Oystercatcher chicks

In Memoriam: Three Oystercatcher chicks recently emerged from their shells in Pacific Grove.  Visible from the Recreation Trail, they provided an all too brief display of tireless parental care and nurturing, along with a "cutness" display that was off the scale.  While not born at Point Lobos, who knows whether they might have found their way to the Reserve at some point to feed or nest or just have fun "taking the waters."  Their passing served as

Spider Walk

Ballooning, turrets made of leaves and pine needles, double hammocks hung on trees and walking sideways like a crab -- just some of the fascinating attributes of our Point Lobos spider population that a dozen docents learned about during a "spider walk" with RJ Adams.

Some were shy to come out of their cozy tunnels while others hung upside down in plain sight while we craned our necks to see their acrobatic activities.

A hike through the Reserve is refreshing and always beautiful.  A slower paced watchful stroll can be more rewarding when you discover the multitude of diverse living things all interacting with each other -- right under your feet or over your head.  

Weston Beach Magic: Scribbles from South Shore Trail

In addition to the amazing geology and intertidal life always on display at Weston Beach, I'm just realizing what an incredible spot it is for otters and birds and other terrestrial life.  Probably a great big "duh" to Weston aficionados, but there you go.  Recently I spent a hour or so with the grandkids transfixed by a "mama" Killdeer and her newborn chicks. 

A Reserve Feast: Scribbles from the Reserve

photo of sea otter
At home,
The day is five hundred shades of steel,
And my shoulder whispers,
why shlep the camera?
As my "little gray cells" remind ...
Point Lobos!
At the Museum,
Visitors are engaged and inspired and sharing,
Along with a Great Blue Heron, granite still in the scope;
And a dozing otter wrapped in its bed of kelp.

Point Lobos and State Park Closures

By now most everybody knows that California State Parks has announced the names of the 70 state parks that will be closed to help make the $32,000,000 in budget cuts ordered over the next two years.  It has been decreed that the 70 parks will closed by July 1, 2012.  The parks slated for closure will begin ramping up for closure by September 1st. Fortunately for lovers of Point Lobos State Reserve, our favorite park is not on the list.  However three other parks in the Monterey District of State Parks are on the closure list.  They are Garrapata State Park, Moss Landing State Beach and Zmudowski State Beach.

For the Point Lobos State Reserve this means that although it will remain open, there will be additional financial pressures to maintain operation and maintenance standards in the park.

Birding Lite, Part Deux: Scribbles from Guillemot Island

How sweet is this?  Two days after an incredible tide pool experience at Weston Beach, I was able to join my second Point Lobos Birding Group walk.  After missing a number of walks that had been offered since the first one on April 15, my schedule allowed me to join Kerstin Jones' walk on May 20.  She lead us from Whaler's Cove, along North Shore Trail and then up and over Whaler's Knoll.  Who knew

Tidepooling Lite and a minus 1.5 foot tide: Scribbles from Weston Beach

The opportunities to learn and experience new things just keep on coming.  Fellow docent, Mary Conway, organized and secured permission for a "pre-park opening" tide pool walk at Weston Beach on May 18 ...

Elephant Seal rescues - update

A check of the Marine Mammal Center's web site found a success story for Gibby, the Elephant Seal rescued from Gibson Beach on March 29!   Here's what it said:
"Recently, Gibby received a release exam and some final lab work from the veterinarians to make sure he was healthy.  With his body weight normal, blood work good, and his appetite up for eating fish on his own, Gibby was given a clean bill of health from the veterinarians.  He, along with five other elephant seals and one sea lion, were released back to the ocean at Point Lobos on April 21."

Big Sur Marathon

Big Sur MarathonMay 1st, 2001.  This was the 26th year in a row that I have been at Highway 1 and the entrance road to Point Lobos for the marathon.  My duties?  Cheer people on, say hi to friends runnning the race, directing runners to the proper course (or the scenic detour through the Reserve to see the wildflowers in bloom and the haror seals with pups). And of course, take photographs.

This year with the road closed...all the runners and walkers ; 26.2 miles, or 21 miles, or the 10K;  all came throught the Reserve.  Point Lobos docents were stationed throughout the Reserve to assist the runners with directions, etc. 

Initiating a novice in Birding Lite: Scribbles from Bird Island Trail

Violet Green SwallowApril 15, 2011 - the Point Lobos Birders took wing this morning.  As one who barely knows a beak from a tail, it was a privilege to be part of the first walks and planning meeting.  Thanks especially to Kerstin Jones, Ranger Chuck and Brian Weed we had an amazing time.  Just taking the time to "be still" and listen and observe (not easy for "citified" me) would have made the day a success!  But to see so much and hear so much and have