Opening ceremonies for the 8th Annual Asian Festival will be held at the Filipino Community of Salinas Valley Center – 250 Calle Cebu at 11:00 AM, Saturday, April 25th. The festival runs from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
On Saturday, April 25th, the Salinas Asian Festival celebrates a neighborhood that’s been in Salinas since the 1890s.
Events and programs happening at the Filipino Community Hall (Calle Cebu St.), Confucius Temple (E. Rosse & Lake Sts.), Salinas Buddhist Temple (California St), Republic Cafe (Soledad St.). Also on Soledad St., you can visit the Chinatown Community Gardens, Community Learning Center of Salinas, Dorothy’s Place, and the @risK artisan gallery.
If you live in the Monterey Bay area, come out and support the Asian Festival, which celebrates the history of Chinese, Filipino and Japanese communities in the Salinas Chinatown neighborhood.
It’s a great opportunity to taste delicious food at the various venues (the Filipino Center usually sells Halo-Halo), to see demonstrations of tai chi, Filipino folk dancing, kendo, as well as bonsai demonstration and displays, and best of all, to learn about our community’s history.
There is something about watching wildlife that can totally put one at ease…even if it is a quick visit to a local vernal pond to see common birds like mallard ducks or American coots…
I recently started to take bird photographs.
Since I don’t have the right camera or lens for long distance shots, I am limited to the types of birds that are familiar with humans — the ones that don’t mind me being nearby with a camera — like the types that live at local ponds.
I like the colors of the birds and the water reflection, captured for these photographs. The movement of birds and the rippling water conveys motion, the theme for this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge.
These ducks came right up to me looking for food when I arrived at the pond’s edge, so obviously, they are used to people giving them food.
I did not have any food for them, and after a few minutes, they went away and most went back in the water.
Seventy percent of the planet Earth is covered by ocean water.
Do you think it is a coincidence that our bodies are composed of about the same percentage of water too?
For Earth Day, let’s remember how connected we all are, and that the future of our planet is in our hands.
Note: If you are still buying bottled water, or sold on the idea that water from a plastic bottle is somehow better than what comes out of your tap, please see this post 100% Natural Water.
It is a reminder for us to pay attention to, and to see through marketing tricks and ads, which sometimes feel like “green ads” from big manufacturers.
We are all getting smarter about his though, and I see many positive developments since I posted this article — so hopeful!
I understand that sometimes, we have no choice but to buy bottled water, but when possible, bringing your own water to special events or as we are out and about is a habit we can practice — and one that can make a big impact on our resources and reduce trash — trash that often ends up in the ocean.
I could barely move my legs the next day…let alone my entire body, after our first hike in a redwood forest…
We had just moved to San Francisco from Germany, and decided to visit Tilden Park in the East Bay with my younger sister and her friend, Reggie.
We followed a trail, which brought us to what felt like the middle of the earth, surrounded by majestic coast redwood trees.
Graphic Source: Save the Redwoods website – click to learn more about these magnificent trees
Beautiful…peaceful…but now we had to get back up and out of the Earth’s belly, and find our starting point. Our daughter was about 3 then, and pretty much rode on her Dad’s shoulders (Jeff) for the entire hike.
We were young and inexperienced, new to the area, and most definitely unaware of the size of the East Bay Redwood Regional Park. After all, we just went across the Bay Bridge from San Francisco…and the park bordered Oakland and Berkeley.
The San Francisco Bay area — with a population of 7 million — is California’s second largest urban area, after the greater Los Angeles area. Since the SF Bay area is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States, getting lost inside a redwood forest did not even cross our minds.
A map of the park would have been helpful, but of course, we did not have one. And there where no websites to visit, or smart phones back then.
After an entire day of hiking (of what was supposed to be a “two-hour tour”) we emerged from the forest and finally found our way back to the parking lot and to the car.
It turns out that the area we were in is 700 acres of an original redwood grove and part of 38 miles of trails in this gem of an urban park in the East Bay.
Despite my sad physical state and condition the following day, I’ve been in awe of redwoods ever since that visit to Tilden Park in the Berkeley / Oakland hills.
