California 2008 - SF Bay area, Muir Woods, Pt. Reyes, and Santa Cruz

This gallery includes photos of the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve, Muir Woods NM, Pt. Reyes NS, and Santa Cruz
Image Number Image (Click to Enlarge)CaptionImage Viewed
1 Flying over the Sierra mountains in eastern California. Kenny and I went to Mountain View, CA July 1 - 8, 2008 to visit our son, Curtis, and his girlfriend, Jeanie. I always enjoy flying over the western states, the topography is so varied there! This ...

Flying over the Sierra mountains in eastern California. Kenny and I went to Mountain View, CA July 1 - 8, 2008 to visit our son, Curtis, and his girlfriend, Jeanie. I always enjoy flying over the western states, the topography is so varied there! This ...

Flying over the Sierra mountains in eastern California. Kenny and I went to Mountain View, CA July 1 - 8, 2008 to visit our son, Curtis, and his girlfriend, Jeanie. I always enjoy flying over the western states, the topography is so varied there! This past winter had a very large snowpack in the Sierras, some of it is still visible in this photo. map... 1511
2 We began to see smoke from the huge California wildfires as we flew west of the Sierras. This smoke was from the major Big Sur fire.

We began to see smoke from the huge California wildfires as we flew west of the Sierras. This smoke was from the major Big Sur fire.

We began to see smoke from the huge California wildfires as we flew west of the Sierras. This smoke was from the major Big Sur fire. 1296
3 This sign in the San Jose airport shows the numerous technical companies in Silicon Valley. Curtis got a job with Google in July 2007. This was our first trip there to visit him.

This sign in the San Jose airport shows the numerous technical companies in Silicon Valley. Curtis got a job with Google in July 2007. This was our first trip there to visit him.

This sign in the San Jose airport shows the numerous technical companies in Silicon Valley. Curtis got a job with Google in July 2007. This was our first trip there to visit him. 1302
4 One of the many buildings on the Google campus. Photography is forbidden inside the buildings.

One of the many buildings on the Google campus. Photography is forbidden inside the buildings.

One of the many buildings on the Google campus. Photography is forbidden inside the buildings. 1861
5 The outdoor dining area on the Google campus is a pleasant place to eat. Google employees can enjoy 3 free meals a day, many prepared by gourmet cooks. Healthy snacks are available on every floor!

The outdoor dining area on the Google campus is a pleasant place to eat. Google employees can enjoy 3 free meals a day, many prepared by gourmet cooks. Healthy snacks are available on every floor!

The outdoor dining area on the Google campus is a pleasant place to eat. Google employees can enjoy 3 free meals a day, many prepared by gourmet cooks. Healthy snacks are available on every floor! 6312
6 Chefs use fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables from the Google garden to add to the meals.

Chefs use fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables from the Google garden to add to the meals.

Chefs use fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables from the Google garden to add to the meals. 2058
7 A replica of a T. Rex is located in the Google courtyard. The pink plastic flamingo in its mouth shows that even "computer geeks" can have a sense of humor! It is left over from an April Fool's joke. :)

A replica of a T. Rex is located in the Google courtyard. The pink plastic flamingo in its mouth shows that even "computer geeks" can have a sense of humor! It is left over from an April Fool's joke. :)

A replica of a T. Rex is located in the Google courtyard. The pink plastic flamingo in its mouth shows that even "computer geeks" can have a sense of humor! It is left over from an April Fool's joke. :) 1950
8 The Google campus is quite large and spread out, employees can ride one of these single-speed bicycles and leave it at their destination. Many employees ride their own bicycles to and from work (good for burning off those free meal calories!).

The Google campus is quite large and spread out, employees can ride one of these single-speed bicycles and leave it at their destination. Many employees ride their own bicycles to and from work (good for burning off those free meal calories!).

The Google campus is quite large and spread out, employees can ride one of these single-speed bicycles and leave it at their destination. Many employees ride their own bicycles to and from work (good for burning off those free meal calories!). 1682
9 Gas Prices in California were nearly $1 / gallon more expensive we left in TN! People have to be inventive to survive the high gas prices. Many people ride bicycles or drive alternative fuel vehicles... (see next photo)

Gas Prices in California were nearly $1 / gallon more expensive we left in TN! People have to be inventive to survive the high gas prices. Many people ride bicycles or drive alternative fuel vehicles... (see next photo)

Gas Prices in California were nearly $1 / gallon more expensive we left in TN! People have to be inventive to survive the high gas prices. Many people ride bicycles or drive alternative fuel vehicles... (see next photo) 1963
10 We did a double-take when we saw this 3-wheeled electric Mini car! It was big enough for just one person, like a motorcycle with a body! It had great get up and go and went pretty fast!

