OCTOBER AQUA SEA IN LA JOLLA

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Lobster season opens in October, which means that each early morning the wooden lobster boats show up to pull up their traps, remove any legal size lobsters, re-bait the traps & return them to the sea.  Life by the sea is like that, a cycle of seasons that return & repeat.  A continuity of living life with constant change.  A paradox of the sea always being there, but changing with every tide, every moon, every storm & even ocean warming due to climate change.  It is sacred to live life by the sea. 

It is almost winter here in La Jolla & the California Brown Pelicans have begun to groom their breeding plumage.  The pelicans stretch their pouches now & show a glorious deep red with undertones of greens, but it is their brown eyes turning pale sea glass blue that make me swoon as I meet their gaze on the side of the bluff.  How could any female pelican resist those take-me-to-the-bottom of the sea blue eyes? 

Lately there have been hundreds of sea gulls on the bluffs & more hundreds of them flying overhead.  It seems that the breeding season was very good for the sea gulls.  I speculate that this might be because of Tuna crabs arriving by the millions due to ocean warming.  These Tuna crabs provided easy food to catch & feed the sea gull chicks.  The bluff here where the gulls sit shows that even now their diet consists of Tuna crabs because the normally white bird guano is spattered with bright orange-red, which makes me think of a crime scene on the side of the bluffs.  The gulls squawk at each other from time to time.  The juvenile gulls born last Spring still hang out with their parents & follow them still begging for food.  I watch two gulls sitting side by side looking out to sea.   One of the gulls spreads his wings & lifts off into the sky.  The other gull follows after only a moment.  I think about the friends in my life that share this journey of mine by-the-sea.

This is the time of the year that visitors stay behind the rope on Casa Beach & the harbor seals start showing up in larger numbers each day.  Finally the pups born last year can come up onto the beach to peacefully rest.  It is quite wonderful to see that these juvenile Harbor seal pups are quite plump & are happily ensconced in the Harbor seal colony.  During low tide, the seals rest on the reef rocks behind the sea wall where the occasional shore bird stops by to eat fish in the mini reef rock tide pools & the gulls peck at the Giant Owl limpets or mussels living on the reef rocks.  A Snowy White Egret with bright yellow feet gracefully steps across the reef & a sleepy Harbor seal raises her head to watch for a moment before returning to sleep. 

Seal Society volunteers have been doing beach cleanups in the Casa Beach area recently & I am very grateful for anyone who takes time to pick up the garbage that visitors leave behind as well as the garbage that washes up now with every tide.  It is a never-ending task, but every one of us can make a difference.  Leave nothing, take nothing should be a mantra for all of us when we visit the beach.

Waves washing up on the shore of the tiny beach at the La Jolla Cove are pale turquoise aqua gradual changing color in deeper water becoming a purple-blue hue & the ocean on the horizon is a deep cobalt blue.  No watercolor painting can even begin to capture the colors of the sea here on a sunny morning.  The water is so clear this morning that the orange Garibaldi fish can easily be seen swimming among the bright green surf grass.  Such colors!  Bright orange, turquoise sea, surf grass Christmas green.  An interior designer’s dream of a beach cottage color scheme.  I walk up the hill by the Goldfish Café, which has a sign out front with Dr. Seuss type gold fish holding hands & strolling along.  Dr. Seuss lived in La Jolla & many of his illustrations were inspired by the sea life here.

The Clam cave entrance this morning gives a clear view through to the exit on the north side, which is Goldfish Point.  Swimmers & kayakers are also enticed to venture into this cave pathway although it can be very treacherous to do so at high tide.  Inside this cave tunnel is the entrance into the Sunny Jim cave, which has stairs you can climb to the exit at the top of the bluff.  

I take the stairs carved into the bluff, which are reinforced with railroad ties down to the wooden viewing platform to Goldfish Point.  Standing here I can look straight down & easily spot 20 orange Garibaldi fish in the clear water.  Looking north I see the 7 caves with Cormorants roosting in the crevices high up on the bluff, see the inaccessible rocky beach cove north of that & then shifting my view left see La Jolla Shores & Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s pier.  This view enriches my life, my soul, my heart every single time I’m here.  A squadron of pelicans flies by overhead.  I sigh at the beauty of living my life by-the-sea.

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