LISTEN to the Serenade of America’s Songdogs

Last night in the garden around 9pm, I heard this chorus of beautiful songdogs; my beloved coyote family. This lasted nearly a full minute, along with other shorter lyrical melodies.

Turn up the volume, as it was extremely LOUD! I wanted to run up the hill to join them, but I did that once and broke my wrist in the dark, so I merely sent them all my love.

I know what you’re thinking, but there are other reasons for this symphony besides a fresh meal…

“The sound of coyotes howling and yipping at night sometimes causes people concern and alarm. Some mistakenly believe howling indicates that a group of coyotes has made a kill. While coyotes howl for a variety of reasons, it is not likely because they have downed prey. Doing so would draw attention and might attract competing coyotes or other predators to their location, which is not something a hungry coyote would want to do. Coyotes howl and yip primarily to communicate with each other and establish territory. They may bark when they are defending a den or a kill.” https://wildlifehelp.org/solution/district-columbia/coyote/should-i-be-concerned-if-i-hear-coyotes-howling-yipping-or-barking/93

Monster Waves at Cortes Bank

I’ve lived in Southern California since high school and never heard about this mythical surf spot at Cortes Bank, about one hundred miles west of San Diego.

We’ve all heard of the giant waves at Mavericks in Northern California which sadly claimed the life of Mark Foo in 1994, but this location was brand new to me — not that I’ll ever see it or surf there, considering I don’t surf at all, but I love all things ocean-related.

Apparently, about ten thousand years ago, an island used to exist in that spot called Kinkipar by native Americans, the ancestors of the Tongva or Chumash Tribes.

Presently, it’s entirely submerged, the top rising to within three to six feet of the surface with nearby shoals catching the largest swells on the planet from the North Pacific.

Monster swells that generate waves moving at incredibly high speeds as they move from the deep ocean, over a mile deep at the base of the bank, into a series of shallow reefs made of sandstone and volcanic basalt.

These photos of Nic von Rupp (amazing professional big wave surfer) were taken last week at Cortes Bank.

Because of its location, estimates are that the waves move fifty percent faster than comparable waves along Oahu’s north shore.

They are arguably the largest and fastest waves on Earth. As Bill Sharp remarked after the first time it was surfed in 1990 “It was like something out of Waterworld.”
https://briantissot.com/2016/01/26/cortes-bank-the-largest-wave-on-the-planet/

From Nic von Rupp’s Facebook page; photo credit to @sharpxxl & @100footwave @mcnamara_s @mamaunearthed @joelewis @vincentkardasik,

.

.

.

Sunset Artistry + Friday the 13th

The camera picked up exactly what the sky looked like last night at sundown, more expressionism than hyperrealism, in my opinion.

My favorite part is the bit of sparkle as the setting sun kissed the Pacific ocean.

******************************************************************************

If you’re under the outdated and superstitious belief that Friday the 13th is an unlucky day, I’ve learned something new.

Before patriarchal times, Friday the 13th was considered the Day of the Goddess. It was considered a day to honor the divine feminine that lives in us all and to honor the cycles of creation and death and rebirth.

Friday the 13th was considered a very powerful day to manifest, honor creativity, and to celebrate beauty, wisdom, and nourishment of the soul.

Friday is Venus Day, named for Frigga, the goddess of love and tansformation. She rules the spiritual aspects of people as they manifest on the physical.

Venus is the epitome of feminine energy. Her energy joins us at the end of the week to honor the days gone by and to remind us that it is important to rest, relax, and play.

Not unlucky at all, this is a day to celebrate the power and energy of being female.

No mansplaining or misogyny allowed.

In The Garden: Cape Honeysuckle

After a few very rainy days, it’s dry for a while until the next storm appears. I see a bit of blue sky as the contrasting backdrop to my Cape Honeysuckle trained to climb over an arbor.

The sweet nectar of its orange-red flowers attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.

The Cape Honeysuckle (Tecoma capensis) produces long, thin elongated fruit capsules that contain numerous seeds easily dispersed by the wind. 

It’s easy to propagate from a cutting, so I have lots of them growing in different parts of the garden.

Yup, there’s a lot going on in this photo; a path leading to a pond, the arbor of Cape Honeysuckle and Peppermint-Striped Climbing Roses, and a giant Bird of Paradise.

