Wyland Whaling Wall

“I pretend like I’m painting
the whales as they swim by.
I’ve studied whales since I was a child,
so it’s all in my mind.”
Wyland

wyland-whaling-wall

One of Redondo Beaches most famous landmarks is the large mural created by world-famous Laguna Beach artist Wyland. He painted the mural for free back in 1991 in hopes the mural would inspire everyone to make ocean conservation an issue to be examined.

This 87′ x 622′ mural depicting 12 California gray whales can be viewed on the exterior wall of the AES Redondo Generating Station, 1100 North Harbor Drive, Redondo Beach, California. The mural is #31 of the artist’s largest and most extraordinary works created as a series of 100 life-size murals in 100 different cities around the world.

The mural illustrates the annual 10,000-mile round-trip migration of the Pacific Gray Whale from the Bering Sea to the warm lagoons of Baja California and back again to the arctic circle, with their newborn babies alongside. This migration happens every winter and brings the whales close to Redondo Beach’s shoreline.

I feel so fortunate to have witnessed hundreds of whales these past years making their yearly Baja trip. If you too have seen whales in their natural habitat, you know what an emotional experience it can be. We need to be reminded of our beautiful oceans and the precious cargo it is home to everyday.

The following 1991 video about Wyland and his passion for whales, also shows the painting on the Wyland Whaling Wall.

Shine On

Chasing the Sun

When there’s a huge solar energy spill,
it’s just called a “nice day”.

It’s difficult to highlight just one person responsible for the idea of capturing solar energy to generate electricity. The technology has been around for well over a century.

Some of the earliest uses of solar technology were actually in outer space where solar was used to power satellites. In 1958, NASA launched, the Vanguard I satellite which used a tiny one-watt panel to power its radios. In 1973, the University of Delaware was responsible for constructing the first solar building, named “Solar One.” The system ran on a hybrid supply of solar thermal and solar PV power. It was also the first instance of building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) – the array didn’t use solar panels but instead had solar integrated into the rooftop, similar to the design for Tesla’s new roof product.

Then in 1979, President Jimmy Carter had solar panels installed on the White House during his term as president. However, in 1981, President Ronald Reagan ordered the White House solar panels to be removed. In 2010, President Barack Obama requested that solar panels and a solar water heater be installed in the White House.

Solar energy today is being used from charging our phones to powering office buildings entire energy source. There are companies popping up all over the world to harness this clean free energy source from the sun.

I recently read about a new company based in Boston, SmartFlower. They created a large solar panel consisting of twelve solar panels shaped like a sunflower. Just like a sunflower, as the sun rises SmartFlower activates its panels to open. Not only does it open up like a sunflower, it also mimics this heliotropic flower. The pedal like solar panels slowly turn their panels so they continually face the sun throughout the day. It also has the capability to close and shut itself off in harsh weather. This beautifully sculptural designed devise is paving the way in solar technology. It’s the world’s only, all in one, solar solution to power your home and your electric automobile.

Although, we are still chasing after the sun to improve our planets energy source, we now have these beautiful flowering solar panels that are literally, chasing the sun.

Shine On

Galapagos Baby Tortoises

“Never discourage anyone,
who continually makes progress,
no matter how slow.”
Plato

 

Galapagos Baby Tortioses

In the mid-eighteenth-century sailors first set foot on the Pinzón Island triggering an environmental disaster. Unbeknownst to these sailors, they brought rats from their first ships that quickly multiplied, as rats tend to do.

One of the islands inhabitants was the Galapagos tortoises, who had few predators. Slowly, these tortoises began to disappear due to these rats feeding on the Galapagos eggs. The rat invasion was so devastating to this ancient tortoise population that for over the next century not a single tortoise egg hatched. As a result of our human activity, it placed the Galapagos on the endangered species list until now.

Beginning in the 1960s, researchers, scientists and even Governments worked to save the Galapagos tortoises by eradicating the islands rat population as well as increasing and protecting egg hatchings. It took over 40 years of dedicated hard work, but it is paying off tenfold.

Thanks to organizations such as the Galapagos Conservancy, and human interest this gentle giant is now returning to Pinzón. James Gibbs, a Professor and Researcher who works with the Galapagos Conservancy, in Fairfax, Virginia said, “I’m surprised the turtles have given us the opportunity to make up for our mistakes after so much time.”

Dr. Gibbs recently reported that his team detected an estimated 500 turtles currently living on the island. He also reported that, thanks to years of working to save these turtles, they are seeing more and more Galapagos baby tortoises.

Shine On

Beachin’ Cobra

“I’ve always been asked,
what is my favorite car?
And I’ve always said,
the next one”
Carroll Shelby

 

Cobra at The Beach

My admiration for the automobile began at a young age. I guess it began when my younger brother started collecting those famous “Matchbox” cars. We would play with them and admire the detail and beauty of each car. My favorites Matchbox cars were the ones with hinged doors, hoods and trunks.

My first car was a $100, 1962 Ford Falcon station wagon with faux leather, mustang patterned seats. Not my dream car by any means, but, on a good day, it did get me to where I needed to be. Except for the occasional California rainy day. The brakes never worked in the rain, so I was not allowed to drive the Falcon when it rained.

Whenever I see a unique or beautiful car, I usually take a photo. Today I spotted a black beauty I’ve seen over the years on the Esplanade. I approached the owner and complimented him on his wheels. Knowing well that this car is worth in the tens of millions of dollars, I just had to ask the burning question….I asked him if it was real? His response was, “close enough”. I gave him a thumbs up and thought to myself. Original or a knock-off, that car was one beachin’ Cobra.

Shine On