Never stop learning, they say. We say – the easiest way for us to do keep learning is by traveling, observing, and asking questions. Sometimes it’s so easy, we don’t even know it’s happening.
When we drove further south through California, our biggest decision was where to have lunch. Morro Bay, a scenic town on the Pacific coast, seemed just right. We pulled up to a sweet café with views of the harbor. As we ate our pitiful, little sandwiches, we watched tourists streaming by. We hurried to finish so we, too, could head outside to see what was happening.
Word traveled fast among the brown pelicans and gulls that fish scraps were being thrown overboard. It was interesting to watch the scramble to see which bird was victorious. (Their lunch was probably tastier than ours.)
Sea lions were right under the dock. A nearby sign explained that seals, sea lions, and sea elephants all live along the California coast. Other tourists told us that the much larger sea elephants are found further north in San Simeon.
We enjoyed watching birds, but some can be difficult to identify. We tried taking their photos, and when we pulled their images up on the computer screen, we referred to our thick Sibley bird guidebook to try to ID them.
Gulls are not always easy to ID. We’re pretty sure this is a Western Gull, common along the Pacific coast.
The challenge with gulls, and many other birds, is that the bird can look different both as a juvenile and in breeding season. We think this gull is a Western gull in its 2nd winter, not quite an adult. Tricky, huh? Well, we’re still learning.
Time to move on and head for our friend’s house where we’d spend the night.
A fire was going in her little stove. We settled in and talked about traveling.
We thought back on all we’d done that day when an “aha!” moment came. Mission accomplished! We’d learned so many new things in just one day.
We celebrated with our new favorite local California treat. Yummy! One more thing learned: take a small piece and then quickly seal the bag. Otherwise, the whole bag will be consumed in just one sitting.