Less than perfect days: Scribbles from Cypress Grove

Sometimes I wonder if I'll wake up and realize I'm dreaming.  Do I really live here, so close to Point Lobos, much less have the privilege to docent here?  An Information Station shift and scoping at Sea Lion Point enabled me to see some of the first northbound gray whales to pass our way.  We saw at least eight swim by on February's "leap day" and then the first of March.  Both days reminded me that sometimes the best times are the "less than perfect" times.  Both were "billowy, blustery" days, with plenty of intermittent rain.  And between downpours, the whales were not "cooperating" by giving us the typicial 3-5 blows before disappearing for a deep dive.  Instead, we were lucky to get a single blow before they were lost to sight beneath the waves, making them hard to spot. 
But when we did, oh my, even visitors from Washington and Alaska, who frequently see whales, stood transfixed.  It was an honor to watch them pass, and a good reminder just how special this all is.  Heading home by way of Whalers Cove, another reward: a momma otter and her 2 week old pup were settling in for the night, along with seals, egrets, deer and a host of other residents I couldn't see. 
Don't wake me, OK?
"Life pushes us forward in a great rush.  But Parks are a place that throw us back a little bit, that make us pause and reflect, and point us back toward the source, back to the beginning of beginnings.  That's their value and their beauty."  Dayton Duncan


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