Tag Archives: california

Lighthouse Sentinel

Lighthouse

Lighthouse sentinel
Once for sailors, now wildlife
Whales, seals, sea lions, more!

On July 8, I had the pleasure of touring the Piedras Blancas Light Station along with BLM office newbies and interns. This even counted as work! #LivingTheDream ūüôā

The light station is a focal point of the Piedras Blancas Outstanding Natural Area, one of the special management areas within the Bakersfield Field Office jurisdiction. (This is why it counted for work.)

As BLM-insiders, we had the VIP opportunity of climbing to the top of the lighthouse Рvery windy up there!

On top of the lighthouse
looking stunning in my floppy hat

In the background of the above photo, you can see one of the Piedras Blancas, which translates to “white¬†rocks” in Spanish. The rock acquired its¬†whitish hue from centuries of guano deposits, or in less technical terms: seabird poo.

These large offshore rocks provide excellent refuge to marine animals large and small. While we were at the Light Station, we saw:

Sea lion
sea lions
male elephant seal
multiple male elephant seals – quite the schnoz! (the male elephant seal uses his enlarged nose – or proboscis – in territorial displays)
humpback whale sighting location
we saw a humpback whale out there! whale!!!!!!!!
juvenile humpback whale skeleton
juvenile humpback whale skeleton; the deceased whale washed up on one of the nearby beaches several years ago
Oystercatcher
a modern day Piedras Blancas painter: the black oystercatcher! it is hard to see but oystercatchers have a fabulous red bill

We also saw sea otters, but I was not able to get a picture this trip. I will definitely be back. For more history of the light station, you can visit piedrasblancas.org.  Рor you can visit me and I will take you there!

IMG_6635
I also take pictures of pretty flowers; this is a poppy

WHALES! (And More)

Whale!

Trinidad retreat
Beach, BIG trees, Banana slugs,
WHALE of a good time!

On my last weekend as a Redding resident, we indulged in a three-day Trinidad retreat (north coast of California). We rented a gorgeous house with this view from the backyard:

Home Sweet Home

There were delicious home cooked meals with fireplace peep s’mores for dessert. We walked on the beach…

Beach

and through the forest. In the picture below, my friends humored me when I suggested they spell “BIG” with their bodies in front of what is known as the “BIG Tree.” Good people ūüôā

BIG tree

We even surfed a fallen giant!

Surfing!

WE SAW WHALES!!!!

Whale!

Two whales!
Two whales! (You have to find these ones for yourself ūüėČ )

I literally jumped for joy when I heard from another beach visitor that there were whales within sight of shore. We also saw whales from that beautiful backyard oasis pictured above and that happens to be where these pictures were taken. This was a dream come true, and it inspired the first draft of the haiku for this post:

Whale! Whale! Whale! Whale! Whale!
Whale! Whale! Whale! Whale! Whale! Whale! Whale!
Whale! Whale! Whale! Whale! Whale!

I know, a masterpiece!

Not to be outdone by its massive marine mammal competition, the redwood forest banana slugs put on quite a display. This little guy is a mighty muncher!

This one was the funniest of the bunch:

Banana^2
Banana Slug Banana

It was a grand way to end my time as a northern California resident. Thanks friends!

Ch-ch-ch-changes!

BLM Redding

Ch-ch-ch-changes!
ending, moving, beginning
a new chapter starts

This is the¬†“excuse for not posting since April” post, and I am obviously cheating with the “ch-ch-ch” but¬†I decided to allow it because my bigger goal was to acknowledge that I officially ended my internship in Redding, moved, and started work in Bakersfield (four plus weeks ago).

My time in Redding was more fun and informative than I ever could have imagined, and I could not be more excited to be working for the BLM in Bakersfield. More adventures, opportunities, and fun await!

Uhauling my way to Bakersfield!
Uhauling my way to Bakersfield!
First day of work card
Best first day of work card EVER.
Making new friends in my new home!
Making new friends in my new home!