A Magical Place to Live

“Life is like a landscape.
You live in the midst of it
but can describe it only
from the vantage point of distance.”
Charles Lindbergh

magical-place-to-live

Over three hundred years ago the Chowigna Indians lived along the fertile land in Redondo Beach. They lived off the rich soil and fishing the ocean. There was an abundance of fish such as halibut, lobster, and sea bass.

Then in 1854 the Chowigna were sent off to missions and the wealthy Manuel Dominguez sold Redondo Beach to Henry Allanson and William Johnson. These two men saw the possibilities that Redondo would hold. In 1892, Redondo Beach was incorporated and became a major tourist attraction for all walks of life.

Redondo was once described as “The Gem of The Continent” in the Los Angeles Daily Herald newspaper. Through the years famous attractions such as the Redondo Hotel have long disappeared. They say the Redondo Hotel induced more visitors than ever before to venture to the coast.

During prohibition the Hotel Redondo closed its doors and in 1925 was sold for scrap lumber. Big time gambling, complete with mobsters and shooting incidents, found its way to Redondo during the Depression. Chip games, bingo parlors, and a casino were run in full view of the law between 1936 and 1940. For a fare of 25 cents, a water-taxi would transport a visitor to the gambling ship Rex which operated three miles off shore.

chaplinThroughout its history famous people have flocked to Redondo Beach. During the silent film era, actor Charlie Chaplin was often seen visiting Redondo and even bought a beach cottage for his beloved mother. Charles Lindbergh attended a year of high school at Redondo Union as well as Demi Moore and the Smothers Brothers.  Residents included world famous athletes, authors, an atomic scientist, astronaut, and even a Nobel Prize winner. Redondo Beach is home to beach volleyball Gold Medalist Kerri Walsh.

Hollywood also fell in love with Redondo. Numerous films and television shows have been filmed in Redondo Beach and it continues to be a favorite Hollywood location. Who doesn’t remember the desired destination of the road-tripping family in the 2006 movie “Little Miss Sunshine”.

There have been a few songs written about Redondo Beach, such as Patti Smith’s song “Redondo Beach” and the song, “Surfin’ U.S.A.” by The Beach Boys even gives Redondo a call out.

redondo-gray-whales
Yes, Redondo Beach has quite a history. Before moving to Redondo Beach over a decade ago, I didn’t know its history or anything about Redondo. All I knew was that it is utterly beautiful, it has ideal weather and the clean air helped me decide this is where I wanted to live. For me, Redondo Beach will always be such a magical place to live.

Shine On

Our Furtive Foxy Friend

“A fox is a wolf who sends flowers.”
Ruth Brown

 

The Fox

The North American Red Fox aka the Vulpes vulpes

Around dusk this past evening, I was on my walk and saw what appeared to be a fox. We have lots of coyotes roaming the city, but a fox? I must have been mistaken.

It piqued my curiosity, so I did a little research about the fox. I found out some interesting facts about foxes on a California website.

The fox, the smallest member of the dog family, is a highly adaptable species that inhabits mostly forest, chaparral, and desert regions, but can be found in nearly all habitats. There are three types of fox common to Southern California, including the Gray Fox, Red Fox, and Island Fox. The Southern California Kit Fox, a subspecies of Kit Fox, died out in Southern California in 1903.

Foxes are more solitary in their habits than are others in the dog family. They are territorial and can be aggressive, especially during the breeding season. Their once-a-year breeding season corresponds with the availability of food.

Despite the fact that urban foxes use human buildings for shelter and human refuse for food, their contact with humans is quite limited. Most people who live in an urban area have never seen a fox in the city. Foxes keep a nocturnal schedule, and in the nighttime are often mistaken for dogs when they are seen.

Red Foxes, the most commonly recognized fox, are known for their cleverness and have the largest range in North America. Although they are close relatives of the Gray Fox, they are considerably larger, normally ranging in size from ten to fifteen pounds. Their coats may be reddish or gray or even black, but their legs and feet are always black. The tail is tipped with white.

In California there are two populations of Red Fox- the native Sierra Nevada Red Fox, a threatened species found only in the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges, and the more common, non-native Red Fox. Non-native Red Foxes were introduced decades ago for fox hunting and fur farming. Over time, these foxes escaped or were released. Their populations have grown and gradually spread. Currently, they have been spotted throughout the lowland areas of California including the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys, San Francisco Bay-Delta area, the Southern California Coast Range and Coastal Plain and in most major urban areas.

Socially, the fox communicates with body language and a variety of vocalizations. Its vocal range is quite large and its noises vary from a distinctive three-yip “lost call” to a shriek reminiscent of a human scream. It also communicates with scent, marking food and territorial boundary lines with urine and feces.