Photo above of tent next to redwood trees, and below are from Jeff’s camping trip to King’s Canyon National Park in California – a “Land of Giants” and part of the U.S. National Park System. The widest sequoia redwood is 34 feet wide, and found in the King’s Canyon Park.
You can see a silhouette of a coast redwood in the middle, from his photo below. Note: Much wiser than in our 20’s, Jeff had maps, and a GPS device for his solo camping trip to King’s Canyon in 2011.
Redwoods are ancient trees — and Earth’s tallest, growing taller than a 30-floor skyscraper. They also live for a very long time.
There are redwoods that are over 2,000 years old, which means there are living trees here in California that started to grow around the time of the Roman Empire.
Redwoods once grew throughout the Northern Hemisphere. The first redwood fossils date back more than 200 million years to the Jurassic period.
Before commercial logging and clearing began in the 1850s, coast redwoods naturally occurred in an estimated 2 million acres (the size of three Rhode Islands) along California’s coast from south of Big Sur to just over the Oregon border.
When gold was discovered in 1849, hundreds of thousands of people came to California, and redwoods were logged extensively to satisfy the explosive demand for lumber and resources. Today, only 5 percent of the original old-growth coast redwood forest remains, along a 450-mile coastal strip. Most of the coast redwood forest is now young.
My funny photo of Jeff “lifting a fallen redwood” from our camping trip at Big Basin Redwoods State Park, Santa Cruz mountains several years ago. Yes, I make my family pose for shots like these, just for my amusement…
Sequoias get so large because they grow fast over a long lifetime. They live so long because they are resistant to many insects and diseases, and because they can survive most fires. Sequoias do have a weakness — a shallow root system. The main cause of death among mature sequoias is toppling.
When my daughter was young, we drove out to the California “Gold Country” in the Sierra Nevada to visit Sequoia National Park. We went with my friend Nancy in the winter, so my daughter could see snow, and play in the snow.
My daughter is in the middle of the photo below — at around 10 years old — standing on a giant sequoia redwood tree stump at Sequoia National Park. The photo was sun-faded, but you can see the stairs at the left side of the tree stump, and get an idea of its size. There is snow around the base…and yes, that was one huge redwood tree!
Sequoia National Park was established in 1890 — for the purpose of protecting the giant sequoia trees from logging. Though Yellowstone Park in Wyoming is the first official U.S. National Park, Sequoia was the first national park designated to protect a living organism – the giant sequoia redwood (sequoiadendron giganteum). Even back then, they knew how special these trees where, and that the remaining trees needed protection.
Giant trees — with teeny tiny seeds
What is curious about redwoods is that despite being the largest and tallest trees on our planet, among conifers (pines), they have the smallest pine cones — only about 1″ inch long!
Each cone contains a few dozen tiny seeds: it would take well over 100,000 seeds to weigh a pound! In good conditions, redwood seedlings grow rapidly, sometimes more than a foot annually. Young trees also sprout from the base of their parent’s trunk, taking advantage of the energy and nutrient reserves contained within the established root system.
I mention how tiny the seeds are, because it brings me back to the Monterey Bay area where we now live, and about a special coastal redwood tree, planted in Monterey’s Friendly Plaza (in downtown, historic Monterey, by the City Hall).
Redwood trees by Colton Hall — downtown historic Monterey. Photo Spring 2015 by Lola Jane.
It is a special redwood tree because the tiny seed was carried to the moon by Major Stuart Allen “Stu” Roosa, a pilot for the Apollo 14 mission.
The Apollo program is the third NASA manned spaceflight program and landed the first 12 human beings on the Moon, from 1969 to 1972.
Photo via public domain, Wikipedia — Launch date was January 31, 1971, and landing back to Earth on February 9, 1971 in the South Pacific.
The U.S. Forest service nurtured and planted the seed into a seedling, and in July of 1976 — to commemorate the Bicentennial or 200th birthday of the United States — it was planted in this beautiful park in the center of old Monterey.
The moon is 384,400 km / 238,900 miles from the center of our planet Earth — so the little seed already traveled for almost half a million miles before being planted in Placerville, California by the U.S. Forest Service.
Redwood Trees at historic downtown Monterey by the City Hall – photo Spring 2015 by Lola Jane
That is one special redwood tree!
