Across the street from the historic Mission San Miguel Arcangel, est. 1797, lies the slightly younger (est. 1835), and much less conspicuous, historic Rios-Caledonia Adobe. The what? What the heck is an “adobe”? Some sort of computer software company? No; you’re thinking of quite recent history.
An adobe, according to my American Heritage Dictionary (rapidly becoming my favorite unabridged, perhaps simply because I don’t have MW3 in a conveniently accessible format, perhaps because it’s so much prettier than MW3), is
1a. a sun-dried, unburned brick of clay and straw. b. The clay or soil from which this brick is made. [...]
My recent business trip to Monterey, CA went well. That is to say, there was plenty of opportunity to do some limited sightseeing. Limited to the immediate environs, that is; I did NOT get to drive up to Elkhorn Slough and spend four days there communing with the wetlands. I did, though, get to see a few birds here and there, along with some other old friends (like St. Mary’s by the Sea, the “little red church” on Central where I got married). Good memories.
The iceplant brings back even older memories, of my childhood in California; these succulents are [...]
As we have in years past, we headed over the mountains from Atascadero to the beach at Piedras Blancas to check in on the breeding population of Northern Elephant Seals there. And, sure enough, they were there, despite the cold wind and bright sunshine:
They were a pretty subdued lot this year, though; back in 2003, they showed a lot more vim and vigor, as you can see from the gallery shots:
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Northern Elephant Seals (Mirounga angustirostris) spend most of their lives at sea, building up a thick layer of blubber to help protect it from [...]
What is it about the natural world here in Florida that made me start thinking of myself as a naturalist? I certainly had no training as one in California, which arguably has more nature. In the 20+ years that I lived there, I got to know the Pacific Ocean by swimming, bodysurfing, and surfing in it. I got to know the mountains and the deserts from my interest in rock climbing. But I knew the nature of California in the same way I knew her freeways: