The Beautiful Sunsets of Banderas Bay, Puerto Vallarta

Sunset over Bandaras Bay, Puerto Vallarta. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

Palm trees and sunsets seem to be made for each other. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

My father, who was a talented landscape photographer and painter, always discussed sunsets with a certain disdain. “Post card art,” he would sniff.  When I sorted through his thousands of slides after he passed away, however, what did I find: dozens if not hundreds of sunset photos. Apparently, the old fellow had been as addicted to sunsets as I am.

Scenic sunsets beg to be photographed… even more so when warm tropical breezes and palm trees are involved. Peggy and I found ourselves out on the beach every evening in Puerto Vallarta waiting for the show to start, and we were never disappointed. I’ll let the photos tell the story.

Palm trees outlined against the sky in Puerto Vallarta. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.)

I caught these two palms outlined against the sky with just a hint of color in the clouds.

Puerto Vallarta beach vendor outlined by setting sun. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.)

After a long day of work, a beach vendor heads home just as the sun drops behind the horizon.

Clouds always add drama to sunsets. We watched as this impressive cumulous cloud changed from white, to golden, to pink. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

Clouds always add drama to sunsets. We watched as this impressive cumulus cloud changed from white, to golden, to pink. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

Cumulous cloud in Puerto Vallarta. (Photo by Curtis Mekemson.)

Cumulous cloud in sunset at Puerto Vallarta. (Photo by Curtis Mekemson.)

Our grandkids Ethan and Cody joined us in downtown Puerto Vallarta to catch the sunset. (Photo by Natasha Cox.)

Our grandkids Ethan and Cody joined us in downtown Puerto Vallarta to catch the sunset. (Photo by Natasha Cox.)

Sunset along Malecon in Puerto Vallarta. (Photo by Curtis Mekemson.)

Another shot from the same perspective looking down Puerto Vallarta’s beach front across Banderas Bay.

Puerto Vallarta beach sunset. (Photo by Curtis Mekemson.)

I took this photo with my camera inches above the sand. Think of it as a crab’s perspective on the sunset.

Sunset photo capturing sand, sea and sky in Puerto Vallarta. (Photo by Curtis Mekemson.)

Another view.

Puerto Vallarta sunset photo on Banderas Bay. (photo by Curtis Mekemson.)

Sea foam adds its own twist to sunset photos on the beach.

Sometimes the colors of a sunset are so vivid they seem unreal. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

Sometimes the colors of a sunset are so vivid they seem unreal. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

Palm tree view in Puerto Vallarta. (Photo by Curtis Mekemson.)

Just for fun, I’ll conclude this post with a non-sunset photo. I gave you the sea from the perspective of a crab. This is a palm tree from the perspective of an iguana.

NEXT BLOG: I will wrap up my Puerto Vallarta series with a few photos I couldn’t fit into my posts including a whale and one small boy catching a very big fish.

What a Wonderful Bird Is the Pelican… A Puerto Vallarta Feeding Frenzy

Pelican hist water upside down in Puerto Vallarta. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

A Brown Pelican executes an amazing upside down dive to catch fish in Puerto Vallarta as three other pelicans join in the feeding frenzy.

 “What a wonderful bird is the pelican, whose bill will hold more than his belican.” Dixon Merritt

I am enamored with pelicans. These large, gregarious birds that appear to have been created by a committee, skim over the ocean in graceful lines, fly in V formations to distant locations, and crash into the ocean with abandon to catch fish.  Most of my pelican viewing has taken place on the coast of California and Oregon but I have also enjoyed their antics in Florida and the Mediterranean.

California Brown Pelican posed for flight. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

A Brown Pelican stands on its toes and prepares for flight in California. I called this photo flight-line.

California Brown Pelicans in flight. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

Shortly afterwards, I caught this photo of the pelicans, along with seagulls in flight.

Petra the pelican of Mykonos. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

We found this Great White Pelican named Petros holding court on the Greek Island of Mykonos last year on our trip through the Mediterranean.

Petra the Pelican of Mykonos. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

Petros the Pelican of Mykonos gives me the eye. “You wouldn’t happen to have a fish would you?”

Over the past three weeks I have been enjoying pelicans in Mexico. Peggy and I were particularly lucky to find a large flock of them involved in a feeding frenzy right next to Puerto Vallarta’s boardwalk, the Malecon. I’ve often watched pelicans make their unique dives from a distance; this was up close and personal– as I hope our photos demonstrate. I was also able to videotape them and captured 15 plus dives in a few seconds. The action was wild!

Pelican drains water from bill in Puerto Vallarta. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

One pelican seems to float in open-billed-amazement as two other pelicans crash into the ocean. Actually pelicans have to drain the water out of their mouths before swallowing their catch, which is what this fellow is doing.

Pelican shows throat pouch in Puerto Vallarta. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

Check out the size of the Brown Pelican throat pouch here.

Pelicans prepare to dive in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Hovering in flight, pelicans prepare to dive. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.) The terns, BTW, are hoping to participate in the feast and will happily steal fish from the pelicans.

Brown Pelican in Puerto Vallarta hovers above the water in search of fish. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

Preparing for a high dive…

Brown Pelican takes flight off of Banderas Bay in Puerto Vallarta. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

Brown Pelican takes off from water.

Brown Pelican appears to walk on water in Puerto Vallarta.

And this guy appears to be walking on water. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

Brown Pelican dives toward the water of Banderas Bay in Puerto Vallarta.

A Brown Pelican plunges toward the water. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.) Note the pouch filled with water on the lower right.

Pelican diving for fish in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Plunging into the water. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

Brown Pelicans demonstrate different aspects of fishing in Banderas Bay, Puerto Vallarta. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

A small portion of the flock, some 17 pelicans, demonstrate various aspects of fishing.

Pelican feeding frenzy in Puerto Vallarta.

Hard to tell who is doing what, here. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.) Liked the graceful tern on the left.

Pelicans feeding in Banderas Bay, Puerto Vallarta Mexico.

Or here. But I really liked the wing action. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

Now it is time to put all of the action together in a brief video…

Pelican caught in sunset glow at Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

A pelican flies toward its nest at the end of the day.

NEXT BLOG: Having featured the Brown Pelicans of Puerto Vallarta, I’ll move on to feature the Green Iguanas.