Quest for the best dolphin video

This was the winner of y best dolphin video quest during our recent beach vacation.

My husband and I named our August 2022 beach vacation, “The summer of dolphins.” Despite the sadness of sea lions infected with toxic Domoic Acid, that I wrote about HERE, the dolphins were thriving.

Every day we saw dolphins. I was mesmerized watching them. I love to watch them cruise, leap and play. One teenager was swimming along with mom and dad. He’d roll over on his back and do a backward flip — showing off.

This video was taken on our second to last night. The water was like glass, the sunset shimmering pink reflected on the sea. You can see the dolphins tails as they dive.

We decided the best times of our vacation were:

Evenings at the beach during our last week

The visit with our son and his girlfriend

Farmer’s market fruits and vegetables

Dinners with friends

Fresh seafood

What are your best memories from vacations?

Ocean view condos!

The condo development at the beach below our Vrbo has grown this year.

The past few years, we’ve been fascinated with a driftwood art installation at the beach. We first noticed it four or five years ago. I wrote about condos at the beach last summer HERE.

This summer, the person who is working on what we call the “beach condos” has added more people, creatures and signs. We’ve never seen anyone working on it. But it keeps growing and getting more interesting. I’d love to know who is creating this. I am picturing an aging hippie with long white hair.

Here are random photos I took yesterday morning:

driftwood character at the beach
One of the many driftwood people at the beach.
cartwheeling driftwood
Looks like he’s doing a cartwheel
Summerland beach club
Summerland Semi Social Club sign
driftwood dogs
Driftwood dogs.
driftwood person
Another character at the beach.
Please remove your shoes.
“Please remove your shoes” makes me laugh.The other sign reads” Please leave it as you found it.”
dancing driftwood
These guys look like they’re dancing.
driftwood person
The artist is obviously having fun.
pirate driftwood
Ahoy! A pirate.
Video overview of the beach condos.

Have you encountered anything like this at the beach or anywhere else? Which person or creature is your favorite?

A sign things are “normal”

backyard downtown Palm Springs
Our old backyard in Palm Springs with a view of Mt. San Jacinto

When we lived in Palm Springs, Calif. which is one of the hottest spots in our nation — next to Death Valley — we used movies as an escape from the heat. It didn’t matter what was playing, we’d find something we were mildly interested in. It got us out of the house where we spent most days.

Then COVID hit and movie theaters were closed. I missed movies a lot. I loved the smell of popcorn when you walk through the theater doors. I loved the few hours sitting in the dark, watching the big screen with unbelievable sound.

I remember writing during the shutdown that the first thing I wanted to do when things reopened was go to the movies.

Fast forward to September 2022 — and we hadn’t been yet. The reason why? I was uncomfortable sitting in the theater with a bunch of strangers. Once we moved, the theater was a 30-minute drive, not a few blocks. The Phoenix area has 6 million people, rather than the 48,000 of Palm Springs. Whenever I looked online, the theaters were full.

Labor Day was packed at the beach. We went early and left when floods of people set up their umbrellas and chairs. We came up with the brilliant idea of going to the movies!

We saw Top Gun. I loved every minute of it. I felt like it was a milestone of getting back to “normal.”

What was first on your list to do post shutdown?

Magic at the Beach

Beach at Padaro Lane
Labor Day walk at the beach. We go early to beat the crowds.

Every single day we observe dolphins. At first, it was one or two. Then it became three and four. Now I walk a quarter mile with dolphins leaping, playing, cruising up and down the beach. I can’t imagine how many are in pods that stretch the length of my walk.

Every single day I try to get a video. They don’t do the dolphin magic justice. That is what they are to me. Magic. Or is it spiritual?

My husband was out catching waves with our son’s girlfriend. They both told me how they were out beyond the waves and a dolphin leaped out of the water right before their eyes. It’s mesmerizing.

I can spend hours starting at dolphins. I feel peaceful and in awe.

Here are four fun facts about dolphins from the Monterey Bay Aquarium followed by one fact from the Dolphin Project:

  • Bottlenose dolphins in Shark Bay, Australia learned to wear sponges over their beaks while foraging among sharp coral — the only known case of cetacean tool use.
  • As is true for all cetaceans, a dolphin’s nostrils have shifted to the top of its head, becoming a blowhole that permits easy breathing at the water’s surface.
  • A bottlenose dolphin contains three times more blood than a human by body weight, increasing the dolphin’s oxygen-storage capacity during dives.
  • When asleep, a dolphin keeps half of its brain awake in order to keep breathing.
Image result for dolphin facts

Dolphins have very large brains– their brain to body size ratio is second only to our own! They also exhibit sophisticated forms of communication, tool use, cooperative feeding methods, culture and social learning, and play.

https://www.dolphinproject.com/resources/about-dolphins/dolphin-facts/

I keep taking videos of dolphins with my phone. As soon as I stop the video one or two leap into the air. The best one was filmed on Labor Day.

