Wednesday, September 3, 2014

California Dreaming

Having just returned from sunny California, I am still trying to get my bearings.  The three hour time change is not too much of an adjustment for me, but the laundry and e-mail catch-up is intense.

 But nothing is as intense as the blue of the Pacific Ocean.  Days later, I am still reeling from the sights and sounds along the Pacific Coast Highway.  Who knew nature had these hues of aquas and blues?  This sets a whole new standard for waterfronts. And just  think, this is free to all, it is part of Los Padres National Forest!  It goes to show that our National Parks may well be America's Best Idea, and this may well be the most beautiful park in America.

The West Coast is full of fun and aquatic themes.  It was a great honor to do this trip with my daughter JJ, who is a wealth of knowledge of all things aquatic. That is because she is an aquarist at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California. We made numerous stops along the Pacific Coast Highway, Rte. 101, and ended our first day's journey in Monterey, California.

Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey is a delight to the eyes and a wonderment to one's ears.  There was much bellowing and roaring going on beneath the pier!

 A closer look and we found the noise was coming from a congregation of California sea lions.  They seem like a comical lot, but J.J. informs me that they are not to be messed with.  Sea lions males weigh in the 600 pound range and most of the beasts carry scars from battle.  The females often show injuries as well.  They may seem harmless enough, but the best advice is this- they are wild animals- so keep your distance.

Fortunately, my camera has a decent zoom lens.  All seemed tranquil enough with this mother and her pups. Lesson one with aquatic mammals: Sea lions have ear tabs, seals do not. These little fellows are sea lions.

JJ Soski, Michelle Soski Goodman, and Cheryl Harner
As I go though my hundreds of photos and numerous videos, I hope to share a little of the wonderful sights and sounds we witnessed in Southern California.  Los Angeles is probably not a place I would choose to live, but I was thrilled to visit my "pups" who are both currently in California.

Hopefully, you too will enjoy the charismatic sea mammals, shore birds and rarities we discovered all along our trip.  The best part was sharing this time with two daughters who are both are unique and interesting  individuals.  

I would especially like to thank them for sharing this beautiful and bio-diversity filled coastal adventure! 

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