Robb and I took his parents out to Point Reyes today. We thought they would really appreciate the beauty of the Pacific Coast. And, it gave them another chance to see how much Robb has improved since last they saw him. We still take a lot of breaks, but I think it was pretty eye-opening when Robb was able to help Joan up a sandy hill. Not only did he give her one of his trekking poles, he also offered his arm as support.
It was a beautiful day. I think back on Robb's early therapy sessions, right after he had left the hospital, and how we joked about him learning to balance on sand. Being able to walk on the beach is an Essential Life Skill in California!
As usual, I acted as some kind of goof-ball Court Jester. I thought it important to introduce Joan and Bob to kelp, and tried to convince them that kelp was gigantic scallions, suitable for soup stock.
Wildlife was present, in a wide range of sizes. As Robb was working his way down to the beach, I spotted these little fellows, running from footprint to footprint. I'm not certain, but I think these tiny birds might be the endangered Western Snowy Plover. (Will my fellow Bird Nerds tell me if you agree, or if I'm being a dunce as usual?)
This White Crowned Sparrow was practically sitting on my lens. Robb's folks got to see the typical pattern of our outings, where Robb moves a lot more slowly than I do, but I have permission to run on ahead.
I have a soft spot in my heart for killdeer, described in the Peterson's guides as "the common noisy breeding plover of the farm country."
Robb's parents also got to experience a lot of "Stop the car! Stop the Car!" moments. This hawk kept a close eye on us, as we followed it from post to post.
And this was the very first Barn Owl Robb and I had seen in the wild. It let me get quite close, before silently flying after some prey. Did everyone in the car have a good laugh at me, sneaking down the road with my camera? Probably.
The largest and most impressive creatures we saw were the Thule Elk. This photo is a bit of a cheat, as I took it with my scope the day I release the rehabilitated birds.
I hope that Robb's parents got to enjoy some of the pleasures of our California life.