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    Friday
    Mar152013

    Pacific Ocean as seen from Jenner, CA

    One of the many beautiful beaches in Northern California is located just north of Jenner, where the mouth of the Russian River spits out into the Pacific Ocean.  Here's some footage I took from Highway One.

    Seals eating a salmon:

    Sunday
    Feb032013

    Solenopsis, Glaucus Atlanticus, Elysia Chlorotica, Macropinna Microstoma, and Latinus Maximus 

    Well whoop-de-do.  It's pretty amazing how these little guys band together to form a living raft (complete with air pockets for the submerged ants to breath).  Video here.

    http://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/media-live/photos/000/350/cache/fire-ants-form-life-rafts-edge_35040_600x450.jpg
    Image from National Geographic.

    Look at the spectacular Blue Dragon, or Blue Sea Slug:

    http://m.upall.co/g/1/sea-slugs-4.jpg

    Another pretty sea slug is Elysia Cholortica, or the Eastern Emerald Seaslug, which is quite amazing because it uses chloroplasts from the algae it consumes to convert sunlight into energy and lives off it like a plant. 



    If you're interested in seeing more photographs of nude nudibranchs, National Geographic offers a slideshow and informative video.

    And no presentation of random animals would be complete without the barreleye fish that has a transparent head:

     

     

    Monday
    Jan282013

    Continent of Plastic

    Plastic in the Pacific, a short documentary from KQED Quest, explores how some highly proactive groups are taking steps to clean up the massive plastic cesspool called the North Pacific Gyre, aka the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.  One suggestion is to burn it, thus creating a hardened plastic landmass.  (The Vice people also went there and produced a piece called Garbage Island.)

    If you're in the San Francisco Bay Area and are interested in coastal conservation opportunities, you may watch to check out the Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association website (I've heard excellent things about their Beach Watch program). 

    Also, if you want to learn about overfishing, check out the documentary End of the Line - A World Without Fish.  Here's the trailer:

    Lastly, Dr. Callum Roberts, author of The Unnatural History of the Sea, provides a general depiction of marine degredation in this episode of Micho Kaku's radio show Exploration.

    Wednesday
    Nov142012

    Kayaking through the Arch at Goat Rock

    I enjoy cursing at my close friends.
    Rock on...



    And now this spell was snapt: once more  
     I viewed the ocean green,  
     And look'd far forth, yet little saw  
     Of what had else been seen—  
     
     Like one that on a lonesome road  
     Doth walk in fear and dread,  
     And having once turn'd round, walks on,  
     And turns no more his head;  
     Because he knows a frightful fiend  
     Doth close behind him tread.  
     
     But soon there breathed a wind on me,  
     Nor sound nor motion made:  
     Its path was not upon the sea,  
     In ripple or in shade.  
     
     It raised my hair, it fann'd my cheek  
     Like a meadow-gale of spring—  
     It mingled strangely with my fears,  
     Yet it felt like a welcoming.

     

    -Excerpt from Rime of the Ancient Mariner, a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

    Monday
    Feb202012

    Bodega Bay, Austin Creek, and the San Luis Reservoir  

    Nice... first post in about a month -- what a good blogger I am.  Nevertheless, here are some short videos I took of tide pools around Bodega Bay, as well as a clip from the hills in the Austin Creek State Receration Area, just north of Armstrong Woods.  The first clip is footage I took while driving past the San Luis Reservior. 


    Driving past the San Luis Reservoir on the Pacheco Pass Highway at Sundown.  You can't see, but I'm driving a mint-condition 1965 neon-blue convertible Corvette, my back-seat passengers are two platinum blondes, and riding shotgun is a Great Dane named Chase.  He gets all the ladies.

     



    Sea Anemones have one orifice through which they consume food and expunge waste, thus, they eat with their ass and shit with their mouths.  They clearly don't like being poked, but if you're going to do it, I advise that you start with your finger, as the tentacles are prickly.

    Cliffs, coast, and ice plants.

     Above the redwood forest of Armstrong Woods in Northern California is the Austine Creek SRA.