Serpent of Patrick’s Point

Nice snake!Patrick’s Point State Park is one of the most glorious places in Humboldt County, even though most of the trees are not giant redwoods. It is widely known for its stunning ocean views and spectacular essence. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more at home anywhere else; I wrote about it once before, in August, 2007, and included more conventional pictures.

This afternoon, Alexis and I hiked the rim trail of Patrick’s Point, which was cut by the Yurok Tribe hundreds of years ago. According to their tradition, the Dolphin Spirit took up residence here when humanity took over the surface of Earth. Personally, I suspect they’re on to something. Go there someday and see for yourself.

It was fairly late afternoon, and stretches of the path were brightly lit up by sunshine. Here is one of two snakes we saw during the hike. This one was about 18 inches long. Maybe somehow he knew the law protects him from human aggression, because he didn’t seem intimidated by a couple of people. No doubt plenty of other creatures are eager to have him for their next meal.

It’s hard not to notice that this is the second fairly recent serpent-related entry. Is there a symbolic meaning in this? Given my many lizard sightings over the years, (see this, and this, also this, maybe this, and this, and especially this), it’s hard not to see these snake visitations as some sort of escalation of the primal forces. Somehow it feels like a positive and somehow appropriate development.

Shinrin-yoku is the Japanese practice of forest bathing. Count me among the “early adopeters” of this therapy! Like many lawyers, I have a keen sense of what constitutes good medical practice — and I am 100% sure that hanging out in a forest has tangible medical benefits. If you’re into experimenting a little with shinrin-yoku, I recommend going to Avenue of the Giants.

Avenue of the Redwoods

A Birthday Celebration

Lana and ScottHere is a fine picture of Lana May and me right after we wrapped up an hour on a jet ski. Look how happy she is! We are celebrating her 15th birthday. It was the first time she ever really got to drive a powerful vehicle. Lana got skillful quickly and loves going fast. The good news is that she didn’t go too fast for me. I’ve always enjoyed speed. Carlsbad Lagoon is a great place to have fun on the water. We also enjoyed perfect weather.

Remember the first time you got to drive something that would go a lot faster than a bicycle? I was less than two months past my 11th birthday when I started hanging out with my uncle’s motorcycle racing crew. Now I have reached the age where I’d just as soon have somebody else do the driving. It’s good to know that Lana is capable. It’s also nice that she enjoys going fast, although it means I am going to recommend that she drive a 1977 AMC Gremlin with a slightly damaged engine when she turns 16 in a year.

Surfing MadonnaAlexis took us out for coffee afterwards. We got to sip beneath the protective presence of the Surfing Madonna!

The Apes Took Over

Scott and Eileen guarding Paula

It is about time America confronted its own sordid history. The textbooks we use in schools today leave out most of the really interesting and important stuff. I guess our masters don’t think we’re capable of handling the truth, or maybe they figure it is easier for them to manage a confused and ignorant herd.

For example, the era popular culture thinks of as “the 60s” actually dates from late 1963, when President Kennedy was assassinated, through August of 1974, when President Nixon resigned. Establishment history explains that a lone nut named Oswald murdered the President in Dallas. It goes on to explain that Richard Nixon resigned from office in disgrace as a result of the Watergate scandal.

Counterculture history tells us that Kennedy was murdered by the military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned us about, and it acknowledges that there was a lot more to Watergate than is evident at the surface. You know, Malcolm X explained that the U.S. media had a habit of getting the American People to debate among themselves about which of two big lies actually is true. The man had a very important point, but even Malcolm failed to grasp the gravity of the situation our society found itself in 50 years ago.

The grim truth is that world society has been subverted from within by a massive Ape conspiracy! Where do they come from? That’s a good question, but educated opinion suggests they come from the future, from a time when apes have mastered humanity and seized time-travel technology for their own sinister purposes. Apparently the Apes began intervening in human events shortly after the end of the First World War. Benito Mussolini was one of the first major world leaders to fall under their control. The Apes supported both sides during the Second World War, knowing that they would have an easier time taking over if humanity stayed busy wiping itself out for a few years.

After World War Two, the Apes were responsible for the Cold War as they further consolidated their conrol over Earth. Americans were shocked by President Eisenhower’s warning about the military-industrial complex, but even Ike was afraid to level with the American People and tell them the honest truth about the nature of the threat faced by our society.

Today there is a lot of talk about zombies in our popular culture. Once again we are collectively afraid to face the truth: zombies are not un-dead, they are humans who have suffered grave and ultimately fatal genetic damage as a result of Ape intervention. It’s just part of the same old “divide and conquer” strategy that has served them so well for decades.

