

  3. Never too long!! I love it when you "take us along" on one of your beautiful adventures. I love each photo, but the foxes and the seal pup/happy mama were my favourite. Oh, and those lovely ones of you. Can't wait to hear more about your new knit!

  4. You and Chuck share beautiful places/moments together!!!!
    Thank you for sharing with us, xxxxx Ale

  5. Oh Lori they are such beautiful photos. I looooved the seals especially the little one suckling. Gorgeous!

  6. we've been up that many many times since moving to california, we keep going back because there is so much beauty and nature that way! I remember the first time we discovered those elephant seals, I was in AWE. I could not believe how big they were! Sounds like it was a lovely time! Thanks for the info on the foxes I think I will have to do some research on that!

  7. pure magic to see such beauty! thank you for sharing your getaways ~ a joy to read and see ♥

  8. oh, lori......the amount of traveling you did this wonder you are exhausted!!! but i know thrilled, too----such sites! thanks again for sharing. (hope you grabbed that glass of wine and relaxed!)

  9. Hi Lori, what a fantastic hike! Your enthusiasm oozes of the pages. What a joy it must be to live in such a big country as yours, with so much wildlife!

    Wishing you a Happy week!

    Madelief x

  10. What a treat... Wonderful trip and how lucky we are we can go on these trips with you... Thanks for the wonderful pictures. Have a great week :)

  11. Dear Lori your posts are NEVER too long, I love to travell via them....I love it.

  12. Love it! And the mamas with their babies-- so sweet.

  13. That was splendid and so very sunny and warm looking.
    I don't know if I'll ever see Moonstone Beach again for real, so it's wonderful visit via your blog.

  14. What amazing photos, loved every one of them! Thank you for sharing your travels and adventures, one day I would like to visit some of the places you've explored.

  15. Oh Lori... Your photos make me dream! Never too much when it is so so beautiful! thank you for sharing:-)

  16. Woaw! Thank you for sharing your amazing photos of your trip and your country. I'm impressed.

  17. By the way ... I'm curious what you collect :)

  18. Incredible photographs as always Lori, loved every single one! I feel like I've had a little getaway myself after seeing them. And wow, an Elephant Seal!!! Mel xxx

  19. You live near some spectacular country Lori -- a nature lovers paradise for sure! With the snow I had to clean off my car this morning, the the dry sunny vistas are very welcoming to me. Thank you for sharing. xxoo

  20. I love that my home body self gets to virtually take a trip and see such amazing sites. Super trip Lori, I enjoyed every photo!

  21. Beautiful, beautiful pictures of places I I hope to visit sometime!
    It is a pleasure each time to come along with you!

  22. Always enjoy your wonderful posts , beautiful pictures and adventures. Thanks for sharing.

  23. Oh you take the most wonderful pictures. I love every single picture. I wish I was there!

  24. Oh this looks so fun, I wish I was with you on one of these trips :)

  25. Love your gorgeous 'long posts' -- amazing photos! And you look adorable in your wellies & new knit (?)!

    Blessings Lovely Lori,


  26. Thank you, thank you, thank you! By the way, your post are NEVER too long; always running out before I'm ready for it to end.

  27. Oh my goodness what beautiful pictures!

  28. dearest lori
    it's never too much
    i so, so enjoy your walks
    your world
    so different from mine
    i loved it all
    you even found
    a heart shaped stone ;^))


  29. I love all of your posts, but especially the nature ones. Thank you for showing me the san joaquin kit fox, the elephant seals, the hawks and egrets and other birds. You are very fortunate to share a passion for the natural world and photography with your husband--what bliss to be out there discovering it all together!

  30. Hi Lori, I always love seeing your photos and learning about where you've been. That little fox is so sweet and tiny. Such a shame that they are endangered. Wishing you all the best, Tammy

  31. You are so very good for me. Inspiration in my knitting and my hiking. Thanks for adding another must hike place to my list. Love your pictures and your information. What a great few days you had, thanks for sharing!

  32. A long and glorious post! So much incredible nature you captured. I'm in awe. I want to live in this post. It's truly wonderful.

  33. Wow! Wow! You guys definitely make adventures happen and help us see the world just a wee bit differently.

  34. YES!!! LOVE!! these are my favorite kinds of posts from you and they are never too long! i am not a knitter and, although your knitting is fab, i'm in this blog following gig for the california love!!!

  35. Wow wow wow!
    Thank you so much Lori! Your photos made my day! The Elephant seals are astounding! I love the happy mumma seal too, and how great are all the dragging marks on the beach from the seal's activity. How do they do it!!!
    Always love your wildlife posts very much.

  36. The fox, the birds, the scenery *swoon* you capture so much beauty, I love it all.

    On a semi-related (but not really) note, I went to close the curtain in my daughters' room last night and who was right outside their window? A coyote. That was the closest I had ever been. We hear them here almost as much as we did in Oregon. I even had one run right in front of me on my run last week! <3 I love them.

  37. Oh Lori, what a fantastic trip! And fantastic photos. This is the wonderful part about blogging, being able to come along, although I am on the other side of the planet from you. I really love the photos!

    ... and that house, it really is food for imagination, isn't it?

  38. What a wonderful post, Lori, so fascinating, beautiful and filled with fabulous photos! I always learn so much about wildlife from you in these posts! It was amazing to see how close Chuck got to the little fox! The seals are so amusing, love the smiling mama. Thank you for sharing this trip with us. Wishing you a happy week.
    Helen xx

  39. Beautiful post Lori. Those elephant seal's look so much like they are laughing!!
    I'm captivated by the old homestead - it looks so picture perfect. I wonder who built it, when and why did the last people leave it? (it looks like it's in a fantastic spot)
    Great picture of you at the end.

  40. Lori, thank you so very much for your generosity in sharing the discoveries that you and Chuck make on these adventures! All the animals are so beautiful in their very own homelands. So amazing to see the mama seals and their young ones.

    I feel very fortunate to have been able to see these pictures. xo

  41. Lori, one day when our kids are a bit older, Jonny and I just have to fly to CA and go exploring with you and Chuck!!

  42. I am so loving your adventures. They really inspire me to get out and explore my own area (PNW) more. Oh, and that abandoned house! I love it. It would be amazing to see it loved again.

  43. What a great trip this must have been!
    I am also curious how the pictures are from the fox your husband took..... What a special encounter. And what beauty around there!

  44. I lost my breath why scrolling down. And that sweet nursing baby happy mama!

    Thank you so much for showing!

  45. wow...oh thank you for sharing...there is never too much. That baby seal...ooh...and the adult ones. I watched a program recently about adult male elephant seals coming up on land and crushing a car! I'm glad that Chuck was safe.
    I'm just catching up again with all your lovely posts. Gorgeous Hannah's modelling and everything else. It's always such a happy place to come and visit.

  46. two words: THE BEST.
    Thanks for that.

  47. I love that you take me on your trips with your photos! It’s as if I there too. Is not America soo beautiful! Thanks.

  48. Oh my goodness! Thank you for taking us along on this amazing hike/weekend! I feel like I was there!

  49. Such a beauty!
    And such an excitement with the foxes! :)
    And nursing baby...oh....!
    Thank you for sharing all this beauty!


xoxo lori