Yachak Organic Yerba Mate

YACHAK ORGANIC YERBA MATE

Yachak Organic, Yerba Mate_ Yachak Truck, Aliso Beach

Yachak Organic Truck At Aliso Beach

After a morning of vicious barrels at Aliso Beach, I was talking with fellow body boarders in the parking lot.  I noticed this truck with an unmistakable and attention grabbing logo on its side that read Yachak Organic Yerba Mate.  I saw the truck park near by and as the representative, David Vasquez, got out of the car, I decided I would go ask him what he did.  As it turned out, he was what I would call a brand ambassador for the company and this new product As it turns out, is produced by the Rockstar Energy Drink people, and in my mand, that couldn’t be a bad thing.  I told David that way back in the day when I was a food service supplies sales rep in Orange County, I ran into a rep from Rockstar when the company was getting going and he gave me a case of Rockstar.  Little did he know at that  I would soon be hooked.

According to the website, Yachak is a name used by South Americans to honor their Shamans.  Yerba Mate is a drink enjoyed in South America for centuries.  It is a caffeinated beverage and it comes in 4 different flavors. There is a Berry Blue, Berry Red,  Ultimate Mint and Infused Mate. We were fortunate enough to be able to sample them all and I have to believe the Rockstar Company has something with this new venture.  I found the non-carbonated drinks similar to tea with a subtle sweetness that was both tasty and not over the top. Unlike many drinks in the market place, they aren’t obnoxiously overloaded with sugar and they are a great alternative to sodas, sweetened tees and the fake juices with low percentages of fruit in

Yachak Organic Yerba Mate Beverages, Aliso Beach

Yachak Organic Yerba Mate Beverages

them.  They are organic, gluten free, non-gmo and fair for life.  David explained that fair for life designation meant that the ingredients used in the Yachak Organic were produced by people earning a living wage and not being taken advantage of.  My personal favorite I think was a toss up between the Berry Blue and the Berry Red, although the Ultimate Mint was amazing too.

Watch for the Yachak truck!  David is out and about and talking to people about this new product.  That is how the word is spread.  With their product representatives, they are gauging the interest in the market place for their product.  To the best of my knowledge, it is not yet in the stores but David led me to believe this could change soon.  I can see them doing well with the drinks and happily offer my thumbs up.  I would indeed buy it!  Good luck with your new venture guys and thanks for allowing myself and a few friends try this delicious new beverage.  

Posted in Aliso Beach, Aliso Beach Park, Aliso Creek, Aliso Creek Beach

Bee Concerned

BEE CONCERNED 

Aliso Beach Bee, Bee Concerned, honey bee, buzz, aliso beach

Aliso Beach Bee

Bee concerned? Nahhhhhh!

Over the last week or so, I received a website inquiry making reference to bees at Aliso Beach.  I forgot about the email and may have accidentally deleted it, and so I will address whether or not she should bee concerned about our buzzing friends at Aliso Beach here on the blog.

It is ironic that when I drove into the driveway yesterday that there were enough bees airborne and around my car that I wasn’t going to take my chances.  I decided pull out of the driveway and roll down to to get a beer and return after darkness. They were landing on the car and flying every which way you could think of. This reminded me to follow up on the concern of someone wishing to visit Aliso Beach.

I have done a previous post on bees at Aliso Beach.  With all the talk of colony collapse disorder and bees vanishing, I think there is hope in seeing bees at Aliso Beach.  Bees are attracted to the sugary drinks and food items that we put into trash cans at this South Laguna Beach.  It is very common for the bees to be hovering over and flying into the trashcans in search of the syrupy left overs we throw away.  Since the trash cans line the sidewalk just inches from the sand, beach visitors cross pass with these little guys all of the time, and yes people do get stung.  I have been there when it has happened.

Should the presence of bees at Aliso Beach keep you from enjoying one of the most beautiful and accessible beaches in Laguna Beach?   While it is a good thing to bee concerned, I don’t think that the bee threat rises to a level that should have you concerned for your safety.  For tips on how to avoid the bees you might like my previous post on bee safety at Aliso Beach.

