Saturday, October 31, 2009

Nice to see some old friends again and not just humans. Here is a shot of a Spiny Tailed Iguana that has taken up residence in the driftwood piece I call "El Dracon" in my garden. This is not my old buddy Huchiti that returned to El Dracon four years in a row but I am pretending it is one of his offspring.

Autumn has come in with a swift change in weather. The last 3 days we have had a steady cooling wind from the north, enough to require a blanket at night. It is interesting how even here in the sub tropics the weather changes can be so dramatic.

Also brought in these guys (not my pic)...Moon Jellyfish. Stung by one about a week ago, hurt but not like an Agua Mala!!

Hope you all enjoy the holidays coming joyful, be safe and pray for Peace and Justice in the world!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I can’t believe it, I got 10 ½ hrs of sleep last night. No cowbells, no barking dogs not even roosters in the early morning. That gave me plenty of energy to go down to the beach and do a full on exercise day. I wanted to get my kayak back on to the beach after the storm so I figured I may as well go out to the Whale Zone and hit the reef too. Nothing happening in either place so came back in to do some laps and running.

On the way in I saw my Great Blue Heron feeding near the surf so I beached my kayak and went to get my camera. Enjoy the shots. Amazing how kinda glumpfy they look when they first take off but boy when they get airborne how elegant, eh?

I then decided to do some laps, the water was clear and very little surge so I knew it would be pleasant. It was right up until I swam into a bunch of jellies. I received enough stings to get me out of the water but I hadn’t finished my quota of laps so I walked further down the beach and went in again. Finished my laps but I still had to dodge these critters every 25 feet or so. Fortunately they were not Agua Malas!

Then I did my run, push ups etc and I am now back in the trailer relaxing. What a life! Oh, yesterday I saw this snake coming out from under the trailer and passing nearby my lounge chair on it’s way to an evening feed. I was only able to get this shot before it was gone….incredibly fast. I am almost certain it is the “light form” of The Two Striped Garter Snake that is relatively common here. I love the Reptile People.

Next week there are a whole bunch of friends coming in. I’ll probably gain weight and party too much but I’m OK with that.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Well, we really did luck out again. It is now Wed. morning and Hurricane Rick which is now only a Tropical Storm, if that, has passed south of us and left us with good rain and only a slight gust or two of wind early this morning. This may or may not be the last of the season’s hurricanes and folks down here are recognizing that the days of being able to predict the “Hurricane Season” are over. I took the photos below simply because of the grandeur of the clouds as the northern edge of Rick passed by. You may remember an earlier shot of my beach and the palapa there, well it has changed some no?

Ocean temperatures have changed so much in the last decade that weather patterns have likewise altered. It was 20 years ago that the scientific community had the evidence it needed to publish their findings regarding the intimate connection between the Oceans and The World’s Climates. I was a participant in one of the most important data gathering experiments at that time, called ATOC (Atmospheric Thermometry of Ocean Climate). That’s me at the helm of The Schooner Dariabar as a crewman during that 6 month voyage.

That was in 1998 and the results from that experiment proved conclusively that The World’s Oceans were warming and that it was a result of carbon emissions by the human population. Unfortunately very few people in power listened to the warning implied and so now we find ourselves scrambling for solutions to a very serious problem.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Looking better all the time!

Monday, October 19, 2009

So looks like we are going to be OK with Hurricane Rick. It was really corking at 180 mph on Sunday but as you see at this moment things have really chilled out. We will get plenty of rain and some wind but nothing "serious". Just checked again and wind speed is down to 85 mph as of 6:00 pm mountain time.

Nothing major to report otherwise. Looking forward to the end of the Chubascos so I can start doing my laps regularly again....Sea is a bit rough.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Patricia has passed, leaving us with a good water supply and a desert even richer than before. The sky is clearing and it is extraordinarily beautiful here. The Sea is still a bit rough so no swimming yet and the storm brought in The Agua Mala jellies but it is beautiful!

I also saw my first Mariposa de la Muerta. Unfortunately it had suffered from the storm and was barely alive but posed for me nonetheless. This one was 3 1/2 " across, they are known to get to be 8" across.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I have gotten into the habit now of walking along the beach and capturing with my camera some of the images that strike me as I amble. These are from the other morning.

