I Walked Along the Beach and Collected These.

We took our annual spring trip to Ventura and Santa Cruz and came back with renewed diet plans and these photos.

These chairs have obviously been here for a while. They are anchored in about a foot of sand. So wistfully abandoned.

These chairs have obviously been here for a while. They are anchored in about a foot of sand. So wistfully abandoned.

At the risk of making this particular Ventura County campground even more popular than it already is, this is often the view from our campsite.

At the risk of making this particular Ventura County campground even more popular than it already is, this is often the view from our campsite.

This pelican was not in the mood to be moved by my insistence to continue down the narrow strip of beach we were sharing, but he grumpily waddled aside and let me pass.

This pelican was not in the mood to be moved by my insistence to continue down the narrow strip of beach we were sharing, but he grumpily waddled aside and let me pass.

Our campsite view in Aptos (south of Santa Cruz). We booked this spot seven months ahead of time on the day and hour California State Parks opened April 2014 for reservations. Even at that, we only successfully booked two nights. Worth it.

Our campsite view in Aptos (south of Santa Cruz). We booked this spot seven months ahead of time on the day and hour California State Parks opened April 2014 for reservations. Even at that, we only successfully booked two nights. Worth it.

One of the best photos I have ever taken with an iPhone. Wilder Ranch State Park north of Santa Cruz. The most beautiful mountain bike ride in the country. 

One of the best photos I have ever taken with an iPhone. Wilder Ranch State Park north of Santa Cruz. The most beautiful mountain bike ride in the country. 

Photo with my Canon with a medium-large scope on it. In the evening, the water at Aptos becomes a fishy battle ground, with birds diving into the water like missiles and scooping up victims, leaving little splashy explosions in their wake. Like Birdemic with watery explosions instead of explody explosions.

Photo with my Canon with a medium-large scope on it. In the evening, the water at Aptos becomes a fishy battle ground, with birds diving into the water like missiles and scooping up victims, leaving little splashy explosions in their wake. Like Birdemic with watery explosions instead of explody explosions.

This is the best. I love being here.

This is the best. I love being here.

Okay, yes, there is a dead crab in the foreground, but it is a colorful dead crab. Capitola in the background.

Okay, yes, there is a dead crab in the foreground, but it is a colorful dead crab. Capitola in the background.

THIS IS A REAL FISH and my favorite fish in the Monterey Bay Aquarium: a Mola-Mola. It has a more scientific name but it doesn't need one. In the ocean around Hawaii, it just swims around at a toddler's pace, hoovering up jelly fish (the only thing slower than itself). Here in the aquarium, the keepers have to teach it to come when called and hand feed it because it cannot get to food just thrown into the tank before getting out-swum by all the other fish. Unfortunately, mola-molas are not known for their intelligence and some cannot remember to come when called for their hand feeding and starve. MY NEW FAVORITE FISH.

THIS IS A REAL FISH and my favorite fish in the Monterey Bay Aquarium: a Mola-Mola. It has a more scientific name but it doesn't need one. In the ocean around Hawaii, it just swims around at a toddler's pace, hoovering up jelly fish (the only thing slower than itself). Here in the aquarium, the keepers have to teach it to come when called and hand feed it because it cannot get to food just thrown into the tank before getting out-swum by all the other fish. Unfortunately, mola-molas are not known for their intelligence and some cannot remember to come when called for their hand feeding and starve. MY NEW FAVORITE FISH.

I went back to Wilder Ranch with my Canon. Here are some geese from that trip.

I went back to Wilder Ranch with my Canon. Here are some geese from that trip.

More from Wilder Ranch. These were taken in morning light between 7 and 8 a.m.

More from Wilder Ranch. These were taken in morning light between 7 and 8 a.m.

There are quite a few of these secluded micro-beaches at Wilder Ranch. You may not be completely alone, but nobody's going to hassle you. I have seen sea turtle tracks here.

There are quite a few of these secluded micro-beaches at Wilder Ranch. You may not be completely alone, but nobody's going to hassle you. I have seen sea turtle tracks here.

A little backlighting with your craggy cliffs. (I am a fan of lens flares.)

A little backlighting with your craggy cliffs. (I am a fan of lens flares.)

On the path back out of Wilder Ranch. There is a working farm on Wilder Ranch land. Mostly artichokes. At this time of year, the air practically chokes you with pollen and other evidences of the land's verdancy.  So much plant sex going on. It's beautiful in your lungs as well as your eyes (but maybe not your nose if you have allergies). 

On the path back out of Wilder Ranch. There is a working farm on Wilder Ranch land. Mostly artichokes. At this time of year, the air practically chokes you with pollen and other evidences of the land's verdancy.  So much plant sex going on. It's beautiful in your lungs as well as your eyes (but maybe not your nose if you have allergies). 

Trips like this make me wonder why I'm living 800 miles away. Until I come home. Then I remember that only home is home. #deep