Thursday, April 28, 2011

Seal Pups and Poppies at Point Lobos State Reserve

On Wednesday afternoon a very kind friend reminded me that all work and no play makes for a dull Jeannette and she took me to the neighborhood state reserve to walk and spy upon the springtime bird and bee energy of nature.

  I was snap happy with my camera and it was such a pretty day lots of my pictures came out plenty pretty.  The distant curve of land is  Pebble Beach and Carmel.  Beds of kelp float near the shore.

Momma seals and their pups are taking a little afternoon snooze on the protected beach.   It is important that visitors  stay back from the areas where the seals rest and sun, so this photo was taken with zoom aplenty.

  The poppies ( Eschscholtzia californica) smell spicey to beetles which, once attracted, help pollinate the poppies.  Did I learn this by sticking my nose down in the blooms?  No, I was checking on the spelling of  "Eschscholtzia" and learned about the fragrance and the dutiful beetles.

Even from a distance the golden blossoms glow.

We have a lovely state flower, and the state metal is gold...but do you know what our official state mollusk is?

Do I have a picture of one?  Hmmm...some recent children visiting saw several in our forest and they said regarding the official native... "gross!"  Apparently the abalone competed for the title, but the state mollusk title belongs to the land loving frequently visible banana slug.  Here is a short movie on youtube starring two children and three banana isn't my movie, but the children remind me of two little girls I used to know, and it is charming whereas I don't know where  the photos are of  the banana slugs that have posed for me. Slugs are actually a good subject for new nature photographers; it's not  like trying to capture the image of a hummingbird.  At top speed a mature slug can travel 6.5 inches in a minute. It gives you time to compose your picture and focus without rushing.

The other thing I learned, ( I know you are just longing to know all about them, aren't you? )
is that slugs like to eat mushrooms.   They are an important part of spreading nutrients and spores around the forest floor.  Now that you know they are official and functional maybe you will treat them with more respect than a "blick" or a "gross" next time you see one.  Or maybe not;  visceral responses are pretty hard wired. and silly words tonight... but as I walked in these pretty places with my kind friend, I thought especially
 of people I would love to walk there with...

like Beth...and Sarah Beth and name just a few,
so this blog is for you.



John said...

Hum, I thought the banana slug was the official mascot of UC Santa Cruz, little did I imagine it had risen to state mollusk status.

So, from your post I now know the state metal, flower and mollusk, I look forward to learning the future about the state vegetable, crustacean, and fungus.

I really enjoyed the beauty of your coast line. Thanks for sharing.


So lovely to have a friend that knows you need and break AND will take the break with you. There is so much beauty around you, Jeannette, in God's creation - people, animals, plants etc.


farmlady said...

No more "dull Jeannette". What are good friends for if not to drag you out into the beauty of springtime on the California coast.I found this post very interesting.
I had no idea that the Banana Slug was our state Mollusk. LOVELY!
When I was hiking in my younger days I sat down to rest and my hand landed on one of these slimy little dudes. Reading this post brought it all back.
Your photos were great.
Here's to the California Banana Slug.... may he inspire others to greatness.

Carol............. said...

Gorgeous photos as usual...and I'm especially partial to the close up flower shots!

The road sides and fields were just covered with the Califorian poppies on our way home from Arizona! I've tried growing them in Washington but not much luck.


Thanks, Jeannette for the info on some allergy relief. I will read away . . . it will be great to feel better.



It is me again . . .
I am popping over from Gg - Notes on the Journey to say thanks from the bottom of my heart for your recent support during my dad's open heart surgery. He is doing so well.

Over 60 comments with prayers and well wishes, including yours. Such sweetness. It helped me not feel quite so alone, having recently moved to Chicago.


Diana said...

What beautiful photos...the beach shots are stunning. I, too, love to go and watch the elephant seals...they are amazing creatures. I need to heed your advice and get out to play more good for the spirit. Hope you are enjoying your weekend.