Long John Silver Slept Here!
Well, maybe. Local legends persist that the Pacific Ocean coast around Monterey, California, specifically at Point Lobos State Nature Reserve, fueled the imagination of author Robert Louis Stevenson, as he wrote Treasure Island. There are many coves and features of this part of coastline that seem virtually identical to those featured in the book. My daughter and I spent a day exploring this region last week, and listened to the unabridged audiobook of Treasure Island on our trip home, and we felt like we had seen the settings for much of the action that took place. On our visit to Point Lobos, we were blessed with wonderful weather, active seas and a variety of wildlife to enjoy.
We hiked around much of the perimeter of the reserve, and encountered a variety of wildlife along the way. At one point we noticed a Western Scrub Jay hopping vertically in a rather odd fashion. Leah soon noticed that the Jay was actually attacking a snake, and soon was victorious!
Quietly hunting through the undergrowth of the trees, we spotted a Steller’s Jay. He didn’t give us much time to photograph him, and we didn’t see another the rest of the day. So this departing shot is all we came away with.
A couple Sea Lions were either playing, fighting or courting in Bluefish Cove. They seemed to be swimming in a tight circular pattern, and would alternately pop their heads out of the water. One of them was dark with darker spots, while the other was light colored with brown spots.
The surf was becoming more lively late in the day, and I wanted to capture the energy of the waves crashing into the rocks. You would think that this would be pretty simple, but I found it difficult to get just the look I was after. After sorting through way too many images, this is the best I ended up with!
Watching the foamy water run off the rocks after the waves was almost as entertaining as seeing the surf-explosion itself!
One of the unique features of the coastal oceanography off Point Lobos is that the ocean floor drops very quickly to depths much like the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Because of this, the tidal activity results in heavily oxygenated water, supporting an incredible array of sea life, both plant and animal. It is difficult for us to fathom how deep the ocean floor is, only a mile or two from shore. Similarly, understanding the depth of God, the Giver of Life and Creator of such a wonderful place, can be tough to comprehend. I found a short anecdote (author unknown) that attempts to help us get a feel for His depth.
At one time, that thoughtful man who became St. Augustine was greatly disturbed because he could not understand the essence of God. “I admit there is a God,” he mused, “but how can I know of what He consists?” Christ had come down to earth with the claim that He was God. By His resurrection, which He Himself predicted, He proved that claim. He revealed that God is a Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. But how could a mind as developed as that of Augustine accept this? One day as he was walking by the sea, he saw a small boy who, with the help of a shell, was emptying water from the ocean into a hole he had dug in the sand. “What are you doing, son?” asked Augustine. He was impressed by the naive answer, “I’m going to empty all the sea into this hole.” Augustine smiled. An inner voice, however, was saying to him, “You are trying to do the same thing by thinking you can understand the depths of God with your limited mind.”