I wonder how many other commemorative trees were planted all over the U.S. for the bicentennial, and if any other seeds made it to the moon and back…
If you are a Monterey Bay resident, or have visited this area, did you know there was a “Moon Tree” downtown?
I did not know about the “Moon Tree” until I participated in “The Changing Season” WordPress photo challenge. Another reason I love blogging and photography.
Photos from historic downtown Monterey (where the redwood “moon tree” is planted), posted for the challenge “The Changing Seasons”
About another fast growing plant that can grow to 150 feet in the Philippines – The rattan, and the difference between rattan and bamboo plants. Photo is close up of spikes on rattan palms. Rattans have spikes to help it climb over other plants, and also to deter animals from eating the plant.
I originally wanted to post photos of the Monterey redwood moon tree this month but was inspired to expand this article about redwood trees after reading a post by my blogging friend Jane in Training. Her post titled “Get Lost” and forest photographs, reminded me of seeing redwoods for the first time and getting lost at Tilden Park’s redwood grove. Thank you for the inspiration, Jane!
Admiring redwoods — at the Strybing Arboretum in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park
May, 2015 — looking at our family photos, I am adding this photo of my cousin and her daughter admiring redwood trees, during their visit to California. We went to the Strybing Arboretum at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, which is another place to see redwoods as well as a wonderful collection of plants from all over the world.
June, 2015 – This photo of the Drive-Thru Coast Redwood by Allan of Ohm Sweet Ohm is another great image of the size of these trees. My daughter and I stopped to visit this park during our visit to the Eel River in Leggett, California on the way to Ashland, Oregon.
The year 2015 is designated by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations as the International Year of Soils, with the aim to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of soil for food security and essential ecosystem functions.
I am posting this inspiring film about Jadav Payeng in support of this month’s Earth-Friendly Challenge — on the topic of SOIL — hosted by Just Another Nature Enthusiast.
In 1979, when Payeng was 16, he started to plant each and every tree of what is now 1,300 acres of a pristine tropical woodland — and singlehandedly created a forest that is larger than New York City’s Central Park.
Payeng first became interested in planting the forest after noticing the effects of desertification on the island’s wildlife.
According to the Water Resources Management journal, “An estimated 175 Mha [million hectares] of land in India, constituting about 53 per cent of the total geographical area (329 Mha), suffers from deleterious effects of soil erosion…”
The North-East Indian forest created by Jadav Payeng is now home to 115 elephants, 100 deer, numerous rhinos, Bengal tigers, apes, rabbits and vultures.
This inspiring documentary film is narrated by photojournalist, Jitu Kalita and made by Canadian filmmaker William Douglas McMaster. Jitu Kalita is a wildlife photographer and the person who discovered — and wrote about — the forest created by Jadav Payeng.
The next time you feel hopeless about environmental problems, or overwhelmed about the depressing news on climate change and start to think “what does it matter what I do…what difference is it going to make…I’m only one person…there is nothing I can do…”please think about what Jadav Payeng accomplished, starting with one tree.
My favorite time of the day is right after sunset — the twilight (“takip-silim” in the Philippine Tagalog language, takip meaning to cover, and silim means dusk). I am definitely not a morning person.
Earlier this year, I did see some amazing sunrises. Luckily, I was awake and aware enough to appreciate the moment and snap some photos on my phone camera, with pine trees in silhouette…
Monterey Bay Area (California) Sunrise Photos
Philippine Pandan Leaf Sellers Sunrise Photos
Though I am not a morning person, one has to wake up pretty early if you want to buy leaves at the market where Philippine pandan leaves — called “romblon” in our region — are sold.
Here are a few of my photos of pandan leaf sellers unloading their banka (outrigger) boats and bringing in bundles of leaves to sell at the weekly market. They usually pull in from surrounding islands right before sunrise.
More versions of my pandan leaf seller photos arriving for market day are posted on the Native Leaf website, here (posted for the Golden Hour photo challenge).
Romblon Leaf “Bayongs” (Market Totes Bags)
And if you are curious about what products can be made from the leaves of the pandan plant, in addition to its use in Asian and Pacific islands for cooking and food flavoring, see this LolaKo.com post: Philippine Romblon (Pandanus) plant or click on the market totes – Philippine bayong photo.
