Since I'm completely and utterly debilitated and depressed about the oil spill, I thought it would be good for my sanity and state of mind (and perhaps yours too) if I tell you of all the happy things I've seen in the last week. As dead and empty as I feel inside (not to mention full of rage) about this absolute bullshit that has happened these things make me stop banging my head against the wall for a minute. I'm having an incredibly difficult time handling this. If you don't want to read the whole post, at least look at the highlighted words because we saw a bunch of good stuff. My World
Last weekend we (me, Zac and my brother who was in town) saw 5+ whales off the coast. Freaking sweet. Usually they are so far out (not that we see them often, pretty rare) that the binos hardly help. But this time there must have been a pod that was snarfing the good stuff about 150-200 yards offshore. So damn cool. At least one was a humpback and the others were gray whales. Pretty fantastic sighting.
While we were watching them, a gorgeous adult bald eagle flew right over our heads (and before that, an osprey did the same thing). And at the same time, I spotted a California ground squirrel (I'm pretty sure that's the right species) gathering material for his nest. Uh...super duper cute. Yeah, I said cute again.
I already posted about the mass amount of harbor seals that we saw last weekend. In addition to the babies and the 30 or so mentioned in that post, we saw ~50 more the day after sunning at low tide on a rocky coast.
We did a great hike at Redwoods National last Saturday and in addition to being mesmerized by the trees worthy of worship, we saw a Ruffed Grouse (life bird for me, year bird for Zac...ah! so nerdy I know!), thousands of millipedes mating, a banana slug eating a millipede (pictures in another post) and about 30 frogs. I'm having a hard time identifying them, but I think they're Foothill Yellow-legged Frogs.
We also saw 4 different elk herds. Nice! We checked out tide pools one afternoon and saw a lots of ochre sea stars, several gumboot chiton, other tide pool stuff I don't know, and tons of anemones (pictures to come), a river otter and yet more harbor seals!!
Bird highlights (photos later) of the past week: Sage Thrasher (roughly one sighting a year here, so that was pretty cool), Marbled Murrelet, Black-headed Grossbeak. We saw another Macgillivray's Warbler today and a couple Bewick's Wrens, a few more Bullock's Orioles, like ten million (wait, not quite that many, but an obscene number) Western Grebes. Oh yeah, also the Allen's Hummingbirds were out on a riot today or something - holy buzzers everywhere!
(Black-capped Chickadee below)
And! The Osprey this morning (7 of them) were out in full force also, as were tons of migrating Common Murres and massive shorebird flocks. And some Wandering Tattlers (might be my one of favorite names for a bird, and their vocalizations remind me of my own at times).
And lastly, many many harbor porpoises this afternoon and one California sea lion.