Monterey-Peninsula

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Seven Gables Inn B & B–DSC06163–Pacific Grove, CA by Lance Nix
Via Flickr:
The original three story house was built in 1886 in the classic Victorian style. Since then many additions and annexations added to expand this property’s capacity to its present state. Among other claims to fame it was once featured in a national TV ad for a major credit card.

On April 20, 2012, President Obama signed a Proclamation to designate the Fort Ord National Monument.  In his proclamation, the President stated that, “The protection of the Fort Ord area will maintain its historical and cultural significance, attract tourists and recreationalists from near and far, and enhance its unique natural resources, for the enjoyment of all Americans.”

The Fort Ord National Monument holds some of the last undeveloped natural wildlands on the Monterey Peninsula.  Located on the former Fort Ord military base, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) protects and manages 35 species of rare plants and animals along with their native coastal habitats.  Habitat preservation and conservation are primary missions for the Fort Ord Public Lands but there are also more than 86 miles of trails for the public to explore on foot, bike or horseback.

Photo: Bureau of Land Management 

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First Look: The Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6

The Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6, which measures almost six meters in length, is designed as an electric car. The drive system has an output of 550 kW (750 hp). The shallow underfloor battery allows a range of over 500 kilometers (310+ miles) according to the NEDC.

The large coupé is set to make its debut at Monterey Car Week, which will take place on the Monterey Peninsula between 16 and 21 August 2016. The final event on 21 August will be the Pebble Beach Concours D'Elégance.

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Victorian Cottage by Tom and Michelle Vissers
Via Flickr:
Laurel Avenue at Park Street, Pacific Grove.

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Happy Birthday, Fort Ord National Monument! 

Three years ago today, Fort Ord National Monument in California was created by Presidential Proclamation.

The Fort Ord National Monument - a part of the BLM’s National Conservation Lands - holds some of the last undeveloped natural wildlands along the Monterey Peninsula, over 35 species of rare plants and animals, and miles of world-class recreation trails.  The BLM is committed to managing this treasured landscape in a manner that honors the nearly 2 million soldiers who passed through the gates of the former Fort Ord.

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Life and Death, and Harbor Seals

(This guest blog was written by Thom Akeman, a volunteer with Bay Net and a resident of Pacific Grove. Bay Net naturalists interpret wildlife for visitors along the shores of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. )

This spring started out as the best harbor seal pupping season on the Monterey Peninsula in years. In 2013, too many people climbed down onto beaches near the Aquarium, in Pacific Grove, where mother harbor seals came ashore to deliver and raise their pups. The result: pups abandoned by their mothers before they could survive on their own.

Community volunteers put a lot of hours into getting a new city ordinance and temporary fencing to protect defenseless seal pups during these critical months. The temporary fencing went up shortly after the first successful birth in late March. After that came a regular parade of new pups! On Easter Sunday 2014, we counted 64 newly born harbor seals on the beaches of Pacific Grove, with only a few losses.

It was a glorious Easter. Lots of still-pregnant seals were rolling around on the beaches beside the nursing moms and healthy pups. Then about noon, unexpectedly high surf sent waves crashing onto the beaches. New new pups who weren’t yet strong swimmers were pulled into the churning ocean, along with their moms. 

Spectators on the bluffs watched in silence as moms and pups went through life-or-death struggles to stay together in the powerful waves. The last pair to be seen in one area were separated for several long minutes, fate unknown. When the pup landed on a narrow sand strip, and a minute later the mom emerged to reunite with the little guy, applause broke out along the shoreline. The mom and pup rested a bit, then took off and surfaced on a larger beach nearby 90 minutes later.

At the end of the day, volunteer docents with a local organization named Bay Net found 51 of the 64 seal pairs back in one of the rookeries. A search of isolated beaches the next day found four of the missing pups; and five more the day after that. 

The search continues for the missing pups. Meanwhile, many still-pregnant seals deliver new babies on the beach – in sight of people, but safely out of reach thanks to the temporary barriers.

And if the wind and waves cooperate, this could still be the best harbor seal pupping season in years.

Listen to our Coastal Trail Audio Tour and learn more about where to see harbor seal pups at the Pocket Beach near Hopkins Marine Station.

Find out how to get involved with Bay Net.

Photos courtesy Kim M. Worrell.