To participate in this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge (WPC) theme of “Early Bird” or to see entries for this challenge, click here.
Whether it’s an unforgettable sunrise, that warm glow that only comes from early morning light, or just the lack of other people walking through your shot, early birding can pay real dividends in your photographs.
This week (and especially if you’re among those who find the early bird concept cringe-worthy), I encourage you to set your alarm for the early hours, grab your first (several) cups of coffee, and challenge yourself to capture an outstanding photograph in the early morning light.
Above the California coast and the blue Pacific ocean
Are you “first-generation” or “second-generation”?
If your family immigrated to the United States, you have most likely been asked this question. Or if you speak with a clear American accent, you may be asked “So…when did your parents immigrate to the U.S.?”.
The term “first-generation” usually mean the first among the family who immigrated to the new country.
For example, here in Monterey County and the Salinas Valley, I’ve met many “second-generation” Filipino-Americans. Their parents (the first-generation) immigrated to the U.S. as adults and settled here.
Did you know there is also a name for another category of immigrants… the “1.5 generation”?
My younger sister and I fit this category, because we immigrated to the U.S. when I was 16, and when she was 14.
My older sister was already an adult and married when she immigrated to the U.S from the Philippines a year ahead of us, so she is considered a “first-generation” immigrant, and her daughter Stephanie is a 2nd generation Filipino-American (though she identifies as an “American” with 1/2 Filipino ancestry).
My older sister — the “first-generation” immigrant — pictured at right was 19 and married when she immigrated to the United States. She had already lived in two U.S. states by the time I took this photo in New Jersey, with my then 15-year old younger sister at left (the “1.5-generation” immigrant). Both are now American citizens. Photo taken the fall of 1980 with my first SLR camera, a Minolta, at the time when you actually had to buy a roll of black and white “film”.
The definition for the “1.5 generation” fits my younger sister and I very well. A Wikipedia article on immigrant generations defines 1.5G as:
…people who immigrate to a new country before or during their early teens. They earn the label the “1.5 generation” because they bring with them characteristics from their home country but continue their assimilation and socialization in the new country, thus being “halfway” between the 1st generation and the 2nd generation.
Their identity is thus a combination of new and old culture and tradition. Sociologist Ruben Rumbaut was among the first to use the term to examine outcomes among those arriving in the United States before adolescence.
Depending on the age of immigration, the community into which they settle, extent of education in their native country, and other factors, 1.5 generation individuals will identify with their countries of origin to varying degrees. However, their identification will be affected by their experiences growing up in the new country.
1.5G individuals are often bilingual and find it easier to be assimilated into the local cultureand society than people who immigrated as adults.
Many 1.5 generation individuals are bi-cultural, combining both cultures – culture from the country of origin with the culture of the new country.
I heard my niece, Stephanie, calling out for me from the bathroom of my mother’s house. She is 15, and it is her first visit to the Philippines…
Rice Fields and Coconut Trees — Verdant Philippines — drive from the pier to home. I can’t imagine not liking the color green, especially if you grew up in the Philippines.
Stephanie found the journey to the Philippines unbelievably long. For her, it began in the U.S. state of Virginia — then to California, to first attend the wedding of my younger sister.
Several days after the wedding, we are headed from San Francisco, California to Manila — the largest city in the Philippines.
After a long layover in Manila, we take another hour-long, plane ride to the island of Cebu, then head to the pier for a 2 hour “Supercat” ride — a catamaran style ferryboat service that shuttles people from one island to the next. At the pier, we are picked up and all load into a van headed for my mother’s home.
But it is another 45 minute drive from the pier to our mother’s home…and by this time, we had been traveling for 24 hours. While in the van, a travel weary Stephanie asked…”so what is next after the van ride?”
water buffallo (kalabaw or carabao) Photo from late 1800s.
I told her that after we arrive, we would have to ride atop a water buffalo (a “kalabao” or carabao) with our luggage, and head up to the mountains. “The van cannot travel on those unstable roads” I tell her.
She shakes her head in disbelief…”A water bufallo???”. I smile at her and tell her I am just joking…the van is the last leg of the trip, and soon, we would finally be at my mother’s home.
