As an immigrant to the U.S., I am always interested in immigration topics, especially as it relates to Filipinos.
If you have ever wondered about the country of birth of new American citizens, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) publishes this data through the Office of Immigration Statistics.
The Top 5 Country of Birth for New Americans (for fiscal year 2011 to 2013):
Dominican Republic (39.590)
And here is the chart of the Top 20 Country of Birth for New Americans:
Note: Filipinos dropped to #3 after India, from the #2 spot after Mexico in the data compiled for the previous report.
With Mexico being a neighboring country, it is no surprise that most new Americans were born in Mexico.
But what about the other countries? Does this country of birth data surprise you? For example, that India is #2 and that Iran (a country we often hear about in terms of U.S. foreign affairs) is in the Top 20 countries?
The chart below lists the top states where new Americans resided, at the time they became naturalized.
The number of new Americans residing in these 10 states represent 75% of those who naturalized. The data pretty much matches the states with the most population, and so there were no surprises for me on this chart. How about you?
Do you know what it takes to become a U.S. citizen? From the Department of Homeland Security:
An applicant for naturalization must fulfill certain requirements set forth in the INA concerning age, lawful admission and residence in the United States. These general naturalization provisions specify that a foreign national must be at least 18 years of age; be a U.S. lawful permanent resident (LPR); and have resided in the country continuously for at least five years. Additional requirements include the ability to speak, read, and write the English language; knowledge of the U.S. government and history; and good moral character.
Up until the 1970s, most people who become American citizens were born in European countries.
It shifted from Europe to Asia because of increased legal immigration from Asian countries, and the arrival of refugees from countries like Vietnam in the 1970s. Since 1976, countries in the Asian region has led as the origin of birth for new American citizens.
If you live in California — or even if you don’t — you probably think about earthquakes every now and then, and most likely have heard of the San Andreas Fault.
The San Andreas Fault – Image via NASA (Public Domain)
From what I understand, this fault is a boundary where two parts of the earth’s crust (the Pacific plate – under the Pacific Ocean and the North American plate) meet.
The San Andreas Fault stretches for 810 miles (1300 km) across California, from the Salton Sea in the south all the way to Humboldt County, 200 miles north of San Francisco. It is the most studied boundary plate on our planet for the following reasons:
it is on land, and therefore easier to study than tectonic plates that meet in the ocean
the fault is in close proximity to educational institutions and organizations dedicated to earthquake research
There are cities and communities that sit directly on the San Andreas Fault, and we lived in one of these communities while stationed at a base in the Mojave Desert in Southern California.
Late in the summer of 1981, Jeff and I drove from our military base in the high desert to the San Gabriel mountains. He wanted to show me the little town where he and his friend, Bill, skied during the winter. The town we visited is called Wrightwod, and about 40 miles (64 km) away from the base, at 6,000 feet (1809 m) elevation.
At the time, there were just over 2,000 people living there, though in the winter, there were many more as it was a popular ski resort area about 75 (124 km) miles from Los Angeles, in San Bernardino County.
Vintage photo! Wrightwood, California, Fall of 1981. This area is covered in snow in the winter, and the bare ski trails of the Mountain High Ski Resort can be seen on this photo.
While in Wrightwood, we went to a pub, where the bartender overheard us talking about how beautiful it was there. He told us about a little cabin for rent just down the street. On a lark, we decided to visit the cabin, and met the owners (who lived in the house next door).
It was partly furnished, had 1 bedroom, a fireplace, a loft space, and knotted pine walls. It faced California’s State Highway 2, and behind the cabin was a hill.
The little cabin home we rented in Wrightwood, California.
Front of the cabin, facing California Highway 2
We rented it on the spot, not even thinking about the drive we had to make back and forth from the base (about 45 minutes to 1 hour each way).
Shortly after our move, we met a fellow service member living there, and a civilian who also worked at the base, meaning we were able to join in a carpool.
Cabin roof after the first major storm, winter 1981. We were trapped as it took a while for the highways to be cleared.
Later on, I learned that the town sat on the San Andreas Fault from a newspaper article a co-worker showed me. Wow…. a fault…oh, what is a fault? Earthquakes… really?
Philippine Casiguran Earthquake
When I was little and we lived in Manila, a big earthquake hit the Philippines. I remember my mother rushing us outside (that is what you were told to do back then), and the distraught neighbors around us talking about fires and something about the Ruby Tower.
With a bit of research, I found out that the Philippine earthquake happened in 1968 and was called the “Casiguran earthquake”.
Since it happened at night, I most likely was asleep when it hit. More about this earthquake from a Wikipedia article:
The city of Manila was the hardest hit with 268 people killed and 261 more injured.
Many structures that suffered severe damage were built near the mouth of the Pasig River on hugealluvialdeposits.
A number of buildings were damaged beyond repair while others only suffered cosmetic damage.
Two hundred and sixty people died during the collapse of the six-story Ruby Tower, located in the district of Binondo. The entire building, save for a portion of the first and second floors at its northern end, was destroyed. Allegations of poor design and construction, as well as use of low-quality building materials, arose. (More here)
Besides the earthquake in Manila, I had not experienced any other major earthquakes, and none while living in California at that point, so I didn’t really think much more about it.
California 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake
Years later, we moved to the San Francisco Bay area, and lived here when the Loma Prieta earthquake hit Northern California. The Loma Preita is in a segment of the San Andreas Fault.
