Nature

My Catastrophic Molt

Seen also in The Cambrian A thousand or more northern elephant seals sprawled across the beach when I arrived for my volunteer docent duty yesterday.   These intrepid seals travelled about  2500 miles to this beach to lose their dead skin and old fur.  They must haul out  and remain on land for four weeks  in order to molt.  We call this shedding of the dead epidermis and old fur  a catastrophic molt. I posted myself at the very south end of the Piedras Blancas []

Why Do Polar Bears Like To Live In The Snow?

“Good morning, Dennis,” I greeted the Russian scientist as he sipped the hot coffee we readied for the morning workshop session. (I attended as a volunteer to help the facilitator, The California Gray Whale Coalition, tend to the business of running a workshop smoothly.)

“My grandson called me this morning and wanted me to ask you a question. He wants to know, why do polar bears like to live in the snow?”

The Seduction of Tomales Bay

When we neared the first sign of civilization along Highway 1, spouse declared, “This is great! There’s nothing here.”

“Nothing” indicated a deficiency of swank hotels, chi-chi bistros, and chic boutiques. Not a Starbucks or a Pottery Barn to be found.

“Superior Intelligence…and Firepower” in the Garden

I’m agitated. I’m feeling like I want to go all Carl Spackler and build exploding clay varmints. While current politicians and news events still send me to a very large glass of wine at night, that’s not what makes me struggle with thoughts of sharp or explosive objects and chemical warfare.

Liberated Time and Some Fur for Ambassador’s Work

The good news about my unemployable circumstances  is my liberated time.  For most of my adult years unrestricted time was an illusive  luxury.  Between parenting, career building, and life maintenance, my personal quality time was like a failed reduction sauce of  limited moments with the evening news and occasional bubble baths. Yesterday, with three hours of my unhampered  time, I donned my royal blue jacket and hat that bear the official Friends of the Elephant Seal (FES) logo, and I stood on  the rocky Piedras Blancas bluffs–a place located []