Posted in Aliso Beach, Aliso Creek, Aliso Creek Beach Tagged , , , , |

Aliso Beach Your Home

ALISO BEACH YOUR HOME

aliso beach, aliso beach your home, aliso creek beach, aliso beach art, scotty carter

Paradise!

Aliso Beach is a special, special place for me in Laguna.  It is a favorite spot of water photographer and filmmaker Scotty Carter, who over the course of working on helping to promote his photographic art, has become extended family.  With his work, the team at Aliso Beach can help you Aliso Beach your home with the incredible photography of waterman Scotty Carter.

The smell of the ocean, the merciless pounding of its shore break waves, the soothing breezes, the aqua-green water color, and the coastal hills offer a tranquil setting to beach goers while the body boarders,  soft top surfers, and the skim boarders all make this an interesting and spirited community that I have enjoyed being a part of.

One of the ways we humans show our appreciation for the natural environments we covet is to display art featuring it.  Why?  It is not explainable in many ways, but we are so deeply connected to nature that the places we experience leave a mark on us that is both unforgettable and difficult to explain. Our homes are a reflection of who we are and the art reminds us of the outdoor settings that in part define us. We are moved by sun, sea, waves and coastal breezes. This little place we call Aliso Beach is one of those locations that leaves us better than we were before we visited!  You can’t put a price on the wonder, tranquility and soothing that this incredible slice of Laguna Beach delivers.

If you love Aliso Beach, and would like to include Aliso Beach art and imagery in your home, contact me at info@alisobeach.com.  If you are like me, you love Aliso Beach and it is a part of you.  I recommend the 72 x 48″ size because you can look up at and feel like you are in the barrel.  It’s priceless!

 

 

Posted in Aliso Beach, Aliso Beach News, Aliso Beach Park Tagged , , , , |

Fire Pits Are Serious Business

FIRE PITS ARE SERIOUS BUSINESS

fire pits are serious business

Fire Pit at Aliso Beach reserved early.

Availability of the fire pits at Aliso Beach is hands down the number one question this website receives.  On July 9th, I was checking the surf and I noticed two things:  1) The sea gulls had thrown the contents of overflowing trashcans all over the beach looking for food scraps and 2) All of the fire pits were attended to by people reserving them for a family day at the beach.  Fire pits are serious business at Aliso Beach and they are first come first serve.  I asked a gentleman who was reserving the fire pit for a family event at the beach what time he had come down to lay claim to the one of 6 fire pits on the sand in Laguna Beach.  What he told me fits with what I have always believed to be true.

There is more demand for the fire pits than there are available fire pits, and if you don’t get their early during the summer, the chances of securing a fire pit evaporate quickly. Technically, he had arrived to save the space and fire pits slightly before the parks opening time of 6:00 am.  County of Orange maintenance workers were their early to haul away the damage beach goers had inflicted on the beach the day prior with trash cans bursting at the seams with wrappers, baggies, cups and bottles spilling over the top and onto the ground.  It wasn’t pretty, but it speaks directly to how popular Aliso Beach is and how much competition there is for the limited space available on a summer day.

I have told anyone that inquires online about the fire pits at Aliso Beach that get there early or forget it.  While this is truly an inconvenient truth, securing a fire pit at Aliso Beach may require showing up before first light, parking on the hill and walking down before the gates open.  It is what it is.  This may be the only way I can say that you have a 95% chance of getting a fire pit during prime beach season.  The man I spoke to also said that he would typically pay kids in the family and friend network to come down and reserve the pits while he keeps a tight grip on extra hours of sleep.  He said that with a grin and as you may be fully aware now, you know fire pits are serious business at Aliso Beach.  It’s the old supply and demand lecture from economics class.  If you indeed want that fire pit for the day, consider there are less fire pits than families who wish to reserve them any summer day or holiday weekend.  Your success in securing a fire pit is dependent on your strategy.  At AlisoBeach.com, we wish you luck!