We did a double-take when we saw this 3-wheeled electric Mini car! It was big enough for just one person, like a motorcycle with a body! It had great get up and go and went pretty fast!

We did a double-take when we saw this 3-wheeled electric Mini car! It was big enough for just one person, like a motorcycle with a body! It had great get up and go and went pretty fast! 2019
11 The Lucy Evans Baylands Nature center is located near Google at the edge of the southern end of San Fransisco Bay. The city of Palo Alto has set the area aside as a protected wetland. The nature center has displays on the plants, birds and animals of t...

The Lucy Evans Baylands Nature center is located near Google at the edge of the southern end of San Fransisco Bay. The city of Palo Alto has set the area aside as a protected wetland. The nature center has displays on the plants, birds and animals of t...

The Lucy Evans Baylands Nature center is located near Google at the edge of the southern end of San Fransisco Bay. The city of Palo Alto has set the area aside as a protected wetland. The nature center has displays on the plants, birds and animals of the wetland. There is a small laboratory for students to learn about tides, microscopic organisms and birds. map... 1588
12 This long Boardwalk leads from the nature center through the salt marsh to the edge of the bay. It is a good place to watch birds and to look for the elusive and rare California Clapper Rail. I looked for the bird, but I never saw it.

This long Boardwalk leads from the nature center through the salt marsh to the edge of the bay. It is a good place to watch birds and to look for the elusive and rare California Clapper Rail. I looked for the bird, but I never saw it.

This long Boardwalk leads from the nature center through the salt marsh to the edge of the bay. It is a good place to watch birds and to look for the elusive and rare California Clapper Rail. I looked for the bird, but I never saw it. 1842
13 Most of the plants under the boardwalk are Pickleweed, a common salt marsh plant.

Most of the plants under the boardwalk are Pickleweed, a common salt marsh plant.

Most of the plants under the boardwalk are Pickleweed, a common salt marsh plant. 1505
14 <strong>Beach Lavender; Sea Lavender</strong> plant
<em>Limonium angustifolium</em>
Palo Alto, CA
July 2, 2008

I found this plant growing on the bank next to the mudflats of the salt marsh. It is amazing how much difference just a few inches of e...

Beach Lavender; Sea Lavender plant Limonium angustifolium Palo Alto, CA July 2, 2008 I found this plant growing on the bank next to the mudflats of the salt marsh. It is amazing how much difference just a few inches of e...

Beach Lavender; Sea Lavender plant Limonium angustifolium Palo Alto, CA July 2, 2008 I found this plant growing on the bank next to the mudflats of the salt marsh. It is amazing how much difference just a few inches of elevation can make on plant life. Although it doesn't get flooded by the tides, it still has to be salt tolerant. 2085
15 Beach Lavender flowers

Beach Lavender flowers

Beach Lavender flowers 1392
16 Like many other plants that live near the ocean, Beach Lavender excretes salt through the leaves.

Like many other plants that live near the ocean, Beach Lavender excretes salt through the leaves.

Like many other plants that live near the ocean, Beach Lavender excretes salt through the leaves. 1628
17 <strong>Alkali Heath</strong>
<em>Frankenia salina</em>
Palo Alto, CA
July 2, 2008

Alkali Heath grows in rounded mats at the edge of saltmarshes. It has pretty little pink flowers.

Alkali Heath Frankenia salina Palo Alto, CA July 2, 2008 Alkali Heath grows in rounded mats at the edge of saltmarshes. It has pretty little pink flowers.

Alkali Heath Frankenia salina Palo Alto, CA July 2, 2008 Alkali Heath grows in rounded mats at the edge of saltmarshes. It has pretty little pink flowers. 1272
18 <strong>American Avocet and Black-necked Stilt</strong> 
<em>Recurvirostra americana and Himantopus mexicanus</em>

These are 2 of the many different kinds of shore birds that can be seen at the Palo Alto Baylands. Others include Willets, Marbled Go...

American Avocet and Black-necked Stilt Recurvirostra americana and Himantopus mexicanus These are 2 of the many different kinds of shore birds that can be seen at the Palo Alto Baylands. Others include Willets, Marbled Go...

