September 22, 2017

Bodega Head

Our cycling done for the day, my biking buddy and I headed for Bodega Bay, a town of some renown. It's not recognizable as the remote hamlet made famous by Alfred Hitchcock—homes blanket the surrounding hillsides now. Ominous clouds moved in from the northeast as the afternoon wore on.

Storm clouds gather over Bodega Bay, viewed from Bodega Head, California
The coastal state park at Bodega Head was light on signage. We skirted an enormous pothole and followed our noses up a narrow road to a parking area. These were the bluffs we were looking for.

View of the cliffs along the Pacific Ocean, looking north from Bodega Head, California
We chose a path that went up (of course), despite our whiny legs. A hiker on his way down cautioned us: “There's nothing but beautiful views up there!”

Natural arch at the water's edge, Bodega Head, California
“Did you use them all up?” I joked.

View of the rocky shoreline from high atop Bodega Head, California
He assured me he'd left some for us.

View of cliffs and the the rocky shoreline, looking south from Bodega Head, California
Fittingly, a flock of seagulls winged past, but I wasn't quick enough with the camera. I did catch a Red-shouldered Hawk in flight.

Red-shouldered Hawk in flight, Bodega Head, California
I have my biking (and hiking) buddy to thank for this excursion; I was not aware of this place. Despite having watched The Birds earlier this year, and biking past in years gone by, it never occurred to me to visit here.

Wind-blown tree with dramatic clouds, Bodega Head, California
A small group of folks gathered off-trail, excitedly studying something near some rocks. One wandered over to us, explaining that they were trackers. He pulled apart an owl pellet, revealing the skull of the unfortunate vole that fed the bird. He generously offered us the remains, but (fascinating as they were) we declined.

Our final bird sighting of the day was back in Sebastopol, on a trail where we met the rooster we'd been hearing most mornings. We learned his story (abandoned, and missing his tail feathers) from a local woman who came by to scatter grain for him. That explained why he was hanging around—he knew where, and when, he'd get fed.

Domestic white rooster with a red comb, Sebastopol, California
And thus, our Sonoma Sojourn drew to a close.

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