docent's blog

Whales Blue and Humpback

In abundance today,,,again. thrilling us all.  Not one of the excited vistors realized that the Blues are 200 tons+ and the largest animal on the planet. The visitors really grooved on the aerobatic Humpbacks though. July 17, Bill Miles

Sea lions, fairy lanterns... and whales! Breaching! And delighted German visitors.

This past Saturday, as I was about to do a public walk, three young German fellows approached and asked where they should go to see whales. I complied, pointing them towards the Sea Lion Cove overlook, but made sure they understood that seeing a whale was very far from a sure thing.  Then I started off on the Cypress Grove Trail, heading up an eager crowd. Amongst them, surprisingly, were the trio of hopeful whale-seekers....had they misunderstood my directions? Had I discouraged them about seeing whales?

A docent's family connection with abalone-shell button-making in New Jersey

I know it’s a cliché to say “it’s a small world” but on a visit to my 93 year old father in New Jersey, I learned how very true this is. As always, I brought copies of the latest Point Lobos magazines , which had some mention of abalone in them. This led my father to tell me a story which I’d never heard before.

An anniversary to remember

On Friday afternoon April 30,  I preceded my husband Larry toward the  overlook on Sea Lion Point Trail.  A young couple came frolicking down the trail toward me.  I asked if they had seen the whales blowing as I gestured toward the ocean.  They stopped and made an abrupt about-face toward the overlook.  When I joined them,  I pointed to the blows.  A small group began to form.  Then the whales began to breach.  We were all delighted  but  Larry's cooler demeanor prevailed .  He called to alert the folks at the Info Statio

Where's my baby?

Last Saturday I headed out to the Sea Lion Cove overlook to see what I could see. The pelagic cormorants were refurbishing their cliffside nests with seaweed, the sea lions were talking loudly about whatever it is they find to talk about, and the guillemots were showing off their resplendent feet.  Down by the left front edge of the big flat rock there was a mother and pup pair of harbor seals lounging.  Then another pair appeared just below them, with that mom apparently thinking the other mom up on top had had a good idea.

A docent trainee's favorite things

As part of my Docent training I’ve been attending topical guided walks, station openings and closings and just walking the trails. There are many wonderful things to see at Point Lobos but my favorite images are the smiles that stretch the faces of so many visitors. The beauty of the Reserve is almost irresistible and very few folks can spend a few hours walking the trails and not leave the cares of their daily lives behind. The same is true for me and that’s why I look forward to the hours I spend at Point Lobos.  by Jack Olver

Four otters seen on island

I had a great time scoping at Bird Island this morning.  I have previously seen otters hauled out here and there at Point Lobos before, but was amazed this morning to see FOUR otters hauled out together on a rock just north of Bird Island.  There were two moms and their pups!  They were on the rock for quite a while before a pesky Western Gull pestered them past their tolerance level, and they headed into the water.  The white faces of the moms are clearly evident in the photo.

Precious moment at Point Lobos

A memorable experience happened when a six year old Japanese boy shyly walked up the trail where had a scope set up during an Easy Access adventure. With the scope adjusted to its lowest height, I got down on one knee to get face to face with this young man. I told him this scope is set up just for people his size, and then asked him if he could say harbor seal, the child looked up at his Dad and his father said go ahead. "Harbor seal" he said with a smile on his face, his parents gleaming.

Rafts of otters and mating cormorants

"Yesterday (Sunday, Feb 23) I took the scope to the Pelican Island lookout because a photographer with a long lens camera reported there were 20+ otters in the kelp beds just south of the lookout.  No, I didn't get an accurate count!  They kept rolling and changing places, but there were two large rafts of at least 20 otters.  Visitors enjoyed viewing the otters and the cormorants on the rock in the foreground who totally ignored our talking and exclamations and kept very focused on thier mating rituals.