The beautiful San Francisco skyline as seen from Treasure Island at sunset (2012) Photo LolaKo.com
The Loma Prieta earthquake is memorable because it happened during a World Series baseball championship, and was broadcast live on national television.
Due to the World Series, casualties were amazingly low (63 deaths and 3,757 injured). Instead of being in the rush hour traffic heading home, many people left work early to watch the game, and traffic was lighter than normal.
While casualties were low compared to other earthquakes of the same magnitude, the Loma Prieta earthquake remains one of the most expensive natural disaster in the history of the United States.
To the left of this photo is the Oakland – San Francisco “Bay Bridge”. Photo LolaKo.com
My younger sister was working in a San Francisco high-rise office building at the time of the earthquake.
It took us 5 hours to reach her by phone, when she finally made her way home…and we were relieved to find out she was safe and unhurt.
We lived in the East Bay, and I was in the car on the way to pick up my older sister when the earthquake happened. I suddenly lost the radio signal, and felt the car making unusual movements — movements that I could not control with my steering wheel.
A few minutes later, I arrived at my older sister’s workplace. She was already outside of the office building where she worked, and felt the earth quake beneath her feet, and saw the building she was just in, move and slightly sway. She opened the car door and got in…we both couldn’t believe that a strong earthquake had just occurred.
The collapsed upper portion of the Bay Bridge. Photo by USGS via public domain
We rushed to pick up my daughter from her after-school care. She was outside at the playground during the earthquake, and she (and her teachers) told us they distinctly remembered that the birds stopped chirping right before and after the shaking.
We tuned into the news as soon as we got home — and were glued to the television set for hours.
It was a mistake, because the constant image of fires in the Marina District of San Francisco, and the collapse of a portion of the Bay Bridge made my daughter anxious about crossing the bridge, for many years after the earthquake!
San Andreas Fault North / South
Another well-known earthquake in California was the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, which destroyed 80% of San Francisco and killed 3,000 people. The 1906 earthquake is also connected to the north part of the San Andreas Fault.
In terms of the death toll, the 1906 earthquake is the worst natural disaster in California’s history.
The part of the fault where Wrightwood is located is in the south part the San Andreas Fault.
If you want to read more about Wrightwood as it relates to the San Andreas Fault, past earthquakes and predictions for future earthquakes, visit this GeoScience World article.
There have been many earthquakes in this part of the fault, and they note “These observations and elapsed times that are significantly longer than mean recurrence intervals at Wrightwood and sites to the southeast suggest that at least the southermost 200 km of the San Andreas fault is near failure.“
San Andreas – The Movie
You may hear even more about the San Andreas Fault this summer.
An earthquake disaster movie with Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) is now playing in movie theaters, and it is called (what else?) San Andreas.
Here is the preview…
Nothing like seeing the place where you live (and that you love) destroyed and in total chaos…with millions of people in peril.
But at least it is just a movie, and perhaps it will make us think about our emergency preparedness, and supporting strict building codes and improvements that incorporate new technology to save lives in the event of “the big one”.
If the “big one” hits, will California fall into the Pacific Ocean?
Greater Los Angeles area – photo posted for article The Los Angeles Spread. Photo LolaKo.com
The San Andreas movie trailer shows the ground splitting, complete destruction of buildings in downtown Los Angeles, and a tsunami in the process of finishing off the city of San Francisco.
The tsunami scenario is certainly real… and of all the natural disasters in the world’s history (i.e., volcanoes erupting, heatwaves, floods, typhoons, cyclones) earthquakes by far have killed more people than any other.
But the myth that you may have heard of — that California could somehow fall into the sea — when the big one hits, well, it is just that, a MYTH.
…The San Andreas Fault System is the dividing line between two tectonic plates. The Pacific Plate is moving in a northwesterly direction relative to the North American plate. The movement is horizontal, so while Los Angeles is moving toward San Francisco, California won’t sink. However, earthquakes can cause landslides, slightly changing the shape of the coastline.
To further allay immediate concerns about a complete change in the California landscape should the big one occur on the San Andreas Fault (SAF), here is a clip from SanAndreasFault.org: on how long it would take for California to look different from how we see it today:
I don’t know about you, but for me…that’s good to know!
Do you live in an earthquake prone area?
It seems to me that the entire state of California is earthquake prone, but it has not stopped people from living here. There are now 38 million people that live in California — that is 1 out of every 8 Americans.
Have you heard about the San Andreas Fault or do you have earthquakes worries where you live? I would also like to hear about your own earthquake experience, so please do leave comment.
From SanAndreasFault.org, see cities and communities in the fault zone (San Bernadino, along with Wrightwood in Southern Claifornia, and closer to home here in the Monterey Bay — Aromas, San Juan Bautista…)
Data from the USGS on the largest and deadliest earthquakes over the last 25 years.
Starting in 1917 and up to the 1990’s, almost 1,500,000 military troops trained at Fort Ord. It was a major army post, located here in the Monterey Bay, in California’s central coast.
Although the post closed in 1994, many of the old buildings remain.
Because I was in the military, there is a part of me that is nostalgic about these buildings…and having lived at military bases, they are familiar to me.
In addition to its role as a major training base for the army, Fort Ord was also a staging and deployment area for troops that fought in World War II, as well as the Vietnam war.
Word War II is known as the most violent and largest armed conflict in history, and troops who trained here were involved in battles in the Philippines — my home country — after the Japanese conquered the Philippines in 1942.
