Huntington Beach, Part 2 - Saturday - May 21, 2011

Nancy here:  Normally, I have the early shift at work on Saturday and the late shift on Sunday.  This week it was all different…late Saturday and off on Sunday!!  So I asked Bill if we could do an early morning walk at Huntington Beach on Saturday.  What follows is what we saw on a beautiful EARLY morning!!
02b - Huntington Beach SP Poster
Our route is marked in Red
00 - Map
Moon was still out when we arrived.
01 - Moon Still Shining
But then the sun rose as we crossed the causeway.
02 - Sunrise over the marsh02a - Sunrise over the marsh02b - Sunrise over the marsh
As we crossed the causeway, I shouted to Bill to "STOP!!"
This alligator was hiding amongst the rocks right next to the sidewalk we were walking on.
I snapped this quick photo (no zoom needed we were this close) and
we quickly moved to the road to pass by. :o))
04a - Aligator on Causeway Rocks
A little further along, we saw this pair of Ahingas
sitting on the Rice Trunk.
03c - Ahingas driving in
02c2 - Rice Trunk poster
Close up of one of two Rice Trunks that manage the wetlands here.
02c1 - Rice Trunk
This Great Blue Heron is ready to strike right next to the Rice Trunk.
The Rice Trunk not only transports water, but also fish and shrimp, back and forth.
The birds and alligators seem to congregate around the Rice Trunks.
05 - Great Blue Heron in attack pose
This Snowy Egret appears pink in the early morning sunrise!03a - Snowy Egret in Sun rise looks pink
He used the Rice Trunk to clean his beak.
03b2 - Causeway Snowy Egret
Then off he flew to position himself to catch breakfast!!
06 - Great White Egret in for a landing
This alligator has his camouflage grass outfit on today.
07 - Aligator with camoflage grass
From the causeway, we headed over to Atalaya Dr,
which connects Brookgreen Gardens to the Beach.
Below is the entrance to Brookgreen Gardens
directly across Hwy 17 from Huntington Beach SP
09 - Brookgreen and Atallaya Trail
A closer look at the entrance!!
09a - Brookgreen and Atallaya Trail
This is the path the leads from Brookgreen to
Atalaya (former summer home) on the beach.
09b - Brookgreen and Atallaya Trail
Green Swamp along the Atalaya path.
09c - Brookgreen and Atallaya Trail
We walked the path toward Atalaya, but since it was so early,
 Atalaya was not open.
Bill and I walked over to the Registration office and went up on
the balcony to take a few photos.

View across the parking lot toward the ocean.
10 - From the Registration Office Deck
View of Atalaya - need to return and visit up close.
10a - From the Registration Office Deck
View of bath house for daily visitors.
10b - From the Registration Office Deck
Behind the Registration Building is the Kerigan Nature Trail.
We walked the trail which took us to a boardwalk over the wetlands.
11 - Kerigan Nature Trail
11b - Kerigan Nature Trail - Bill on the Trail11d - Kerigan Nature Trail - Walkway and Viewing Platform
Momma Cardinal was not happy we were there!!
11d1 - Kerigan Nature Trail - Female Cardinal
Pair of Common Moorhens
11c - Kerigan Nature Trail - Red and Black Ducks
View across the Wetlands
11g - Kerigan Nature Trail -  Cormorant
Great Egret in the looks strange up there!
11h - Kerigan Nature Trail -  Great Egret in Tree
Next we headed over to the Salt Marsh Boardwalk.
12e - Salt Marsh Boardwalk - end of marsh boardwalk
There is a nature center at the boardwalk, but again...too early!
However, there were some good posters to read!!
(reminder - click any photo to enlarge)
12 - Salt Marsh Boardwalk - Sign12a - Salt Marsh Boardwalk - Sign Death Brings Life
Here is a closeup of the Spartina or Salt Marsh Cordgrass which
is in the process of decomposing so the "locals" can consume it.
12b - Salt Marsh Boardwalk - snail
This Fiddler Crab wants his share as well.
12c - Salt Marsh Boardwalk - crab
Fifth Wheel leaving the State Park across the causeway.
12d - Salt Marsh Boardwalk - 5th wheel crossing causeway
View of Causeway and Wetlands Viewing Boardwalks
12g - Salt Marsh Boardwalk - causeway and view platforms
Interesting Oyster information
12h2 - Salt Marsh Boardwalk - low tide oyster beds sign12h3 - Salt Marsh Boardwalk - low tide oyster beds sign
We were there at low tide, so the oyster beds were visible.
12h - Salt Marsh Boardwalk - low tide oyster beds
Fiddler Crabs were everywhere!!
12f - Salt Marsh Boardwalk - crabs
Jelly Fish got stuck in the Oyster Beds.
12h1 - Salt Marsh Boardwalk - low tide oyster beds jelly fish
Wilson's Plovers scavenging for a meal.
12i - Salt Marsh Boardwalk - Wilson's Plovers
A closer look!!
12i1 - Salt Marsh Boardwalk - Wilson's Plover
The Salt Marsh
13 - Salt Marsh Boardwalk - Salt Marsh

It was a beautiful morning and a fantastic walk.  While we are stuck here until we sell our house and start full-timing, we sure have many beautiful places to explore in our own backyard!!

Check back to catch our walk on Sunday at Sunset.


  1. Wow - that alligator was too close for comfort! Your pictures are beautiful. :)

  2. I agree with Jessica...much too close! BIT you sure did get a good picture of it :)
    Glad you were able to enjoy an early Saturday walk together :)

  3. Thanks for letting me virtually visit one of my favorite places. Nice photos.

  4. Great hike and super pictures! One question, though. When do you ever sleep?

    Paul and Marti (still having problems with Blogger comments)

  5. What great pictures. We need to find our way back to South Carolina some time.

  6. Nancy,
    You take beautiful photos and your wildlife knowledge is great. Sherri and I will have to visit South Carolina, it is a sharp contrast from the southwest.

  7. Incredible! Especially enjoy the sunrise pictures.

  8. Wow Nancy these are great pictures. I just love Huntington Beach SP and if you can't be on the road yet, you sure do have great places to visit.

    I can easily get up before sunrise but getting out is another story. Loved your early early morning pictures, sunrise, the beak cleaning, the oysters....well it was just a great photo trip. Thanks so much!