Now after reading about the fox, I’m positive it was a fox that I saw. I know it wasn’t a dog, because it had all the mannerisms of a fox.  Plus, when the fox saw me, it gave me that look that only can be given by our furtive foxy friend.

Shine On

Worldwide Messenger

“If you want somebody to change their mind,
it’s no good in arguing,
you have to reach the heart.“
Jane Goodall

 

Jane Goodall

I first learned about Jane Goodall back in the 1970s through a National Geographic television show. At the time, the 26-year young woman was making a name for herself with what would become a 60-year study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees.

Valerie Jane Morris-Goodall was born in Hampstead, London, on April 3, 1934 and grew up as a very shy child. At a year old, her father gave her a stuffed chimpanzee named Jubilee. She has said her fondness for Jubilee started her early love of animals. Then on her seventh birthday, she received a book that would forever change her life, the book was Doctor Doolittle. The drawings in the book of chimpanzees inspired her to pursue a life as a primatologist and anthropologist. If not for this book and its drawings, her fascination with chimpanzees might never have inspired her to travel to Africa at age 26 and study the life and habits of these primates.

At one point in Jane’s life she had considered studying fossils and becoming a paleontologist. But that career had to do with dead animals. She wanted to work with living animals. Her childhood dream was as strong as ever: “Somehow I must find a way to watch free, wild animals living their own, undisturbed lives. I wanted to learn things that no one else knew, uncover secrets through patient observation. I wanted to come as close to talking to animals as I could, to be like Doctor Doolittle. I wanted to move among them without fear, like Tarzan.”

When Goodall first went to Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania, Africa in 1960, she was the first woman in the study of primatology, a male-dominated field at the time. She is quoted as saying, “. . . women were not accepted in the field when I started my research in the late 1950s.” She was also the first female scientist to record and understand the communication and life of the chimpanzee.

Through her lifelong dedication and knowledge, she has educated and enlightened the world about chimpanzees. On numerous occasions she has saved the lives of young and old chimpanzees. She has reached out politically through her organizations to raise awareness and funding for further research of chimpanzees.

By 1977, thanks to Goodall’s hard work and renowned research she established the Jane Goodall Institute, which supports her Gombe research. She is a global leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitats. “Chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans have been living for hundreds of thousands of years in their forest, living fantastic lives, never overpopulating, never destroying the forest. I would say that they have been in a way more successful than us as far as being in harmony with the environment.”

Goodall’s tenacity, love and respect for not only chimpanzees but the environment has made a huge impact on the killing of chimpanzees in the 1970s and 1980s. She has always believed that everything on Earth is interconnected. Goodall has advocated that every day on this earth we make choices that not only impact ourselves but our planet. By making daily small changes to our lifestyle, we stop destroying not only wildlife but our future. “I think my message to the politicians who have within their power the ability to make change is, ‘Do you really, really not care about the future of your great-grandchildren? Because if we let the world continue to be destroyed the way we are now, what’s the world going to be like for your great-grandchildren?’

During the last six decades, her groundbreaking work, has evolved into a personal quest. To empower others to make the world a better place for all living things. She travels the world tirelessly lecturing and spreading her knowledge of our closest relative, the chimpanzee. “You cannot share your life with a dog, or a cat, and not know perfectly well that animals have personalities and minds and feelings.”

Goodall has become synonymous as the leader in researching primates as well as conservation issues throughout the world. If you ask me, Jane Goodall is the Mother Theresa of all creatures big and small. If you ask her, she humbly replies that she feels like she’s been chosen as a worldwide messenger.

Shine On

On the Lamb

“I want my children to have
all the things I couldn’t afford.
Then, I want to move in with them.”
Phyllis Diller
On the Lamb
Star with Herd Kaitlin with puppies

 

Hope all you fellow Blogaholics had a good Mother’s Day. As a mother, I contend, every day is Mother’s Day because our caring for and worrying about our children never ends.

Before we were all quarantined, my son asked what I would like for Mother’s Day? The answer was easy for me. I wanted to spend the day with him and visit a 40-acre private ranch in Camarillo that raises lambs, as well as breeds and trains Border Collies.

To my surprise, my son contacted the ranch and was able to schedule a private tour as long as we wore our face masks.

What a great escape from being locked up for almost two months. The fresh air, the smell of alfalfa hay and the interaction with all the farm animals was just what I needed.

We had a wonderful visit this weekend at the ranch interacting with the domesticated grand menagerie. We were able to not only feed and hold the baby lambs, but our tour guide Laura gave an amazing herding demonstration with her dog Star.

The highlight of our ranch visit was being introduced to 9 of the 6-week-old Border Collie puppies.

If you live in the Los Angeles area, I highly recommend scheduling a visit to this wondrous ranch, On the Lamb.

Shine On