The Navy Equivalent to In Flanders Fields by John McCrae

In Waters Deep'

In ocean wastes no poppies blow,
No crosses stand in ordered row,
There young hearts sleep...beneath the wave...
The spirited, the good, the brave,
But stars a constant vigil keep,
For them who lie beneath the deep.'
Tis true you cannot kneel in prayer
On certain spot and think, "He's there."
But you can to the ocean go...S
ee whitecaps marching row on row;
Know one for him will always ride...
In and out...with every tide. 
And when your span of life is passed,
He'll meet you at the "Captain's Mast."
And they who mourn on distant shore
For sailors who'll come home no more,
Can dry their tears and pray for these
Who rest beneath the heaving seas...
For stars that shine and winds that blow
And white caps marching row on row.
And they can never lonely be
For when they lived...they chose the sea.

The poem is called 'In Waters Deep' and was written by Eileen Mahoney

Reblog: Meet Thelonius Goat

This is a re-blog from Rick and Lavinia Ross’s Salmon Farm Blog. I think that Thelonius may be a time traveler from the constellation, Capricorn.

“So, while things are budding out and getting underway this month, we will emerge from our Gopher Hole of tales from about the farm, and tell the story of a goat.  Not just any goat, but one that could have come straight from the imagination of Ray Bradbury or Rod Serling.  We encountered this very unusual animal during one of our travels up to Washington in 2005.  Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the story of Thelonious Goat.”

Thelonius Goat from the blog

International Day of the Seal was March 22

Having lived in both Monterey and San Diego, seals and sea lions are as common place along the coast as retirees with their little yappy white dogs. The most commons pinnipeds are California sea lions and harbor seals. Stellar sea lions and elephant seals were less common.

Here are some other fun facts about seals:

  • A group of seals is called a herd or a raft.
  • It’s not uncommon for a herd to consist of 1,500 seals.
  • There are 33 species of seals.
  • The layer of fat under a seal’s skin is called blubber, which helps keep them warm in cold water.
  • Their whiskers help them detect prey in murky water.
  • Their lifespan ranges from 25 to 30 years.
  • Female seals are called cows, and their babies are called pups.
  • Smaller seals weigh 100 pounds, while the largest seals weigh over 7,000 pounds.

Throughout the ages, men have hunted seals for their meat, blubber, and fur coats. Because of this, some species of seals are endangered. The four most endangered species of seals include Saimaa ringed seals of Finland, Ungava seals of Quebec, Mediterranean monk seals, and Hawaiian monk seals.

Both seals and sea lions, together with the walrus, are pinnipeds, which means “fin footed” in Latin.

But seals’ furry, generally stubby front feet — thinly webbed flippers, actually, with a claw on each small toe — seem petite in comparison to the mostly skin-covered, elongated fore flippers that sea lions possess.

Secondly, sea lions have small flaps for outer ears. The “earless” or “true” seals lack external ears altogether. You have to get very close to see the tiny holes on the sides of a seal’s sleek head.

Third, sea lions are noisy. Seals are quieter, vocalizing via soft grunts.

Fourth, while both species spend time both in and out of the water, seals are better adapted to live in the water than on land. Though their bodies can appear chubby, seals are generally smaller and more aquadynamic than sea lions. At the same time, their hind flippers angle backward and don’t rotate. This makes them fast in the water but basic belly crawlers on terra firma.

Sea lions, on the other hand, are able to “walk” on land by rotating their hind flippers forward and underneath their big bodies. This is why they are more likely to be employed in aquaria and marine shows.

Finally, seals are less social than their sea-lion cousins. They spend more time in the water than sea lions do and often lead solitary lives in the wild, coming ashore together only once a year to meet and mate.

Sea lions congregate in gregarious groups called herds or rafts that can reach upwards of 1,500 individuals. It’s common for scores of them to haul out together and loll about in the sand, comprising an amorphous pile in the noonday sun.

Pt. Sur: Headland and Light Station

In every outthrust headland, in every curving beach, in every grain of sand there is  the story of the earth.”–Rachel Carson.

Fog coming in Pt Sur

Point Sur is a headland.  It can create its own weather.  From Wikipedia, “Headlands sometimes create their own clouds when moist, warm Pacific Ocean breezes are pushed into higher, colder air, causing condensation, fog, fog drip and perhaps rain. The hills also get more precipitation than at sea level, for the same reason. However, despite being relatively wet, strong gusty Pacific winds prevent dense forests from forming.”

Pt Sur can be socked in by fog while the nearby  Coast Highway is bright clear. Conversely, the mainland can be foggy while the point is bathed in sunlight.