Many of the old buildings at Fort Ord have already been torn down, and eventually, these will too, to be replaced with new housing communities, office and service facilities, and new shopping centers.
I’ve wanted to photograph some of these old buildings before they are gone forever, and glad that I finally had a chance to do so this month.
I was in the Air Force, and our living quarters were called “dormitories”. But in the army and other armed forces, buildings that house soldiers are called “barracks”. Definition below:
The English word comes via French from an old Catalan word “barraca” (hut), originally referring to temporary shelters or huts for various people and animals, but today barracks, are usually permanent buildings for military accommodation.
…The main object of barracks is to separate soldiers from the civilian population and reinforce discipline, training, and esprit de corps.
Doors removed, stairs missing or overtaken by iceplants…
Debris around some of the buildings…
What remains at the Imjin exit side of Fort Ord are mature eucalyptus trees, and the ever-present and invasive ice plants — planted there to contain the sand and for erosion control.
Across the street from these barracks, a wellness center and a shopping center is in place, and beyond these new buildings are brand new housing communities.
The Ford Ord land also houses facilities used by California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB). With plenty of land available to construct new buildings, CSUMB is predicted to eventually be the largest in the California State University system.
It’s not all going to be developed though…
Thankfully, three years ago, a large part of the Fort Ord area became a national monument, and is federally protected from further development — a great thing for the Monterey Bay area!
In addition to the interior part of the Fort Ord land, beaches in this area are also part of the national monument / California State Park system, and land set aside for the public.
And so the Fort Ord land that started as an artillery training field almost 100 years ago, and was a major post for the military from World War I to 1994 now continues its transition, with much of the land going back to public use.
Are there military base closures where you live? How has the government and community transformed the land after closing the military facility?
…The protection of the Fort Ord area will maintain its historical and cultural significance, attract tourists and recreationalists from near and far, and enhance its unique natural resources, for the enjoyment of all Americans.
A few months after immigrating to the U.S. with my mother and younger sister, I had my first job — and it included cutting into plenty of iceberg lettuce heads.
I was 16 years old and my job was a waitress at a chain of family style restaurants in Portland, Maine. Part of my work was to do simple food preparation, and to restock the salad bar.
The kitchen manager showed me how she wanted the Iceberg prepared… “Cut it this way, and include the core — people like to eat that” she said.
The iceberg lettuce was what you started with, the base of what you piled everything else on to, at the restaurant’s salad bar.
Because it was 1979, the salad bar consisted of potato “salad”, macaroni “salad”, 3-bean “salad” and other items like sliced beets (from the can), tomatoes, croutons, crackers, eggs and a variety of dressing. It is nothing like what you would see today at buffet restaurant salad bars, where there are always more than one lettuce option — and at least some spinach leaves!
At 16, I didn’t give much thought to where the Icebergs (or really any vegetables) were grown. But I’m pretty sure the Iceberg lettuce I was cutting into — especially since it was the start of winter in Maine — likely came from the Salinas Valley in Monterey County, California.
I’ve lived in a few places in the U.S. (and Germany) since we left Maine many years ago, and now live in Monterey County.
Besides the beautiful coast of central California, a prominent feature of the landscape here are the farm fields.
A few weeks ago, I went to the Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge (under management of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service). To get to the refuge, you have to drive on a dirt road that ends at the refuge parking lot, facing the Pacific Ocean.
Both sides of the dirt road have farm fields. Since I’m always curiousabout what grows in farm fields, I pulled over to take a look…
The fields were filled with rows upon rows of Iceberg lettuce. I didn’t think people still ate Icebergs, especially now that there are so many more salad greens available in the market.
When my daughter was young, I opted to buy romaine or other types of lettuce after I learned that icebergs were composed mostly of water, and had the least amount of vitamins compared to other lettuce varieties.
Truck loaded with boxes of lettuce
But it turns out that Americans still love their Icebergs!
Through writing this post, I learned that of the 35 pounds of lettuce that a typical American eats per year, most of it (about 22 pounds) is the Iceberg variety.
A press release from Salinas based produce company Tanimura and Antle had these interesting Iceberg lettuce facts:
The Iceberg was also called “crisphead lettuce” because of its ability to stay fresher longer than leaf lettuces
The name “Iceberg” comes from the way the lettuce was packed and transported on ice, making the heads look like icebergs.
Records indicate that the first carlot shipment of Iceberg was made in 1919 and took 21 days to reach New York from California.
By 1931, 20,000 railcars were shipped annually. In 1950, over 11.5 million crates of Iceberg was grown, packed and shipped in Monterey County, California
California produces approximately 72% of the Iceberg lettuce grown in the U.S, and the Iceberg variety accounts for 70% of the lettuce raised in California
Depending on the time of year Iceberg is planted, it takes anywhere from 70 to 130 days from planting to harvest.
So…although the Iceberg’s popularity is dropping, it is still more popular than the Romaine type lettuce (a favorite for those who like “Caesar” salads — like my daughter) and other salad greens.
I suppose because it is a mild tasting lettuce (not bitter), and stays fresh longer than other varieties, it is understandable why it is still a favorite for many salad eaters.
You never have to tell my grandson Gabriel to eat his salad — he is known in the family as the salad lover. He is only 8, but as long as I can remember, he will usually ask for a second serving of salad, which made me think that my grandsons’ had palates from another planet.
