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Monday, October 25, 2010

Pumpkin Carving

My carved pumpkin from last year

One that I did not carve last year

I was watching a show on HGTV one day about people that have a real talent for carving pumpkins.  I mean "real" artists whose work will blow your mind with their imaginative creations.   I feel so inadequate. I may never carve again. There have to be some real hints out there in Google land that would show me how to make carving Jack-O-Lanterns easier, or maybe some fabulous tool that I'm not aware of that would make carving them as easy as buttering toast.  I will have to see what they are, but in the mean time check out these links.  You will be amazed too.  Click to enlarge to get the real detail of their work.

              Photos of Amazing, Unique Pumpkin Carving Designs

Horror Movies Pumpkin Carvings are Too Scary for the Weak Hearted | Walyou

                             Pumpkingutter Pumpkin Carvings

                   42 Carved Pumpkins that Will Blow Your Mind

Friday, October 15, 2010

Cannery Row

When I was a kid, my cousin Cindy and I would eat sardines right out of the can.  I liked them, believe it or not, until someone told me that they are so tiny that they don't bother  gutting them.  You get the whoooole fish when you eat them.  I didn't eat them for 50 years.  After this trip I found out they really did gut them. Well, did I waste 50 years of not having my sardines.  No, I had them by accident on a pizza in Idaho and thought they were TERRIBLE!

Remember the movie "Cannery Row" starring Nick Nolte and somebody else?  Me either, not really very much anyway.  I need to rent it to refresh my memory.  I do remember the frog scene and the Cannery Row feeling so that when we got here, I knew a little about what I was looking at. Cannery Row is the waterfront street in the New Monterey section of Monterey, California.   It is the site of a number of now-defunct sardine canning factories. The last cannery closed in 1973. The street name, formerly a nickname for Ocean View Avenue, became official in January 1958 to honor John Steinbeck and his famous novel "Cannery Row". I have to confess, I have never read the book.
According to Wikipedia, the canneries failed after the collapse of the fishing industry in Monterey Bay in the mid-1950s,  due to overfishing. Before the collapse, the fishery was one of the most productive in the world.  Today the area around Cannery Row is a marine sanctuary and is home to a large population of California sea lions, of which I never saw.  I only saw seals.

Cannery Row itself is now a tourist attraction with many restaurants and hotels, many of which are located in former cannery buildings, and a few historical attractions. A few privately owned and operated fishing companies still exist on Cannery Row, and it still smells fishy. 

The Monterey Bay Aquarium (opened 1984) is located at the north end of Cannery Row, at the former site of the major Hovden Cannery which closed its doors in 1973. It was the last sardine cannery on the row to close.

"Cannery Row in Monterey in California is a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream." — John Steinbeck, opening sentence, Cannery Row (1945).

          This is a sign/walkway that crosses the road on cannery row

 This is a photo I took of a picture that shows what it looked like during it's heyday. 

                  One of the poster signs hanging in the museum

                                             Factory Workers

Can you imagine what you must have smelled like after your shift?  I have a hard time even washing the tuna or salmon smell off my hands after I fix it for lunch.

Several of the original boiler cookers still sit in the Monterey Aquarium. Wayne is standing in front of one of them.

I worked at a vegetable canning factory when I was in high school, but we only had to pick grasshopper heads or other debris off the conveyor belts and you could go home and wash your hands and go on a date.  If I had worked here, I would spend so much time in the shower, I would have never made it on a date.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Monterey Bay and Monterey Fisherman's Wharf

We toured Monterey's Fisherman's Wharf.  It was such a foreign place to a Wyoming girl that I could hardly take it all in.   I know I snapped photos of trawlers, whalers, fishing boats, sail boats, yachts, dinghy boats and even tugs but after I put them on my computer, I forgot which ones were which..  Here are a few.

                                             I think this is a fishing boat.

                                           A small whale watching boat

      I have seen pictures like this before but it is so cliche that I had to snap it.

