Monday, November 29, 2010

Today, Nov. 29th, 2010, is my birthday. Yes, this is a picture of me at around 4-6 mths (?) while still in Tallinn, Estonia, where I was born in 1941.

Of course that makes me a Sagittarius and I am certainly one of those.

Today, as of 2:00 am in the morning, I am a full 69 years old and am now, at this moment, in the first few hours of my 70th year. The 60’s are now the past and my 7th decade on the Planet has begun. For me this is a milestone for various reasons. I can now consider myself an elder. True, people live to much older years but I am a strong believer in a quote of Jack London's. “The function of man is to live, not exist. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time“. So being an elder is significant for me. There were a number of “elders” in my extended family, we all lived together when we came to The USA (forced to do so by WWII) and I had great respect for them all, as well as a certain awe of the lives they had led.

Yesterday I went out to The Whale Zone in my kayak (the one day this week when the wind will be down) and was gifted by The Cetacean Nation with a close encounter visit by 3 Common Pacific Dolphin that swam near my kayak and did not leave when I entered the water. I was able to swim with all of them under the Sea for a while, and as always, it was an absolutely wonderful experience. Every time this happens I find my body, mind and spirit integrated into the whole that is Urmas Kaldveer….it is a gift indeed.

Since starting my breath work as an adjunct to my daily meditation I have begun to see deeper into my past and the journey that I have taken. Overall I am satisfied with my performance as a human manifested Eternal Soul ( when I use this term it has nothing at all to do with The Judeo/Christian/Muslim religions) but I also see a number of times where I have stumbled; at times hurting others, and often myself besides. I am clearly fortunate in the circumstances under which I now live here in Mexico, and I am deeply grateful for this opportunity to discover (or rediscover ?) more of myself, and in the process…..others.

I am most grateful to my daughter Kersti and my son Zack who withstood a classic old world discipline as youngsters and a father who at times was clearly not thinking straight and they both did it without turning the home into a battle ground. We all worked on it together and they made it easy. Here’s a picture of the three of us in Baja about 8 years ago.

I am also deeply indebted to my deceased mother, Erika Kaldveer, for her utter devotion to myself and my brother Peter in giving us standards to live by that were demanding but totally loving and reasonable.

My mom and me in Yosemite, 199(?)

These 69 years have been exciting, challenging, heart breaking, inspiring, painful and all those other things we call life. Now I am on to this decade of my 70’s. I have no expectations, no quests, no hopes to live “a long life”…..only a good one.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Dolores, if you are reading this, I dedicate the following pictures to you.

On the 24th, I went down to the Sea to swim once again. While there I saw a bird perched on a piece of driftwood and could tell right away it was one I had not seen before. It flew away before I could get close but I got a good enough look to be pretty sure that it was a Kingfisher. Checking my field manual I found that there is a local Kingfisher, The Belted Kingfisher, but that it is generally found near streams, lakes or estuaries; none of which exist here for some distance.

This morning, the 25th, I went to the same spot but with my camera and I was delighted to find yesterday’s bird pretty much in the same spot and got these pictures.

It is indeed a Belted Kingfisher and the first I have seen here. They are a truly an extraordinary bird. I read in Natl. Geo. That they can dive from a limb above the water, snare a fish and return to the limb in 2 SECONDS! That is phenomenal and I still find it hard to believe but NG is quite reliable on it’s claims. I hope I will see it (males & females are both highly colored) again and maybe witness one of these amazing dives.

During the time I was watching I also saw this Whimbrel

an Osprey, a Semi-Palmiated Plover, these California Brown Pelicans

and a juvenile Black Bellied Plover (thereby not having the black belly yet). This Plover was also a first for me.

Then when I returned to my home this guy showed up, yet again a new bird for me. This is a Rufous Crowned Sparrow. I’m not 100% certain on this one and if I find later I made an incorrect identification I will let you know.

Not my pic

Thanksgiving was a delight with a traditional turkey dinner at Alan and Marilyn’s home down the beach from me. It was without question one of the top three turkey dinners in my memory and I did it justice…..just a little too much justice but not too bad either.

The wind is going to die down on Sunday and I hope to go out to The WZ to see what’s up. I am beginning to scan the Sea for blows now. A bit early but I am anxious to see my whale friends return. Actually in the 6 years I have been taking photo IDs only one whale has returned from a previous season. That was the whale adopted by my son Zack that he named “Odin”. Perhaps this year I will see more old friends. I am quite sure to meet some new friends!

