Scribbles from Whalers Cove: the "not so good" ... and the really, really good

Litter - it's 2012! - and still all too common.  But at Point Lobos?  A State Natural Reserve?  Infrequently, but more than we'd like, Docents find themselves reminding visitors about the purpose of Point Lobos SNR: to protect its plantlife, wildlife, and natural beauty.  It's a Reserve, not a Park.  Big difference.  Which means no frisbees, kites, footballs, and such.  And no food or drink, other than in the picnic areas.  Certainly, no litter.  Broken beer bottles and other bits - all of it ugly and disappointing -  can be lifetaking for pelicans, otters, and their kind.  All too often, Docents find themselves cleaning up plastic, glass and other harmful bits that don't belong.  Not so good.
 
On the other hand ... thirty teenage exchange students from Osaka, Japan were incredibly respectful and appreciative of Point Lobos' reserve status.  Working with their limited English skills, they listened closely to a Museum overview by Ruthann Donahue, helped along by an intrepreter traveling with them.  Time in the Whaling Station and on the trails with Docent guides gave them an even deeper appreciation for the human history of Point Lobos, especially its Japanese legacy, and the natural wonders around them.  A nesting Great Blue Heron and a mother and pup otter were just a few of the other memories they will take away with them, hopefully for a lifetime.  Really, really good.
 
"Everybody needs beauty, as well as bread; places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike."  John Muir

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