Can't resist a flying bird shot. This is a juvenile Yellow Footed Gull.

Gazing out at Sea my eyes kept coming back to this piece of driftwood or at least this part of it....texture!

When you have desert right up to the edge of The Sea you are going to have these critters, The California Turkey Vulture. What caught my eye about this one was the way it was sitting. I've never seen a vulture "roosting" like this. Later it changed position and assumed a much more familiar posture.

More texture and a reminder of the eternal return to The Sea.

Later in the morning I noticed two squalls moving towards us but The Sea was absolutely still so I thought I would kayak a bit and see what would develop. Within about 10 minutes of getting out by the reef the wind came up, the rain came down and I have to say it was "exciting". I was never in danger but there was something "wild" about the whole thing. After I got back to the trailer I made some hot chocolate with a generous shot of rum and enjoyed the downpour. We have two storms in the area right now and both are giving us good rainfall but not much wind. This could change if Tropical Storm Patricia starts up.

Friday, October 9, 2009

I’m amazed at how quickly the weather has cooled and autumn has arrived. It all seems to have been triggered by Hurricane Jimena. About a week after it passed by (thankfully not too close) the temperature began to drop by 5 degree increments weekly. This past week our temperatures have been running in the mid to low 80’s and even dipped into the 70’s some nights. Just a month ago it was always in the mid to high 90’s or even the 100’s daily. Anyway it is very pleasant now and with a discernable wind shift to the north we are having less moisture in the air. It has been an interesting experience for me to see the changes in weather, vegetation and critters. I can’t recall ever paying quite so much attention to my surroundings. Come January I will have been here my first full year. It will be equally interesting to see how the next year compares in regard to the changes I have observed and noted.

Yesterday I failed to take my camera and I missed a really great shot, Blue Heron and all. By all I mean that as I was running on the beach (a new form of exercise for me) I saw a group of birds in front of me, one clearly a Blue Heron. As I got closer they all lifted off together and there was the Heron, a Whimbrel, 2 Yellow Footed Gulls and a Semi-palmated Plover. I could have gotten a shot of all of them in the air at once….would have been cool. Today I’m taking the camera.

Did my yearly inspection underneath the trailer this morning for any unwanted critters that might be nesting under there: Ants (not my red ants, their cool), Scorpions, Black Widows or…….? I did find an Ant hive that had to be destroyed but otherwise things looked good. I also did my yearly application of axle grease on all areas where any critter could access the inside of the trailer from underneath. It has been a very effective method because I can testify to the significant change in unwanted critters in the trailer over the years. That ought to tell one something when these “senseless” animals will not cross a strip of axle grease (a petroleum product) while we immerse ourselves in it; that is petroleum products of all kinds. Once I solve the Scorpion problem (I’m pretty sure they drop from the palapa roof on to the trailer and then inside) I’m good. You can have your roof sprayed and then the Scorpions are gone but you get a shower of fine particles of poison on everything for months afterwards. I think I’ll hang with the Scorpions! I think I am actually in as much control of the situation as I can be; after all, I am dealing with “Mother Nature” here.

I am going to go to the beach now and I WLL TAKE MY CAMERA!

Well, the tide was in so there was little territory for the birds to work for food. No shots there today. But as I walked along the beach I reflected on the statement I made in my last post as to the minerals in the sea. They too are a part of you and I and it is here at the edge of the Sea where they are turned from ancient rock to sand and then to tiny particles returning always to the Mother Sea. That thought inspired me to take these pictures, hope you enjoy them.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I can feel the energy changing here at The East Cape. The gringos are returning! The other day while shopping at the Mercado in Los Barriles I noticed how many there were in the store. They were also on the street, driving by in really big trucks and SUVs and now I am beginning to see them out here in El Cardonal. I am of course biased towards my own gringo friends that are returning but then here I am all year round now. The village gets no respite from me…”El Ballanero” is not leaving. It has been so very peaceful here since mid June. Nevertheless I am looking forward to the return of my friends to swap stories and generate our own community within the one that has embraced us here.

The road may or may not be paved by the time everyone starts to arrive. There was a two week hiatus due to some question as to funding but it seems to have been cleared up and work now continues.