                                                     Docked sail boats

Here are a whale watching boat and a sail boat but I took the photo because I loved the seals perching on all the buoys.

These big guys were sunning themselves on the deck of a restaurant next to the seal watching area.

                                                A pod of playing seals

                                         Taking a break from playing

You usually see  weather vanes atop cupolas that sport roosters, horses or eagles where I come from, but this one was so appropriate for the area. I love weather vanes and need one at my house.

                                      The Fisherman statue at the wharf

Fishing is a very dangerous profession and the fisherman have to be strong mentally and physically to survive.    Job Description for a Professional Fisherman |

                         Standing in front of the kelp beds in Monterey Bay  

                                   A light house right off the golf course

Kelp Beds
The seals like to come here to eat the many species of fish that hide in the kelp

I took this in a pull off area by the bay.  It was the perfect time off evening to shoot, the waves were crashing and the sun was shining on the rocks.  It is a beautiful picture if I say so myself.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Wayne and I went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium while we were in California. I am truly fascinated by our sea creatures and I was not disappointed. There is a huge wall of glass where many sea creatures swim in a simulated ocean environment.  I was standing right next to the glass and this guy swam by and stopped right in front of me and just stayed there posing.  Of course I had to photograph him.  What a something.

I will have to google "fish" and see what this guy really is.

 The coral and fish were so colorful that you sometimes had to really look carefully  or you'd miss some of the creatures that seemed to be hiding, but in actuality were right in front of your face.

 It's feeding time.   The diver would hold out to food to each creature, even the sharks, and they would eat out of his hands.

 These jelly fish were so awesome.  Are they real? What strange creatures they are.

 Notice the many. many almost filament looking strings hanging from the body of this jelly fish. So very strange and awesome.

                                            Everyone love the turtles.

 The eels freak me out a bit because they are so snakelike.  The black striped ones are rather beautiful in design, but the tan spotted one is the kind only his mother could love.

 The sardines swim in massive schools and reflect the light looking making them look  like they are made of liquid silver.  One of their tanks was over your head and they just kept swimming in circles.

              Who doesn't love the penguins?  They are the clowns of the aquarium.

 Another coral and fish tank.  Notice the blue guy at the bottom.  Is he not the cutest thing ever?

There are life size whales hanging from the ceiling of the museum.  It gives you a better idea of the largeness of these creatures. This ones seems to be ready to eat Wayne.

Here you see the size of the killer whale. 

What a fun morning.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

At the Beach in Carmel, CA

 Wayne and I spent the afternoon at the beach in Carmel, California last week.  It was a gorgeous day.  We just sat for a long time watching the waves. Wayne had on jeans and his beach shoes as you can see.

   I prefer no shoes at all.  I need to feel the sand between my toes. 

 Wayne did take a little tour of the beach.  Maybe he wishes he could surf here.   Hey Dude!  Nah, he doesn't even like to swim in the pool.

When I took my first step into the waves  I was shocked that it was as cold as it was.  I was not expecting warm, bath tub water, but how do you swim and surf in this frigid H2O?

 I was glad for a place to sit.  With my lame leg, I can't get up off the ground without help so this sand shelf was just the ticket.

 We both liked the sand shelf but wished we had had some nice lounge chairs to veg out on.

Pebble Beach is in the background and it's a beautiful setting.  I loved seeing the ocean but it was somehow a little disturbing to me too.  I could feel it hypnotize me, beckoning me into it's depths and I am very afraid of the ocean.  I will stick to the mountains for my nature appreciation class.

Never in a million years did I think I would find a squirrel on the beach.
There were actually several, and they must be used to people because this one just sat as I snapped his photo.

I loved walking in the wet sand, seeing my foot prints and then watching as the waves erased them again. I can tell I still have a good arches.

The Wave came in a little higher than I thought and my jeans were soaked up to my knees.

Ah, the wave has gone and is not pulling me out to sea. I don't think I will go on a cruise until I get over my fear but I can really appreciate the majesty, beauty and necessity of our oceans and seas.