CURRENT MOON

Point Lobos

Last month on a Saturday following a business trip to Monterey, California, our host took us on a walk at Point Lobos State Reserve, some 550 acres of shoreline and over 5 square miles of submerged reserved lands at the northernmost reach of “el pais grande del sur” (much better known nowadays as Big Sur): [...] [...]

Florida's marine terraces

In an article last year about Montana de Oro state park in California, I discussed how the land there includes a series of uplifted marine terraces. Those terraces are formed by a combination of geologic uplift at periodic intervals and the eroding action of the shoreline. Well, here in Florida we’re pretty conversant with the [...] [...]

Elkhorn Slough

Ever since I first saw it back in 1988, I’ve been captivated by the rugged beauty of the California coastline from the Monterey Bay south into the Big Sur area. Over the past couple of years I’ve been able to make periodic trips to the area; a day here, a weekend there, squeezed in around [...] [...]

Marine invertebrates, part two

Jellyfish and hydrozoans are only one type of animal that gets washed up on the beach during our easterlies. During our explorations last weekend Marcella ran across a colony of goose barnacles that had washed up as well: They’re attached to an orange substrate that reminds me of a sponge, but I know next to [...] [...]

Marine invertebrates, part one

Springtime in south Florida generally means onshore breezes around the clock on the Atlantic coast. These steady breezes tend to push ashore large numbers of Physalia physalis, known as the Portuguese man o’ war, as was the case last weekend at Red Reef Park in Boca Raton: According to my Witherington guide (Florida’s Living Beaches), [...] [...]

Parallel worlds

There aren’t very strong geologic, climatologic, zoologic or botanic parallels between my two “home” states of Florida and California. True, both states have endemic scrub-jay populations (the Santa Cruz island scrub-jay and the Florida scrub-jay), and many of the plants and animals of Florida’s “ancient islands” (scrub habitat) have western affinities, but beyond that, there’s [...] [...]

Pro(toc)tista redux: the Phaeophyta

I’d already been planning a follow-up of my recent post on that oddball eukaryote kingdom, Pro(toc)tista, just to discuss a couple of phyla that interest me [the brown algae, which include kelp and seaweeds, and the Bacillariophyta, which include diatoms (if you were in and around swimming pools as much as I was when I [...] [...]

Monterey Bay pelagic birding

I took a very brief business trip to California last week. Flew in late, had a late dinner at the best Chinese restaurant in the world (Golden Willow in Concord, if you’re curious). Met clients in the SF Bay area on Thursday morning, then drove down to Monterey for Friday morning meetings. The entire trip [...] [...]

More books

Berkeley’s best book store, Moe’s, is probably the best book store in the world. I’ve been to many a book store, in London, Los Angeles, Edinburgh, Chicago, Paris, Boston, New Delhi, Portland, and New York, and I still think Moe’s is the best. The Strand in Manhattan may be bigger, and Powell’s, in Portland and environs [...] [...]

Fish oil

First, thanks to all of you on Facebook for wishing me a happy birthday; I did indeed enjoy a wonderful day. Seeing all your good wishes brought a smile to my face; I understand that’s somewhat out of character for the traditional man turning 40. So be it. I’m smiling, so thanks, y’all! Now, yesterday’s post [...] [...]