Saturday, May 21, 2011

On the way to the park ...

Driving down Highway 1, on my way to Wilder Ranch State Park, I saw the sign for the Seymour Marine Discovery Center.

I had read about it on the web.  It is the University of California, Santa Cruz, working marine science lab. It's not big and flashy like the Monterey Bay Aquarium, but it had something I have wanted to see: A skeleton of a blue whale.

 Since I like bones almost more than flowers, I decided to go there instead of the park. 

 I guess that is one advantage of doing something on your own.  You don't have to make cooperative decisions. If Craig had been along I'm sure he would have liked seeing the whale too.

 Skeletons are nature's sculptural constructions. 

When I was a day-camp volunteer my camp name was "Bones." 

In the 70's, before the animal heads,  I  explored many different types of natural materials. 

 I experimented with cleaning chicken bones and reassembling them in new ways.  I wish I had a picture or two of those to share! I made up whole new animals!

Back to the Seymour Center:
Years ago, this blue whale washed up on a beach nearby.  The scientists brought the partially cleaned body to the center, and buried it.
Ten years later it was dug  up and reassembled.

They also had a gray whale skeleton on display.

  It was much smaller.

After looking at the displays inside the visitor center I went for a short walk outside on the cliffs overlooking the Ocean.  It was very windy and a bit cold, but quite beautiful.
Looking at the cliff face reminds me of how tentative many things in nature are.  Those rocks might stay exactly as they are for hundreds of years, or they might fall down into the sea tomorrow.

There were lots of these yellow flowers blooming.   I think they are Lupine.  If you look on the left side of the flower there is a big fat black bumble bee.

He kept moving around and I must have taken six pictures, but this is the one showing his red leg spot.

When I got home I read about bumble bees.  I think the red spot may be her pollen basket. I'm gong to work on my wildlife photography this summer.   I really have to start carrying the big hunking camera.

There are so many interesting place to see right here in my own back yard.  Places I have never gone to unless we had visitors from out of town.  

I needed to see a whale skeleton today.  So I did.

This will be my summer to open my eyes, and SEE the Bay area.  I am so lucky to live here.


  1. Good exploring and great pics! I like your nickname, would have loved to see your chicken bone art

  2. You sound grounded and as though you enjoyed yourself. Good for you! Bones? Hmmm. Animal heads. A theme is emerging.

  3. That is so true. We just never explore our own neighborhood unless someone from out of town forces us to do it. That whale skeleton is incredible. And huge. Chicken bone art - that would be a new one for me. So are we still headed to the State Park?

  4. Merikay,

    We just went there also, wasn't it very cool? Did you see the octopus? It was my favorite


  5. What a great attitude! Hope you take lots of time this summer to explore your area.

  6. I miss the whole santa Cruz/Monterey bay. No ocean in PA :( I think I will enjoy visiting out there in October!

  7. I think just slowing down and enjoying things right around you is an excellent thing to do. Sure, it's more fun to have someone to enjoy them with you but that shouldn't stop you from going places and seeing things that you want to do. It's your life...enjoy it.

  8. Mmmm. That sounds like a fun day, for sure! And I agree, sometimes it is preferable to have no one to change your mind!

  9. Great day & great pics...we may never get to CA but we can things there thru your eyes -- thanks for sharing!

  10. They were some big bones! Thanks for sharing.

  11. Great post--whether you roam or not, alone or not, you should definitely keep blogging!

  12. Isn't it great to have an inquisitive mind:))

  13. You do live in a beautiful place. Thanks for the whale skeleton pictures. I had no idea how big they are!

  14. OK, I guess it's up to me to state the obvious....Did you have a "whale of a time?"
    I know, it's really corny...but it just had to be said...sooorrryyyy.
    I love skeletons too, especially bleached out ones I find on my beach walks!
    Full Time Road Warriors

  15. looks like you had a 'whale of a day'!!


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