This week the Estuary Program has a special Photograph Friday featuring Marcie Begleiter, our guest blogger and the photographer for our Wild Bay Fundraiser (happening now until the end of September!). Learn what inspires her while shooting photos in Morro Bay and Los Osos.
I moved to Los Osos five years ago, trading Los Angeles culture for Central Coast nature, and became immersed in the life of the estuary. My photographic practice, which flowered after moving here, is a meditation on the seasons of our home: the changing light, the lifting fog, the birds winging through in winter, or living in the watershed year-round. Stories are playing out in the trees, on the water, and in the undergrowth, and photography is a medium exquisitely tuned to revealing and documenting these stories.
Heading west through the back bay on kayak, I spied an Osprey perched on a sign. A 300mm lens let me keep a good distance and watch as the bird surveyed the water. The rising sun flooded in and the bird launched into pursuit. It came up empty this time, but later circled around and dropped down with talons spread, bringing up breakfast at last.
There’s a spot on the southern tip of Morro Bay where the tides rise and flood into channels that wind through the sedge and mudflats. I was there at sunrise and ran into this extraordinary Great Blue Heron, sitting tall by the water. I sat down to breathe and wait; bird watching is teaching me patience. The sun was creeping slowly along the shore, and clearly, it would take 20 minutes before it reached the resting bird. We sat. I counted (it helps me sit). And then, as the light finally reached out and touched its feathers, the Heron rose into the sunlight. I pressed the shutter and captured the moment.
My daily walk often takes me through the Cuesta Inlet. On the water’s edge, you can see from the Sandspit to Hollister Peak (when the fog cooperates). This particular evening the waters were dead calm and the reflected sky created a symmetrical composition that constantly changed, like a colorful kaleidoscope. I stayed until it was too dark to see, glad that the inlet’s geography is now so familiar.
My hope is that by sharing my art and my love for our estuary, you will be inspired to make a donation to these organizations that help protect this wild, wonderful, and fragile place.
The two organizations that will benefit from this fundraiser are working to protect this fragile system of interconnected life. Pacific Wildlife Care is on the front line of rehabilitating animals that cannot, for one reason or another, make it on their own. The Estuary Program works to protect and restore Morro Bay and the lands that surround it through our monitoring, restoration, and education efforts. Your donations to this campaign support the work of these two organizations to safeguard this special place that is central to the wildlife and humans who call it home.
Help us protect and restore the Morro Bay estuary!
- This month donate to the Wild Bay Fundraiser and support our work in the field, the lab, and beyond, as well as the efforts at Pacific Wildlife Care!
The Estuary Program is a 501(c)3 nonprofit. We depend on funding from grants and generous donors to continue our work.
- Support us by purchasing estuary-themed gear from ESTERO. This locally owned and operated company donates 20% of proceeds from its Estuary clothing line and 100% of Estuary decal proceeds to the Estuary Program. Thank you, ESTERO!
- Purchase items from the Estuary Program’s store on Zazzle. Zazzle prints and ships your items, and the Estuary Program receives 10% of the proceeds.
Thank you for helping our beautiful, bountiful, biodiverse bay!