Do you still eat Iceberg lettuce? If not, what type of lettuce typically makes it to your lunch plate or dinner table?
NOTE: This post is part of learning about, and understanding the soil where I live (2015 is the International Year of Soils — designated by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations) See this post from http://justanothernatureenthusiast.org/2015/04/19/unless-earth-friendly-friday-soil/ for more information. I’m also learning more about what remains of the wetlands in the area, as I read that 90% of the area’s wetlands were drained for commercial farming purposes.
Related: If you would rather grow than buy your lettuce, visit the University of Illinois “Watch your Garden Grow” website for tips about growing lettuce, best varieties for your region, and recipes.
What warms this lola’s (grandmother’s) heart? Seeing the next generation Filipino-Americans continue to learn and dance the “tinikling” at the Philippine Community Center — one of the venues for cultural performances at the 8th Annual Asian Festival in Salinas last month.
A popular Philippine folk dance, the tinikling originated in the island of Leyte and is named after the “tikling” bird. The dance imitates the movements of the birds as they walk along branches and grasses, and how they get away from bamboo traps set out by rice farmers.
I remember trying this dance while in elementary school, and my worries of getting my feet caught (and smashed) in between the bamboo poles!
Little ones help to keep the dance rhythm by banging half coconut shells — and audience clapping / participation also helps to keep the bamboo pole holders timing as they slide and clang the bamboo poles for the dance.
The motion and footwork for the dances is also an entry for the WordPress photo challenge — though unfortunately, my camera settings produced a lot of photos also appropriate for the challenge theme of blur.
Note: If you are interested in Philippine birding, see this article from Cornell Lab of Ornithology Getting familiar with Philippine Birds, including the “tikling” bird. Excerpt with dance description:
In one of those convergences that make travel fascinating, we sat in a barnlike banquet hall at dinner and watched a local dance troupe perform the traditional Philippine tinikling, in which two people kneel and clap long bamboo poles together while dancers hop in and out of the poles in rhythm. The dance is named for tikling, the local term for a rail: dancers mimic the graceful, high-stepping gait of the bird as it walks through the marsh vegetation. In the Villa Escudero marsh the next morning, we saw several members of the Rallidae including Buff-banded and Barred rails, White-breasted Waterhen, White-browed Crake, and Watercock.
Aside from folk dancing, the festival is also a great place to sample authentic Chinese, Japanese and Filipino food.
At the Philippine venue, my favorite banana leaf wrapped item — the suman — as well as cassava cakes, puto, fried banana turons and halo-halo were among the choices for dessert.
But first, you had to get your chicken adobo, lumpia, pancit and rice combo packs…
The afternoon presentation at the Philippine venue showcased traditional Philippine formal wear featuring the Barong Tagalog — Filipino formal attire, and traditionally made of pineapple fabric or a type of fine abaca (musa textilisrelated to the banana plant) — and the changes throughout history in traditional women’s attire, influenced by over 300 years of the Spanish colonial era.
The malong garment — traditionally used by a number of ethnic groups in the Southern Philippines and the Sulu Archipelago — and its many variations was an interesting part of the fashion show.
A group of women who performed a folk dance earlier in the day also participated in the afternoon’s fashion show.
You can see more of his work at the 2015 Capstone Festival, California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) on Friday, May 15th at the Visual / Public Art Buildings – 100 Campus Center, Seaside.
The exhibit by the Monterey Bay Chapter of the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) is a must see, especially if you are looking to learn more about the Filipino community’s history in the Monterey Bay / Salinas Valley, and Filipinos in the context of the history of the United States.
I also add two random photographs taken at the festival because 1) the Philippines’ most famous athlete Manny Pacquiao fought against Floyd Mayweather last weekend and 2) I love the Tagalog word “makulit” and spotted a little guy with the word on his T-Shirt.
Makulit means one who is stubborn, or annoyingly asks questions that have already been answered…and hopefully the “makulit” person is toddler aged, when they ask the same thing over and over, and not an adult, right? Though you can call anyone, regardless of age MAKULIT.
This year, children representing the Chinese community also performed at the Philippine venue stage. Their dance delighted the audience!
While there, be sure to check out the site’s historical timeline feature.
The timeline starts with the California Gold Rush, then the arrival of Chinese workers recruited to build the transcontinental railroad, and later as laborers to drain lakes and swamps that created 500 acres of farmland in Salinas, to the arrival of Japanese and Filipino immigrants to work as farm laborers.
The timeline feature gave me a better understanding of the struggles of Asian immigrants, and their contributions to the modern-day agricultural wonder that is Monterey county.
The ACE Salinas website also features an oral history archive, conducted by California State University Monterey Bay students and faculty, as well as video documentaries about Chinatown produced by professional filmmakers and film students.
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.
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.
Among the photographs posted the year I began my blog in 2011 were images from a beach walk that turned out to be remnants of an old pier in Moss Landing, California.
We were still new to the area so I did not yet know the history. and I noted that “from this angle, it had a sort of mysterious, Stonehenge feel about it” on the blog post, and asked if anyone had information.
I immediately received comments from my friend Jean, who grew up in Santa Cruz, as well as Monterey County nativeMelanie Mayer-Gideoninforming me that the items jutting out from the beach were indeed remnants of the pier that once stood there.
