Santa Catalina Island is a unique island off the coast of southern California. After seeing it from my neighborhood for eight years I finally got to travel by boat to see it.
Catalina Island is known for its pristine harbor with boats of many shapes and sizes. I found the harbor to be my favorite place on the island.
We went snorkeling at Lover’s Cove which was enjoyable except when the underwater submarine kept blowing its horn at me as if it owned the cove.
We did take an open air jeep tour with the Catalina Island Conservancy, which I really enjoyed.
The encounter with the mighty buffalo was certainly what we wanted to see high up on the mountainside, and the buffalo did not disappoint. These creatures are quite interesting to see up close with their fuzzy ears and woolly maned heads.
So what do these mighty creatures tell us? Eco systems are not meant to be disturbed, as Catalina buffalo are proof of that. I was on the inner interior of the island and could see the struggle the integrated eco system has on native plants and animals. The eco system is so delicate the slightest interference can completely change the appearance and the island itself forever.
What are we doing to preserve places that are unique and interesting like Catalina? I wonder what Laguna Beach water would have looked like and how many different kinds of fish and kelp were there 60 years ago? Much of what we do to the environment resembles a waterfall. What we see on the surface is often all that is recognized or valued. Underneath is an entire world of dependent eco systems. If we redirected the waterfall it may make new eco systems but leave the old one vanished for good. Can we take that chance with certain habitats?
Humans are similar to eco systems. Understanding we are delicate creatures of habitats ourselves, we must respect how much we alter ourselves with medications and surgeries. The result of abrupt change, without supporting the other areas of codependency we have neglected to consider, could result in us forever being unbalanced or unsupported. I know my own self and sometimes I am left under-supported neurologically when my routine or lifestyle is suddenly drastically altered. Sometimes the changes are not controllable, like the buffalo who refused to be relocated off the island of Catalina after a movie shoot. What then? Each scene is one that must be given serious thought as to the interruption of normalcy. We see the work of the conservancy and are grateful for their work of preserving such a landmark as Catalina. What conservancy do we attempt for ourselves?
Seeing us as buffalo roaming a strange place isn’t that far off from how I picture myself. I can’t expect the whole world to adapt into a new world just for me, but small changes and appreciation for who we are will sweeten the environment for changes that benefit all. Some of us will remain and some of us will fade away as if their waterfall was redirected and they anticipated no change . Time has no mercy for those who expect no change. So are you a Catalina bison or sea kelp? Each is beautiful to look at, but one has been there as long as we know and the other claimed its mark in recent history. Both contribute to the attraction and beauty of Catalina. Don’t we want to see them both? Remember with change we grow.