Rivenrock Gardens Cactus Blog

Sponsored Links

Dinosaur Caves from the sea

 

 Dinosaur Caves is a small little section of beach-cliff in the Shell Beach/Pismo Beach area of the Central Coast of California.

   If you’ve ever been to Lagos Portugal… you’ll recognize similar features… but Portugal has warmer and clearer water.

   The rock strata and the waves have created an ever-changing landscape of eroded cliffs and caves and holes underneath them.
Caves and arches can be seen aplenty.. but since it is so difficult and precarious to navigate on the rocks, one does not see the full beauty of the cliffs from above them, looking down.
   We rented some kayaks from Central Coat Kayaks in Shell Beach.  They have a full range of various types and sizes of kayaks and paddleboards.  They like to get people started early in the mornings to avoid the wind.  We tend to get very windy in the afternoons.

   The caves are interesting, beautiful. It seems like you’re in another world… one of National Geographic explorers, and strange exotic animals….. it’s really pretty cool to just drift like a piece of wood, right up near nesting colonies of birds, seeing seals and sea otters.
   You have to be careful not to get so close that you disturb them… but they seem to be used to people drifting about in quiet boats….

   The rocky cliff-side is pockmarked with caves of various sizes and depths.  As you go along, you can envision how the coastline has changed through the millenia… some areas were obviously caves, but are now just narrow arches… soon to fall into the sea leaving only the posts on either side. 

 

   The Big Cave is really something to see. From shore you can see only the small hole that comes through to the land-side…
We all went through the cave…. you have to time it with the ocean swell so that the wave will pick your boat up and carry you over the rocks…. then you have to stop yourself and turn when the wave carries you through… because it crashes against the cliff on the other side…. it’s totally awesome and rad Dude!
   One of the fellows even worked back against the tide through the big cave.. seemed like quite  a feat to me..

   We paddled into one of the caves that has two holes… most of the waves go into one hole, and with a great rushing and swirling turbulence, it rushes out the other hole…. it was really easy to get into the cave…. but getting out was a bit of a challenge…. I pushed the other fellow out, helping to guide his boat through the crashing surf…. helping to guide it in the narrow channel filled with rushing waters going every direction, and trying to carry the boat sideways to hang bow and stern on the rocks…. we got him started, and like a sluice… once he got to a certain spot, he was able to just zip right on through…. then I was next… alone.. it took three tries.. but third time’s the charm… like a dream the boat found its own way through the channel, and it looked like I knew what I was doing!

  Kayaks are surprisingly easy to learn…. they are a pretty safe way to boat… much more stable than you’d imagine due to the low profile…. VERY shallow draft…. and Central Coat Kayaks will even give you lessons at their clinics and one-on-one lessons.

  Get out there and have some fun.. and good clean water-sports are one of the best ways to experience life and maintain fitness.

Avila California, San Luis Bay

Some photos I took of the creek that runs through Avila and leads to San Luis Bay California.
Also, boats floating out in the bay.

Summer BBQ

BBQ

BBQ

 BBQ…. cheese-stuffed bacon-wrapped peppers… squashes and cactus brushed with olive oil and our special blend of peppers…. and turkey burgers.

Summertime is good time.

But always remember that the following winter will ask you what you did during the easy-time of summer.

A Customer's Cactus Photos

We enjoy getting comments on our cactus. It’s also fun seeing that other folks like eating our cactus. And when we get someone mentioning our cactus on their blog… that’s a great thing!

cactus being cooked

cactus being cooked

Sunset on the cactus plantation

Sunset photo
Sunset photo

Sunset on the cactus plantation

Morning Flowers

Here’s a few photos of cactus flowers, and some other plants along our road.

 

Opuntia Flower

Opuntia Flower

Opuntia robusta flower

Opuntia Flower

DandyLion

DandyLion

Red-Hot Poker

Red-Hot Poker

Patience My Ass, I'm gonna kill something!

   We have Turkey Vultures in this area. They are pretty amazing animals….. they can eat dead animals felled by disease, and their systems can clean the disease out…. they are called the ‘trashmen of the wilderness’… they are a necessary component to our local eco-system.

   They are also terribly pest-ridden creatures…. infested with little crawlies… and stinking really bad… really, really, really bad.

  But I like them a lot…. they taste a bit like a cross between a Peregrine Falcon and a Spotted Owl! (Joke).

