We tend to visit Pigeon Point lighthouse every year when we are in the area.  It is located on Pacific Coast Highway #1, near Pescadero, between San Francisco and Santa Cruz and is a lovely beacon for ships in the fog….or at least, it was at one time.    This time last week, I was standing there shooting this little video from my phone.  I saw a big whale pod that day….and seals….and sea lions….and a plethora of waterfowl.  The sun was out and the weather was perfect.  It was a beautiful day.


built in 1871, Pigeon Point lighthouse, at 115′ tall,  ties with one other lighthouse as one of the tallest on the West coast of the United States.  There are a few small houses there, that serve as hostels.  John and I have always wanted to stay there.  It costs next to nothing, and we thought it would be fun to hang with some of the folks that are passing through the area.  We have simply never gotten around to it yet.  There is a small gift shop and a community barn where musical events and lectures are held occasionally.                                    

pigeon point

The lantern room of the lighthouse tower is no longer equipped with the original first-order, 1000-watt Fresnel lens, nor is it any longer illuminated for demonstration purposes.  The lens has 24 flash panels, is composed of 1008 hand-polished lenses and prisms and is capable of producing over 500,000 candlepower illumination. It was manufactured by the Henry-LePaute company in Paris and was first lit at Pigeon Point at sunset on what would, one day, be my birthday, on November 15, 1872.  Perhaps this is why I feel such a special affinity for this place.  Funds are being raised to restore it, and at some point, we might be able to walk up the winding stairs to the top.  I hope so!

We always see something interesting when we visit Pigeon point.  This last trip, I saw a fairly large whale pod, but couldn’t identify what kind they were.  This is the only picture I got of their blow spouts, but I did get one ok tail shot. (below)



We went once during the evening, and as we were leaving, I saw a flash of yellow eyes in the underbrush.  We stopped the car, and I snapped a picture that was completely dark.  However, when I lightened it up with Photoshop, this was what was sitting there!



Pigeon Point is one of my favorite places to photograph birds, because I can stand on a ledge at eye-level with them, and sometimes above them, and capture some great angles.


This is the partial jawbone of a young gray whale.  I find it quite beautiful, and love to run my fingers along the cracks and indentations and wonder about the animal…how it died…what it experienced during its lifetime.  I feel honored to touch its bones.


whale bones

There are a thousand and one beautiful photo opportunities at Pigeon Point.  In virtually any direction one turns, there is something awesome to photograph.

dried tree

We usually see a lot of seals sunning themselves on the rocks below the observation deck.  However, we only saw a couple this time.  They were bobbing about in the water and keeping a look out for one another.


Being at Pigeon Point always brings a smile to my face.  This day was no exception.

pigeon point smileR