Everything needs some major work, but it’s a labor of love.

#WordlessWednesday

Near Death Experience

This is a cautionary tale to be diligent, alert, and always pay attention when you’re doing something as simple as walking…

Since we’re between storms, this was a beautiful morning for a walk. As I headed toward the beach, there’s an intersection with a four-way stop. (For those of you who know Carlsbad, it’s Chinquapin and Adams.)

At the time I safely proceeded to cross at the crosswalk, there were no cars. As I was almost all the way across the street, three-quarters of the way to the other side, a small-ish SUV caught my eye because the car didn’t seem to be slowing down to stop at the stop sign and I was directly in the line of fire.

It seemed as if she was planning to roll through the stop sign and hit me!

I stopped, yelled “HEY!” as loud as I could, which got her attention and she screeched to a halt, inches away from me.

She looked extremely flustered, surprised and guilty; proof that she had absolutely not seen me. I know I’m small, but I’m not invisible. Sheesh.

After that, I emitted a few dozen choice words and tried to get her license number as she sped off but not before I saw that she had a photo of a baby hanging from her rear view mirror. She was a mom and might have even put her child in harm’s way.

That’s a close enough call with death for one day, or at least a close call with a potentially painful accident.

The moral of the story is to stay alert and don’t trust that a driver will pay attention or even obey simple rules of the road.

Anyway, I’d like to thank my guardian angels for protecting me one more time!

Come Home to Nature

This art + poetry speaks to my heart. The forest is magic and full of sparkles.

Come home to the forest
Where time goes slow
and the breath is mellow
Where thoughts find rest
and calm comes to nest .
Come home to the woods
to be friends with trees
and listen to the breeze
to wander through trails
and mend your sails .
Come home to nature
when your heart is hurting
or your soul needs healing .
When something feels wrong
or you just need a place to belong .
The forest awaits
Come home, be healed …

-Bidushee Phukan-

Art by Elaine Bayley. Curated from Coyote Watch Canada

First Full Moon of 2023 and BIG Surf!

Tonight, this full wolf moon occurs with the sun in Capricorn opposite the moon in Cancer. The full moon is a time of culmination and the promise of fulfilling intentions set during the new moon.

The Pineapple Express, atmospheric river rain event here in California is over for now, although more wet weather is forecasted for next week.

There was talk of waves of up to sixteen feet for today, so I went down to the beach but here in Carlsbad, they were only about six to eight feet.

This morning:

A lifeguard told me there had been no rescues here, but further south in Cardiff, waves were definitely in the twelve foot range, with high surf expected again next week with the next storm.

It was super crowded; lots of people not only with cameras for pics and video, but to take advantage of the healing power of a little vitamin sea and abundant sunshine!

A Royal High Tide

Last week’s King Tides created the unusual sight of flooded marsh and wetlands.

Here at Agua Hedionda, freshwater creeks drain into a low-lying area meeting the sea. The ocean pushes tides and sands against the land as the creek drains its fresh water and sediment into the sea. This mix of fresh and salt water forms a brackish environment. The salinity varies with the seasonal influence of rain and storms.

Sometimes the tide is so low, we can walk all the way around to the south side where there’s a sweet little beach, but not that day!

With all of this recent rain we’ve had (and more on the way), freshwater basins appear and fill the normally dry land surrounding the lagoon.

After all these years, this is still one of my favorite views. We see the lagoon, freeway, train tracks, and Pacific ocean.

A Stormy Start to 2023

SoCal didn’t receive as much rain as they did up north, but we still had an impressive amount of sky water during our recent storm.

Northern California saw a historic nearly six inches of rain while we had two inches over the weekend with more forecasted this week. That’s a LOT in a short period of time, due to a phenomenon called an atmospheric river.

An atmospheric river is a narrow corridor or filament of concentrated moisture in the atmosphere. Other names for this phenomenon are tropical plume, tropical connection, moisture plume, water vapor surge, and cloud band. Wikipedia

During a brief dry period, we checked out the big windy waves. Fresh air feels so purifying and cleansing. A walk on the beach is a great way to start a new year!

Sand, sun, clouds, waves, even some blue sky.

And just like that, it began to rain again.

Check out this video…it was super windy, too!