I had a revelation while swimming laps yesterday, well after I got out really. I wondered first why I found swimming laps in The Sea so much more attractive and inspiring than swimming laps in a pool. I must admit that 4 years of intense lap swimming to condition myself for water polo has left a basic resistance to doing even one more lap in my life but I do know it’s really good for me and it is so clean compared to other forms of exercise. So this is my conclusion. The Sea (The World Ocean) is our ancient biological and ancestral home. Every cell in my body knows that and when I am in that World Ocean I am for all intents and purposes back in The Womb of the evolutionary process on this planet. The World Ocean is so “alive” with creatures big and small and the minerals that sustain them that while I am immersed in there with them I am once again “connected” in a very immediate way! The Cetaceans (Whales & Dolphins) REconnected 50-60 million years ago and never left again. Though they are mammals like ourselves and have evolved as the most intelligent creatures in The World Oceans we treat them as mere examples of another species. I think that is why I love to swim with them, they are me and I am they. So, when I do my laps I experience all of this and it feels good. When I swim with them I am for a moment part of their reality and that is way good!!

This picture is of a student of mine who came down as part of an ecotour some 2-3 years ago. She had never been in The Sea, had on a mask/snorkel or fins yet in two days she became a veritable mermaid. Now here was a person who really connected fast! Her name is Rachael Minnix and she lives/lived in Lakeport in Northern California. I love this picture for the expression of total ease and comfort that a human can achieve when connected to The Womb.

My red ant friends are gone. I was hoping that I was just not watching close enough but no, they are gone. I am sure they are fine, I would just love to know where they went. The millipedes have been gone for about two weeks too but there are always new critters to observe. Today I watched a good sized redish wasp digging a hole in a concrete slab. The hole must have already existed somewhat but this wasp was working really hard at enlarging and deepening it. After sticking it’s body as far down the hole as it could and extracting pieces of concrete (?) and stacking them around the outside of the hole it would buzz around the hole and use it’s wings to blow the material away from the hole and then it would start to dig again. All the while this other flying insect that was bee like but quite small would buzz around about 6” from the wasp and seem to be “interested” in what the wasp was doing. Could they have been the same species but different genders? Ah well, I am too lazy to investigate further but it was very entertaining to watch.

Tomorrow I will see if I can get a shot of The Great Blue Heron that hunts the shallows of the reef. He’s been there for the past two days so I should be able to get a shot. I know just about everybody has seen a Great Blue Heron but I happen to be seeing EVERYTHING in a new light so it will be like “seeing” one for the first time for me.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

I have some nice pics to share for this post. I took my camera down to the beach again yesterday just in case there might be a good shot and I was not disappointed. Even before I left the trailer I spotted a butterfly that I thought might be the “Mariposa de la Muerte”, in Spanish The Butterfly of Death. In English it is called The Black Witch Moth. Bad rep for a large beautiful black/brown moth that passes through Baja on its annual migration. They are supposed to be coming through right about now. The bad rep comes from the Christian element but the Aztecs believed it was a good omen. I’m going with The Aztecs! Anyway, I got a shot of it but it is not a Mariposa de la Muerte, and frankly I am once again at a loss to identify it. I am sure my old friend and colleague Doug Puckering would be able to do it in a snap. He received his Masters in Entomology and loved to talk about the insect world. Who doesn’t love a butterfly?

A bit later and down the beach I saw a large white bird near the reef so I began walking over to it. It didn’t let me very close but a 300mm lens does wonders.

This is a Great Egret and is common here pretty much year round but it is the first that I have seen this year. Birds in flight have always fascinated me and even more so now that we have been able to conclude through DNA studies (and some great fossils) that the birds did indeed evolve from The Dinosaurs. That is so very outstanding to contemplate when looking at a bird…no?! Therefore I always take a bird in flight photo if I can get one, so here is the Egret avoiding me.

Then I noticed a butterfly coming down the beach. This one was big and appeared dark as it was coming at me from the sun. I got some nice shots of it. Check out the shadows on the rocks….so cool!

This by the way is a Giant Swallowtail butterfly. I am sure I will see a de la Muerte at some point, just hope I have my camera.

In the afternoon we received some nice mellow rainfall, so tropical, so utterly sensual.