11/2/10

Point Sur Light Station

We stopped on the way to Big Sur to tour the Point Sur Lighthouse Light Station. Do you know the difference between a lighthouse and a light station? A light station has out-buildings. In Point Sur's case, a carpenter and blacksmith shop and some family living quarters.

The light station sits on top of a peninsular moro (dome formation) of Franciscan greenstone. I took a picture of the moro on my iPhone as we drove out to it.

Point Sur straight ahead.

You park at beautiful beaches and hike up with a docent.

Big Sur

You need a boat to visit most of Big Sur's beaches. Most of them are inaccessible by land due to geography or private property rights, or both. The beaches themselves are public property, and once you are on them, you are perfectly entitled to be there.

According to the docent, we visited on an uncommonly lovely day for the walk up. The road is narrow and its edges are crumbling. I would not want to drive it, although the coast guard, docents and other light station volunteers do.

Point Sur

Big Sur

Point Sur

We saw remnants of earlier catastrophes. I believe this one involved removing a very heavy, old generator.

Point Sur

Point Sur

The station comes in to view soon enough.

Big Sur

I saw a lot of the usual coastal flora--Artemesia pycnocephala, Salvia mellifera, Astragalus leucopsis, Eriophyllum staechadifolium. I mistook this plant for some kind of euphorbia, and was surprised to see euphorbia.

Big Sur

It's stock (Matthiola incana), introduced long ago by former light station keepers.

Point Sur

There was a lot of Dudleya farinosa.

Point Sur

And one remarkable specimen of poison oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum) growing in the rock.

Toxicodendron diversilobum

Anyway, back to the light station...

Point Sur

Point Sur

Point Sur

Point Sur

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The clay brick interior was originally painted with lead paint; it had to be removed. The light station's committee for historical accuracy has not settled on what lead-free paint would be an acceptable compromise.

Point Sur

California's lighthouse interior structures were built from kits, like Ikea furniture.

Point Sur

Point Sur

Point Sur originally used a first-order Fresnel lens, but that's a display piece now and the Coast Guard uses this modern, mechanical contraption instead.

IMG_0105

Since sailors today rely on GPS technology, I say re-install the Fresnel lens using some modern mechanical innovations to make it more practical to operate. Of course, that would cost a lot of money, I'm sure.

Point Sur

This is a much-smaller, fourth-order lens from somewhere else.

IMG_0075

It works like this.

IMG_0112

An that's it. Now I'm at that point in the blog post where I'm looking for a graceful way out...

How about another look at that beach?

Point Sur

How about a bunny rabbit? Any takers for the bunny rabbit?

Point Sur

That's all I've got!

Point Sur

7 comments:

danger garden said...

Beautiful pictures! And as someone who has assembled a fair amount of IKEA furniture I sure hope their kits are a little sturdier.

Weeping Sore said...

Wow! There's something about the sky and the sea in the pics that makes it seem that the day was pretty brisk. I didn't know that lighthouses are now called light stations. Not as romantic, but still inviting.

Weeping Sore said...

Wow! There's something about the sky and the sea in the pics that makes it seem that the day was pretty brisk. I didn't know that lighthouses are now called light stations. Not as romantic, but still inviting.

rainymountain said...

I can almost smell the sea.

Queer by Choice said...

I like the bunny rabbit. I'll take it!

fairegarden said...

You can keep the rabbit, but we'll take those views, thank you.
Frances

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