The following day, she wakes up and wants to take a shower. It is hot, humid, and she is looking forward to a shower, especially after the long journey. She is calling me from the bathroom because she has turned the water faucet handles and no water is coming out.
I knock on the bathroom door and ask her what she needs.”Is there a trick to the faucets?” she asked. She opens the door, and I explain to her that there is no water pressure in the morning…and most likely, there will be no water available until the evening. “How am I suppose to take a shower, then…and why is there a big garbage can size container of water in the shower?”
I tell her…”well Steph, that container of water isyour shower”.
A Filipino “Tabo”
I point to the “tabo” floating on top of the big container of water in front of her, and pick it up. “You see this thing Steph, it is called a tabo. You dip it in the water, then pour the water over your head and body to rinse. Then you soap up, shampoo, then do the same with a final rinse”.
I tell her it’s a “tropical shower”, and add…”or…you can wait until this evening to take a shower, when the water pressure is back up”. Her jaw drops…then she responds “Really?” I answer back “Yes, Steph…really.”
I giggle as I close the bathroom door and imagine the culture shock she must be experiencing. Having grown up in the Philippines, and accustomed to preparing for water being unavailable from the tap, I find the situation amusing. And then I think, well, all in all, it is good for her because there is so much we take for granted living in the United States.
Photo of a young Filipina with a clay water jug, late 1800’s. My sisters and I fetched water during the early 1970s, and thankfully, the containers we had for our water were much lighter than the one from this photo…
While living in the province (“prubinsya” or away from the city) when my sisters and I were young, we experienced having to “fetch” water away from home. A few times when the water wells dried up, we had to walk up the road to a natural spring site to get fresh water.
To this day, we all remember fondly our time in the province and once in a while still utter…”okay…mag-igib na tayo nang tubig” — translated to “let us go and fetch some water now”. Then we laugh about it, because of how absurd it sounds, with all 3 of us now living in the states.
Can you imagine having to “fetch” water? Picture our little tribe of kids walking on the gravel roadside with our balde (buckets), and metal containers, headed to the natural spring source. We fill our containers and carefully walk back — trying not to spill what we fetched.
I remember our older sister scolding us every few steps because of the water spilling out from our heavy containers. She tells the group to be careful because we would all have to come back AGAIN if we keep letting water spill out.
We do our best, but I’m pretty sure we lost half of the water by the time we got back to our Nanay Lucing and Tatay Kerpo’s place (our Aunt and Uncle’s house).
Although my take for this challenge is a little humorous, I do hope the post will make us appreciate how we take water for granted here in the U.S. There are still many places around the world where clean water is hard to find — or does not even come out of a faucet.
Without water, we cease to exist. It’s as simple as that…
Photo taken during the time of Stephanie’s visit, of a group of us swimming at a natural river “pool”. My daughter is at the front, both arms up — she was 13 then (and now I am a grandmother to her 2 boys). Behind her is my mother, and from left, my older sister, our cousin Donah, my cousin Ate Violeta, and her daughter.
This post is also dedicated to my niece, Stephanie, who celebrated her birthday this week. Happy Birthday, Stephanie! We are still trying to convince her to come and visit the Philippines again…
Stephanie’s Baby Photo
My mother had a water tower installed several years after Stephanie’s visit. It is filled up every night, so that throughout the day, there is water available for cooking, washing dishes, gardening, washing clothes, or even….for taking showers.
Ready to visit again, Stephanie?
From left, my younger sister, older sister (celebrating her birthday) and her daughter —- my niece — Stephanie.
My second entry for this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge theme is “Afloat”.
I took this photo with my phone camera (then an HTC Evo 3D) from Treasure Island — a man-made island in the San Francisco Bay.
It was a unique evening and sunset, with light that seemed to glow from behind the city of San Francisco, giving it a floating kind of feel. I wish I had a camera aside from my phone camera that night, as there surely would have been some fantastic images from that evening.
Still….I’m happy I have this one, even if the image quality is lacking.
And a tip to photographer visitors to San Francisco, going across the Bay Bridge and taking the Treasure Island exit will give you some great shots of this beautiful “City by the Bay”. You can see the Bay Bridge (lit at left on the photograph) and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge from Treasure Island.
This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge theme is “Afloat” — a theme that can be interpreted in a myriad of ways (as is usually the case for these challenges, and what makes it so fun to participate).
