Posts Tagged ‘Fitzgerald marine preserve’

Outdoors again

October 26, 2015

Monday, 26 October 2015

Saturday was for pulling broom at a group project at Bear Creek redwoods, nothing to post. Sunday I hiked the loop of preserves surrounding the Page Mill — Skyline — Alpine road junction. Pleasant day, started out chilly and breezy, then warmed up.

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These beautiful little guys stick their rear ends up in the air when they feel threatened. I touched it with the tip of my hiking stick to see if I could provoke a spray of noxious fluids, but unsuccessfully.

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Pat’s conference finished Sunday, so I took Monday as vacation, and Jacky, Pat and I spent the day loafing.

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We started by hiking Purisima Creek trail, one of the prettiest redwood hikes anywhere. Discovered a ladybug colony setting in for the winter along the creek. My favorite thing!

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Stopped for a Mex lunch in Half Moon Bay, then went on to Fitzgerald Marine Preserve, knowing that low tide would be about 4:30 this afternoon.

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Nice day, jackets zipped all the way up.

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From the main parking area, we went on up to the Monterey pine forest. A bright shiny beetle going about its business on the trail. Pretty!

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The red is algae. I believe it does not damage the trees.

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At the south end is another way down to the beach, where there were two or three docents showing off the various creatures in the tide pools.

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I learn at least a little bit every day. This is a chiton, an animal with a pseudopod like a snail. They don’t like direct sunlight; this one is in a little hole that’s usually covered by alga, which I pulled back to take the picture.

Home in time for a brew on the patio. Nice day. Truly spoiled, yet again.

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Vacation begins

June 26, 2015

Friday, 26 June 2015

After a couple of confcalls this morning, we loaded the car full of far more than we would have taken along, had we been traveling by air, and headed out for a week of vacation of some sort. Temperatures predicted to be at or near triple digits inland, so we’ll stay along the coast. The day was mostly overcast, and we often needed sweaters or jackets. Just right!

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First stop, Fitzgerald Marine preserve, Montara, north of Half Moon bay.

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The tide was receding, but still high, so there wasn’t much to see in the way of tide pools.

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I had forgotten about the nasturtiums that grow all along here. Delicious as a light snack!

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From up on the cliff, we had a good view of the sea lions, mostly on the beach but also playing in the water. Life is easy.

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The monterey cypress forest, tinged with red algae.

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Drove to Half Moon Bay, the town, wandered around, went to the Mex place across from the art deco middle school where we always like to eat.

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This is said to be the world’s largest marble run. It wasn’t in operation when we went past, probably worth seeing when opportunity presents.

Over the little hill to the Purisima Creek Redwoods open space preserve, where we wandered along the creek for a few minutes. Jacky has a sore leg, so we’re walking neither far nor fast. It will be a strange vacation if we can’t spend it on our feet.

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Next stop, Bean Hollow state beach, a pebble beach with letterbox tafoni sandstone liberally surrounding the area. A little better tide pooling, but the water is still fairly high.

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And then to Santa Cruz, where we wandered the main drag, found a brew.

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The sign above is dedicated to Loren.

We had a bag of cherries from home, so we ate those, then wandered down to the beach boardwalk and found clam chowder. Out on the wharf, where we saw three sea otters nearby. Unfortunately, the light and distance were inadequate for photography.

Purisima, Fitzgerald marine preserve

May 5, 2013

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Jacky had to monitor server alerts today, so she didn’t come with Friedrich and Petra and me to Half Moon Bay, where we first went to Purisima redwoods open space preserve and hiked the trail along the creek, out and back. Very pleasant.

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Of course, I was watching for small animals.

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I stirred this one up with a small stick to get a look at its thousand feet.

We also saw lots of banana slugs, but not a great deal of other wildlife.

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From there, we went up highway 1 on a cold, cloudy, very windy day, to Fitzgerald marine preserve. The tide was falling, but with another two hours before hitting full ebb, and the ebb was not all that low anyway.

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So we went out on the rocks, such as they were, and looked for interesting things. The wind disturbed the surface so much that there was little chance of seeing anything interesting under water. Mostly just seaweed of one kind or another,

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The wind was so strong, those of us wearing shorts felt like the paint was being sand-blasted off our legs. So we retired from the beach after only a few minutes, and went into the Montery cypress forest overlooking the preserve. Still windy, but nowhere near as cold and unpleasant as on the beach itself.

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From the overlook, we could see a pod of harbor seals, one of which decided to go for a swim while we watched.

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Below, we see an incipient collapse of the cliff. You can see that the trail used to run there; now the barrier fence is 10 meters further back.

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The other interesting thing about this forest is the red algae, not everywhere, but on much of the vegetation closest to the water. It is visible, though not obvious, in the picture above, and lends a nice touch of colour to the picture below.

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Home again for naps, an early meal, and best wishes to our friends for their return journey to Munich. It has been fun!