To all those I left out to thank in my last blog post – please forgive me. Especially my son Zack who has always been a believer in his father’s “quest” and has come to share intimately my experiences with the critters of the ocean; learning to love and interact with them as I do.
This pic is of us three years ago diving with the sea lions near their rookery at the south end of Isla Cerralvo. I’m the one with the scarf on my head.
Here are some books I recently finished and recommend highly. The Oracle of Stamboul-Lukas, Firefly Lane-Hannah, Bones of the Master-Crane,A Thousand Splendid Suns-Hosseini, The Gnostic Gospels-Pagels, Unfinished Conquest-Perera. Without TV or in- home internet I read voraciously: lucky for me I always loved to read! Many have suggested I buy a Kindle. Fact is I am also a born Luddite – I love the “feel and smell” of a book, I like pages to turn and the intimacy of it. I like to see them lying on my bed waiting to entertain me and to visit like old friends. As long as there are books there is nowhere I can’t go or interesting people I can’t meet.
Hard to believe this (below) is possible.
Please don’t tell me it’s photo shopped. If not – what patience and steadiness of hand, there are others even more astounding.
Summer demands a new daily regimen due to the heat. I am up at 5:00am, take a leisurely and light breakfast and then walk down to the beach as the sun rises. I have cut down my beach exercises in half and swim just 10 laps unless really feeling fit. I am usually back at my place at 9:00am, take an outside shower to get the salt water off and then lie down for a read and nap. Go into town, Cardonal, to do any errands, visits, groceries: usually done by 11:00 then more reading or a few hands of solitaire.
Prepare lunch and watch an episode of one of my favorite TV shows (Game of Thrones, Vikings, Deadwood, Outlander, Orphan Black......some for the 4-6 time). BTW: anyone coming down this way who can download this year’s episodes of the above (or others you may deem interesting to me) and puts them on a thumb drive or external hard drive for me to download here will receive my eternal gratitude. Back to reading then walk to my internet connection around 4:00 and return around 5:00 because I am getting tired by then. More solitaire (good for the coordination in my right hand, wrist and arm – victims of the stroke and I simply enjoy it.)
A glass of red wine....maybe two, prepare dinner, another episode along with dinner, in bed by 7:30-8:00, read myself to sleep. That’s the way it’s going to be for awhile until the critters start returning in November.
Speaking of critters I have a family of Geckos living with me in the house (through the graciousness of my Q’s I have been invited to stay in their home instead of the trailer). For those of you who have seen their home you know what a pleasant place it is. The Geckos are fantastic to watch, make little noise and hunt all kinds of unsavory critters that might otherwise be an annoyance. I also have at least two Spiny Tailed Iguanas living just outside and of course the usual menagerie of lizards and small snakes....oh, and lots of chipmunks and jack rabbits. As usual at this time of year the local cows are free ranging closer to the ocean for “greener pastures” and causing an unpleasant din with their cow bells and their propensity to stretch their necks over the fence to get at anything green. I have no love for cows!
Hurricane season has started and though nothing nearby so far they are marching right along one after another out on our Pacific side.
July 20th I went out with Alan kayaking.......and , yes again I called in a whale. I believe it was a Brydes or maybe a fin. There is more to this story – “again” means half a dozen times – honestly!
I always told my classes at the college that “of course there is other life in the universe, more likely within our own galaxy and probably in this solar system”. I said that if found I would throw a party and we would toast the new paradigm that would necessarily ensue, especially being able to dump all the religious mythologies that have so barred our evolution as a species. Well, we are getting closer but the party will have to be down here – I find long distance traveling uncomfortable at best, The US is not the country I remember and I tire easily (except when I am swimming), HAH.
800 yr old seeds found intentionally stored for “the future” by people of the Menominee tribe of North Eastern Wisconsin, known as the “Wild Rice People” by The Ojibwa (Chippewa). Yet again an example of true connection to the earth.
On the 25th while swimming laps I was surrounded by a large school of “Machetes” that stayed with me as I continued my swim, circling me the entire time – really cool!
About swimming: I was taught early by Clive Devine (Olympian). After an initial deep fear of putting my head under, my uncle Van held it under and when he let me up I was hooked – never, never could get enough of swimming. Oceans, lakes, rivers, ponds, creeks and of course pools; on top of or under didn’t matter, I loved it!
In high school I excelled at water polo (a combination of my two favorite sports – swimming and basketball). My first coach was Nick Biondi, father and trainer of his Olympian son Matt Biondi (he told me that if I continued to improve my skills I had a chance for the ’64 Olympic squad – alas, love found it’s way to my heart and I lost all my discipline). My second coach was Bob Gaugran an Olympian himself. Both stressed conditioning so we swam “laps” till we barfed. After my playing days were over I vowed to never swim another lap again in my life! Well as most of you know swimming laps in the ocean over the reef is just about my favorite thing in the world to do. Here in El Cardonal I have the greatest lap pool imaginable and to think of not having it available as I continue to age is daunting. It is just a short walk to the beach (though a cane is now necessary to navigate the stairs) and I am in the arms of Grandmother and all else is forgotten.
“I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time”.
Jack London, Jack London's Tales of Adventure
Today, July 30th I swam laps straight out to the reef and back so I could visit with the little critters – delightful, even had a bit of an adrenalin rush when I realized the current had me but I just let the endorphins kick in and it was nothing but good. I am blessed indeed to have this as my home.
A new addition to the Q’s home; a stairway to their roof where I can sleep under the palapa with the cool ocean breeze and watch the “light(ing)” show during this hurricane season – thank you my dear friends. The Hopi style ladder was getting a bit difficult for me to climb safely. It was not of course for me that it was built but I know it was part of the decision process.
A local critter
Baby Spiny Tailed Iguana
Thunder and lighting time coming. My mom always told me I had that as part of my personality – in German “Sturm und Drang”. Particularly during the period of the Viet Nam war.
First of this seasons massive and magnificent Thunder Heads. When they are black is when the fun starts.
The other day I looked out to sea in the morning and the surface literally looked like silver and pewter. I walked to the bluff to photo it but this pic just doesn’t do it justice – it was beautiful. Nature does such amazing things with color. Certainly when watching a sunset here it is as though Maxfield Parrish had painted it. All those Parrish paintings many of us collected (posters of course) during the ‘60’s and we thought were part hallucination were not so at all – he really did capture the essence of those special visual treats provided by nature.
Here’s one of my favorite pictures of me and my favorite pangero Vicente Lucero “back in the day”. I think this was our 2nd or 3rd year together. In our best year we collected 82 photo ID’s of the humpbacks here.
And here’s a final visual treat (not my pic though). Now after looking at it closely I wonder if it is photo shopped – I hate having to consider that.