Pt Sur is actually a light station instead of just a light house. A light station comprises the lighthouse tower and all outbuildings, such as the keeper’s living quarters, fuel house, boathouse, and fog-signaling building. The Lighthouse itself consists of a tower structure supporting the lantern room where the light operates.

One of the most famous wrecks near Pt Sur actually came from the air and not from the sea. USS Macon (ZRS-5) was a rigid airship built and operated by the United States Navy for scouting and served as a “flying aircraft carrier, designed to carry biplane parasite aircraft, five single-seat Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk for scouting or two-seat Fleet N2Y-1 for training. In service for less than two years, in 1935 the Macon was damaged in a storm and lost off California’s Big Sur coast, though most of the crew were saved. The wreckage is listed as the USS Macon Airship Remains on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. 


Pt Sur Light Station

When Spring Slips In

When Spring slips in
at crack of dawn
its wonders not yet gazed upon

The grass has turned from brown to green
Flowers bloom, a glorious scene
Willows whisper to trailing leaves
Forsythia shoots out yellow sleeves

Buds appear most everywhere
that yesterday was surely bare
Small increments achieve surprise
to even the dullest human eyes

The seasons catch us unaware
no matter how we watch and stare
it can happen anywhere.

St Joseph’s Day and the Day When the Swallows Return to San Juan Capistrano–March 19

Saint Joseph’s Day, also called the Feast of Saint Joseph or the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, is in Western Christianity the principal feast day of Saint Joseph, husband of the Virgin Mary and legal father of Jesus Christ celebrated on 19 March. It has the rank of a solemnity in the Catholic Church.

The cliff swallows return from their winter migration in Central and South America (depending upon which source you read, this has been listed as Argentina or around Mexico and Central America). They arrive in San Juan Capistrano around St. Joseph’s Day. Normally the mission is open and there is a parade to celebrate the return of the swallows.

Mission San Juan Capistrano, world famous for its annual return of swallows every year, has suffered a gradual decline in the birds nesting on-site over the years due to urbanization. However, the mission made a concerted effort to establish nests for the sociable rough winged birds and the swallows have begun nesting in the mission again.

Last year the annual parade and celebration of the birds was cancelled. This year the Mission will offer a virtual tour on Face Book

The song was first recorded in 1940 and has been remade several time.

Why I Hate Day-Light Savings Time Beginning in March

According to Slashdot, “70% of Americans hate Daylight Savings Time.”

According to a Money magazine article reasons include:

  • Causes car accidents
  • Complicates the Heart
  • Makes Teens More Moody
  • Retailer Loose Serious Cash

I hate it because I lose an hour after waiting 5 months for sunrise between 6-6:30 am. As a morning person , when the sun rises after 7 am, I feel like an infant offered a lollipop only have it snatched away right before I shove it into my mouth.

We already have the last remnants of twilight lasting until almost 7 pm, which is enough time to take out the trash, bring in the mail or walk around the block without it being totally dark. At this time of the year, I’d rather have the extra light in the morning than the evening.

When Daylight savings times began in April, the early dawn had already advanced enough that I did not notice it’s disappearance when Daylight savings time began. Now I feel like it is one more thing stolen by politicians.

I have friends who hate Daylight savings time and swear they just ignore it. From a practical point of view, if you have appointments and still work, I can not conceive how you can ignore it.

December Sunrise

The Beguiler

The beguiler charmed

the humans from their homes
and then their winter clothes

the unfurling ferns from the muddy banks
of the winding dirt road

the leaf buds from the trees
and the pointed leaves from buried bulbs

the sleepy groundhog from his underground burrow
and the chirpy birds from the south

the green back into the blighted grasses
and rapids tumbling along roadside creeks

the spirits of the COVID weary
and hope into the future.

Tenacious Sweet Gum Balls

Nothing sweet about
bird beak spikes that cling and trip
unwary humans

Decorative balls
ornamental but painful
when you trip and fall

Corona like spikes
that protect the gumball seeds
from dangers like us

Gumballs awaiting the unwary.

I have become fascinated by the gumballs that continue to swing from the branches in the brisk winter breezes long after the sweet gum leaves have called it a season. They are green and pliant early in the season becoming hardened and brown as they weather on the tree. I have seen them decorate the azaleas, boxwood, dogwoods, and hollies that catch the gum balls that fall from the trees overhead. Once upon the ground, especially if it is frozen, the tenacious little balls will roll your ankle or send you ass-bound in a New York second.

Click here to find out what you can do with these beauties, including:

1. Lay the seed pods around young plants to deter snails and slugs who would rather not tangle with them

2. Put them around plants that you also want to protect from rabbits (press the spikes in the ground a bit so they don’t blow away)