 

Posted in Aliso Beach, Aliso Beach Park, Aliso Creek, Aliso Creek Beach, La Vida Laguna, Laguna, Laguna Beach, South Laguna Beach, South Laguna Beach News Tagged , , , |

Seagull Mayhem

Seagull Mayhem

seagull mayhem, seagull shenanigans, seagulls, aliso beach

Seagulls trash Aliso Beach.

Aliso Beach in South Laguna has always been a favorite hangout for the local seagull population and thus experiences what I would call seagull mayhem.  Often called flying rats, this bird type is often a source of annoyance at Aliso.  I have personally seen a seagull swoop down on a little girl and snatch a sandwich out of her hand sending her in tears to her parents.  I have also seen a seagull reach it’s beak into a trash can from the top and fish out a half eaten burrito that he flew off in to the distance with.  I didn’t know they liked Mexican Food!  LOL!  No one is safe around them when food is present, and if you leave food unattended, they will get into it while your back is turned.  They tend to congregate around set ups looking for something to pick at and drag away unbeknownst to people and families who have momentarily turned their backs on these intelligent and pestering birds.

Maybe seagull mayhem happens because this small slice of Laguna is their home, or maybe it is because people who frequent this beach are feeding them.  I have seen a man roll up in a small SUV early in the morning driving around the parking lotMore likely the reasons for their behavior are a combination of both, with seagulls present daily morning to night and emboldened by those who offer them a free meal.  Do these things even know how to catch fish anymore?  This is a legitimate question.

One of the problems associated with the congregation of local seagulls at Aliso Beach, is that they bathe in waters of Aliso Creek backed up at the high tide berm at the beach.  Seagulls are made to poop as they take flight to lighten their load.  As regular visitors to the creek waters, the fecal bacteria counts in that creek water are pretty much always elevated.  Add to this the people that feed them and the overstuffed trash cans from summer beach days and you have the recipe for nasty water.  Inevitably, the creek breaks the berm and empties its content into the waters of Aliso Beach carrying along all the pollution, bacteria and toxicity to the waters we play in.  To say that seagulls wreak havoc on the beach is an understatement.

Yesterday I checked the surf before 7:00 am and seagull mayhem was on full display.  Trashcans that were spilling over with trash and half eaten items was ripe for the picking through by our local seagulls.  They ripped the trash cans apart spreading chip bags and food wrappers all over the beach.  It is probably a good idea that the trash is emptied during the summer season and holiday weekends at night rather than early in the morning.  If not, we can expect that seagulls will spread half the content of the trash cans all over the beach as they fight each other for whatever scraps they can pull out.

Posted in Aliso Beach Tagged , , , , , |

Fake News

FAKE NEWS

Fake news is all the rage these days if you are following all the mud slinging going on between the Trump Administration and Main Stream Media as well as both the left and right leaning news organizations hammering each other with accusation.  Put the politics aside for a second! This story has nothing to do with politics but it involves an allegation of fake news that is really funny from someone in the South Orange County surf community that I have a ton of respect and admiration for.

I was meeting some body board friends up at Aliso Beach today.  With inland temperatures in the 90’s, today was predictably a very busy day at the beach.  When I got there, I heard a succession of whistles and my name called.  The parking lot was packed and there was the hustle and bustle of cars on PCH, a parking lot of people fighting over few remaining spots, and the chatter of beach goers entering and leaving the sand with family, children and friends. A second whistle and I figured that it was intended for me.  Looking back towards the direction of the sound, I saw my buddy Jack waving me down.