Many people have suspected these truths for years, but things are getting so bad these days that maybe our society is ready to wake up and confront reality. I’ve hinted about it before. For example, several years ago I reported about the zombie uprising in Hollywood back in 1972. Today I am going to explain more of this important hidden history.

It’s true that I, along with a number of other athletic young adolescents, were sent to fight the zombies that were feasting on the small brains found in the Hollywood Hills. What I didn’t explain was that the zombies were sent to attack Hollywood in the fall of 1972 because a key Ape political figure had been taken hostage just a couple of months earlier. That’s what the picture that goes along with this story is all about.

I led a secret team that included Eileen Becker, also pictured. We captured this Ape, named Paula Crist, at the 1972 World Science Fiction Convention in Anaheim, California. This picture shows us taking the Ape into custody.

Obviously the Apes did not take this development lying down. They figured that a small group of kids and dissident adults from Hollywood should not be allowed to interfere with their larger plans for our society. What they did not know at the time was that elements high in the Nixon administration were adamantly opposed to the continuing Ape influence, despite the massive covert support given to the Nixon campaign by the Ape underground.

Paula was released from the cave she was held captive in the day President Nixon was re-elected, as a sign of good faith. Nixon intended to finish President Kennedy’s efforts to secure peace and disarmament during his second term, but the Apes had other plans. Since Nixon had served them so well, they disgraced him rather than ordering him assassinated.

A lot of things make more sense now, don’t they? You wonder why America has abandoned any trace of egalitarian values, why she seems to be embracing fascism more every day?

Blame it on the chimps!

 

Giant Snake in the Yard

Rainbow told me something was up. Dogs will tell you a lot if you are willing to pause long enough to listen.

She came to the sliding screen door that separates my home office from the downstairs patio with a nervous expression. At first I ignored her but she was insistent, raising her ears up halfway and wrinkling her forehead, occasionally shaking her head towards her right and pointing.Snake!

Imagine my surprise when I slid the door open, poked my head out and turned left – to see a huge snake, several feet long, trapped by a roll of garden netting! I jumped so quickly that all of my clothes were left in a pile behind me. Once I put them back on I went and grabbed my camera and Lana.

“Hey, Ms. May! You need to come look at this – it’s something you haven’t seen before in our yard, and I don’t think you’re going to forget this anytime soon!” She paused her preparations for the Del Mar Junior Lifeguard program to join me, grabbing her iPhone to snap the photo below a few seconds after I took the first one in this post.

OK, there’s a big snake in my yard, trapped by garden netting. Now what? Looking at 14 year-old Lana reminded me that I’m the grownup and ought to Take Charge, seeing as how I Know What to Do.

Right.

Carefully, gently, I grabbed the roll and slowly rolled up the netting as I raised the whole thing. The snake pulled back with remarkable strength, trying to get out of the net. As I started to raise a big part of the serpent’s body off the ground I noticed just how strong and heavy it really was. Suddenly the snake’s head popped free from the plastic netting and the snake was free and wholly back on the concrete. It slithered off as fast as it could!

Out of sight, out of mind. Great job! Well done!

Snake!

Research discloses that this snake likely is a model representative of Arizona Elegans Occidentalis, otherwise known as the California Glossy Snake. For additional reptile coverage in these pages, see here, herehereherehere, and especially here.

Four Eyes

Renaissance Faire guy with Four Eyes

Here is another winning photograph from my dad’s vast archive of shots from the Renaissance Pleasure Faire. This one comes to us from the spring of 1980. I imagine this is not something you see every day. Definitely an eye-catching picture!

33 Years Ago Today

Volcano Explodes

May 25, 1980 was a memorable day. This was the day I graduated from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, the Garden Spot of the Pacific Northwest.

What everybody remembers about May 1980 was the explosion of Mount St. Helens on the 18th.  Here’s a picture I took that day from behind the Adult Student Housing complex at 2701 North Main Street.

Gigantic clouds of volcanic ash were falling across Forest Grove the afternoon of May 25, 1980. It was harsh enough that my parents got out of town without staying long enough for dinner.

A Tale of Two Mustangs

Many of us have fond feelings about cars we had when we were kids. Here’s a 1980 picture taken in Forest Grove, Oregon, featuring me and my 1968 Mustang. I drove this car for many years, from college through law school and into the early years of my professional life. Although everybody agreed it was a cool car, it was far from fancy. It had “three on the floor” and a little 200 cubic inch “straight six” engine. It did not have air conditioning, but it did have a black plastic interior well-designed to retain heat.