A pod of dolphins near Santa Barbara.

What magical or inspirations sights have you seen lately?

Amazing sights!

This is what a sea lion does when it’s stressed. It raises its neck and head off the sand.

Sea lions, dolphins and terns — amazing sights I’m enjoying.

I wrote about the Domoic Acid poisoning that is affecting the sea lions last week. If you missed it, you can read it HERE.

My husband and I encountered a second sea lion in distress a few days later. I called the marine life rescue hotline to report it. Within minutes, volunteers were out staking signs and yellow crime tape to cordon off an area around the sea lion. One woman was the same volunteer I had met the week before. She reminded us to leave the sea lion alone, because they often die from stress if they are suffering from the toxins.

I was infuriated to watch people who let their dogs off leash, walk in front of the signs and tape with their dogs barking at the sea lion.

This is the sea lion in a relaxed, non-threatened position.
I called the rescue hotline for this sea lion.

Now for the truly amazing sights of a flock of terns at the beach:

My husband walking down the beach with the terns.

I spotted the terns way down the beach. They looked like a solid white stripe across the beach where the sea lion sat the day before.

I was afraid they were munching on the sea lion’s carcass, but fortunately that didn’t seem to be the case. I’ve read about terns and they like lagoons and canals.

The terns were in front of this canal. Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis’s home. Here’s an article with more pics.
Another view of the terns.

What amazing sights have you seen this week?

Summer’s not complete without the Farmer’s Market

One of our highlights of visiting the beach in the summer is the Farmer’s Market. I discovered this year there are two –Thursdays in Caprinteria and Saturdays in Santa Barbara. That makes buying fruit and veggies more manageable. I don’t have to stock up only to have fruit get over ripe. I can buy just enough.

There is one stand with all sorts of peppers and tomatoes that we stop at. Farmer Fred is the owner. He’s friends with several of our Santa Barbara friends who gather at his stand to chat each weekend. It’s fun to join in and feel like a local.

By our house in Arizona, we have a tiny Farmer’s market. I call it a Farmer market because there is one veggie stand. There is local honey, jewelry, baked goods, chips and dip and trinkets.

It’s a joy to have an abundance of fresh fruit and veggies. We’re especially enjoying Flavor King plums, sweet corn and shishito peppers.

Santa Barbara Farmer's Market Rocking Chair Farm Markets fruit stand.
I bought white peaches and yellow nectarines here. They are so delicious, they are beyond words.
Bright red tomatoes at the Santa Barbara Farmer's Market.
Gorgeous tomatoes.
rainbow of colors of eggplants and peppers
The colors of peppers and eggplants are worth painting.
Avocado stand in the Santa Barbara Farmer's Market.
An abundance of avocados. I took them for granted in California. They are not so available in Arizona.
bright orange dragonfruit
My dear friend from Singapore introduced me to dragonfruit. I’ve never seen it in a market before.
The didgeridoo is a sacred Australian Aborigine instrument. Our friends say this woman has been playing at the Santa Barbara Farmer’s Market for years.
The Farmers Market in Santa Barbara.

Do you have a farmer’s market near you? What are your favorite things about Farmer’s Markets? What do you like to buy?

Life at the beach

Another foggy day at the beach.

People who live here year-round complain it’s been too cold this summer. We’ve had foggy days with small slivers of sunshine peeking through. On some days there’s no sunshine.

That is fine by me. I’m loving the cool weather for beach walks. It’s such a contrast to our desert life. Also, the tiny house doesn’t have AC, so it’s better to have cool weather than hot.

I read in the news that Interstate 10 washed out near the border of Arizona and California. We missed wild weather.

I’m hoping the road will be fixed before we drive home. The alternate routes are hours longer! Plus one alternate route closed due to downed power poles and lines.

Maybe we’ll be stuck here at the beach in the tiny town of Summerland.

What has your August weather been like? Is it unusual or more of the same?

We watched a pod of dolphins playing during our afternoon walk.