As we sat there watching the waves and talking, we were joined by several other body boarders from the community. While we were standing there, a man I know from the community walked up and asked me if I was deaf.  I laughed and explained to him that I heard someone call my name but could not see where it was coming from. The dude I am referring to is none other than Mr. Tom Monroe.  I explained to him that my eyes and ears are going just like everything else, and he laughed.  Tom is a really cool guy.  I should probably do a piece on him for the website.

seal, capo beach, scared of sharks, great white sharks, great whites, great white sharks capo beach

Seal At Capo Beach

The dude has a remarkable history as a Waterman, photographer, business man and realtor.  He calls me to check in every so often, and truth be told, I love this guy! He is classic and also known as Mokitom.

So we got on the topic of the shark activity along our coast.  Since I know he is out documenting the surf, skim, body board and beach scene at Aliso Beach and the Dana Point to South Laguna Beach region, I thought I would ask him what he had seen and captured.  He told me that he and his friend Larry were down there at Capo today with a drone shooting footage of the sharks.  Of course none of the video was ready for review, and Larry didn’t have his recently published drone footage on his phone so I accused Tom of teasing the video knowing I would not be able to see it.  His response was a big grin and laughter. In my conversation with him, I asked him if he thought this was normal. His response was somewhat shocking.  He blew it off saying the sharks have always been there and that this hoopla is nothing more than more people with cameras and drones.  I told him that I had been studying the return of Great White Shark populations since 2007 when a surfer’s board was bitten in Huntington Beach.  When I told him that there were now hot spots for Great White Sharks at San Onofre, Sunset Beach, Capo Beach and Long Beach, he looked at me and proclaimed “Fake News”!  I don’t agree with his assessment of fake news, but I acknowledge his right to free speech in America.   He is definitely someone knowledgeable in all things coastal South Orange County and the happenings at local beaches, but I feel I know enough about the proliferation of white sharks over the last decade around our coastline to make a legitimate argument in support of the idea that we have a new normal with Great White Sharks close to shore at South Orange County Beaches.

Before going home, I went to Capo Beach to check things out.  There was definitely more swell in the water, and I noticed the shark advisory signs are still up lining the beach.  I got out of the car and watched the near shore waters, where for two straight weeks, I have observed Great White Sharks within 10 feet of the shoreline thrashing around.  I did not see sharks today as Tom had said were there, but I did see a seal swim north acting mysteriously while positioning itself in waters that were shallow. Could it be that Great White Sharks in the area had pinned this poor mammal along the shore at Capo Beach?  I don’t know but it is certainly in the realm of possibilities.  Assuming that it was getting harassed by hungry Great White Sharks at Capo Beach, I have to wonder how the seal feels about fake news.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Aliso Beach, beach news, Capo Beach, fake news Tagged , , , , |

Great White Shark Activity

GREAT WHITE SHARK ACTIVITY

great white shark, art, great white shark painting, Whitney L. Anderson

Whitney L Anderson with Great White Shark Painting

From the near fatal Great White Shark Attack at San Onofre weeks ago and the OC Sheriffs Helicopter warning a paddle boarder of being in the middle of a pack of 15 sharks to personally seeing sharks thrash around the water 10 feet or less from the sand and the OC Register report of a shark at Thousand Steps Beach, the danger has become very real to this South Orange County Body Boarder and ocean enthusiast. A friend in Laguna Beach had suggested that there was a sighting at Aliso Beach several weeks back and I immediately drove up to Aliso to speak with a lifeguard supervisor who was unaware of any sighting.  That day curiosity got the best of me and I headed to Capo Beach where there has been many daily sightings over the last several weeks.  Sure enough, I got to see them in the surf zone at a spot I have paddled out at in years past.  I was moved by the fear of a friend of mine who has been in the San Clemente to Laguna community as a former professional body boarder for the bulk of his life.  I would like to acknowledge Joe Grodzen and I wanted to relay the sentiment of what he said on Facebook.  He spoke of his deep ties to the ocean and those of his wife Keila whom is also a former professional body boarder.  Raising a young boy and giving him the gift of beach and surfing culture, it is not lost on Joe how concerning the rash of shark sightings from San Onofre to Long Beach, California is.  Joe for the most part is a very unflappable, competitive and in the moment kind of personality.  What he said was very raw and very real.  Reading his thoughts, I was affected by the fear he had related to the presence of these sharks in what perhaps is a new normal along our coastline with regular visits.  He echoed the sentiment that he may have to give a second thought to being in the water to keep he and his family safe.  Joe has been at this far longer than I have, and to hear a man that has spent nearly every day of his life since he has been old enough to walk in local ocean waters express a genuine concern for his safety, it definitely caught my attention.

