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Seaside Santorini~


Sun kissed,

white washed,

azure accented,

bliss!

Especially quiet,

and lovely,

off season.

Cheers to you from stunning Santorini~

Intermittent island internet, so please bear with me!

Flown Away~


Yep, we just did it again. It seems as as normal as staying home.There is so much to miss leaving The Holler.

The year round Holler hummers are brave in an non-conformist way, they choose not to migrate thousands of miles across the Gulf of Mexico, but to stay year round with us at The Holler, despite winter temps that frequently fall well below freezing and could easily kill them.

Other migrating travelers visit us seasonally.


There are four hummers that lived at The Holler year-round this year. These are two of them. They rely on our feeders and bugs to keep them alive year round.

Now we have flown off before the full complement of spring unfolds, missing all The Holler spring has to offer. Don’t worry, family remain at The Holler while we are away, to take care of all our critters including the birds.


I look forward to blogging as I travel and hope you will come along with me.

You make traveling a lot more fun and interesting!

3 Flights, 22 hours traveling time, and here we are,

ready to head further east.

Cheers to you from ancient Athens~
(Please do be patient iwth me if I am slower in responding, or unable to follow your blogs as closely as I would like, due to the realities of travel.)

Palacio Real de La Almudaina~

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The Royal Palace of the Almudaina is located on the island of Mallorca in the capital city of Palma. Mallorca is part of the Balearic Island chain located off the coast of Spain.

In 903 AD, Isam Al Jawlani, conquered the Romans who were occupying Mallorca. Moors of Berber and Arabic descent then controlled Mallorca from 903-1229 AD.

They built the Almudaina in the articulated Islamic architectural style of North Africa.


Almudaina consists of two areas, the outer fortress of defensive walls, and the inner fortification which served as residences.

The palace architectural style results in unique and visually stunning interiors and exteriors that are airy and full of light, replete with arches, tile work, exterior corridors, and views of the ocean. Windows were built to take advantage of the ocean views and cool sea air. There is no sense of the dark claustrophobia one can feel in many other castles and fortresses.

The tapestries you are looking at are Flemish from the 16th and 17th centuries. You can see the light and airy interiors that make the palace so inviting.

The Arabs were eventually expelled from Mallorca and in the 14th century the palace became the official residence of The Spanish Royal Family who still use the palace as offices in the summer months.


Artistic details are evident throughout the palace interiors.
Cheers to you from the stunning Palacio Real de La Almudaina~

“What We Got Here is Failure to Communicate”~

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Elephant Seals are obviously not the only species with this problem!

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This sub-adult male seems a bit sheepish about his not yet mature mating attempts.
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He looks at me almost as if he’s apologetic!
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He’s just practising now, learning how to deal with all the rejection.

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Elephant Seal mating is disturbingly violent. It is a hard life being an elephant seal.
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Looking into the female’s eyes it is impossible not to feel sorry for her and her continual harassment.

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For now at least, the adolescent males just look beached and confused!
Cheers to you the Piedras Blancas elephant seals~

Title quote: “Cool Hand Luke.”

California Dreamin~

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Sunday is dog day afternoon in Moro Bay California in winter time!
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Squirrels come from all across America for their annual beach convention in Cambria California.
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Peli can cage fish from the fishermen,
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and is on the lookout for handouts.
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Vain egret keeps her feathers looking lovely.

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Oystercatcher snoozes in the sun,

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while pied billed grebe scouts the sea for supper.
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Winter sunset sends you cheers from Oxnard California~

Los Toros Del Mar~

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Northern bull elephant seals weigh up to 5000 pounds and reach up to 16 feet in length! Their Southern counterparts are larger.
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In addition to their size, they are quite bullish in behavior, fighting constantly with other males,

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and forcing themselves on often quite unwilling females,

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who are much smaller than they are.

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On shore they dominate large harems and defend them from other males.
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Male Northern Elephant Seals spend eight months alone at sea. They forage in deep dives 24 hours a day, often at the bottom of the ocean, where other predators are scarce.
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The deepest recorded bull elephant dive was 5788 feet and the longest recorded continuous dive was just over two hours on one breath!

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California male elephant seals forage at the edge of the continental shelf, all the way to the Aleutian islands. Orcas and sharks predate on them and approximately one in three males are killed each year, mainly by orcas.
Cheers to you from the bullish, and amazing, male elephant seals at Piedras Blancas Rookery in California~

Source (and for more information) check out: http://www.elephantseal.org/

We Otta Be Ottahs~

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Cuz life just floats by.
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Sea Otters live in close communities called rafts. Can you see the babies floating on their mamas? Hint: they are the brown fuzzy bumps with little faces resting on their mama’s bellies? (CLick to enlarge for better optics).
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Like all communities with time on their hands, gossip can be a problem.
“If you say this one more time, Edna, I swear, I will cover my ears!”
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A new human like me, is easily noticed.
“Who are you odd human, and why are you staring at me?”
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Discussing the merits of tonight’s seafood dining options, Earle makes the best suggestion.

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Otter newlyweds with their new pup float happily together.

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Single mom’s seem quite content on their own.
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While bachelor & bachelorette otters can float anywhere they want and may be the happiest otters of all.
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Eventually babies get fed up with resting on top of mom, and just float off on their own looking for adventure.

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Rarely, an otter just can’t keep going along lazily with the group, he has to break out, be an individual, kick his web-footed heels to the sky!
Cheers to you from the happily floating (and kicking) Morro Bay Sea Otters in California~

Note: Sea Otters were nearly hunted to extinction in the 1800’s for their fur. Populations are slowly recovering, but otters are still an endangered species and are threatened by fish net entanglement, oil spills, and boat strikes.