A significant variable to the calming effect of this photograph is due in part to the long walk it takes to get here. This is part of the coastline of California’s Monterey Peninsula, in an area known as Point Lobos, which is three miles south of Carmel-by-the-Sea. You see it all in this natural habitat: tide pools, sea lions, sea otters, grey whales, dolphins, divers, and all things aquatic. There are hundreds of acres of forest on the point replete with walking trails amidst cypress and pines, where you can see deer, foxes, rabbits, coyotes, bobcats, and all creatures great and small. The sheer magnitude and silence of the area is awe-inspiring, and this area has been a haven for painters, poets, writers, and nature lovers since the beginning of time. And the Pacific Ocean has a specific personality; there is a feel to it that differs from the Atlantic: whereas the Atlantic is heavy, histrionic, metal-gray and brooding, the Pacific is light and clear and dancing, with shades of emerald and aqua blue that are so unique, they seem God ordained. If you can imagine walking beside a scene such as this for hours, it will give you the reason why I chose this picture for Hugh’s photo challenge depicting the feeling of calm.