Algae Cluster

I crossed the street to see if there were herons or egrets in the ditch that feeds the lagoon, and this is what I saw.

They almost looked like lily or lotus pads, but it’s a cluster of green algae. I hope it’s not toxic, BUT it clearly demonstrates how things that look beautiful might be harmful, noxious, destructive, and dangerous.

#WordlessWednesday

Ebb and Flow

It was too hot too early to walk the full six mile round trip to the Pacific Ocean and back, so I settled for a longish trek around the lagoon with detours to observe it from different perspectives.

I ended up walking mostly all the way to the beach anyway and stopped at Rite Aid to buy myself a treat but nothing looked fun or appealing or was small enough to fit in my little backpack, so I continued on my journey.

Looking east from a secret side street overlooking Snug Harbor and the swan boats on Agua Hedionda Lagoon.

It wasn’t even 9am and the little beach was full of families enjoying Father’s Day and paddleboarding and kayaks. Thank goodness there’s no gigantic mall marring the view on the south shore.

Well, well, well, it seems like we have a very low tide, too, combined with our drought situation.

It’s not often that one could literally walk all the way around the lagoon to the beaches on the south side. I was wearing new shoes and didn’t want to ruin them in the muck, but for once it was entirely possible.

Kumeyaay Lagoon View

I like to walk here and imagine the native population who lived in this area a couple centuries ago. Did they gather berries and seeds and grind flour in a metate nestled in the warm sands by the lagoon?

On this full moon day, I’m wondering what they thought when they looked up. With no city lights to get in the way, I bet they saw millions of stars alongside the moon and all the other planets and constellations.

The Kumeyaay, also known as Tipai-Ipai, or by their historical Spanish name Diegueño, is a tribe of Indigenous peoples of the Americas. (Wiki)

The story I tell myself is that I’m walking the same paths the Kumeyaay took and we are cosmically connected by the same sun shining on the waters of Agua Hedionda Lagoon, minus the intrusion of the fencing, of course.

According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, if you have just a bit of rain, you may even get to spot a rare phenomenon called a moonbow. A moonbow is just like a solar rainbow, but is created by moonlight (rather than sunlight) when it is refracted through water droplets in the air. Moonbows only happen when the full Moon is fairly low in the sky, so look for one in the hours after sunset when the sky is dark.

Peaceful Lagoon Views

Every single time I walk to the lagoon, I’m continually grateful that we saved its beauty and historical significance from being raped by a disgusting LA developer who wanted to build a shopping mall on the south shore.

Only in Carlsbad would a completely out-of-touch city council support a project so harmful to the community and the environment, totally annihilating the significance of this land.

What a travesty that would have been!

Rancho Agua Hedionda was a 13,000 Mexican land grant given in 1842 by Governor Juan Alvarado to Juan María Marrón. (Wiki)

Before the Spanish plundered their homeland, Agua Hedionda Lagoon and the surrounding lands were once the sites of two densely populated Luiseño villages. The Luiseño people lived and worked along the shores of the lagoon, making tools, preparing food, engaging in ancient ceremonies and holds possible sacred grave sites.

I don’t remember reading this at the time, but in 2005, centuries old remains of two horses and a burro were found on the land on the south side that is now populated by a hotel.
https://www.baltimoresun.com/sdut-centuries-old-bones-of-horses-unearthed-in-2005jul17-story.html

Serenity…

Looking up…

Unlikely Friends: Egret and Ducks

On my walk today, I looked through the fence into the culvert that drains into Agua Hedionda Lagoon and saw a pair of white egrets. One flew away, but I was able to snap a pic of this beauty. Look closer and you’ll see he’s sharing a bit of land with two ducks.

And then this other handsome sun-glistened mallard decided to swim over and join the fun.
Co-existence peacefully without social distancing!

The late afternoon light intensifies the male’s colorful plumage that helps them attract females.

Maybe they’ve forged a friendship while they forage together for food. It could be possible even though I learned that egrets (and herons) can and do eat ducklings, but I watched their interactions for quite a while and didn’t observe any aggressive or frightened behavior. It was all peaceful and serene, just like my wishes for happily ever afters.

Runaway Kayak

Since I recovered from the side effects of my first Covid-19 vaccine, I walked to the beach on a foggy Sunday morning.

I noticed a lot of police and fire truck activity on the bridge overlooking Agua Hedionda Lagoon so I walked over to one of the officers to ask what was going on.

