On A Wind Day

He's got a little something on his mind.
 
On a wind day thoughts thin and scatter,
blown awry
as leaves swirling about
clatter against concrete and house.

Home again, where we've had Mojave-like conditions the past several days, with record high temperatures (104F/40c), desiccating relative humidity of 4-7%, and strong winds.  I'm sure plants have died out in the garden--which ones will be discovered when it finally cools down.  

Time to ponder some photos taken on our central coast visit, and paint the dining room.  

This panorama of the hills around Hearst Castle illustrates how trees grow in the areas where water is more plentiful--the gullies into which water drains after a rain.  
 Yes, this is the castle.  The backsides of Hearst's castle were left unfinished;  Hearst ran out of time.
  Many of the bedrooms at the castle are as they would have been had the maid just cleaned up, with a dress laid out on the bed and shoes nearby.  The photo revealed shoes are tied to the bed with fishing line.  Do visitors try to swipe them when the guide's back is turned?  Whose shoes were left behind? 
 An Art-Deco era nightlight.  Ain't that something? 
 Postwar era sink.  The porcelain quality of this thing was light years beyond anything you can buy today.  How quality and craftsmanship are vanishing from our quotidian lives. 
 What's that thing in the oak?
 Huh.  Who put that there?
 The roof of the indoor pool is leaking and ruining the delicate images of marine life on the ceiling tiles.  A large portion of maintenance is paid for by revenue from tours.  You learn exactly where your ticket money goes. 
 Cambria was having a Scarecrow Contest.  Businesses created a Halloween-themed scarecrow and there were many scattered about town.  This was one of the ribbon-winning entries, fashioned from cardboard, bark, vegetation, and glass eyes.
 Hummingbird in Arbutus near San Luis Obispo
 Nice looking 'Ebony' Leucadendron in the same area

 Yes, as a matter of fact. 
 A two-minute drive past Hearst Castle is Elephant Seal View.  Elephant Seals, once plentiful along the West Coast, were hunted to what was thought to be extinction by 1900.  A few were sighted in Mexico in the early 1920's, and declared a protected species.  In 1990, a dozen or so Elephant Seals landed along the San Simeon area coast and created a rookery.  By the winter of 2014-2015, there were some 23,000. 
 When we visited, there were some 150 juveniles and "this year's pups" resting and ignoring the people lined up to gawk at them.  Elephant Seals spend 8-10 months of the year foraging for fish off the Pacific coast.  They come on shore to breed, mate, molt, and sleep.  In the ocean it is thought they do not sleep at all, foraging for fish 24 hours a day.
 Activity (what there is of it at this time of year) is largely restricted to scratching, stretching, and snorting.
They are very precise scratchers. 
 There's a stretch.
 There was a cold wind blowing onshore and I miss it right now.  Our overnight low was 85F/30C.

Stretch.  Ahhh. 

Comments

  1. This post made me realize how much I love the Central Coast :-)

    I wish my Leucadendron 'Ebony' looked that good...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish my 'Ebony' looked that good, too.

      The Central Coast is so beautiful and relatively unspoiled compared to SoCal. The lack of significant water supplies is its saving grace, I suppose--it limits development/exploitation.

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  2. Great photos. Your backlit photo of 'Ebony' is probably the best one I've ever seen of that plant. It's nice to hear how well the elephant seals have recovered too. I hope you and your garden fare well during this miserable heatwave. I've been walking my garden daily and watering more than usual in the early morning and early evening hours but I expect some losses anyway. Why, oh why, did I try transplanting pieces of spreading thyme last weekend?

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    Replies
    1. Surprising and amazing how the Elephant Seals have bounced back. I am happy they have protection.

      Shame about your thyme. It must be toast. I can't even bear to go outside.

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  3. Time...what the ultra-wealthy can't purchase.

    Speaking of quality, I had to get a warranty handle for my kitchen faucet as it's clear coat peeled after one year. I do miss the old ceramic, but I can do without the pinks, blues, and greens they used. My mom has the 'pink' bathroom and my sister has the 'blue', not sure which is worse. Maybe you should create an 'Elephant Seal Yoga' calendar next year!

    I'll also be pulling dead plants out. Lost one blueberry and 2 transplanted roses, so far.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Elephant Seal Yoga. Good one! Their precision scratching was what got me. They looked so human doing it. Transplants are always vulnerable, and blueberries, yeah, they are too. Sorry to hear that.

      I'm trying to remember the tile we had in childhood home. Pink I think, with burgundy trim, but the bathtub, sink, etc, I'm sure they were white. The thing about that sink was it wasn't a particularly special sink, it was just so obviously of a better quality than what you can get today even in a very high-end sink. Built to last.

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  4. Kind of cute that they thought some fishing line would be difficult to snap off, if one really wanted those shoes. Anyway, thanks for the tour of the Hearst Castle - so many stories... Loved the rebounding Elephant seals as well, but sad to hear about your heatwave. Such nastiness... Hope that cool wind comes soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The fishing line keeps honest people honest, perhaps. It's 12 degrees cooler today, only expected to be 90F. Wheeee!!!

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  5. So pleased about the seals; thanks for the history and update. When we came back to SF to get the last of our stuff and visit in 1994, we went down to see the seals because everyone was so excited about their return. Of course it was completely fogged in so we only heard rather than saw them...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Quite amazing and wonderful they've been recovering.

      They were not making much noise the day we visited. Most of them fast asleep. A few loud snorts. Do you suppose they dream?

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    2. Surely. The pups of play, the adults of fish and fighting and flight -- and probably sex.

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  6. We have had a few elephant seals on our beaches down the years. Disconcerting as we expect the usual Cape fur seals.

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    Replies
    1. Here along the coast we have seals as well. They will climb on people's docks and refuse to leave. The humans must patiently wait to get their dock back.

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  7. I went to the coast too, our Mendocino coast -escaping the smoke. Sadness driving through the formerly beautiful countryside, all blackened. Still, there was much that was spared. I visit the central coast quite often, but have not been back to the castle since the 80's. Maybe I should make a point to see it again on my next trip that way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The smoke...it was awful. I hope the land heals quickly. Many people will be struggling for years to recover from that disaster.

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  8. What a nice trip, good to get away from the het and off to the coast for a few hours. There's something about the wide open beach and offshore breeze that recharges me!

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    1. I do love being close to the ocean. We could hear the waves crashing at night, and there were stars to be seen because there is not so much light pollution there.

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  9. Sounds like it's a great time of year to be an elephant seal.

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    Replies
    1. Only if you like laying around on a beautiful beach with all your friends, taking naps.

      Delete

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