Friday, May 4, 2012

At The Beach

A change of pace.  A much needed vacation.  An even better reason to get excited about new material to film.  This week I take you all on an epic 5 part series that has been several weeks in the making.  I write one month in advance so I have to process and develop my topics.  It also helps having time to reflect on what it is that I have captured on film. This week we head south to Mexico to the fishing village of Rocky Point.  We'll also explore the Bird Islands in the middle of the Sea of Cortez.  I am excited to share with you all!  So come and join me at the beach for awhile.....
The Whimbrel reminds me of a large hummingbird!
South of Tucson by about 4 and half hours in car, Puerto Peñasco(or known by many as Rocky Point) is located near the US border.  The sleepy little homes along the beach offer many a great place to relax and escape the crazy life of the big city.  It also offers magnificent views of the ocean, birds, marine life, and a little Mexican culture.
At low tide, this area makes me think that these rocks are a home to the crab people
On this trip, I was enraptured by the incredible wildlife found in this area.  And for the first time, I saw Rocky Point in a new light.  For many years, I had considered the town an ugly stain near the border but only because I stayed in the downtown area.  Over the years, we rented the condos on the beach and it has helped change my perspective from ugly to gorgeous:)
I discovered this beauty at a low tide pool!  What a find!  I also found Starfish and other fun critters.  
Tide pools, Sand Dollars, and oh so much more can be found along the beach.  My recommendation for people interested in visiting is to get up early and make these incredible finds before everyone else stomps all over the sands:)  Is Rocky Point safe to visit?  My answer is yes if you go with a group and during the day, but no if travelling alone.  People play down the drug wars happening along our border because they want the tourism money to flow into the economy again, but I felt an edge this time that I haven't felt for a long time.  I've lived and visited Mexico for over 20 years and have hesitated this time to go, but the birds were calling me.  You'll see:)
Sand Dollar
"Mexico, I love you so what I have to write is difficult.  You taught me to be "me", but as I am getting older, I am finding it difficult to understand your lack of hygiene.  Why don't you take an interest in your environment?  I've travelled all over the world (which includes many of your Spanish speaking siblings), but you seem to enjoy trash everywhere.  How is it possible?  You make fun of Guatemalans but I don't know why.....they have a cleaner country with people who know how to care for their environment.  Your food is the best as are your people.....the dancing and partying are incredible, but you have to do a better job about the trash situation and your careless attitudes towards wildlife." 
Turkey Vulture flying over the beach along Rocky Point
It can be challenging for people to accept the "dirty parts" around some areas.....or the bottles floating in the ocean waters.  So it does take some training to "ignore"(if that's even possible).  After seeing amazing environmental programs in Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala, Chile, Peru, etc etc, it's difficult to look at Mexico in the same way because it's nowhere near environmentally conscience as these countries mentioned above.   But let's stick to the positive because there was a lot of good from this trip.....
We had an incredible trip and I'll have some very funny stories to share with you all.   I've learned so much about birds and other marine animals that I want to go back again.  But the next time, I will hire an environmental guide to give me the lowdown around the area.
But for now, I'll leave you with our team of wonderful friends. It was an incredible 4 days and I hope to go back again next year for some more incredible finds.  Stay tuned for more from our trip this week to the Sea of Cortez and her islands.  More tomorrow.....
The Team


  1. Wow, sounds like a great trip. It is a shame that the drug wars are enough to keep people from visiting. Your photos are awesome, I love the tidal pool finds. Great photos. I look forward to seeing more. Have a great weekend!

  2. Great day out at the beach!
    Have a nice weekend
    Yvonne & Raphael

  3. Wonderful photos! I find it so sad that the drug wars have taken over and that the beautiful lands of Mexico are not bing well cared for. I can't wait for the rest of the story...

  4. GREAT shots!!
    that sand dollar looks like an arrowhead! i've only seen round ones!

    such a shame about the garbage...a shame that people just don't get it!! we see it all the time when hiking...empty bottles, cigarette butts... :(

    anyway...glad u were able to spend time with friends...and have a 4 days of good times!!

  5. what a wonderful introduction - I'm so looking forward to the next 4 posts. I love hanging round rocks and rock pools, and of course it gives you a whole different scene and light to photograph. Those drug wars are scary. Just tonight on the TV news they were talking about how many investigative journalists have been killed, especially in Mexico.

  6. An ocean trip sounds divine. But I have to agree about a massive litter problem in Mexico. I've seen it everywhere from San Felipe to Oaxaca and all the way east to the Caribbean. Plastic bags and junk everywhere. Very sad as it's a beautiful country with very friendly people.

  7. i respect your opinion since you've obviously traveled a lot. i appreciate the honesty in this post about mexico's conditions.

  8. My brother has been taking his motor home down there for years. I have never had a desire to go for many reasons which you alluded to in your post. I made one trip to Nogales shortly after moving to Arizona and never cared to visit Mexico again.

    But I do enjoy this post and your photos certainly make it look beautiful which I am sure it is. I am a sucker for a beach.

  9. Glad to be able to visit Rocky Point with you... every year we said we would go and 23 years later we still haven't visited the place.

  10. Did you see any Mangrove natural areas down that way ? I know further down along the Baja portion there are numerosu Mangrove wetlands areas that the Bashan Foundation has been restoring. I wrote about them sometime back on my "Earth's Internet" blog. You should bookmark their page and use it for technical science references.

    They also restore Cardon Cactus and Mesquite habitats, but mostly they are into finding out what beneficial bacteria and mycorrhiza best fits each plant they work with.

    I'd love to see that part of Mexico, but any more I'm paranoid about ever going back there. I suppose it's mainly a bordertowns issues.

  11. Ha! I love your comment on the Whimbrel. They do look like a fat Hummingbird!
    I enjoyed this post a lot Chris, especially as things are starting to heat up again here in the valley.

  12. What a nice trip you had! You must have gotten refreshed and recharged with so many lovely wildlife. I didn’t know about the trash problem in Mexico. Is it caused by people's mindset, lack of education or of organized garbage collecting system, or all? People must know our lifestyle is quickly ruining the environment.


  13. A very thoughtful post Chris, it sounds like it has the potential to be a wonderful place to visit but clearly has a lot of problems which need addressing! Lovely photos though and you clearly enjoyed yourself. I see exactly what you mean about the Whimbrel and Hummingbird :-)

  14. Looks a wonderful place for wildlife and the Sand Dollars look fascinating - they remind me of fossils! Can't wait to hear more of your adventures.

    Beautiful rose photos in the last post too - wonderful!

  15. I look forward to your posts from Mexico and appreciate your approach to travel there. It's a bit sad for me as I have traveled comfortably around Mexico for most of my life and now the only way is to fly into a resort city. That's not the Mexico I want to see.

  16. Yeah.. I always wonder about that trash. You can go to a tourist area and all is well, one short bus ride over a hill or mountain and it's like that trash grows there. I dont get it!

    Excellent pictures, amazing birds!!

  17. Thanks for showing us these love sights, those are very unique sand dollars too.

  18. This was a great adventure. I used to go to a friend's place in Rocky Point. Loved the beach.


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