He told me that someone had reported an empty kayak had washed up along the shore and they were following protocol to search for anyone who might have fallen off and needed to be rescued and offer medical assistance.

It’s very possible it was simply a case of a runaway kayak that had come loose from wherever it had been stowed, but they were in full on search and rescue mode.

I left after a while because it didn’t look like they needed my help (haha) and walked back home.

As I walked away, a woman stopped to ask me what was going on. She was maskless, so I told her I don’t speak to people who don’t follow the mask mandate, and kept going. Yes, her mouth dropped open, but I stand by my comment.

It’s simple. Wear a mask!

Subsequently, I learned they searched for more than two hours and didn’t find anyone–or at least I assume they didn’t because there was nothing on the news. If I hear an update, I’ll post the info.

P.S. Me, police, fire, and rescuers were wearing masks. There’s no excuse NOT to follow county guidelines. I hate it too, but I DO IT.

Fog + real ducks in a fake pond.

I had to get up at the crack of dawn to walk before the devil heat returns.

Lucky for me there’s a deep marine layer and so much fog that it’s impossible to see across the street from my house. The fence around the school is barely visible; that’s how moisture-laden the skies are right now. Normally, it’s possible to see all the way to the lagoon from here, but not today.

It’s an hour-long walk around the lagoon and up the hill, and I hurried to beat the emergence of the fiery ball. All-time heat records were broken yesterday; it’s easier to comprehend nuclear fusion creating a core temperature of 270 million degrees on days like that.

These are real ducks in a fake pond on the street where all the paddleboarders park. They built this water feature and have since tried in every way to deter ducks from using it–but here they are. It’s literally feet away from the lagoon which is a natural body of water; how could they expect wildlife NOT to enjoy it??? Duh.

Hello, ducks! Have a wonderful swim. Welcome to Carlsbad!

Pandemic Journal 2020: Walkin’ around my ‘hood

It’s Easter Sunday and that always meant a traditional day hike or walk to the beach or a camping trip to the desert.

This year was a bit different because of the pandemic, isolating to protect ourselves and others from Covid-19.

But the beach always beckons. Well, not exactly the beach because it’s now closed, but non one can deprive me of a view of the magnificent Pacific Ocean.

My round-trip walk is about 6.5 miles, maybe a bit longer because I took a detour to include pics of Agua Hedionda Lagoon.

For those of you that didn’t get out for a walk today, here ya go!

It looks like an advert for a hallucinogenic (LSD) but that’s an ALTERED PERCEPTION haha. That’s just the way the light hit it. The sign really said “Beach closed.”

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And just in case you didn’t take the hint, this signage made it extremely clear…

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And if anyone is STILL clueless, this sign and caution tape is even more specific…IMG_9132

But here she is. Mother Nature. The Pacific Ocean. No waves. I bet a million dollars if there was a solid 4-6 swell, those waves would be packed. No one can keep a surfer from the water. That’s essential to life.

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I took the long way home around our Agua Hedionda Lagoon. Pretty daisies, the lagoon, and the power plant off in the distance.

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One of my favorite views; the lagoon and the ocean.IMG_9136

All the rain created a mudslide on Adams, the street around the lagoon.IMG_9137I’ve never before seen Adams closed at Park due to a landslide! Crazy times we’re in.

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And finally back home. There’s really no place like home. Dorothy was right.

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A Full Moon and a Lost Whale

The Full Sturgeon Moon rises tonight. A perfect time to set intentions and believe in magic!

I wonder if these intense lunar energies had anything to do with a baby gray whale who lost his way in our little beach town entering Agua Hedionda Lagoon from the ocean.

I happened to be in the right place at the right time with my lovely Canon and a decent lens and was lucky enough to snap these photos.

SeaWorld came to assess the situation and told me that he didn’t seem to be in distress; he was spouting every couple of minutes or so, which is completely normal, and he was rubbing his body against the rocks to try and dislodge all of the barnacles.

I did a little research and learned this about barnacles…
from https://www.learner.org/jnorth/tm/gwhale/Hitchhikers.html:

Gray whales are more heavily infested with a greater variety of parasites and hitchhikers than any other cetacean. Imagine carrying a load of hitchhikers on your back that can weigh several hundred pounds! Gray whales do this all their lives. Who’s riding, and why?