Still trying to process the swarm of so many sharks in the area, I did return a second time to Capo Beach noticing the shark warning signs, and eventually seeing one splash around 10 feet or less from shore.  It is probably not a good idea to be in the water at all at Capo.  Rumor has it that boats and perhaps kayakers are chumming the waters to attract the sharks.  Some of these boats are alleged to be whale boats capitalizing on the presence of these toothy new inhabitants of Capo Waters.  Any reasonable human being should not approve of throwing blood and guts into the water near shore for commercial gain, capturing footage or taking photographs.  This is a really bad idea that may contribute to a fatality and should be stopped immediately.  My hope is the lifeguards and authorities can identify those perpetrators and force them to stop.  As far as I can see that is harassment of a federally protected shark but what do I know.  If this is being done please stop this very reckless behavior.

Since I spend more time at Salt Creek and the coves of Laguna Beach, I felt like I was relatively safe in the zones I like to play in.  Given the explosion of shark numbers close to shore in San Clemente and Capo Beach, the idea that there are no great whites near shore at Salt Creek and Laguna Beaches rests on quicksand.  It simply doesn’t hold.  A Laylan Connelly, Orange County Register Article, shattered my idealized safe zones with a shark spotting at South Laguna’s Thousand Steps Beach and the mention of a shark advisory at Salt Creek.  Say it isn’t so!  I don’t know what I am going to do personally and I am feeling like I may put myself on a self-imposed time out, and as Joe Grodzen so eloquently said, what are we going to do? Ocean enthusiasts have built their lives around washing away all that ails them in the ocean and doing something athletically that keeps them happy.  I don’t know the answer to this question, and I suppose time will tell.  Having paddled way out at Salt Creek and sitting in the kelp paddies, I admit that I have thought about the unseen below that perhaps I don’t want to know is there. The ocean and local waters are home to the Great White Shark, but I cannot say that in over the 30 years I have spent time in these waters, that this is normal in any way shape or form.   How I feel about this situation will in no way dictate the behavior of sharks and where they choose to set up shop.  While I pray that their presence will come to pass and they head out to deeper waters, their continued presence could put a damper on what little ocean time I have as it is.  Having had a fin pop up on me in Baja while body boarding alone at a northern stretch of La Fonda, I really don’t want to find myself in that situation again.  Fortunately, a well-timed set arrival got me out of there before I could stare into the intentions of presumably a Great White Shark…and I prefer that to be the last time I find myself in the water with one.

I would like to take a moment to thank my friend and artist Whitney L. Anderson, a brilliant painter and collage artist residing in Seattle, Washington.

Website:  http://www.whitneylanderson.com

Instagram:  http://www.instagram.com/whitneylanderson_art

 

Posted in Aliso Beach, Aliso Beach Events, Aliso Beach News, Aliso Beach Park, Aliso Beach Safety, Aliso Creek, Aliso Creek Beach, Dana Point, Laguna, Laguna Beach, Laguna News, Salt Creek, South Laguna Beach, South Laguna Beach News Tagged , , , , , , , , , , |

Shark Research

SHARK RESEARCH

shark warning, shark warning sigh, shark sign, capo beach

Capo Beach Shark Warning

After I heard this I decided to do some shark research today. A 50 year water man in Laguna Beach said online today there was a shark sighting at Aliso Beach.  He also said that in all his years that he had never heard of a shark reported in the intertidal zone of Laguna Beach. To be clear, this reported sighting is unconfirmed, but you can appreciate that as the owner of the Aliso Beach website and an avid body boarder that has spent a ton of time at Aliso and neighboring Laguna beaches, I am simultaneously concerned and intrigued by the recent hot spots for sharks at San Onofre, Poche Beach, Capo Beach and Long Beach.

