Point Lobos State Reserve

Tendrils of fog drift through stands of pine and dissolve over coves cut steeply in granite. Squadrons of pelicans sweep low over rock castles battered jagged by eons of sea. On the lee sides of cypress limbs, rust-orange algae cling like frost. Sea lions bray from their island citadels and sea otters float on their backs in carpets of kelp. And accompanying every scene and every scent is the thunder of water breaking against rock. In the long, narrow display case of the California coastline, Point Lobos is the jewel that glistens like no other.

A breaker disintegrates on the rocks at Sand Hill Cove.

Rough water churns up sea-bottom sediment at the Pinnacle, Cypress Grove Trail.

Sun shafts slant through Allan Memorial Grove.

The Pacific Ocean unleashes its fury at The Slot, which pits overeager photographers against lethal plumes of seawater.

Bermuda buttercups, Cypress Grove Trail.

Mule deer, Whalers Knoll Trail.

Moss hangs from Monterey pines in Piney Woods.

California blackberry blossom, South Shore Trail.

Cypress Cove.

California beach-aster, Cypress Grove Trail.

Monterey cypresses stand sentinel atop the granite mosaic of Bluefish Cove.

Monterey cypresses, Cypress Grove Trail.

The Monterey Cypress known as Old Veteran clings to the granite of Cypress Cove’s east wall in defiance of the wear and tear of wind, rain and gravity.

Monterey pine cones emerge in January along South Shore Trail.

High tide and high winds conspire at Weston Beach.

Dune Buckwheat, North Shore Trail.

Monterey cypress shoots and seeds, Allan Memorial Grove.

Sunset at The Pinnacle.