Today is the 26th and it is grey, cold and windy…..well, comparatively speaking that is.

This is the first flower I have gotten on this transplanted Hibiscus. I thought for sure it was a goner.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I am sitting under the palapa this morning and reveling in the clean Sea air, the sounds of the desert and the warmth of a bright November sun. I have just come through a difficult but not particularly serious health episode involving my blood pressure and a significant back strain. I feel much better this morning than I have in weeks and even swam some laps the other day.

While in SJD last weekend to give my annual Whale Presentation I was treated to a massage and then a bit of breath training by my friend Robin. Whenever I stay over in San Jose now I always take a room at Raices y Brasos where there are clean, comfortable rooms, a first class organic restaurant and a group of the finest young people you could find anywhere. I am always treated with kindness and respect and have come to see them as “family”. I feel once again blessed to have such fine friends. I most highly recommend that anyone visit their facility and enjoy the terrific food and good company.

Brigitte and Jean-Luc (the young couple that have adopted me) from Montreal were here for 10 days staying in the beautiful home they built next to me.

It was a delight to have them here as always and I am looking forward to their return in February with their boys, Antoine, Tristan and Quentin. Their family’s love for the Sea (and it’s critters) and their joyful immersion in it daily warms my heart.

They have also built this Inukshuk on their property next to our Medicine Wheel.

It is from The Inuit and other Arctic Circle Cultures. They were used as reference points for navigation across The Tundra and sometimes as food cairns. The pictures below shows the Spiny Tailed Iguana that uses it as a place to sun himself.

Due to the health matters mentioned before I have not been out much in my kayak but I do have some new friends coming Fri/Sat and I have promised them a tour out to the whale zone and then the reef. I will take it easy but I am “chomping at the bit” to get out there again.

I haven’t seen any more whales for a while and neither have the local fisherman but I am sure they will be showing up soon. I would love to go out further (15-20 miles) to see if there are any Blues going through but alas, insufficient funds for that. In regard to funds, I would like to personally thank The Backman family for their generous contribution at my presentation. They also adopted a whale, HB# 9 09, a handsome black tailed Humpback that they will soon name.

Anyone interested in donating funds for my work now is the time. The 2011 Season starts soon and the more funds I have the more times I get out, the more data I gather AND the greater chance I have of affecting environmental policy down here. Remember, these are “our” whales, these are The Humpbacks that migrate yearly through the waters of The East Pacific. Their home is the entire West Coast of North America from Baja Sur to Southeastern Alaska.

It is almost too cool for the BoBo’s but I see that now that it is warming up (in the last hour) they are gathering around my computer, nose, eyes and mouth, definitely not one of my favorite critters.

That’s about it for now, Shangri-La continues to nourish my soul.

Namaste & Peace


Monday, November 8, 2010

Have been dealing with some health problems again so I have not been as active as I would like, therefore not much to write about.

Nevertheless here is some news and pics.

One of my friends from the HS reunion found this picture in her files and sent it out. That's me, top row, far right, 1954, 7th grade. Eight of my classmates in this photo were at the reunion.

This is a picture of my "honorary" granddaughter, Lola. Isn't she a beauty! Just starting ballet lessons.

Brigitte and Jean-Luc (my "adopted" family from Quebec) found this guy climbing up the exterior wall of their home this afternoon.

This is the male counterpart of the female I posted last week(?) and indicated as a male; never claimed to be an Entomologist!

I have been out in the kayak only a couple of times these past two weeks but haven't seen much. Apparently missed a Humpback just a mile or so south of me the other day while out but didn't see him. They should be starting to come in another month or so.

Recently found out that my grandfather Peipa (our nickname for him), who was my surrogate father, was awarded The Naval Expeditionary Medal by The Congress of The US for his heroism during The Panay Incident in China in 1938. He was an Estonian Sea Captain and was the Captain of The Standard Oil Tanker "Mei Ping" during that event.

Captain Peeter Julias Mender

Stepped out on my little deck off my trailer door the other morning and found a pile of FOX SCAT on the first step. To do that the fox had to be MOTIVATED. What in the world have I done to that fox that he/she decided to do that?