   They are an amazing little creature to watch… they will sit high on a treetop or cliff waiting for the sun to cause the thermal updrafts that they ride so effortlessly…. a simple jump into the breeze… a short downhill glide to build air-current causing lift (the curves of the wings causes a vacuum that actually lifts the animal up), and the animal can turn into the updrafts… letting the upwelling column of air lift the bird up gradually… they must spin in circles inside this column of air….. each circle will bring them a bit higher than they were before…. all of this is done with just small ‘tweaks’ to the feathers… the birds can control some of the flight feathers giving small adjustments to balance and steering.

   Amazing creatures really….

   Incidentally… they have to take several running steps to build momentum for lift if starting off on the level ground. A Turkey vulture in a five foot pen cannot fly out due to this take-off restriction. I’d say  a Turkey Vulture takes thirty feet horizontal-run to get six feet off the ground.

Turkey Vulture on a tree

Turkey Vulture on a tree

    I saw this Vulture in a  tree over the creek…..

Turkey Vultures on a tree

Turkey Vultures on a tree

   Moments later a cousin (they nest in family groups) came to mess with him…..
They squawked for a few moments, then left off together to do some Vulture stuff I’d not understand.

Sea Lions in Avila

Young sea lion in Avila California

 

    Avila California has a few really nice piers.
    The Sea Lions have taken to sleeping along some of the lower access walkways.
    It’s illegal to try to get them to move.. as this may be construed as harassing them….
   They are also wild beasts… so if you try to get past them.. they might get scared and bite….
   In fact… these critters are like dogs with flippers and no ears.   They are beautiful creatures when in the water…. they transform from the ungainly creatures we see on land.. to swirling and twirling flying dancers in the deep kelp…..

beautiful and astounding.

 

Sealwoman/Yundah
Mary McLaughlin

Over the waves you call to me
Shadow of dream, ancient mystery
Oh how I long for your sweet caress
Oh how I long for your gentleness

Torn between sea mists and solid land
Nights when I’ve ached for a human hand
I’ll come to you when the moon shines bright
But I must go free with the first streak of light

Over the waves you call to me
Shadow of dream ancient mystery
Oh how I long for your sweet caress
Oh how I long for your gentleness

 

Canyon Photos

Image of Aloe Vera...

Image of Aloe Vera...

    I took a photos of some Aloe Vera on the hillside….
   then I played around with the tools in the paint program

 

The Driveway before mowing in June 2010

The Driveway before mowing in June 2010

 The Driveway before mowing in June 2010

 

The canyon... mist slips over the hills from the sea

The canyon... mist slips over the hills from the sea

   You can see at the top left a little bit of fog is slipping into the canyon over the low spot of the saddle in the hills. The other side of the hills is socked in with wet dampness which gives life to the countryside…. we are quite a bit drier with a totally different environment than that just over the hills.

What the Pros Use

   An uncle of mine often liked to mention that the work we did was like ‘the Big-boys Downtown’… meaning ‘The Pros’.  A professional has to have the right stuff to do work…. with inadequate equipment you start the game at a disadvantage.. but in the marketplace of work, there is no handicap given to those with inadequate machinery or smarts.

   We do a HUGE amount of weed whacking…. I used to wear-out one weedwacker every year… mainly because the underpowered homeowner models I was buying yearly could not live through the rough use in the wilderness to which I subjected them…. and I was often frustrated by the inability of my machines to cut through the brush and heavy weeds we have…..

   A contractor friend from whom we bought our tractor told me that I should see what the professional weed-trimming crews use for weedwackers.  The pros would buy the best machine for the price… but always a machine that would stand up to the wear-and-tear of several different users and a variety of tasks… at the time the local fellows were mainly using Shindaiwa…. so I went to see what the local Shindaiwa dealer could offer….

   I almost fell over when they showed me a weedwacker priced at nearly $500! OMG, that’s five years worth of weed wackers for me! “But”, they said, “You will only need one, not five”.  With a sinking heart, I paid for the machine…. and went home to have the best and easiest weedwacking I’d ever done.  And now, ten years later, I am still using the same weed wacker…. and when I work, I can get through the brush much better than any other hand-held machine I have ever used.

   Now, wear-and-tear and time will make even a Shindaiwa old(er).  I have to buy a new fuel-pickup every year… I change the spark-plug every few years, and I have to change the fuel tank every five years or so.  This year, on occasion of the ten year anniversary of the trimmer, I bought for it not only a new fuel tank, but a complete new muffler with spark arrestor, and several new rubber parts that have deteriorated a bit over the years.   True, the sum total of these replacement parts is what a small underpowered and cheap weedwacker costs…. but this trimmer is worth it!

 

Shindaiwa C-35 Weedwacker
Shindaiwa C-35 Weedwacker

This is the engine-end of our Shindaiwa C-35 string trimmer. It has a new muffler and shroud, a new fuel tank and a few new rubber parts.