Big Batches of Barnacles
Those patchy white spots you see on gray whales are barnacles. Grays carry heavy loads of these freeloaders. The barnacles are just along for the ride. They don’t harm the whales or feed on the whales, like true parasites do. Barnacles don’t serve any obvious advantage to the whales, but they give helpful lice a place to hang onto the whale without getting washed away by water. Barnacles find the slow-swimming gray whale a good ride through nutrient-rich ocean waters.

As larvae, the whale barnacles swim freely in the ocean. But they time their reproduction so the larvae are swimming in the water of the nursery lagoons when the baby whales are born. Then the larvae jump aboard the whales arriving in the lagoons–as well as the newborn calves—to start their lives as hitchhikers. The most common barnacles on gray whales are host-specific, which means they occur on no other whales. One type of barnacle, Cryptolepas rhachianecti, attaches only to gray whales. Once this type of small crustacean has settled on “its own” gray, the barnacle spends its whole life hanging onto that whale.

Life is good if you’re a barnacle. Snug inside their hard limestone shells, the barnacles stick out feather feet to comb the sea and capture plankton and other food for themselves as the whales swim slowly along. As the young whales grow, the barnacle clusters grow too. Gradually the barnacles form large, solid white colonies. The colonies appear as whitish patches, especially on the whale’s head, flippers, back and tail flukes.

Whale biologists look at the pattern of barnacle clusters in order to tell individual grays apart. This is possible because no two barnacle clusters, like no two human’s fingerprints, are alike!

When the tide changed, he finally made it out beyond the jetty waves; hopefully he finds his mom and doesn’t wander into shallow water again!

Just another amazing day in paradise. So much magic and beauty to be grateful for!

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Whale or SHARK?

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My own little embellished-with-sparkles-gray whale rock is much happier barnacle-free, don’t you think?

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Dear Carlsbad, Oh What a Year It’s Been…

I posted this on Facebook today:

One year ago, I showed up at Carlsbad City Council as an thirty-year resident who had finally had it with the way this city was being manipulated by outside developers. The final straw was the possibility that a monstrosity of a concrete mall was to be built on Agua Hedionda Lagoon. NO WAY, I thought. I didn’t even have a speech written when I pushed my way through the crowd, but I knew it was time to step up and speak up. That was the night I spoke about “not being impressed by men in fancy suits with fake tans.” I may have walked in to those hostile chambers alone, but walked out with the new and lasting friendship of a tribe of hundreds and hundreds who soldiered on to save the lagoon as we’re saving Carlsbad, one council seat at a time. Much love, appreciation, and gratitude to our TRIBE.

Yes, the lagoon is safe FOR NOW. But there will always be the threat of over-development and that’s why we stand vigilant, never again complacent to the machinations of our self-serving local government.

Here’s my speech in its entirety:

“First, I’d like to make a brief observation; other than the farm workers at the strawberry fields, Caruso’s soft focused Utopian propaganda video had no people of cultural diversity represented. Kind of crazy, right? I mean, when you really think about it? What’s that all about?

[This refers to a video shown by Caruso Affiliated. Big bucks in play here.]

Mayor and council, I need to make myself particularly clear. 

I’m not impressed by fancy suits and ‘healthy’ fake tans.

My family and I are vehemently opposed to the development of Agua Hedionda.

Agua Hedionda is a sensitive resource and ecosystem that needs to be saved and protected and restored, NOT built upon and destroyed.

I love to shop and I don’t want Nordstrom built on the lagoon when we have a perfectly good mall that needs the promised renovation.

No matter what or how we were duped in 1986 and 2006, that should not mean this deception should continue.

For thirty years, I’ve watched you and other councils systematically destroy land and native habitats in Carlsbad.

This needs to stop.

Enough is enough.

My family and I vehemently oppose all building on Agua Hedionda.

Enough is enough.

Leave it alone.

Shame on you Mayor and City Council. 

Shame on you all.

And finally, Mr. Blackburn, we met privately about the pet store in the Westfield mall that sells puppy mill dogs and you PROMISED me that when the mall was renovated and all the stores were closed, that store would be gone and wouldn’t be allowed back. But it’s still open. You promised and I feel betrayed.

Do the right thing, would you?”

More to read…

https://enchantedseashells.com/2015/08/10/something-sorta-stinks-in-carlsbad/?iframe=true&preview=true

https://enchantedseashells.com/2015/09/26/power-to-the-people-cos-sometimes-the-only-answer-is-a-revolution/

https://enchantedseashells.com/2015/09/28/carlsbad-referendum-signatures-stun-caruso-city-council-pals/