Kubo Cherry Tree at Isazawa

Kubo Cherry Tree at Isazawa, Namiki Hajime, 2001

Zoom-bombing is now a thing. Zoom is a video conferencing app that is now of course all the rage. Our school district is using it for online teaching and Anne uses it to do her virtual gyro classes. Speaking of which, while she was working out, I virtually virtual exercised, while playing Civilization in the next room. Anyway, on some of the more public uses of Zoom, internet trolls have hijacked the video feed and substituted objectional imagery. I think that more experience will halt this behavior, but this is the world that we now live in. 

I have placed my first delivery order for groceries with InstaCart. I have seen their green t-shirt clad shoppers in the store for months now. With one hand on their shopping cart and the other holding a cell phone, they ply the aisles looking for other people’s food. Their website seems up-to-date with what is still available and warns when an item selected is running low. Their surcharge is modest, but my order won’t be delivered until Thursday.

Well, it wasn’t just the rain that halted the water company from tearing up the street and more importantly, putting it back together again. I think that a week is plenty of time to cure concrete. Besides they still have the other half of the block to do. They worked last Tuesday. It rained (a lot) both Wednesday and Thursday. It didn’t rain of Friday, but they usually only work a half-day anyway. They never work weekends and there was no sign of them today. I’m afraid that a torn up street is now also part of the new normal, but as Anne pointed out to me, at least they are on the other side of the street. If this situation continues, I expect that our across the street neighbors, will first cut the yellow caution tape, so that they can start using their driveways again. Then the orange cone will get moved, allowing on street parking on that side too. Except for my across-the-street neighbor who was gifted with a gravel pile. Do you detect a little schadenfreude here? Well, let’s talk about sewer lines then. The shoe was on the other side of the foot back then, when all of the work was on our side of the street.

While the above artwork version of cherry blossoms is gorgeous, there is nothing quite like the real thing. Saturday was a beautiful day and Anne and I took advantage of this brief spell of nice weather and got out for a walk. Spring has sprung and there are many varieties of flowering trees in bloom.

Neighborhood Cherry Blossoms

A Raft of Sea Otters

A Raft of Sea Otters

This photo was taken while on the Elkhorn Slough Nature Tour Boat Ride. This boat ride is on a pontoon boat and departs from the marina at Moss Landing and heads up river into the slough. As an aside, Moss Landing is where the better whale watching tours also leave. Why are they better? You can catch a whale watching cruise there or Monterey or Santa Cruz. Moss Landing is halfway between the other two launch points, which are about twenty miles apart, on either end of Monterey Bay. The whales like to hang out off of Moss Landing, because even though it doesn’t look like much of a river, Elkhorn Slough serves as the headwaters for the huge underwater canyon that runs through the center of Monterey Bay. It is this canyon and its abundance of deep sea life that attracts the whales. Now you can leave from Monterey or Santa Cruz, but you’ll spend half of your two hour tour just going and coming from Moss Landing. Wouldn’t you rather spend all of that time looking at whales?

Anyway, we’ve kind of graduated from whale watching tours. I’ve always seen whales on any of the Monterey Bay tours, but only glimpses, never any of those spectacular shots that are on all of the sales brochures. On the Elkhorn Slough tour rides you can see sea otters, seals, sea lions and birds, lots of birds. Dozens of different varieties of birds. The boat takes you as close to these animals as the law allows and they are usually pretty stationary. So, the biggest photographic challenge is the bobbing of the boat. A sunny day helps a lot with that.