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  Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Into the West

One Sunday, a couple weeks ago, the moon, planets and stars must have been in a rare alignment, because Debbie was actually home with nothing to do. Connie was working, doing her optician thang, so we made it a daddy-daughter day.

Debbie wanted to go for a drive. You never have to ask me that twice. There was a blue streak, and suddenly we were rolling, and I asked if she had any particular destination in mind. If she hadn't, I would have been more than happy to let the car choose the direction. But she wanted to go to Inverness.

Inverness is a quaint little town in West Marin, not too far from where we live. It has maybe a half dozen little shops and some nice little beaches and parks. Inverness lies on the southern side of the Tomales Bay. The bay is a long, skinny rift in the earth caused, I believe, by a long-ago earthquake. The shot above is looking west along the bay, towards the Pacific Ocean. The water was murky that day from the wind.

We had lunch, and strolled through a wonderful little gift shop, and hiked to the edge of the bay, where I shot the unfortunate boat above. Then Debbie asked if we could go to the place where we see elk.

"Sure!" I said. So we drove west some more, to the mouth of the bay, where we often go to see Tule elk, and we hiked down the hill to the beach. The view above is about half-way down the hill.

It's not much of a surfer beach.

But it's lovely and not too crowded.

With odd rock formations. Actually, West Marin has lots of odd rock formations. I believe I read somewhere that they're similar to rocks found in Australia, so perhaps West Marin was once connected to Australia before the continents drifted apart.

At the beach we noticed something odd. Not too far in from the waterline was a sinuous trail of some strange blue detritus. See it in the right picture above? On closer inspection, it was revealed to be the remains of hundreds and hundreds of sea creatures, which we believe to be jellyfish, although I've never seen blue jellyfish with clear fins.

In the photo below you can see a closeup of two of the poor creatures. I wonder if the clear part sticking up is a sail, so that they can float on the surface and let the wind cruise them along looking for food.

We continued along the beach, and Debbie led me through a gap in the rocks to a small cove unseen from the main beach, which had a little cavern. We've been coming to the shore here for years, and I'd never known of the hidden cove and its tiny cavern. Debbie's boyfriend had brought her there and she thought I'd enjoy it.

The trip to Inverness was a ruse; Debbie simply wanted to surprise me. I don't need anything for Fathers Day. Being a father is enough.

Blog Tag: Images


At 6/09/2005 10:31 AM, Blogger Melissa said...

Why are you showing us so many pictures of the incredibly beautiful area that you live in? Are you trying to make us cry? :)

Debbie is wise to give you the best gift of all, time together. You are lucky to have her for a daughter and she is lucky to have you as a dad.

At 6/09/2005 1:06 PM, Blogger Twist of Kate said...

Aw that was so sweet and the pics were great!

At 6/09/2005 3:38 PM, Blogger Mary said...

This post is filled with so much goodness I just want to burst!

Interesting about the possible West Marin/Australia connection. And those... those creatures! Neat and weird.

Thanks for sharing all the photos. Looks like it was a perfect day.

At 6/09/2005 7:01 PM, Blogger Sean said...

Ahhhh... Great Father's Day comments; I feel the same way. All I want is a little time, attention, and connection. As for Marin... I can't believe I moved away from this beauty. Worse, I can't believe that I ignored it all for so many years while I grew up in the Bay Area! Nothing like a little SoCal smog and desert to remind one of how beautiful it is up there... Great pictures!

At 6/09/2005 8:47 PM, Blogger dkgoodman said...

Thanks, Sean. Glad to read your wife is feeling better.

I miss much of the beauty in L.A. Big Bear. Malibu. Gorman in poppy season. Frazier Park in snow season. Blondes in bikinis. :)

At 6/10/2005 12:27 AM, Blogger dkgoodman said...

Update: the blue jellyfish actually are blue jellyfish. They are "By-the-wind-sailors", or Velella velella.

I found an article about them reporting Strong winds send blue jellyfish ashore pretty much all along the California coast.

At 6/10/2005 5:34 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

Yikes! You have blue bottle jelly fish too? i thought we were the only ones to cop them. Nasty bites, ouch! Fabulous pics though :)

At 6/10/2005 10:00 AM, Blogger Mary said...

I came back here just to see if you had posted anything more about the creatures.

I KNEW you wouldn't let your readers down. :)

Velella velella is pretty. It needs to be used as a name for something-- like an all-girl band, or a nail polish color (ohhh, blue nail color!), or a hex code name. Something!

Gorman in poppy season is indeed spectacular.


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