Friday, October 30, 2020
Monday, October 19, 2020
Strides of Blue
Back in 2014, Micheal and I went to camp at Scorpion's Point which was on the other side of the island. A storm a couple years back destroyed the pier and since then, the campground has been shut down. BUT I have good news! It will finally be opened up this November. I highly recommend this camping trek. It's a lot of fun and quite different from the experience at Prisoner's Harbor.
Unfortunately, we didn't see any storm-petrels on this trek, but I did learn about how some Common Ravens can raid these storm-petrel's nests. Hence the tagging. I reported the tag to the banders. You can read that information here. In fact, the Channel Islands are all about restoring balance. At one point, the Island Foxes almost went extinct due to Golden Eagles hunting them. There had been Bald Eagles on the island but when they died from DDT poisoning, the mammal hunting Golden Eagles took over. Today, the fish and duck hunting Bald Eagles are back on the island and the Island Foxes are back:) It has taken years for the Nature Conservancy and National Park system to restore the balance to these islands. And to see them today in their full glory is really quite something!
Sunday, October 11, 2020
I sat thinking for a month what I wanted to do for my fall break. Originally, I had wanted to do a spiritual retreat at a monk sanctuary in Guatemala, but that will have to wait. October is a very special month for me. It's the month of beginnings and reflective work. If I couldn't lose myself to chants and birds in Antigua; I would have to think about the next spiritual place that makes me feel whole as a person.....and in the US. Oregon and Washington were too far to drive. But the coast of Southern California was close enough to spend some quality time with birds that I don't often get to see.
Celeste and Cheroot joined me for the second time this year to do some very special birding in another part of Southern California. And it wasn't just birding. My only expectations were to find the endemic Yellow-billed Magpies and get photos of them. Each day was meticulously crafted for maximum ocean use. We stayed in Ventura near the beach in a very questionable hotel. However, everything was within a mostly 10 minute driving distance.
Birds are incredible. While we have Long-billed Curlews in Arizona, this species makes for a better observation here along the coast.
Meanwhile Cheroot was discovering sea weed on the beach. There were piles of them. Sometimes he'd pick a kelp branch up and run with it. Never have I seen him so happy running along the waves. Being that he's also blind, he was shocked when a wave went a little too far and wet his paws. I don't think he minded too much.
The ocean called us. And we listened carefully. There were seals. There were whales and foxes and deer. And at times, we stopped at places like a fresh produce stand where we bought a huge bag of sweet oranges for 5 dollars. I also purchased 3 punnets of strawberries. I also learned some new English from Celeste. She is of course from the first age of proper English speakers. Americans are savages in every way possible and I clearly have a limited vocabulary set. A PUNNET is the little green basket that holds strawberries and other goodies. OH! And I bought a huge bag of avocados for 5 bucks! Anyhow, I brought my magic cooler that keeps everything nice and cold and was able to get them back home in pristine condition. I wish we had produce stands like this in Tucson!