Coastal Christmas

OK.  We can probably agree that my Advent Calendaring consistency leaves something to be desired.  I didn’t manage a daily giving suggestion – but I think I did blog more in the last few weeks than in the previous year or so!  It’s nice to be on speaking terms with my blog, again.

I took the photo above at the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in Moss Beach, CA, just north of Half Moon Bay, a couple of years ago.  It’s one of my favorite places to visit, and I go with the eternal hope that I will spot an octopus in the tide pools.   So far, they have eluded me, but the other tide pool creatures and visuals more than make up for them.  The Reserve has a great little ranger station with species checklists and information, and very knowledgeable docents are often on hand on the beach.  If you live in the Bay Area and haven’t been here, treat yourself (it’s free).  And if you get out here for a visit, put this spot on your list.

Last week – in fact, the same day I was pant-hooting about chimpanzee retirements – there was some very good news for sea creatures.  California finalized the largest network of undersea reserves in the continental United States!  Maybe I don’t say this enough, California: I love you.  I love that coastal protection priorities continue to survive incredible odds and powerful opposition, and that something like the Marine Life Protection Act can be enacted and fulfilled.  Marine protection areas work.  Merry Christmas, coastal creatures!

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Feast your eyes

Bay Nature magazine is, hands down, my favorite magazine ever.  I’ve read (and kept) every issue since my brother gifted me with a subscription the year it first started publishing – a decade ago?  I follow their “tweets,” as well, and it was one of those that alerted me to this stunning video/photo compilation by Polvorosa Kline.


I think I’ve probably watched the video a dozen times already (click on that link to go to the Vimeo site and watch the video in HD).  It’s reminding me that I’ve been too cooped up with my books for the last few months.  Comprehensive exams and dissertation proposals will do that to a person, and I’ve been lucky to sneak in a few beautiful trail runs and trail races, but it’s long past time to get out with my camera and binoculars.  So thank you, Polvorosa Kline, for the inspiration (update: and for permission to embed the video)!

Why do these lines from “VII” in the new Wendell Berry collection, Leavings, spring to mind when I watch this?

Have I found too much of the Hereafter in the Here? Or the other way around? Have I found too much pleasure, too much beauty and goodness, in this our unreturning world? O Lord, please forgive any smidgen of such distinctions I may have still in my mind. I meant to leave them all behind a long time ago.

Gee, I don’t know.

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