I also learned the pier was used by whaling ships — and the area’s beach landed and processed whales, which may explain my Stonehenge comment, since Stonehenge was a burial ground in its early history.
Last month, the annual festival called “Whalefest” took place in Monterey’s Old Fisherman’s Wharf. The festival promotes the Monterey Bay as the “Whale Watching Capital of the World”.
The festival is in its 5th year and celebrates the migration of whales, the Monterey Bay’s marine wildlife, and raises funds that benefit local marine conservation and non-profit organizations.
While this festival is a positive one and educating the public on whales and wildlife conservation is important, I think it is also important to explore and look into the history of whales in this area…before “Whalefest”.
A publication from the state of California Fish and Game Commission titled “A History of California Shore Whaling” provided information, starting with early accounts of whales on our coast from 1602:
Perhaps whales were first mentioned on our coast by Sebastian Vizcaino in the year 1602, though this is of purely literary interest, for we do not need to be told that whales were on the coast as long as there have been such things as whales.
The following translation of Vizcaino’s voyage is given by Venegas in his history of California in 1758:
“This bay also had been already surveyed by the Almirante [one of Vizcaino’s ships] who gave it the name of Bahia de Belenas or Whale Bay, on account of the multitudes of that large fish they saw there, being drawn thither by the abundance of several kinds of fish.”
This was in Lower California, but farther on in the same account in writing of the Bay of “Monte-rey” he includes among the animals of the bay “huge sea wolves [or sea lions] and whales.”
Venegas himself says: “But the most distinguished fish of both seas are the whales; which induced the ancient cosmographers to call California, Punta de Belenas, or Cape Whale; and these fish being found in multitudes along both coasts give name to a channel in the gulf, and a bay in the south sea.” “Cape Whale” refers to Lower California, “both seas” to the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California.
The report (by Edwin C. Starks, Stanford University and printed in 1923 by the California State Printing Office) discusses whaling methods, from conventional ship whaling to “shore whaling”.
The shore whaling part is where the Moss Landing pier history comes in.
Included in the report were historical photographs of the operation at the same beach where I took my photos in December, 2011.
Early societies used whale oil processed from whale blubber to light oil lamps as well as for soaps and margarine.
When kerosene (also known as paraffin) was invented and more economical vegetable-based oils became available in the mid 1800s, the demand for whale oil declined, and the whaling industry — including shore whaling operations — started to cease operations.
Whale hunting policies also changed after the signing of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling in 1946 to “provide for the proper conservation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly development of the whaling industry”. The regulation governed the commercial, scientific, and aboriginal subsistence whaling practices for its fifty-nine member nations.
Uncertainty over whale numbers led to the introduction of a ‘moratorium’ on commercial whaling in 1986. This remains in place although the Commission continues to set catch limits for aboriginal subsistence whaling.
Today, the Commission also works to understand and address a wide range of non-whaling threats to cetaceans including entanglement, ship strike, marine debris, climate change and other environmental concerns.
It is interesting that the invention of kerosene, a by-product of petroleum, most likely saved some species of whales from extinction. Yet, another modern petroleum-based material — plastics and nylons used in marine nets, ropes / ship rigging — is now contributing to the trash problems plaguing our oceans and threatens whales.
I wondered why whales have been on my mind recently…and the purpose for this blog post. Maybe a combination of the disturbing news last week on the new study of the enormous amount of plastic trash entering our oceans had me thinking about marine life, and, as I am nearing my 4th year blog birthday, I am looking to see if older posts need updates, including one that had my Moss Landing pier photos (What Low Tide Reveals).
As it turns out, this blog post exploring the history of whales in the Monterey Bay, from hunting them to now celebrating them in a whale themed festival —- is actually one of hope for me…
It is validation that although we human beings can create suffering and havoc, we are also capable of change, that we can invent something — or come up with solutions to address the mess that we create (I am thinking about our current oceans plastics mess here, too!)
…a world center for advanced research and education in ocean science and technology, and to do so through the development of better instruments, systems, and methods for scientific research in the deep waters of the ocean
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) building now stands in the area previously used for whaling operations
And from their website on “Why MBARI is located in Moss Landing?”
Monterey Bay is one of the most biologically diverse bodies of water in the world. The Monterey Canyon, which bisects Monterey Bay, is one of the deepest underwater canyons along the continental United States. MBARI’s facilities at Moss Landing are located within meters of the head of Monterey Canyon, allowing researchers to reach waters 3,600 meters deep within a few hours of leaving port.
Last night, the new series EARTH: A New Wild aired on PBS. Among the stories featured (focused on our oceans) was about turning a slimy, industrial wasteland at New York City’s Pier 29 back into an ocean habitat. They are doing this through helping oysters repopulate the area. The oysters and muscles filter the water, and quite quickly, it becomes clean enough for other species to move in.
Click on image to learn why whales sing….
If we can implement a way to clean the ocean water near a metropolis like New York City…well, why not other places? Again, hopeful!
The program is well produced, and I will try to catch the rest in the series.
Click on the whale photo to learn more, and to see the article about why whales “sing”.
Have you heard whale songs? When I was 15, my art teacher played whale songs in the background as inspiration during a week when she encouraged her students to create art, or write poetry about whales.
You see how teachers can inspire? Here I am now…a grandmother…who loves whales. Maybe that is the point of this post too…inspirations, and to always have hope.
The book Plastics – A Toxic Love Story, by science writer Susan Freinkelis comprehensive, and a fascinating read about the history of plastic and products familiar to all of us.
