By Ellen Girardeau Kempler The battle begins every morning at the hummingbird feeder outside my bedroom window. Even before I’m fully awake, I’m aware of the shrill, aggressive chirps of hummingbirds battling it out over the sugar water nectar. Our resident warriors are so voracious that my husband usually has to refill the feeder […]
Tag: "Gold Boat Journeys"
By Ellen Girardeau Kempler California’s original gold arrived long before the prospectors. Each spring, tall swaths of European black mustard cover the Golden State’s coastal wilderness in bright blooms. According to many sources, starting in the 1630s the Spanish padres scattered mustard seeds to mark their 600-mile trail from mission to mission along California’s […]
By Ellen Girardeau Kempler Models of tactical precision, squadrons of brown pelicans have become a familiar sight in Laguna and all along the California coastline. They conduct their fish-finding missions gliding just above the waves in lines of three or more birds, or flying high with beaks pointing seaward, ready to dive at the first […]
By Ellen Girardeau Kempler In his 1841 travelogue, “Two Years Before the Mast,” sailor Richard Henry Dana described seeing gray whales for the first time, on their migration south to Mexico: “For the first few days…we watched them with great interest–calling out ‘there she blows!’ every time we saw the spout of one breaking […]