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Standing in a thousand chest high white calla lilies with massive surf rolling in off the Pacific Ocean is nothing short of spectacular. The couple standing on the beach in the distance give only a small sense of the sheer size of the wave rolling toward them and yet they are about as far away from the wave as I was from them. The stunning white lilies grow wild along a small creek that runs down from the Carmel Highlands in to the Pacific Ocean just north of Big Sur. Wild flowers and ice plant cover the hills during springtime and are gone within a couple of weeks. California's Northern coastline is filled with some of the most incredible scenes and finding these little jewels can be a real challenge. This one is hidden just below California's scenic Highway One which along the coast.

The parking area has a main trail that leads you down to a stunning beach with great wave action. Naturally most people take the trail straight to the beach, however I you take the side trail that runs along the cliffs above the ocean you come to a small canyon and the trail descends steeply down to the creek below. Soon you are waist high or deeper in lush green leaves and beautiful white flowers (spathe) up to 10 inches wide with their bright yellow centers (spadix) protruding just above the crest of the flower. Spectacular in floral arrangements they are incredible when you see them growing wild in contrast with the bright luminescent waves of
California's coastal waters.

If you are coming from San Francisco take the time to make the trip along the coast which will include a number of equally incredible sites and vistas including Pigeon Point, Natural Bridges, Santa Cruz, Monterey, Pacific Grove, Carmel, Pebble Beach, 17 Mile Drive, and Big Sur. You will find this little gem hidden not long after you pass though the Carmel Highlands and are entering the Big Sur area. Your trip will be nothing short of incredible and well worth the time spent.


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© Darvin Atkeson
LiquidMoonlight Studios
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Tags:   Big Sur Valley Canyon Carmel California Highlands Lilies Wave Calla Lilies Monterey Pacific Coast Beach Beaches Ocean Wild Landscape Seascape Flowers Flowering Breaker Tide Mist Doud Ranch Highway One 1 Coastal Scenic Route Famous Coastline Pacific Grove Pebble Beach Creek Gorge Trail Sea Surf Bay San Francisco Santa Cruz Teal Blue Green Water Darv Darvin Lynneal Atkeson LiquidMoonlight.com

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A kelp filled wave crashes against aged and cracked rocks along the coast just north of Big Sur California. A small rock balances, teetering on the edge of a sea stack. In the far distance the Rocky Creek Bridge which is often mistaken and labeled as the Bixby Bridge due to similar arched construction. However the Bixby Bridge is further south along Highway One and considerably bigger. This section of the California coast is worth visiting just to see the wide variety of blue the Pacific Ocean produces in pristine waters. It's a painters delight or dilemma when considering what colors to mix to get the perfect mix that you see here so easily generated by nature. A kelp forest just beyond the waves can be seen and with a pair of binoculars you can see the rangers of the kelp forest, the California Sea Otters, continually protecting the kelp from sea urchins that feed on the roots of the plants.


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© Darvin Atkeson
LiquidMoonlight Studios
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Tags:   Coast Pacific California Big Sur Carmel Highlands Surf Wave Crash Beach Ocean Coastal Teal Blue Green Turquoise Aquamarine Spring Monterey Seascape Landscape Sea Foam Foothills Mountain Bridge Bixby Granite Creek Arch Pasture Grass Grassy Fog Vista Darv Darvin Lynneal Atkeson LiquidMoonlight.com Rocky Rocky Creek Bridge

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There is nothing quite as serene as sitting alongside Lovers Point along the Monterey Bay watching the sunset as the surf rolls in. The sound of waves crashing upon the ageless rocky coastline as seagulls call to each other as they soar in the light breeze. This little park lies just west of Monterey in the small seaside village of Pacific Grove at the very tip of the Monterey Peninsula. The small path that runs alongside the rocky shore makes the perfect romantic setting as couple walk slowly hand in hand pausing often to gaze out over the bay to watch the otters play in the kelp or the occasional gray whale swim by. If I were to recommend a honeymoon location to anyone, this would be the spot. The road that runs around the peninsula is lined with quaint inns, bed and breakfasts, summer rentals, numerous paths, a small lighthouse and all within walking distance of the famous Cannery Row and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. If you're in love, it's the perfect place to share your time together. It is something you will always remember fondly.


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© Darvin Atkeson
LiquidMoonlight Studios
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Tags:   Surf Lovers Point Pacific Grove Monterey Carmel Santa Cruz Pacific Coast Monterey Bay California Ocean Flowers Cypress Trees Sunset Landscape Seascape Sea Seaside Marina Pebble Beach Beach Beaches Coastal Warf Echium Carmel by the Sea Highway One 1 Ft. Ord Lovers Point Inn Seashore Sea Otters Aquarium Cannery Cannery Row Darv Darvin Lynneal Atkeson LiquidMoonlight.com

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Nestled in the coastal foothills of the Monterey Bay is the small but famous town of Carmel by the Sea, most often simply called Carmel. The town is filled with art galleries, specialty shops, and tiny but expensive homes. It's been made famous by a number of artist, writers, poets and actors who have made Carmel their home. It's sandy white beaches give way to a rocky coastline with pristine waters and dramatic views. Fog moves in and out of the area minute by minute and it's sometimes a frustrating place to photograph. However on this day we lucked out and were able to get a small opening near one of my favorite locations where the land is pen to the public with great view of the crashing waves below. Wildflowers grow during the spring months right up to the edge of cliffs that slowly crumble in to the Pacific below.

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LiquidMoonlight Studios
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Tags:   Carmel Monterey Bay Central California Pacific Ocean Spring Flowers Surf Waves Rocky Coastline Coastal Sea Jack London Clint Eastwood Landscape Seascape Vista Wildflowers Mustard Painting Fog Darv Lynneal Darvin Atkeson LiquidMoonlight.com San Francisco California Coast Big Sur Big Sur Highway One Highway 1 Wallpaper Paradise The Last Resort

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Standing like a sentinel, battered and pounded by Pacific storms as they move eastward across California the Lone Cypress was once part of a large forest of Monterey cypress trees which lined the coast of central California but are now limited to two small groves near Monterey and Carmel.

This famous 250 year old icon of California stands rooted in to a surf pounded rock and has even survived an arson attempt which prompted the Pacific Beach Golf Club to build a small wall around the exposed roots and install support cables to keep the tree from falling during high winds. Under normal conditions the Monterey cypress can grow to 80 feet however The Lone Cypress stands only 25 feet tall due to the harsh conditions.

The tree is a popular photographic location and has been filmed by Ansel Adams and Edward
Weston.

I took a number of shots on this evening and they were all great but it was the last shots of the day that would turn out the best. As the sun dropped past the horizon the clouds over the distant hills formed up creating some nice pink streaks that are not in earlier shots. The setting sun really intensify the sunset colors on the distant clouds. The sky deepened the blue / purple tones on the landscape and ocean which helps bring out the golden tones of the last bit of light on the rock.

If you follow my photostream you may have seen another shot on the same day which featured a Stellar Blue jay on the branches in the foreground but I think this image best represents the mood.

Darv

Darvin Atkeson
LiquidMoonlight Studios

Tags:   Seascape Sunset Landscape California Lone Cypress Monterey Carmel Pebble Beach 17 Mile Drive Coastal Central Pacific Ocean Big Sur Golf Beach Shore Darv Darvin Atkeson LiquidMoonlight.com Desktop Wallpaper Background


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