An obvious choice from my photo collection were kayaking shots. I remembered my photograph of this group of stand-up paddlers heading out from Moss Landing in Monterey County, California…
I also had photographs of Jeff kayaking at nearby Elkhorn Slough. One time, I asked when he thought he would get done, so that our grandchildren and I could meet him at the launch area.
We spotted him from where he launched at Kirby Park…along with a grebe — a type of migrating water bird that also makes its home on the Pacific coast.
What is funny is the grebe seemed to always be near him, even as he paddled close to shore.
What I like about these photos is that it captured a state of being happy…maybe feeling afloat, in the moment and free of any other distractions.
These photos to me reflect a literal “afloat” because of the kayak in the image, but more important is the spirit being afloat, of his joy at seeing our grandchildren after the kayak ride on the slough.
During March, I photographed buildings and gardens in the old downtown, historic part of Monterey, California. For the April “Changing Seasons” WordPress Photo Challenge, I continued my walk from the Customs House Plaza to Fisherman’s Wharf, a popular tourist destination in Monterey.
I initially avoided going to the Fisherman’s Wharf area because it is geared to tourist, filled with stores that sell kitschy seaside type items, but it is a fun area with good restaurants and views that yield scenic photos. The coastal trail is usually a blur of people out for walks with their pets or with families pushing strollers, and bicycle riders cruising the Pacific Trail, especially during summertime.
The colors of the buildings combined with springtime blooms created bright photographs…
My favorite among these is the bright yellows and purple blooms in front of this pink building at the wharf’s entrance.
Tourist were out and about and watching wildlife and California sea lions…(sadly, many sea lions have been found stranded at California beaches this year, which scientists suspect is due to warming ocean temperatures and their difficulties in finding food — see my post here last month, for more information).
Back to downtown old Monterey, pollarded trees that were bare and dormant last month have sprouted springtime leaves…
And wisteria vines that were spilling with beautiful purple flowers last month are now covered with fresh spring leaves…
A second entry for the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge theme blurfrom Michelle W:
This week, share a photo that’s a blur. You could keep your camera out of focus to achieve a blurry photo, or take a photo of something in motion. Or go in a different direction — capture an image of an experience that would otherwise be a blur, or of something in a state of flux.
I first saw this Baile Folklorico group perform 2 years ago for Cinco de Mayo, and again last month for a community performance the week before — and in honor of — Cesar Chavez Day (March 31st).
The day is a commemorative holiday that celebrates the legacy of civil rights and labor movement activist Cesar Chavez, and to promote community service.
From Wikipedia…Baile folklórico, literally “folkloric dance” in Spanish, is a collective term for traditional Latin American dances that emphasize local folk culture with ballet characteristics – pointed toes, exaggerated movements, highly choreographed. Each region in Mexico, the Southwestern United States and Central American countries is known for a handful of locally characteristic dances.
Dancer costumes depend on the region represented, and mostly reflect traditional Spanish influence, but denims and western style shirts representative of the Southwest United States are also worn.
The bright colors of the dresses, and matching ribbons braided into the hair were a treat to see…
According to the Wikipedia article, “in the folk dances of Northern Mexico, men generally wear black Pants with Galas on each side of the leg, accented with a red tie and belt and a black wide-brimmed hat”.
There are no blurs on the photo of the two young girls below, but they were just too adorable and I am including in this post.
Did you know that March 31st was Cesar Chavez Day? Are there Baile Folklorico dance groups in your region of the United States (or Mexico / Central America)?
I was waiting for a phone call from my younger sister and decided to walk around Locke-Paddon park in Marina (Monterey County, California). Waiting…waiting…and little camera in hand, I walked near the pond’s edge to photograph birds.
Locke-Paddon is a community park and one of the area’s “vernal” (seasonal) ponds. The water level fluctuates but never dries out completely. The city library is located in this park, and the pond area is an easy destination for bird viewing.
There are many mallard ducks and American coot (below) that live in the pond, as well as birds who visit to drink and bathe.
What I found interesting in the series of photographs were theblurof reeds and vegetation against the water — perfect for this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge theme from Michelle W:
This week, share a photo that’s a blur. You could keep your camera out of focus to achieve a blurry photo, or take a photo of something in motion. Or go in a different direction — capture an image of an experience that would otherwise be a blur, or of something in a state of flux.
