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.

Oasis in a Sea of Ugly

Statement of fact: I don’t like the look of my “village”.

It resembles a village as much as WalMart resembles a Chanel boutique.

Oasis (plural: oases) An oasis is a location with water in a desert, or figuratively can be a happy place surrounded by sadness, which is exactly what I discovered today.

In the almost forty years I’ve lived here, local elected officials (90% of whom I’ve consistently voted against) have destroyed any and all coastal personality by tearing down most of the original buildings and erecting sharp cornered ugly institutional-looking boxes.

Have I mentioned that it’s ONE BLOCK from the beach? You’d never know it, though. It makes me angry. They could have done so much better and it’s as if the designers and architects made a conscious effort to destroy the organic relationship we have with the sand and the Pacific ocean. It’s mindboggling, it truly is.

Because of that, I normally stay away from going there and when visitors come, we go to the beach but don’t hang around or patronize the stores or restaurants. It’s depressing.

However, I actually discovered a couple of gems, two little oases wedged between hulking sad monstrosities; a sanctuary.

I’ve been searching for a birthday gift for DIL and we share a common love of crystals and gems. I heard of a place off the beaten path downtown and thought I’d stop by. I didn’t have high hopes though, but was more than pleasantly surprised by The Village Rock Shop on State Street.

From the moment I walked in, I was surrounded by positive energy and a huge array of rocks and gifts. For DIL, I found an Angel Aura Tower. Doesn’t that sound mystical and intriguing? It’s formed as a result of the alchemical process that bonds platinum and silver, sometimes gold, into pure quartz. It is the perfect gift for anyone who seeks guidance and inspiration from the angels. This magical stone is a powerful aid in getting in touch with celestial beings, exactly right for a mom of two, haha.

Directly next door is another shop I recommend: Wild Gold Gift Shop. It’s beyond adorable. Check out their Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wild_gold_shop/ I spoke with the husband of the owner, Kim Keenan, and he said they were still working on the website, so I can’t link to it right now.

If you’re in the Carlsbad area and as disappointed as I am about what it looks like, please take the time to travel a few blocks away from the ugliness and visit these two shops. You’ll be happy you did!

Your purchases from these independent, local stores support not only the owners of the shop but also local artists and artisans.

And finally, hurry before they’re torn down and displaced to make way for more hideous, repulsive, unsightly boxes.

Sunday in the Garden: Downy Woodpecker

It was super quiet this morning until I heard a familiar staccato taptaptaptap, ran outside with my camera and was FINALLY able to capture a visit from my Downy Woodpecker!

Usually they’re playing hide and seek in my garden; this time he’s just over the fence on the neighbor’s palm tree. A while later, his mate came to eat in the exact same spot.

Isn’t he simply magnificent?

In many ancient cultures, the symbolism of the woodpecker is associated with wishes, luck, prosperity, and spiritual healing. The woodpecker often symbolizes new opportunities that come knocking into our lives. Other cultures consider the woodpecker to represent hard work, perseverance, strength, and determination, all positive attributes for sure! (curated from Google search)

Happy Sunday, friend!

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.

A Sunday Pictorial

Just a day in the life…

Caring for a friend’s old and adorable cat for a couple of days…

Chasing butterflies in the garden…

The clouds hung around after a bit of welcome rain.

A whole lotta bicyclists ride down the beach highway.

There were supposed to be waves up to eight feet but not here, I guess. It was kinda disappointing, but still a beautiful Pacific Ocean scene.

Happy Sunday from sunny Southern California!

Star of India Sails

Every so often the Star of India sails in San Diego Bay. I was clearing out some old photos and discovered this one from a few years ago. If you have seen this ship at all, it was probably lining the dock in downtown San Diego, but in case you didn’t know, this is the world’s oldest active sailing ship and still sails a few times a year with an all volunteer crew.

The Star of India was built on the Isle of Man in 1863. Iron ships were experimental at that time with most vessels still being built out of wood. Within five months of laying her keel, the ship was launched. She was originally named Euterpe after the Greek muse of music and poetry.

Euterpe was a full-rigged ship and would remain so until 1901, when the Alaska Packers Association rigged her down to a barque, her present rig.

She began her sailing life with two near-disastrous voyages to India. On her first trip she suffered a collision and a mutiny. On her second trip, a cyclone caught Euterpe in the Bay of Bengal, and with her topmasts cut away, she barely made port. Shortly afterward, her first captain died on board and was buried at sea.

After such a hard luck beginning, Euterpe made four more voyages to India as a cargo ship. In 1871 she was purchased by the Shaw Savill Line of London.

Subsequently sold to the Alaska Packer Fleet, her name was changed in 1906 to the Star of India to match the other vessels in their fleet. The Star of India made over 22 Alaskan voyages before becoming obsolete in the 1920s as steam power propulsion became more reliable than wind.

The Zoological Society of San Diego purchased the ship in 1926 for use as the centerpiece of a planned maritime museum and aquarium. The Great Depression in the 30s and World War II caused those plans to be put on hold and the Star of India lay idle until she was restored in the late 50s and early 60s.

Fully restored by 1976, the Star of India set sail as part of the United States’ Bicentennial celebration. 

Interesting Facts:

  • Launched five days before Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address
  • Sailed twenty-one times around the world
  • Never fitted with auxiliary power
  • Went aground in Hawaii
  • Became an “American” ship by Act of Congress
  • Trapped in ice in Alaska
LOA212′
Sparred Length280′
Beam35′
Maximum Draft21.5′
Gross Tonnage1318
RigBark

Fly, Dragon, Fly

Isn’t this the most vibrant orange? I’m in love with this little guy.

Flame Skimmer, Libellula saturata

Dragonfly species that are orange include a variety of skimmers, such as the flame skimmer, firecracker skimmer, golden-winged skimmer, or Needham’s Skimmer.

Orange dragonflies can symbolize joy, creativity, wellness, and sensuality. This relates to the second/sacral chakra, which is orange.

There is magic all around, if you stop and look.

As Robert Bly said, “To be wild is not to be crazy or psychotic. True wildness is a love of nature, a delight in silence, a voice free to say spontaneous things, and an exuberant curiosity in the face of the unknown.”

Winter Surf at Tourmaline Beach

On a more positive topic than local murders, here’s a quiet day at Tourmaline Beach, located between Pacific Beach and La Jolla. I haven’t been here in decades. It was a balmy seventy degrees and sunny, barely an hour before the foggy marine layer rolled in.

Sadly, no seashells or whales or dolphin, but I’m always looking for the magic. Also…no gems at all including zero tourmaline. What a disappointment!

The waves were a little blown out and not very big, in case that’s something you care about.

And nope, I didn’t surf, although I wish I had that Chanel board. I don’t go in the water. The last time I tried to surf, I got hit with the board, so it’s not the sport for me.

Badlands

Forbidding and embracing at the same time. Stark and pure, I love it.

In the Anza Borrego Desert, there’s an area known as the Borrego Badlands. Once undersea, today it’s a maze of hills and arroyos which reveal a hidden treasure of native palms, remote springs, and mysterious concretions.