I highly recommend if you want to understand our love/hate relationship with plastics. For local residents, it is available at our Monterey County Public Library system. Introduction below:
Here is an excerpt from a post on my blog right after the book was published:
Ms. Freinkel chooses eight objects to help tell the story of plastic: The comb, the chair, the Frisbee, the IV bag, the disposable lighter, the grocery bag, the soda bottle and the credit card.
She examines how these objects are made, the history, the culture of plastics, and how synthetics affect our health and environment.
A speaker from a plastics manufacturer’s conference in 1956, is quoted as saying “Your future is in the garbage wagon”.
How true…and it turns out that today, the average American throws away 300 pounds of packaging a year — and this mountain of containers and wrappings accounts for about 1/3 of the municipal waste stream.
Initially, we had to be taught to throw away plastic items — especially after the depression era culture of “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without”.
But it did not take long for us to absorb the lessons — especially because everyone was becoming more prosperous — at the same time when many disposable products were entering the market. Life magazine dubbed this (then) new era “Throwaway Living” .
To take part in this timely WordPress challenge topic and to see other submissions for the theme click here (http://justanothernatureenthusiast.org/2015/02/06/unless-plastic/).
This new blogging event is inspired by prophetic words written in 1971 by Dr. Seuss in his book – The Lorax …
Last week, the “father of the birth control pill”, Carl Djerassi, died at his home in San Francisco. He was 91 years old.
Djerassi was a highly accomplished, multi-faceted person. He was a chemist — best known for his contribution to the development of birth control pills — but also a novelist and a playwright. Excerpt from the New York Times:
…Djerassi wrote books, plays and 1,200 scientific articles; taught at universities for five decades; created an artists’ colony in California; and obtained a patent on the first antihistamine.
His work on the science of birth control helped engender enormous controversies and social changes, altering sexual and reproductive practices, family economics and the working lives of millions of women around the world.
Image “Dialog”, 2004. by Roland Mayer. photo by Todd Holloway via the Djerassi Resident Artist Program website
With all of Dr. Djerassi’s accomplishments, what struck me about his life was the reason for starting the Djerassi Resident Artist Program, whose mission is “to support and enhance the creativity of artists by providing uninterrupted time for work, reflection, and collegial interaction in a setting of great natural beauty, and to preserve the land on which the Program is situated”. From the Djerassi Resident Artist Program website:
The origins of the Djerassi Program lie in a personal tragedy for the Djerassi family. In 1978 Pamela Djerassi, herself a poet and painter, took her own life.
Soon after, while visiting Florence, Italy, with Diane Middlebrook (later his wife) and trying to come to terms with his daughter’s death, Djerassi and Middlebrook considered the patronage that the Medici family had given to artists of their time and how he might, in some small way, be able to extend his support to contemporary women artists.
With all the awards he received during his lifetime, his contributions to changing the lives of millions of women around the world, and through supporting artists through the Djerassi Resident Artist Program, it seems he has definitely left an imprint on society.
Please visit the Djerassi Resident Artist Program for more information and visit the artistspage to see current and past Artists-in-Residence. The deadline to apply for a 2016 residency is March 15, 2015.
Did you know about Dr. Djerassi and the Resident Artist Program aspect of his life?
The topic of birth control is controversial in the Philippines, so I was surprised to see this Gallup poll (found as I was working on my post about Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines) that here in the U.S., most Americans say that birth control is morally OK.
The Gallup’s Values and Beliefs Survey report that “eighty-two percent of U.S. Catholics say birth control is morally acceptable, nearing the 89% of all Americans and 90% of non-Catholics who agree.”
The same article also posted this chart from the survey, on the major differences between Democrats and Republicans in moral acceptability of issues: Any surprises, or is this what you expected to see? For details, here is the link to the Gallup survey and article. Excerpt:
Although Catholic leaders have protested the portion of the Affordable Care Act mandating that health insurance plans include payment for birth control, the average rank-and-file Catholic in the U.S. finds the use of birth control morally acceptable.
Catholic leaders are no doubt aware that many of their parishioners use birth control, but these data underscore the divide between official church teaching and Catholics’ day-by-day behaviors.
Democrats and Republicans have long differed on their positions on these types of moral issues, and these data confirm how far apart partisans continue to be in this important election year. Although values concerns are seldom rated the most important issues in a presidential campaign, a candidate’s positions on such issues can serve to motivate his party’s base, and can help determine vote choice for the small segments of voters for whom values are very important.
Today is a federal holiday in the U.S. to observe Veterans Day. Though many federal holidays are observed on Mondays (no matter the actual day it falls in), Veterans Day is always observed on the 11th of November.
And if you wondered what the difference is between Memorial Day (observed on the last Monday in May) and Veterans Day….
Memorial Day remembers and honors military personnel who died in the service of their country, in particular those who died in battle or resulting from wounds in battle.
Veterans Day is a day to thank and honor all who served honorably in the military, in peacetime or during times of war, and intended to thank and appreciate LIVING veterans for their service.
Yes, Lola Jane, USAF 1980 boot camp photo
So from this U.S. Air Force veteran to fellow veterans…thank you for your service, and Happy Veterans Day!
Today, please take time to acknowledge your family and friends who served in the armed forces…and thank them for their service and contributions.
Did you know…thousands of Filipinos and Filipino Americans have served and are currently in the U.S. military?