When I got to Aliso Beach this afternoon, I got my parking pass and wasted no time finding the lifeguard supervisor. He was a cool guy, and I am sure that what I asked him is something that has been asked since Orange County News showed a helicopter warning a paddle boarder that he or she was in the middle of a pack of as many as 15 Great White Sharks in the surf zone.  When I informed him that I had a question for him, I told him that I didn’t want to shout out my question.  As I got closer to him, I very discreetly asked him about the alleged shark sighting. He was unaware of  any recent event.  They were training aspiring life guards on the beach so I am 100% sure that OC Life Guards would not expose those kids to unnecessary risks.  So the mystery deepens as it relates to the alleged sighting of sharks at Aliso Beach.  I left the beach assured that there were no issues of Great White Sharks and the absence of media attention, adds to the case that Great White Sharks had not been observed at this popular South Laguna Beach.  I did greatly appreciate the time afforded to me by the supervisor and the willingness to discuss the potential issue.  He was a cool guy and I trust in what he told me. As he indicated, you would have to be a silly white shark to want to take on the shore break conditions of Aliso Beach. With this news I am sure a talented young skimmer with dreadlocks that frequents this local spot is breathing a sigh of relief.  That is just me being funny.  I suspect that very few, if any, wave riding enthusiasts had heard about this shark sighting at Aliso Beach.  Shark research was to continue as I got back onto S. Pacific Coast Highway and headed south.

When I got to Capo Beach, I immediately noticed the traffic stand barriers with the shark warnings attached to then.  It was one of 3 or 4 I saw lining the beach to warn beach visitors of the presence of Great White Sharks. I must admit this is super freaky, and although I have heard of sharks present in local waters, this fact has not hit this close to home until now. Looking south, I noticed a couple of life guards huddled up by the tower and looking out over the water.  I walked up to them and began a conversation about the sharks, and they were definitely there to keep an eye on things and make sure people are informed.  As the shark warnings clearly stated, by entering the water you were swimming or surfing at your own risk.

We discussed theories on why the sharks are there.  It was a cool conversation.  I have always found OC Life Guards to be a class act, and as we talked a shark surfaced and thrashed around a bit. Until that moment, I had never seen a Great White Shark in Southern California waters. I found it surreal.  Capo Beach isn’t the best surfing, body boarding or even swimming beach due to a sloping beach, waves crashing right on the sand, and a fair amount of small rocks lining the shore.  Nonetheless, life guards were keeping everyone informed and watching for the presence of sharks which numbered 15 several days ago.

I talked to them about how I was following the Great White Shark population resurgence with federal protections extended to them and the seal population which represents meals on the preferred menu for these toothy creatures.  Having kept up to date with shark sightings in Southern California, I told them about Ralph Collier and Pacific Shark Committee.  Ralph is a leading scientist and expert on Great White Sharks and predatory behavior in North America. The life guards told me that Chris Lowe, the California State University Long Beach Great White Shark expert and researcher, was working with OC Life Guards on tagging the sharks to gain a better understanding of migratory patterns.  I was a bit surprised to learn that they were doing the tagging via jet skis.  Initially I had asked for a seat in that boat but quickly changed course when I found out that they were doing this on the much smaller and more exposed water vehicles.  That is a little too close and not enough protection for this fat, old guy.

Reality is that local Orange County Waters we hold dear as surfers, swimmers and body boarders, are the homes of Great White Sharks.  To some extent they have always been there.  Perhaps the record rain and runoff combined with cooler waters, spring wind patterns and upwelling are creating perfect conditions for movements in the food chain that have these sharks closer to shore to feed.  While I don’t have all of the answers with my shark research, the numerous sightings from Long Beach to San Onofre have definitely captivated me.  Let’s hope we do not have any more encounters like we saw at San Onofre where a Vista woman was attacked, bitten and air lifted to the hospital clinging to life. I am pleased to say that she made it.  Despite additional surgeries coming and a long road back to as normal a life as she can have given the serious injury to her leg, she is alive and not wishing sharks any ill will.

