Good morning and greetings, sea bird fans. As the millions, er thousands, er hundreds, er dozens of readers to this site know, last week I posted my 400th blog. The director from the Office of Sponsored Programs from a unnamed university (Western Kentucky) had asked me earlier in the week what I was going to do celebrate this blessed event. I told her I wasn’t doing much and was just hoping for dial tone when I woke up.
But then I thought to myself and was reminded by the Hollywood press corps that 400 postings is quite an accomplishment, if for nothing else than the consistency that goes into the making of the experience. I’ve come to realize that no man is an island. I’m much more of a peninsula.
As Mark Twain once tweeted, “Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of joy you must have somebody to share it with.” Thus, that would be you, members of my cyber audience and NSA analysts. Or in the words of Albert Einstein, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is that nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Believe me, it’s an act of God that I’ve penned this many words without receiving one plugged nickel. lt can only mean one thing. Loneliness has no boundries.
Of course, I’m just kidding. Not everything in life has to have a price tag on it or be measured in dollars and cents. I’m getting something that’s much more valuable than money out this experience. And if someone could let me know what that is, I would really appreciate it.
So after launching four century marks worth of free flowing thoughts and photos into cyber space, I knew I had to do something special to mark the occasion. I thought, maybe purchase some new cologne, an expensive bottle of wine, preferably Manischewitz, or some fuzzy bedroom slippers. Or maybe just renew my AARP card.
Yes, I’m living large. Remember, it’s not about the breaths you take, it’s about the moments that take away your breath.
So I invited my birth mother, who I rarely have lunch with more than four or five times a week, to join me for a celebration down at our most visually favorite dining location, the Santa Cruz Wharf. I was in the mood for seafood, and just my luck, the panko breaded parmesan crusted chicken was featured as the catch of the day.
But food was not to be the highlight of this outing, as when we approached the entrance to the wharf, I could see swarms of pelicans and seabirds going wild, diving into the ocean after anchovies. The pelicans were coming up with a pouch fulls of fish while the gulls moved in screaming for leftovers. The action was non-stop, and as we ate lunch, I could barely concentrate on my meal, as the activity outside the window was dreamier than my double order of mashed potatoes.
Adding to the festivities, dozens and dozens of sea lions were herding the schools of anchovies so they could enjoy a meal on the go. They were swimming in battalions, and the activity was happening on both sides of the pier. These feeding frenzies went on all afternoon. The action was so outstanding that I passed on the praline chocolate mousse dessert with a dark chocolate cookie crumb base and just munched on some crispy kale chips, because that’s the way I roll.
It was an exhilarating experience, a celebration of nature for the ages. But then the day got a little better when I learned 19 killer whales had been spotted in Moss Landing at an all-you-can-eat sea lion buffet. This day was the culmination of perhaps the greatest two months in the history of Monterey Bay. We’re talking about miles long schools of anchovies, endless chains of pelicans, jacked up pods of sea lions, more humpbacks whales ever spotted in the bay, and for the grand finale, a large group of orcas going wild. This was the bay at its nature’s best.
I came back to the wharf on Thursday to check out the scene, and the gulls, pelicans and sea lions where still going anchovie wild. However, when I returned Friday, all the pelicans and flowers were gone, and the sea lions were sleeping on the pilings under the wharf, stuffed from the appetizers and hors d’oeuvres.
So for today’s photo menu I’m serving up a healthy portion of pelicans, sea gulls and sea lions. The bird action was from last week, and since size matters, I’m featuring the largest pod of sea lions I’ve ever observed from this spot. As interesting as these photos are, it doesn’t truly capture the outrageousness of the moment, which is more suited to video. But if you take a close look at the first two shots, you can see the pelicans were jammed in together like sardines, making these photos rich in vitamins, minerals and memories. It’s the magic at the edge.
On to some late night humor. “Yesterday at the White House, President Obama met with various leaders of the American Indian tribes. He promised them, ‘If you like your medicine man, you can keep your medicine man.’ A new record was set today in the 100 meters. It was set by Senate Democrats running away from Obamacare.” – Jay Leno
“As you may know, Thanksgiving began in 1621 when the Pilgrims feasted with the Indians and promised them, ‘If you like your land, you can keep your land.’” – Jay Leno “It turns out that a lot of children could lose their dental insurance under Obamacare. So kids might not be able to go to the dentist. Parents were really upset, while kids said, ‘Four more years! Four more years!’” –Jimmy Fallon
“Today a reporter asked Chris Christie, ‘What do you think of 2016?’ And Christie said, ‘I think it’s a good weight to get down to.’” –Jay Leno “In a new interview today, Sarah Palin refused to endorse Chris Christie. Afterward, Christie told Palin, ‘Thanks, I owe you one.’” –Conan O’Brien “’60 Minutes’ had a story that turned out not to be true about Benghazi. They had to apologize. And then today they were embarrassed again. It turns out the stopwatch on ’60 Minutes’ is not accurate.” –David Letterman
So that’s my pelican brief. We’ll catch you making the Warriors looking like early season title contenders with your all-around play. Aloha, mahalo and later, Andre Iguadola fans.