I heard the warning on the morning news show, yesterday’s rains caused urban runoff and increased bacteria count in our ocean waters. Stay out of the water. We still headed off to the beach for a low tide walk…in our tennies.
The clouds were heavier than I expected with no rain in today’s forecast–and much darker too. We actually felt misty drizzle as we first got into the car. But the beach was beautiful: low tides, gentle breezes, and yes, some people in the water! Beach people are interesting and they come in all forms. There are walkers and beach combers like Geoff, scanning the shore for bits of glass and interesting marine tidbits and picking up the many plastics that litter the beach. There are surfers who seem to never heed warnings about the water. And there are swimmers and waders, teenaged football throwers, the guy with the metal detector, the fishers knee deep in the waves as they cast. But for me, my eyes search the beach for that perfect picture.
Gray skies make photo taking more challenging. Colors fade away, making things look flat. I’m no expert with camera settings, so I depend on my own framing and the serendipity of light and shadow to create interesting images. I try to pay attention to changes in light…and always find myself drawn to shore birds.
As I wandered down the beach, I spied a whimbrel (I think) out for a snack. I crept close, snapping photos as I went. But I also took a few long shots, noticing a break in the clouds and the white of the foamy wave tops creating a bright spot as a backdrop for the bird. Experts might call my photo overexposed, but there is something I like about this burst of light and the tiny bird visible in the expanse of the wide open beach.
Gray skies and high bacteria count didn’t keep me home and it certainly didn’t keep this little guy out of the water! I got to stretch my legs and my camera skills to snap at least a few photos that were interesting. And I got to enjoy the beach along with all the other beach people today.