Trespassing signs may or may not deter me. It depends on the age of the sign. Shiny and new ones, I give it pause. Warning signs, on the other hand, I pay a little more attention to. Here at the Point Arena Lighthouse, the danger is real.
The finger of land that juts out into the Pacific Ocean takes the brunt of the ocean’s powerful waves from 3 sides on a daily basis and suffers even more punishment during storms. Each year, 4 inches of land are returned to the sea.
Several locations of cliff edge quietly drag down land and show evidence of where asphalt, foundations, and old fencing previously held ground. Back in 2001, the gazebo that once stood far from the waters had to be moved as the cliff edge finally reached the structure. And the famous Devil’s Punch Bowl blowhole? The sides of the bowl finally gave way sometime in the 90’s.
Composition of this photograph was a bit challenging with the crooked fence line. The decision was to use the window in an equally crooked way, creating a bit of unsymmetrical negative space.
Out in the distance is Manchester State Beach. If you follow the left fence post straight up the frame to the far shoreline to where there is a small dip in the cliffs right on the beach, that’s is where Alder Creek enters the Pacific. It is also the location of the northernmost location the San Andreas fault crosses onto land. The 1906 earthquake caused the two tectonic plates that make up the fault to slide past each other 15 feet.
For those interested in the fault and where you might see evidence of it along Hwy 1 between San Francisco and Point Arena, head to this San Andreas Fault about.com page. Learning and/or geology can be fun!
EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 23mm, f/14, 1/30 sec
Point Arena (CA), Window View, Fence, Keep Off. Point Arena, CA. June 29, 2015. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.