Brown Pelican / San Francisco Bay, CA
Forster’s Tern / San Francisco Bay, CA
It certainly wasn’t difficult trying to pass the time in hopes of getting a glimpse of the comet PANSTARRS from a vantage high above the San Francisco Bay …
Luckily the moon was just waxing past its new phase and therefore not too bright as to diminish the view of this dim comet, as the only chance to see it was right after sunset in the western sky for a week or so in the middle of March. Too soon after sunset and the light was too bright to see it – too late, and it would sink below the horizon, or at least into the foggy pillow that had already claimed most of the bridge.
Finally, a few minutes to view this celestial visitor to our solar system.
Evidently I was late to the party Sunday, but for almost two weeks there was a huge herring run at Ferry Point on Pt. Richmond. It attracted large numbers of gulls (in the thousands) – including some rare species – as well as sea lions, seals, other shore birds and humans with their cameras and fishing boats. I was a day too late! The fish come in every year to reproduce and lay their eggs. Many end up as dinner for the creatures listed above.
Despite being late for the climax, I was however able to see some of the left-over roe (eggs) that hadn’t been eaten and were attached to sea weed and other vegetation exposed at the low tide when I was there. I’ll have to wait for next year to catch the action.
In Europe these fish are known as “silver of the sea” because of their long-standing role in the economies of many cultures there, and they continue to be a staple source of food that humans harvest from the sea and many animals depend upon them as part of their survival.
As I left I saw a beautiful quarter-moon with Jupiter shining right by it.