Americans are sometimes surprised to learn that citizens from other countries serve in the U.S. military, as one may naturally assume that U.S. military people are required to be U.S. citizens.
Filipinos started to serve in the US Navy in great numbers after 1901, when President William McKinley signed an executive order allowing the Navy to enlist 500 Filipinos as part of is insular force (though there are recorded accounts from then General Andrew Jackson of “Manilamen” fighting for the U.S. during the War of 1812).
Filipinos have a long history of serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. In 2012, there were 65,000 immigrants serving in the US armed forces — and nearly 1/4 of the immigrants were from the Philippines!
Further reading from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
About Veterans Day — especially if you are Interested in learning why the holiday is always observed on November 11th
To learn more about the Military history of Asian Americans, click on the poster image
Further reading from the U.S. Navy Department Library:
Naval History and Heritage:Filipinos in the United States Navy (bulletins up to the year 1976). Note: When I was in the military, I had a close group of fellow Filipino airmen at the Air Force Base where I was stationed. I knew back then that there were many more Filipinos in the U.S. Navy — compared to the Air Force and other armed forces — and I wondered why. Information from the Navy Library answers the questions about why so many Filipinos served in the US Navy (well, up to the year 1976, at least).
And for more about the history of Asians serving on behalf of the United States, see a comprehensive Wikipedia article here or click on the World War II “The Fighting Filipinos” propaganda poster.
The first record of Filipinos in the continental US was during the month of October in 1587.
In November, 2009, the United States House of Representatives and Senate passed laws officially recognizing October as Filipino American History Month in the US.
From the FANHS – Filipino American National Historical Society website…
October’s significance as Filipino American History Month is due to the first recorded presence of Filipinos in the continental United States when on October 18, 1587, “Luzones Indios” came ashore from the Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Esparanza and landed at what is now Morro Bay, California.
In November of 2009, both the United States House of Representatives and Senate passed laws – House Resolution 780 and Senate Resolution 298 respectively, officially recognizing October as Filipino American History Month in the United States.
Various states, counties and cities in the U.S. have since followed suit and have established proclamations and resolutions declaring observance of Filipino American History Month in their regions. Continue reading…
If you live in the Monterey Bay area, check out the pop-up museum this afternoon, organized by the Asian Cultural Experience on Filipinos in Salinas Chinatown and Monterey County. Details:
When: Saturday, October 18, 2014, 2:00 pm–5:00 pm Cost: FREE
Where: John Steinbeck Library, 350 Lincoln Ave., Salinas, CA
Filipinos in Salinas Chinatown 1920s Wellington Lee Collection
Information from ACE…
Salinas Chinatown was founded by Chinese merchants in 1893. Filipinos first arrived on the California coast on Manila Galleons. During the early 20th century, the 12 square block area was home to many closely-knit Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Mexican, and African American families. In the 1920s, Filipinos migrated to the Salinas and Pajaro Valleys to work in the agricultural fields, and some settled in or near Chinatown. Another wave of Filipinos migrated to the area following World War II.
This Pop-up Museum (the third in a series focusing on Salinas Chinatown), sponsored by Asian Cultural Experience (A.C.E.), Salinas CA, in collaboration with the John Steinbeck Library, explores the history of Filipinos in Salinas Chinatown, Salinas Valley, and Monterey County, and invites your participation:
Are you part of a Filipino family that lived in Chinatown or in Monterey County?
Did you have friends in Salinas Chinatown, or did you know any Filipino families in the area?
How did you, or do you view the Chinatown community? Did you ever walk or drive through Chinatown, talk to the people, or take photographs? Did you have friends in Chinatown, or do business there?
We invite Salinas and Monterey County residents and visitors to come and share their experiences and knowledge of Salinas Chinatown and the Filipino experience; in the process we will explore our differences as well as our common ground. Bring one or two objects or photographs, and especially your stories, to share with us. For the period of the pop-up, we will provide temporary exhibit space and labels for your items, and people who are interested in hearing your story. We look forward to seeing you!
The missing Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 239 passengers and crew has been on the news over the last few days. It is hard to believe that a huge commercial airplane — in this day and age, with our radars, satellites and modern technology — can just disappear without a trace.
In 1962, during clear weather and calm seas, a flight originating from a Northern California U.S. Air Force base and destined for Vietnam also went missing, while en route from Guam to the Philippines to refuel. The 5-year-old Lockheed L-1049 (Flying Tiger Line) plane carried 93 U.S. Army Rangers, 3 Vietnamese nationals, 11 civilians, and 3 military passengers.
Photo of Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation propliner plane by Greg and Cindy via Wikipedia Commons / Flickr
The Lockheed plane crew did not issue distress signals after it left Guam, headed for Clark Air Base in Angeles City, Philippines. And despite a search by the U.S. military covering over 200,000 square miles (520,000 square km), it was never seen or heard from again, disappearing without a trace.
But that was over 50 years ago, and our technology makes the world a smaller place now. It does not seem possible that in 2014, a plane can simply disappear…
An international search effort to find the missing Malaysia Airlines plane is ongoing, including help from the U.S. Navy and countries neighboring Malaysia (Southeast Asia).
Click on the map image to view Lolako.com post about countries in Southeast Asia
On a foggy day last week, Jeff and I walked from the Potrero Rd. entrance to the Moss Landing beach, past the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) and towards Phil’s Fish Market & Eatery.
