We’re at the beach this week. The weather can be quite foggy off the central CA coast this time of year, from Monterey north, but not so now; it’s just breezy, sunny, and beautiful….
Though the water is probably 56 F. , the air is cool & perfect now. I can’t remember the last time I took a non-working, non-gigging, true vacation- So when I was reminded of that, we left for a spontaneous trip. And we’re making it an anniversary celebration. So for a change I didn’t bring instruments- just a journal. 😉
This time, we’re walking more- back and forth across the peninsula along the trails on the coast and through neighborhoods to get to the aquarium & restaurants. Of all the times here before, I’ve never quite soaked up the architectural history of the town- the plants, the hundreds of of beach cottage designs;
the converted factory buildings; all the abandoned coastal canneries. I love the history of this place; from the people who worked the fertile soils of the Salinas valley, to those now harvesting the endless fields of strawberries & artichokes, to the first Italians who came to fish sardines & anchovies, drawing immigrant factory workers from all over the world.
And then there’s the romantic history of the place- the Spanish settlers, the Mexican land grants, and the literary world of John Steinbeck and his bud Doc. Ricketts, (who’s textbook was our marine biology bible in school…). I always want to drink red wine, & read Steinbeck when staying here. 😉
All the flowers on the dunes seem to be blooming at once.
And the Monterrey Bay aquarium has just changed exhibits. New this year is a huge seahorse exhibit, a bigger pelagic tank with a bigger mola mola, more mahi, tuna, sharks, & turtles, a new baby sea otter. The jellies are chillin’ as usual. I’ll post pics here as I upload more.
The *best* is this extremely active giant octopus. Normally, his tank isn’t kept dark during the day, and being nocturnal, the octopi sleep all day. But this time, the lights are low and the male is going crazy! I was really frustrated by this. We have come to see him twice in 2 days; he’s in a major mood, something is up & all we can do is watch… ergh! [Turn the friggin’ lights on so he can sleep!!! ]
and I can’t even project. This month’s poetry challenge is all about observation.
You move quickly
a smooth long glide
across the glass den
each arm a narrow point
that widens as you sweep past
white suction cups on red
sliding swiftly by.
Five feet later- comes your white cape
the center of undoings, teeth bared
in a radial center.
From left to right and back again
from restless red to redder
while your mate sleeps
grey on the rocks.
We passed this birthing beach for harbor seals on the way home. The babies are black and swim in the water. Their faded blond parents rest & sleep on the sand. Off the pier- thousands of cormorants nest with newly hatched babies on the white stone shore break.