I may have been overambitious setting such a high standard for myself. In my first blog post, Wednesday Weekend, I discussed my goal to read 50 books by the end of the year. It’s been nearly four months since I challenged myself (on January 7, 2015) and I am progressing steadily, but according to Goodreads.com, I am falling behind.
I was on a steady reading route until I started reading books I didn’t enjoy.
Every picture I took looked like images from my computer’s wall paper: a picturesque landscape to day dream about visiting. Waves are crashing on shore, birds are flying overhead. This was the most serene hike I have ever experienced. This was the Sea Lion Point Trail at the Point Lobos State Reserve.
“There’s a hamburger head shark!”
This shout came from a child in awe and surprise as he watched a hammerhead shark swish its body and swim around the giant tank.
I was on the second floor of the Open Sea Exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Below me, a group of children and adults lined the floors sitting crossed-legged, ready for the feeding. After a disappointing visit to the Slough and not seeing a single ray, I was ready to see some sea animals. Here at the Open Sea Exhibit stingrays, tuna and sharks were hanging out together.
It was Monday and not all of the animals in the exhibit get fed everyday, so only the turtles and the sardines were dining today. A sea turtle munched on some lettuce and bell peppers at the top of the tank. A school of shiny sardines whirled up from the narrow bottom of the pool to get their share of fish flakes. However, the sardines weren’t the only hungry fish in the tank that day. The Mahi Mahi snapped at the tornado-like school in an attempt to secure a snack. How do all these animals co-exist and not eat the wrong food? The presenter explained that the animals at this exhibit have been “target trained” to recognize a specific visual whenever their food is coming, essentially a “visual dinner bell.”
It was evening when Joey and I walked along a dock of Moss Landing to get a better view of the seals resting on the shore in the marina. In the distance we heard the distinctive arf-arf of some sea lions, but much closer we heard knocking. Knock-knock-knock came again from under the dock. Something was under there. A family was laying on the dock, stomachs down and squealing. Even their dog knew something exciting was happening by the way he whined and pulled on his leash. Joey and I leaned over the dock to get a closer look at the water and out popped an otter!
I have never been this close to an otter in real life without a glass window between us. It was magnificent and terrifying to see such a creature up close. I watched it swim around in circles and continue to pull shellfish from under the dock and use the dock to crack open its treats. I was surprised that this one otter was approaching the dock with people and a dog standing on it, but it didn’t seem to bother the otter at all. The dog wanted to sniff it. I wanted to touch its fur, but its clawed paws changed my mind. Moss Landing wasn’t on our itinerary and yet it was one of the most astonishing places we visited on this trip. I had started the day anxious to catch some rays and splash waves. It was the perfect ending to my Beach Day.
Otter at Moss Landing