Friday, August 26, 2011

Cool shot, eh? I took this 4 years ago but I include it for “color”. The reason it is here is because my bud Vicente saw one of these guys just 2 weeks ago out about 18 miles from Punta Pescadero. Very, very late in the season for a Blue Whale to be around. It was going north too. That was August 12th. Time is becoming more and more irrelevant as I live down here, gotta tell you!

On the 14th we had a “Corn Moon” or any other of a number of ancient names for the full moon in August. All having to do with the same thing of course; bringing in the harvest, fall is coming. In today’s 1st world that means little to anyone, but bottom line folks, nothing has changed, The Seasons are our LIFE BLOOD.

Not my pic

I found a way to compete more effectively for the Cerruelo Plums on my trees. I pick them when they are still hard and raw and let them sit in the sun by my window, voila, they ripen!

My friend Michael Fishbach and his extraordinary rescue of a Humpback Whale north of me drew so much attention on U Tube that he ended up on 20/20 and PrimeTime….too cool. Lots of good publicity for our Humpbacks.

On a less positive note, the country of Costa Rica, that claims such a great environmental record, still allows the taking of turtle eggs from their nesting grounds. I was in this area about 10-15 years ago and heard about it but couldn’t believe it. Sea Turtles are genuine dinosaurs for Christ’s sake!!

Females coming in to lay, not my pic

Humans killing thousands of the babies, not my pic

We had our first rain of any significance, 15 minutes, on the 24th and was it sweet. The picture looks way more intense than it was, but oh, did The Desert smell good after it passed.

Taken from my bodega roof top.

Same day as this rain The Red Darter Dragon Flies returned. Not like last year but significant numbers.

Many of you know that my work here with The Humpbacks of The East Cape has not been just for scientific enquiry (which is totally respectable in my book) but to see if we could get this area declared a protected zone due to the breeding and calving that goes on here every year. I reported here on my blog last year, I think, that we were making head way and that it was even possible that my work was going to have an influence in the decision making process. As it turns out, yes, my work has had an influence. Due PARTIALLY to my efforts and your support (particularly financially) the border has been extended north from Cabo Pulmo to Punta Pescadero. This does not include my entire grid but a good 2/3rds of it. I am F**king THRILLED!!! The map below shows the projected area (my grid is within the stippled border) that will become an MMPA. The darker region will be highly restricted due to the numbers of mother/calf pairs seen there and the lighter area will be a refuge. I am so very proud to have been part of this. Now the work of monitoring and enforcement will be the issue. I will continue to need your support. I feel blessed by The Great Mystery to have been a part of this.

The Proposed Protected Area"

One happy "Ballenero"

Dr. Jorge Urban Ramirez, another happy "Ballenero"! He IS THE MAN!! Not my pic

Friday, August 12, 2011

Had our first good thunderstorm on the 5th. Plenty of rain in the mountains but only a 3 min drizzle here in the desert. Still, it all smelled so good afterward.

I woke the following Sunday morning to the deep, deep quiet of my little village. Extraordinarily quiet, I could literally breath the tranquility of El Cardonal.

The refrigerator in my Airstream finally gave out after a long and faithful service. The trick was getting it out of it’s nook. Airstreams are notable for how hard they are to work on. Removing something put in for life (a Swedish made Dometic refrigerator) as is everything in an Airstream, tested my resolve and to a large extent my strength. After taking out every visible form of possible attachment I still couldn’t budge it. I got online and requested help. They said that Airstream usually put in a silicone sealer around the whole thing and you had to cut that out or simply “rip” it out. They warned that it was definitely a two man job. Well, it’s not a two man job! I was so INTO the removal (hadn’t had a fridge for a week) that I decided on the “ripping” technique. Lo and behold it gave a LITTLE. I was so invigorated by this little success that I put all my muscle behind it and yes, I ripped the f**ker right out of there. I have replaced it with a small, very inexpensive Sanyo unit from Costco and so far am satisfied. I celebrated by having two cocktails (and some of you know what that means) and dancing on the bodega roof under the moon.

Check out the workmanship on this Swedish made fridge.

Before I leave this issue I want to give you an example of the richness of my life here in regard to the above. The new fridge is electric and my trailer works on solar so I had to rig an electric line from my bodega to the trailer. I thought for sure this would entail a run at least into Los Barriles and maybe San Jose. Before doing that however, I hate leaving El Cardonal, I thought maybe, just maybe my old friend Juan Rubin had an extension I could buy. Well, he didn’t have an extension per se but did have a 12 gauge power cord set up JUST EXACTLY as I needed and JUST THE RIGHT LENGTH!! Is that cool or what.

After this it rained a bit so I went into The Medicine Wheel to give thanks with a little dance but seeing as I had a thorn, just received, in both heels of my feet it was a limited demonstration of my thanks.
This morning (9th) The Sea was slate grey and flat as glass, clear also, better than a long time. No wind at all, dark skies to the south heavy with rain and the rest of the sky with a pretty dark overcast. Water was like velvet, warm…Grandmother again. I held my laps to a reasonable amount (considering my back) but I felt I could swim forever, totally effortless! Then it began to rain gently. Once gain, like yesterday I just didn’t want to get out so I took off my suit and just drifted with the Sea (I really, really like to swim naked). ANYWAY…as I was drifting I saw one of our Ospreys coming my way so I waved and called out to him, “hey , brother”. He did a circle around me, dived for a closer look, about 20’, and I could see his eyes and their clear “knowing”.

Brother Osprey

This of course was very cool and as I started in to the beach I saw a Great White Egret hunting the shallows along the beach and coming my way. I sunk down to my neck in the water and let him make his way toward me until only a few feet away, he probably thought my head was a coconut, and got a good look at him too.

Last years shot but you get the idea

At this point I couldn’t resist a naked walk down the beach towards Carla’s (no neighbors here right now) and marveled at the richness of The Nature surrounding me. The next pic is one I took a few years ago but no harm in sharing it with you. Caught this Pelican in the early morning just about to hit the water.

Can you believe this shot? It's not anything to do with's the camera! Taken with a 35mm digital single lens reflex at 3 frames/sec

The Turtle Project is on hold until I see what the permit issue looks like but here’s one of them I took while with Vicente last season. I’m told by the villagers that the next few weeks is high turtle time. I may go out tonight for a look see. Didn’t get out but had a visit from a fellow by the name of Ramon in Boca del Alamo who has been monitoring the turtles there for some time. We had a great talk, he brought his whole family, my Spanish was well oiled by some Vodka and we may end up working together.

Green Sea Turtle. They will be coming shore anytime now to lay their eggs.

Throwing this one in just so you can see my "Pangero" and amigo, Vicente Lucero. 8 years working together with "The Whale People".

Urmas/Vicente, photo courtesy of Tyler Cook