Posted in Aliso Beach, Aliso Beach News, Aliso Creek, Aliso Creek Beach, Laguna, South Laguna Beach, South Laguna Beach News Tagged , , , , , , |

Trash To Treasure

TRASH TO TREASURE

Have you ever heard the saying “One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure”?  I haven’t come across that statement in a while but it was the first thing that came to mind after visiting Aliso Beach two consecutive weekends in a scene representing trash to treasure.

trash to treasure, debris, storm debris, aliso beach

Aliso Beach Debris from storm runoff.

We have experienced a rainy season for the record books.  I hate to say it but rain and Southern California are like an oxymoron most seasons.  This winter has proven to be a very memorable one for weather, rain and snow.  While it’s anyone’s guess as to whether or not the wet season is over, the snow pack has been measured well over 100% of normal, California dams have been stressed to near breaking points and roads have been washed away with cars overcome by torrents of water under heavy downpours.  Our local Southern California Beaches, including Aliso Beach, Laguna, are on the receiving end of all the runoff and whatever it carries down stream from storm drains, washes, creeks and rivers.  With significant rain over short periods of time, you can imagine all the things swept down into our ocean and deposited back on our beaches. Plastics, bottles, toys, wrappers, bottle caps, cigarette butts, styrofoam cups, baggies and even dreaded syringes as seen recently in Newport Beach near the River Jetties.  Also ending up on the beach from heavy rain and wind events were leaves, twigs, tree branches, logs and driftwood.  At times it seems like you could take a rake to the top layer of the ocean surface along our coastline, and those logs and branches put wave riders at risk of serious injury.

That first trip to Aliso Beach, there was an unsightly pile of wood and branches just south of the main lifeguard tower.  It was, however, cleared from the beach and shoreline and staged for removal.  This is where the ingenuity of a father spending time with his son transformed the debris from trash to treasure.  I had no doubt the County of Orange, who does a great job of maintaining Aliso Beach, was going to come in and remove the pile of wood.  Probably because of consecutive days of rain, they were unable to get the debris out of there, or they figured they would add to the pile during additional rain events so they could clean up the beach all at once.  It is completely logical to me.  The picture to the left shows the wood all piled up steps from the parking lot and ready to be hauled out of there.  Given that our winters in recent years have not produced much rain, it was somewhat surprising to see a pike of branches and wood like that on the beach.  Some of the branches were substantial, and with all of the trees that came down in South Orange County along the coastline, it really wasn’t any surprise to see that kind and volume of wood deposited on the beach.  I am wondering if the Full Moon Drum Circle group saw that pile of wood.  It would have made for a great night with plenty of wood to keep everyone warm!

 

aliso beach, trash to treasure, storm debris, south laguna beach

A fort built by a father and son with wood washed to the beach from winter Southern California storms.

While the pile of wood certainly wasn’t hurting anyone, a father and a son went on a building spree.  They took the larger wood pieces and buried them vertically in the sand.  I was surprised that with the girth of the branches that the sand would keep them standing upright.  As far as I know, no one was injured in the evolution of trash to treasure in what I call the making of an Aliso Beach fort.  I have to admire the father.  It takes the ability of a parent to think creatively like a child to entertain a child.  I remember how much I liked forts as a kid, and to be child-like was worthy of my attention and a smile.  In that moment, it felt like all was right in the world and that everything was okay.

The picture below, is the result of a creative father showing his son a good time.  It was cool to think back to my own childhood and how forts at summer camp at home were a big part of my own childhood!  My guess, by the looks of him, is that the little dude had a really good time!  I was truly happy for them and grateful to be under the smiling eyes of Mr. Sun.  Is it summer yet?