For me this blurred image has a vaguely dreamlike quality. Could this picture really be 33 years old? The field in the background has been richly developed during those years. Was that shirt one I’d bought in ’73 to wear at my graduation from junior high? Inside the car I can see that my disassembled racing bike is in the back seat. Wasn’t that fancy bike stolen right out from under my nose at Venice Beach seven or eight years later?

1980_0904_scott_pearce_mustang

Here is a 2013 Mustang Fastback, which I rented for my latest excursion to Redwood Country. The modern car is quite similar to the one that was built 45 years ago, but it is more comfortable and has more modern conveniences. It was fun to drive around northwest California in this car…but it did serve to prove that nostalgia is a longing for something you couldn’t stand anymore. I’m much happier with my Sebring than I ever was with a car with a hard-top.

2013_0420_mustang

4/20 Graffiti Wisdom

2013_0420_graffiti

Highway 20 is a magnificent place to drive. You take the 101 into glamorous Willits, Gateway to Redwood Country, and turn left towards Fort Bragg. A series of remarkable events found me on this wonderful road on April 20, headed to Garberville in southern Humboldt County. The graffiti is from a rest area bathroom off Highway 20. Here’s a sample of the local color!

2013_0420_trees

 

Art Camp 2012

The San Diego Zoo is one of the great attractions in southern California. I still remember touching the Galapagos Tortoises at the SD Zoo during my first visit more than 50 years ago. When I was a kid, I spent most of my summers in various swimming pools, libraries and science fiction conventions. Not once did I attend a summer camp. Who needs camp in Hollywood if you’ve got good student discount movie passes and daily chances to swim? No, I never did go to summer camp and I can’t say I ever felt especially deprived.

The San Diego Zoo Art Camp actually is set up for all ages. I didn’t require any special dispensation to be able to attend. There’s a lot to be said for the experience; certainly it was a highlight of the summer for me. It is much different to go to the zoo for a day and spend an hour at a single exhibit compared to a typical visit where you’re trying to see as much as possible. It’s also cool to go to the zoo for several hours a day, five days in a row.

There is a lot to be said for hanging out with children, too. The kids ranged in age from 8 to 14. All of them were charming and most of them were accomplished young artists. It was a pleasure to spend the week with Elana, getting behind the scenes glimpses into the working of the zoo. We both enjoyed studying and practicing the art of drawing, too. The teacher was generous with her knowledge and patient with her students. Here is my elephant and Lana’s giraffes, to show you what we were up to.

 When we were at Art Camp back in 2010, Elana got a great photograph of an outraged and hungry tiger. Maybe it was a little risky for me to dangle her over the protective barrier just to get a really good picture, but I figured it was a good way for us to bond, plus it’s invaluable for young people to face death and live to tell the tale.

This year it was my turn to get a spectacular picture of a deadly predator without the presence of bars or glass barriers in the way to mess up the shot. Here’s the picture – a furious and ravenous crocodile!

Hungry, Angry Croc!

These animals are impressive killing machines, but they have a tender side too – they care for their babies with far more attention to detail than most reptiles. They have eyes as acute as owls and also superb hearing. Crocs can swim and run very fast, too. They tend to be ambush hunters, lying in wait for unsuspecting prey. This was my big advantage. Surprise was on my side. Most captive crocodiles are not used to guys with cameras making a hurried run-through in order to get a quick photograph!

As you can see, the picture was well worth any short-term danger. Sure, I know a lot of idiots get killed at zoos every year. They drop their camera into the tiger cage and try to retrieve it, or they want to pet the nice panda or polar bear. Those folks are Darwin Award candidates for sure. What the High Cabal doesn’t want you to know about are all the people who take less outrageous, more calculated risks for the sake of art.

OK, I understand that it is against the rules and generally accepted notions of common sense for an ordinary middle-aged clown to risk life and limb for a photograph. Still, nobody got hurt. It is true that the croc did go after me a split-second after I took the picture, but the fact that I’m writing this is proof that he didn’t get me. It’s also true that some of the zoo attendees were quite frightened by the sudden action in the crocodile enclosure. I admit that I didn’t expect to have quite such a close call, and it’s also true that I didn’t know that the croc would end up slamming into the glass so forcefully. I imagine a few of the folks were a little flustered by the experience. Well, I say that the picture was worth it. You be the judge.