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Where Land Meets Sea: The cool breeze off the water, crashing waves, dramatic rocks, unusual creatures and interesting flotsam all add to the desire to spend time at the beach.

Larry at Pescadero State Beach, where the wind was so strong it scoured the rocks on shore into unusual shapes with gouges and holes in them. There were numerous wind surfers here.

This is the spectacular formation for which Natural Bridge State Beach is named.

Besides gulls, as shown here, the beaches were alive with pelicans, cormorants, grebes and guillemots.

Some bluffs above the shore were covered in several species of this succulent groundcover.

Val explores the rocky shore. At the beaches we visited, it was usually an easy climb down a couple dozen feet to the sand and rocks exposed at low tide.

The dry slopes above the beaches are good habitat for fence lizards, whose rough gray scales blend right in with the coarse sand.

Northern elephant seals bask on the beach at Año Nuevo State Reserve.

The seals on shore at this time of year (early June) are all females and young. This one is flipping sand onto its back as it basks in the dunes.

The seals come to this area to molt. Segments of their shed fur are all over the sand and look like plant debris at first.

Pigeon Point Light Station is located on an appropriately scenic rocky shore.

Although the waves weren't huge, strong winds did give us some dramatic action as the water hit the rocks.

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