Family Flashbacks (12): Feathers, Fur, and Fins

Continuing the saga of our Califionia road trip exactly six years ago, Squiddy had to be on the job at 8, so we were up in time to have a nice breakfast with her. We went, of course, to the Big Artichoke restaurant in Castroville and sampled several kinds of their specialty omelettes which seemed, to our surprise, actually to have more artichokes than eggs. CD and I had the rest of the day free and decided to check out a sign we’d seen for a cruise in the nearby Elkhorn Slough. We spent the next hour and a half in serenity in a nearly-silent electric boat, gliding past sea lions, royal terns, brown pelicans, sandpipers, curlews and—several of my very favorite animals to watch whenever I get the chance—sea otters! We picked Squiddy up again a little after 1 pm and drove south to Monterey for our long-anticipated visit to the fabulous Monterey Bay Aquarium, thanks to whose Research Institute she had been able to spend a very productive—and, for me, a very enviable—week at sea. I made more than 500 photos on this day and bring you here just my very favorites.

About krikitarts

Welcome to Krikit Arts! I'm a veterinarian; photographer; finger-style guitarist, composer, instructor, and singer/songwriter; fisherman; and fly-tyer. Please enjoy--and please respect my full rights to all photos on this Website!
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21 Responses to Family Flashbacks (12): Feathers, Fur, and Fins

  1. What colorful subjects: the aquarium gave you the chance to get close to those photogenic creatures without having to get wet or don specialized apparel and equipment.

    • krikitarts says:

      The aquarium was one of the best I’ve ever seen, and the glass on the various tanks was simply spotless and a real treat to behold. And the water in all the tanks was so clear that it was almost as if there were no glass.

  2. Vicki says:

    Superb images. What a treat to be able to see such wonders up close.
    I would be focused on the sea otters too – fascinating little creatures to watch. I have long been a fan of David Attenborough or National Geographic nature films, but to see all these wonderful sea creatures, in reality, would be a joy.

    • krikitarts says:

      I’ve been a fan of otters for as long as I can remember. I’ve seen a few during my canoe explorations in Minnesota, but they’ve been very infrequent. David Attenborough has been a household word for many decades, and he joined Squiddy and crew on their exploration of the depths of the sea around the Antarctic in Jan-Feb 2017, surely one of the highlights of her career so far.

  3. Adrian Lewis says:

    Beautiful pictures, my friend, especially the underwater ones. :)

  4. krikitarts says:

    Thanks, Adrian. I snorkel, but seeing critters like these make me wish that I’d learned scuba diving too.

  5. Platypus Man says:

    Is artichoke omelette what the Eighth Amendment is referring to when it speaks of “cruel and unusual punishment?” But any discomfort must have been totally forgotten once you got up close and personal with sea otters. We saw them in Alaska…wonderful creatures.

    • krikitarts says:

      The artichoke omelettes weren’t all that bad, but we had no desire to eat any more artichokes for quite some time. And yes, any otters are a joy to behold. There’s a colony of little Asian ones in the Auckland zoo and I’ve seen a few in Minnesota when I’ve been out in my canoe, but these big boys are just marvelous.

  6. shoreacres says:

    I just learned that artichokes are in the same family as sunflowers and asters, and that they’re a sort of thistle. This goes against my life-long belief that artichokes arrived here from some exoplanet, and bear no relationship to normal plants.

    Those photos from the aquarium are gorgeous. I’m really fond of jellies, and the aquarium certainly displays them well. I think the first one might be a sort of moon jelly: a species that shows up here from time to time.

    • krikitarts says:

      The artichoke plants are truly other-worldly, and there are several varieties, each one seeming more exotic than the last. And yes, that is indeed a moon jelly, and one of Squiddy’s favorites.

  7. Excellent photos, both the sea otters and the aquarium denizens 😊

    • krikitarts says:

      Thanks, Belinda, that was a most memorable day and if/when we get another chance to spend some time in that area, we will definitely try to revisit both of these wonderful places. But I strongly doubt that we’ll revisit artichoke omelettes.

  8. Helen Cherry says:

    Wonderful images Gary

  9. bluebrightly says:

    Oh, what a day that was no wonder you made so many photographs! We stayed in an airbnb near the Elkhorn Slough a few years ago. We didn’t get to take a boat up the slough and didn’t see the aquarium, but there’s so much to see in that area that we had a great time. Your fabulous photos make me eager to go back. And we didn’t have an artichoke omelet! We need to get back there….

  10. These are wonderful, Gary. It was a great and obviously memorable trip. I hope you’ll share a few more from the aquarium visit. I think I’d like to try an artichoke omelet. We like to add them to salads and I bet they add a lot to eggs also.

  11. Meanderer says:

    Sounds like a fab place to visit! Love your images – particularly the last one! I’ve never – to my knowledge – eaten artichokes; sounds like I made a wise move :-)

    • krikitarts says:

      They really can be quite tasty, but we found that it’s quite possible to overdo it. There are lots of recipes online. I recommend boiling or roasting and then dipping the fleshy parts of the bracts in a sauce made with butter, garlic, mustard, mayo, and lemon.

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