The blur of colors could be interpreted as a painting, don’t you think?
For more information about the park, visit the Locke-Paddon page at the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District website, here.
I never did get the phone call…so I went home, only to find out my ringer was off, and I missed her calls. I laughed and called her right back…and was happy to have interesting photos in my collection, all while “waiting”.
For this week, the challenge was to learn about dams that alter the flow of our river and tributaries, and the purpose of the structure (Economic? Social? Environmental?).
The Salinas River near Highway 1, water headed towards the Pacific Ocean.
This challenge was truly…well, a challenge! I did not get to the other questions to consider AFTER I learned about the dams in the Salinas river because the answer to this question was not very easy to find.
What made this challenge confusing was that the Salinas River actually covers two counties. Searching for dams in the Salinas River first yielded information about the “Salinas Dam” built in neighboring San Luis Obispo County (South of Monterey county and where the Salinas River begins).
The contract to build the “Salinas Dam” in San Luis Obispo County was signed seven months before the Pearl Harbor attack. It took 3 years to build this particular dam, for water headed to San Luis Obispo. I include this information in my blog post because their local paper (The Tribune) had a series of blog posts called “Photos from the Vault” that revisited local history. Imagine my surprise when I saw a connection to the Philippines (where I grew up) on one of the headlines related to the Salinas Dam, after Japanese troops took over the Philippine capital Manila during World War II:
It is a coincidence that had me sidetracked about information that was already a challenge to research. It brought back memories of stories told by my aunts and uncles about their difficulties during the war, when they had to hide out in the jungle and head to the mountains when our area was occupied — beginning when my mother was still a toddler.
The main tributaries of the Salinas River are the Nacimiento, San Antonio, Arroyo Seco, San Lorenzo, and Estrella Rivers.
Nacimiento_River_photo via wikipedia
The Salinas River watershed has three large dams in its upper portion: The Salinas Dam, built in the 1940’s; the Nacimiento Dam, built in the 1950’s; and the San Antonio Dam, built in the 1960’s. The Salinas Dam is managed by the US Army Corps of Engineers, and the Nacimiento and San Antonio Dams are managed by the Monterey County Water Resources Agency.
Nacimiento River Dam photos via Monterey County Water Resources Agency
The Lower portion of the Salinas River is often referred to as the Lower Salinas River. The division of the river and its watershed in upper and lower portions is for administrative purposes only.
The Salinas River drains to both the Salinas River Lagoon and the Moss Landing Harbor in the center of the Monterey Bay.
So I will post this information for the challenge with this basic data, and will consider other questions posted for this challenge as time permits at a later time.
Based on the information below, sourced from government related websites…
…and because the area near where we live has already had seawater intrusion (I’ve posted information about this and sea level rise for the California King Tides Project) I’ll keep my blog post update for this particular challenge focused on seawater intrusion — at least for now.
Information on the California Drought
Several days ago, California’s drought conditions hit national news because our snow pack water content hit a new record low. The annual measurement was at 5% of average, which broke the previous record of 25% of average in 1977 and 1991.
The photo below — where California governor Jerry Brown is standing at the podium — is at 6,800 feet elevation. Normally, and for this time of the year, they would be standing on 5 feet of snow. Instead, they are standing on grass!
It is going to be a challenge to meet the new MANDATORY water reduction goal of reducing water use by 25%. So, whether we like it or not, we are all going to be learning a lot more about water use, and our water sources…which makes this focus on water for the March Earth-Friendly challenges very timely.
To learn more about the latest California water content measurement (Sierra Nevada Snowpack) click here. Excerpt:
The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) found no snow whatsoever today during its manual survey for the media at 6,800 feet in the Sierra Nevada. Thiswas the first time in 75 years of early-April measurements at the Phillips snow course that no snow was found there. Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. observed thesurvey, which confirmed electronic readingsshowing the statewide snowpack with less water content today than any April 1stsince 1950. Attending the survey with Governor Brown was DWR Director Mark Cowin, who said Californians can expect to receive almost no water from the meager snowpack as it melts in the coming weeks.