Condors at Julia Pfeiffer Burns

Julia Pfeiffer Burns, McWay Falls

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and McWay Falls, about 36 miles south of Carmel, is worth a visit any day. Along with dramatic coastal vistas, this is the only major California waterfall to tumble into the Pacific – and no post card can translate the wild beauty of this place.

When a group of us artists headed towards the falls to paint this picturesque sanctuary,  on a late spring afternoon, we were surprised by an additional gift:

Over 10 Californias Condors  blessed us, circling above and swooping down to the trees while we painted there, a rare treat!  This must have been nesting time, happy to see these endangered birds so active.

These awesome, almost dragon like birds went extxinct in the wild, until in 1997, Ventana Wildlife Society began releasing Californias Condors on the Big Sur coast. The  population is now up to around 50 birds, who are being monitored closely.

When we painted at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park , the Condors came so close, we were able to see the number tags, they wear for identification.  Painting on location, we are used to on-lookers and visitors.  However, being watched by California Condors was a whole new experience, and a lovely one at that!  Amazing, the miracles you encounter painting en plein air…

Evening Light, Julia Pfeiffer Burns

Visiting this famous place, I had planned to paint the glorious waterfalls, as I have on other occasions.  However, when I noticed the stunning lightplay against these gorgeous, silhouetted cliffs, I couldn’t resist.”Evening Light” is the result of me squinting into the setting sun, while being Condor blessed.  A fabulous day on the coast indeed!

Hope you get a chance to visit Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, it is a wildly beautiful place. And maybe you’ll even be Condor blessed…. enjoy!

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