Morning at the beach
About two or three times a week, I walk next to/in the water at Huntington State Beach. The Magnolia entrance opens about 6 a.m., and an annual state park pass lets me avoid spending $10 each day that I visit.
After parking next to the Santa Ana River, I walk along the path toward lifeguard station 2 and the spot where the river flows into the ocean. From here, I can see the nesting sanctuary for endangered California Least Terns and watch as the small birds plunge-dive for fish.
While walking north toward lifeguard station 6, I typically see California Gulls, Western Gulls and Ring-billed Gulls sitting on the damp sand or standing on the berm, Willets pumping their bills in and out of the wet sand, Brown Pelicans skimming the waves or plunge-diving amid the surfers, and Barn(?) Swallows fly-catching amid the seaweed piles.
Occasionally, Marbled Godwits probe for prey as the waves wash out, and Black Skimmers fly straight and fast above my head. This morning, a Great Blue Heron looked majestic as it flew south toward Newport.
After 30 minutes on the sand, I zoom south on Pacific Coast Highway, then prepare for another workday. Is it possible to become addicted to the feel of cool water washing over my toes, the sound of breaking waves and the sight of swallows skimming the seaweed piles?