Sunday, September 25, 2011

Well, here it is the end of September and as before, there are still some whales about. My friend Roberto (whose boat Vicente and I use during The Season) saw a Humpback 2 weeks ago. Clearly some of our Whale population here in The Sea of Cortez remain throughout the year. Probably young 2 year old males on their own. I enjoy knowing that some of my Whale Friends are around somewhere nearby during the whole year. If I come across “Odin” again it will be the 4th time and if so, he is a candidate as a “local”.

"Odin" this year

Even though we have had only one good rain this year so far, we are due for more (Hurricane Hilary is passing by next week, the 27th-28th Sept.). Nevertheless the desert continues to “Green Up”. It is very lush right now and literally bursting with life of all kinds. The other day I passed a bush that had 4 species of butterfly on it, all within inches of each other. One bush must have had 30 bright yellow ones on it, looking more like flowers blossoming than butterflies.

Possible rain?

View to the SW form the top of my bodega

Mimosa Yellow Butterflies.....or Blossoms?

Queen Monarchs

Time again to start raising funds for my Whale work here in Baja Sur for the 2012 season. As most of you know, this work has born fruit in that it has compelled The Mexican Government to extend their proposed Marine Mammal Protected Area about 30 miles north of their original plan in order to include a good 2/3 of my grid. In order to insure compliance and to continue monitoring the overall numbers and health, my photo ID work continues to be valuable. Please donate whatever you can to my work. As before, every cent goes to just ONE thing….paying for my boat and pilot.

The donation is tax deductible and can be made out to MioSah and sent to: MioSah, C/O Susan Janssen, 106 Canyon Dr., Ukiah, CA, 95482

The Humpbacks appreciate your support and love, as do I

Urmas Kaldveer, PhD
Exec. Dir. MioSah (The Mendocino Inst. Of Science & History)

I came across a most interesting graph about the prevalence of certain words in human languages. Take the TIME to look at this closely and just think, “why this word”?

Word graph

Lots of Black Witch Moths around right now. They are only here for a short period of time and a delight to see. They are larger than the common butterflies with beautiful but subtle markings on their wings…..a joy to behold. Considered lucky by The Indigenous Peoples of Mexico, they were renamed as “Witches” by The Church in order to discourage “pagan” beliefs.

Black Witch Moth

I have been approached by our local entrepreneur to be the guide in his plan to develop a “Whale Watching” program here on The East Cape. I have distanced myself from that aspect of tourism down here but I also recognize that it is inevitable that my Whales will be affected. This being the case, who better than I to be the “on board expert”? My agreement with Octavio will be that he donates his pilot and boat for that day towards my research and the people will act as paying “volunteer spotters” while I do my regular photo run. This is a win-win situation for everyone including The Whales. And I get to lecture to people about The Whale People, how cool is that? It will not therefore be a “Whale Watching” excursion but an actual research day.

We have had pretty intense heat for the past week starting around the 9th and still with us. It has been over 100 degrees every day. Fortunately the desert cools way down at night and mornings are lovely.

I had my first Scorpion in the trailer in a long time, maybe 2 years? Found it in my sink the other morning, Damned if I can figure how it got there. I immediately put out new “Bounce” sheets everywhere. I have eliminated over 60 scorpions so far this year that were on my land. Having been stung three times, I have no interest in being magnanimous in sharing this part of the desert.

I saw this poster on Face Book the other day, I have to share it. Now that’s what I call a good “attitude”.

Hope you are all well! Let’s see what kind of a show comet Elenin is going to put on.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Is this not a cool shot. Obviously not mine but taken by The Cassini Spacecraft as it passed Saturn. This is a REAL photo, no enhancement of any kind, just the beauty of our neighborhood.

For the last two weeks there have been a number of Sea Turtles coming in to nest on our beaches down here. On Aug. 27th I found 6 nests and two sets of tracks. Unfortunately there were no tracks leading back in and the nests had lots of evidence of human disturbance. I am afraid The Poachers have been busy. There are laws but few personnel to enforce…..same old, same old.

On the 29th I kayaked up the coast to check a few more spots but found no other obvious nesting sites. The refrigerator I moved 6 weeks ago did some damage to my back and my physical activity has been limited. I have not been out to The WZ, well, for 6 weeks. Fortunately there are no Whales at this time so…..

When I came out of my trailer the other morning I must have been on a mutual trajectory for a Paper Wasp on it’s way to it’s hive about 8’ away. Thinking I was a threat, it stung me twice on the top of my head. Not as bad as a Scorpion sting but a bit more painful then a Yellow Jacket. I decided not to destroy the nest out of revenge and am living peacefully with the hive nearby.

Paper Wasp nest under my palapa roof.

Now that we have had a bit of rain and all the plants are green and full of blossoms, The Reptile’s are becoming more active and many, like my Spiny Tailed Iguana “Bub”, are taking on their “courting colors”. Here are some pics of Bub before and after.

Before his colors

After his colors.

I received a request to submit a short article and pics of my swim with The Orca’s in February to a La Paz magazine called “Paradise”. I have submitted it and now we’ll see. This might be my 15 minutes!

The other day I went down to the beach to take an evening stroll and saw a Green Sea Turtle coming in toward my beach.

Look in the center of the frame for a slight bump in the wave.
I gauged it’s progress and figured I could get back to my trailer and get my camera before it landed on the beach. I did that, also getting some chow and a cocktail for comfort (I may be there for a while after all). As she was coming in I got another closer pic that shows pretty good detail.

Alas, the tide and surge carried her past a safe pull out so she circled The Reef and went on North. For a while there though, I had the great good fortune of just hanging out with her. Blessed,eh!

We had our first and only, at this writing, significant rain on the 5th of Sept. 2-3 hrs straight of consistent medium heavy rain…..perfect.

Rain dripping off my palapa's hurricane net.

My plants were all so happy.

The rain also brought out the Dragon flies again by the thousands, except now most of them were “coupled” up…..aah, fecundity!! My friend the Millipedes are out again too, right on schedule.