 

 

 

Posted in Aliso Beach, Aliso Beach News, Aliso Beach Park Tagged , , , , , , |

Dude Offered Me A Taco

DUDE OFFERED ME A TACO

 

I was surprised this morning how much energy was in the water at Salt Creek today.  It wasn’t huge but it was fairly consistent and punchy.  The bulk of the morning I spend body boarding the shore break with friends.  After a couple of hours and an influx of new eager wave riders, I decided to exit the liquid stage.  My friends decided to whether the crowd increase for about an hour longer and I strolled up the hill cursing under my breath as I often do at that very steep hill.  I was already cramping and tired before the incline delivered a final blow to my desire to exert myself physically.

As I often do, I run into members of the Salt Creek Community.  There are some truly amazing people from a variety of wave riding disciplines that I have enjoyed surfing with and talking to over the years.  Ezra rolled up and parked his car in between the traffic lanes going each direction to check the waves.  We had a 15 minute conversation that included how Salt Creek was more like a community than a public beach because of how many wave riders have surfed this beach for a long time and many people know each other from over the years.  He said, ” I wonder if it is like that at other beaches?”.  I would like to believe so but know that Salt Creek is a special place.

He parked in the lot and proceeded to strike up a conversation with a pretty gal and I waited for my friends to limp up the hill from their surf session.  After chatting with everyone for 20 minutes, hunger kicked in and they all zipped down PCH to Chronic Tacos.  We all agreed to get back to the coast and check Aliso Beach in Laguna due to a rapidly draining tide that favors the shore break.  I headed up to Laguna Hills to get a juice at Mother’s Market and do some shopping.

Jack beat me to Aliso and had already rained on my parade texting me that it was too small.  I was already headed there so I decided to give it a look anyways.  The winds were perfect and the water was a sparkling blue-green.  I was on the phone with Scotty Carter telling him that conditions were perfect minus the surf.  When I told Scotty I thought it was 3 foot a guy cooking at one of Aliso’s barbecue pits said, “Nah, it’s like 6 foot out there right now!”  I laughed and politely told him not today.  He went on to make a comment about how rough it was to which I explained, “that is Aliso Beach.”  He offered me a canned beer that I declined telling him, “Thank you, but no I recently quit.  Nobody likes a quitter”.  He laughed and said, ” You aren’t all that bad”.  I showed my appreciation and continued down to the water’s edge.

There were waves for sure.  It was possible even to ride them with travel time in the barrel but just not enough energy to compel me to paddle out.  There were gentle offshore winds, beautiful water color and glassy conditions.  The winds were feathering back these little wedging peaks back so I snapped a couple of photos on my IPhone.  Knowing I would not paddle out there I walked back up the sand berm and made my way toward the dude that offered me the beer.  I told him to watch for lifeguards and Laguna Beach Police Department whom I have seen write tickets for alcohol on the beach.  He appreciated that and then the dude offered me a taco.  Regrettably I had to decline.  I was so full from a large juice and a couple of organic food bars from Mother’s that I could not eat anything more.  I felt bad for having to decline.  He had the chicken perfectly barbecued and all the fixings for a taco meal and told him everything looked great.

Call me an old sap but that generous offered seemed like the world that has long passed us by.  We are so technologically connected and so inter-personally disconnected that  friendly encounters like that seem so far and few between.  It saddens me.  They were very nice people and I enjoyed talking to them.  It is those types of dealings with strangers that gives the world hope and we all should take note of how small conversations between strangers lead to meaningful dialogue and friendships. In a perfect world, the dude offered me a taco and I was hungry.  In today’s world, this afternoon at Aliso Beach, I had already eaten and wasn’t hungry.  I do appreciate their gesture and hope that people take note of this and look to have conversations like this wherever they go.  They mean so much more than we give them credit for.

Posted in Aliso Beach, Aliso Beach Park, Aliso Beach Surf, Aliso Beach Waves Tagged , , , |