Sea Critters

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Having just gotten back from the CA coast, we saw lots of cool ‘critters’, including the sea otter.

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I’m not sure I have ever seen a sea otter before.  I could watch them for hours.  They were just too adorable.  I didn’t realize that they are actually an endangered species.  There used to be some 150,000 – 200,000.

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In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s they were hunted for their fur.  They are now a protected species.  Their population has dipped to 1% of what they once were, at a low of only 1,000 – 2,000.  Now they are hovering at around 3,000 as they have plateau’d in their decline.

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Their facial expressions and mannerisms were priceless.

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We saw buzzards and blue herons, seals and sea lions.

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Even caught a sunset or two….

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Sometimes its good to get out of the woods and see the sea.

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We don’t get too much of this in our neck of the woods.

You can see more of my pix from my trip here… https://kritterspix.com/category/photo-musings/

 

 

 

Monarchs

MorroRockFog_IR.jpgLife is short – see and do those things that are important to you.

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I have always wanted to see the Monarch butterfly migration, ever since my friend Gary told us about it when he was down in Mexico years ago.  I don’t want to go to Mexico to see it, so we did the next best thing and headed to the coast of California.

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Of course, we headed to Paso Robles first to pick up some wine for the trip.  Just 2-1/2 hours south of San Jose, and a half hour from Morro Bay, we spent a couple days tasting great wines and buying some to enjoy on our trip down the coast.

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While we were amazed to see the eucalyptus trees dripping with butterflies, we were disgusted to realize that they are indeed a dying breed.  What used to be millions of butterflies, has dwindled to only 4,000 to visit Pismo Beach alone, and it lessens each year.

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The milkweed the butterflies like to eat and lay eggs in are dying off, as are the eucalyptus trees they shelter in.  Trees have blown down, washed away, or burned up and the monarchs don’t come anymore.  Areas from Morro Bay to Santa Barbara are now devoid of the annual migrations.

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Such a pity, as the monarch is such an amazing story of triumph and resilience.  The monarch butterfly only lives 2 months… a month of which it becomes a caterpillar, then morphs to a butterfly when it is focused on eating and laying eggs for a new generation.

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It takes 5 generations for the butterflies to fly from southern CA to British Columbia… and then 1 generation to coast back, and start all over again.

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I’m glad we were able to see the monarch migration.  It enriched our life for witnessing natures beauty.  Take time out to do those things that are important to you.

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