Rather large driftwood — drift LOGS, really, at Moss Landing Beach
On the way back, we decided to take the road and frontage trail, instead of walking back on the beach. On Sandholdt Road, we noticed this ship, the Rachel Carson, at the Moss Landing Harbor.
We wondered….who is Rachel Carson?
Note: The photo does not do justice to the rather new, shiny ship.
I did not think anymore about the Rachel Carson ship — and these set of photos — until reading the “Your Town” section of today’s Monterey County Herald. Excerpt:
The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute will hold an open house from noon to 5PM Saturday at 7700 Sandholdt Road.
At 12:45PM, aquarium executive director Julie Packard will christen the institute’s newest ship, the R/V Rachel Carson.
Other activities include talks about the expeditions to the Gulf of California and Sargasso Sea, a tour of the labs, a look at ships and undersea robots used in the deep-sea excursions, and workshops where children can build their own remotely operated vehicles.
According to the MBARI website, the R/V Rachel Carson “will serve as a replacement for both the R/V Zephyr and R/V Point Lobos, and will be able to launch both ROVs and AUVs, as well as conduct multi-day expeditions”.
Rachel Carson wrote the book Silent Spring and is credited with advancing the global environmental movement. Excerpt from Wikipedia…
Late in the 1950s Carson turned her attention to conservation, especially environmental problems she believed were caused by synthetic pesticides. The result was Silent Spring (1962), which brought environmental concerns to an unprecedented share of the American people.
Although Silent Spring met with fierce opposition by chemical companies, it spurred a reversal in national pesticide policy, which led to a nationwide ban on DDT and other pesticides, and it inspired a grassroots environmental movement that led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Carson was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Jimmy Carter.
The open house also celebrates MBARI’s 25th anniversary. The presentation schedule is as follows:
In the PACIFIC FORUM: Extending MBARI’s reach
12:00 Volcanoes of the Gulf of California ~ Jenny Paduan
12:30 Video ~ no speaker during christening of R/V Rachel Carson
01:00 Volcanoes of the Gulf of California (repeat) ~ Jenny Paduan
01:30 Monterey Bay: A window to the world ~ Chris Scholin
02:00 Secrets of the Sargasso Sea ~ Alana Sherman
02:30 ESP around the world ~ Jim Birch
03:00 Secrets of the Sargasso Sea (repeat) ~ Alana Sherman
03:30 ESP around the world (repeat) ~ Jim Birch
04:00 Exploring the Gulf of California ~ Steve Haddock
04:30 Exploring the Gulf of California (repeat) ~ Steve Haddock
Beach Sagewort (Artemisia pycnocephala) is the most common, California native plant, found around sand dunes. This one encircled by non-native — and aggressive — iceplants, which do not provide food or shelter to native wildlife.
Reward for lost scientific instrument!
Fish & Wildlife Service employee photo, via Wikipedia
Carson began her career as a biologist in the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries, and became a full-time nature writer in the 1950s. Her widely praised 1951 bestseller The Sea Around Us won her a U.S. National Book Award, recognition as a gifted writer, and financial security. Her next book, The Edge of the Sea, and the reissued version of her first book, Under the Sea Wind, were also bestsellers. That so-called sea trilogy explores the whole of ocean life from the shores to the surface to the depths.
Yes, there used to be a pier there — I remember it from before the MBARI buildings were built and Moss Landing consisted mainly of just the harbor and old cannery buildings.
I think people used to fish off it. I don’t remember ever walking on it, because it was gated for a long time, probably to prevent accidents. I have some film of low tide at Moss Landing too — I’ll post them on Local Nomad sometime soon.
FYI you can see photos and learn some Moss Landing history by simply walking into the Moss Landing post office — it’s a little mini museum!
I am writing in response to your curiously about the lost Moss Landing Pier.
The pier was originally put in place by the town’s namesake, Captain Charles Moss in the Mid-1800s. It was used by him for loading shipping for many years in the mid1800s, there were first tall sailing ships and later steamships.
Moss sold to the Pacific Coast Steamship Co in the late 1880s. They shipped from the pier for about 50 years.
This was followed by whaling and landing whales at the pier and its beach.
Then it became a fishing pier 1960s (you paid for access to use it) and then used by the marine research station starting in about 1980s. The harbor originally used it to hold its dredging pipes.
The pier was damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and then further ripped to sea in the ealy 90s storms.
Sometimes the ML Labs still talks about replacing the pier. All that is left is the bottom of the piers and the shore side bulkhead, bulkhead belongs to the property owned by San Jose State Univ..
Watch the waves during the next really big storm, the pier location will be the quietest portion of the waters. If you come by the Captain’s Inn bed and breakfast mid-day, I can show you a few photos of the old pier with tall sailing ships docked.
Great information learned here…all through posting this on my blog!
Update to post on February 2015:
Looking back at this post, I think the area’s history of being part of the whaling industry is why it felt haunting to me. My reference to one of the photos having a “Stonehenge” feel seemed odd, but now makes sense since Stonehenge was a burial ground in its early history.
Thank goodness that part of our history is over, and we now have a different view of whales, especially since humans hunting whales so dramatically reduced the number of some species.
These days, the Monterey Bay Area — a fantastic place to watch migrating whales — celebrates the whale through an annual festival, held during the month of January.
There are also marine conservation films and documentaries shown in conjunction with “Whalefest”.