Saturday, July 3, 2010

It’s a rare day here in El Cardonal; overcast and cool, reminds me of a summers day in San Francisco. It is very pleasant and great for drinking hot chocolate and doing some writing. I have pretty much disregarded my personal journal due to the writing I do here in this blog and in my Nature Journal, which is too bad but I think my kids will be able to figure it all out (my doings here) one day. By the way, here are a couple of recent pictures of them. The first is of my daughter Kersti and her husband Bill, the second my son Zack. The 3rd picture is of the three of us in the desert near my place in 2001.

Kersti & Bill


Me & The Kids

Last year I wrote about this incredible Dragon Fly migration that passed through here in late July; literally hundreds of thousands of them passing in a day’s time. I noted the exact date when they were in greatest numbers as July 24-25th. I have been keeping an eye out for them again to see if I could spot the vanguard for this year’s migration. Well I did. They started coming by on the 29th of June. Now that’s almost a month before last year….however, this is just the vanguard so I am not drawing any conclusions yet. Last year I may easily have missed the vanguard simply not knowing it was happening. So we will see if indeed the massive move will be about the same time of year. In natures migration cycles a difference of a couple of weeks can be a significant indicator of change. Not necessarily bad….just change. The picture below was caught in mid flight by just pointing at a group going by (they NEVER alight anywhere) and shooting, LUCKY SHOT! As I stated last year it is a breeding thing. Just google dragon fly migration if you want more info.

A Red Skimmer I think!

I almost sailed off to the Pacific this week. I considered signing on as a crew member on The Schooner "Talofa" for a run from La Paz to The Channel Islands. I got real excited about it for a while and then realized how very important my space and time has become to me, not to mention my physical capacity for hauling lines, and I copped out. If I can’t carry my weight as a crewman I don’t want to be part of the journey. In 1998 I made the passage to Hawaii from San Francisco as a crew member on The Schooner "Dariabar" and it taught me a great deal about the ethos of being a sailor…..and my capacities. I am sure it will be a glorious sail and I may have missed a really special opportunity but it is what it is and there are some things I just have to let go, eh?

Brigantine rigged tallship "Talofa" 100'

Staysail rigged schooner "Dariabar" 84'

The other day I went out to The WZ again, it was incredibly flat, to see what might be passing by. My first visitor was a California Sea Lion but he was on a mission and only stopped for a short hello and was off again. It was so quiet out there that I lay back in my kayak and closed my eyes, enjoying the moment. Then I thought I heard a couple of small blows. Not anywhere loud and/or strong enough to be whales but maybe dolphins. I looked all around but saw nothing. Then I figured I was mistaken but then heard it again. No question…..dolphins but where? I kept hearing them and getting a little louder but couldn’t see them anywhere. I put on my mask and fins and hoped I would locate them soon enough to make an intercept. I finally saw them and indeed they were coming right my way. I rolled in and swam towards them and I saw that they were Pacific Common Dolphins. I went under but they passed beneath me and the visibility was not all that good so no encounter. But I sure get off on the rush of rolling in, being in the Sea with them nearby and just BEING. I love this Sea of Cortez, it’s a real home to me in every way.
Being fired up like I was I decided to do my laps from about ¼ mile out and over the reef….always something cool to see there! Lucked out again. A big beautiful Sea Turtle swimming right under me, checking me out and then moving on. I am doing all my lap swimming with my mask on now, whether across the reef or along the shoreline, so many things to see.
The other day while doing laps alongside the shore I swam over a low overhanging ledge and I spotted these weird looking antennae sticking out . I stopped for a closer look and it was the biggest lobster I have ever seen. I mean he was huge. I couldn’t make out his whole body but he had to have been 18”-20” long. That’s big for around here anymore. I don’t kill critters, well besides feral cats, so I’m hoping nobody else spots him.

John Schaeffer sent this video and I highly recommend it to all, especially if you are fascinated by NATURE, it is truly beautiful and so instructive.
John Schaeffer sends the coolest stuff!!! Thank you John.

Oh here’s something. I just started watching the series LOST again. I haven’t seen the final season so no hints please. The point is this; I need the whole series 2,3 and 4…especially 4 because I missed that entirely! I have 1 & 5 and I’ll just wait on 6 till it’s easily available. If you have them, or any one of them, and could spare them please let me know ( and we’ll figure out a way to get them to me.

Here’s a picture for my dear friend Dolores Toivonen in redwood Valley. It’s a Verdin, pretty rare up your way but a common and appreciated visitor in my yard.

These guys went by the other day reminding me of the “other” reality.

Mexican Navy Patrol Boat

This is a shot of this year’s forward observation post for whale spotting. We’ll see how it looks after the hurricane season.

Actually looks like the hurricane already came, eh?

And the last pic, the blossom of an Ocotillo Cactus….extraordinary no?

It's the RED man!


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