American Avocet and Black-necked Stilt Recurvirostra americana and Himantopus mexicanus These are 2 of the many different kinds of shore birds that can be seen at the Palo Alto Baylands. Others include Willets, Marbled Godwits, gulls, terns, and pelicans. In the winter many migrating birds stop over for "refueling" at the wetlands. There are several miles of trails for walking, running or bike riding along the edges of the wetlands. 1367
19 There are numerous Cliff Swallow nests built up under the porch rafters of the nature center. It was fun to watch the birds dart into the nests to feed their young. Here, some of the chicks and adults peer from the nest openings.

There are numerous Cliff Swallow nests built up under the porch rafters of the nature center. It was fun to watch the birds dart into the nests to feed their young. Here, some of the chicks and adults peer from the nest openings.

There are numerous Cliff Swallow nests built up under the porch rafters of the nature center. It was fun to watch the birds dart into the nests to feed their young. Here, some of the chicks and adults peer from the nest openings. 1604
20 <strong>California Horn snail</strong>
<em>Cerithidea californica</em>

These snails were quite numerous in the mudflats at the Palo Alto Baylands. I was surprised to see how quickly they could move. Their mouth is located in the long black tube nea...

California Horn snail Cerithidea californica These snails were quite numerous in the mudflats at the Palo Alto Baylands. I was surprised to see how quickly they could move. Their mouth is located in the long black tube nea...

California Horn snail Cerithidea californica These snails were quite numerous in the mudflats at the Palo Alto Baylands. I was surprised to see how quickly they could move. Their mouth is located in the long black tube near the opening of the shell. These snails are the first of three steps in the life cycle of several species of parasitic trematode worms. The snails are eaten by fish, which are then eaten by birds, where the worms lay their eggs, birds excrete the eggs into the water to be ingested by the snails, and cycle is then completed. 1999
21 A California Horn snail at low tide leaves a track in the mud as it searches for food.

A California Horn snail at low tide leaves a track in the mud as it searches for food.

A California Horn snail at low tide leaves a track in the mud as it searches for food. 1300
22 <strong>Bullock's Oriole</strong>
<em>Icterus bullockii</em>
Palo Alto, CA 
July 2, 2008

This male bird was defending his nest from marauding crows. Oriole nests hang beneath the branches, delicately woven.

Bullock's Oriole Icterus bullockii Palo Alto, CA July 2, 2008 This male bird was defending his nest from marauding crows. Oriole nests hang beneath the branches, delicately woven.

Bullock's Oriole Icterus bullockii Palo Alto, CA July 2, 2008 This male bird was defending his nest from marauding crows. Oriole nests hang beneath the branches, delicately woven. 1463
23 <strong>Ring-necked Pheasant</strong>
<em>Phasianus colchicus</em>
Palo Alto, CA
June 3, 2008

It was quite a surprise to see a Ring-necked Pheasant wandering around the high shrubs near the wetlands. These birds were introduced from Asia as game ...

Ring-necked Pheasant Phasianus colchicus Palo Alto, CA June 3, 2008 It was quite a surprise to see a Ring-necked Pheasant wandering around the high shrubs near the wetlands. These birds were introduced from Asia as game ...

Ring-necked Pheasant Phasianus colchicus Palo Alto, CA June 3, 2008 It was quite a surprise to see a Ring-necked Pheasant wandering around the high shrubs near the wetlands. These birds were introduced from Asia as game birds for hunting. They have spread into undeveloped areas. The males, like this one, are brightly colored (I just wish he had not had his head in the shade!). 1511
24 <strong>Black Phoebe</strong>
<em>Sayornis nigricans</em>
Palo Alto, CA
July 2, 2008

These birds are a type of flycatcher, they catch insects in mid-air. It was common to see them darting over the salt marshes from branches and reeds.

Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans Palo Alto, CA July 2, 2008 These birds are a type of flycatcher, they catch insects in mid-air. It was common to see them darting over the salt marshes from branches and reeds.

Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans Palo Alto, CA July 2, 2008 These birds are a type of flycatcher, they catch insects in mid-air. It was common to see them darting over the salt marshes from branches and reeds. 1272
25 I got this photo of a Ground Squirrel eating a bird egg from the car window as we were leaving the Palo Alto Baylands. We had seen gulls and crows with the egg earlier. Then the squirrel got in on the action. People usually think of squirrels as being ...

I got this photo of a Ground Squirrel eating a bird egg from the car window as we were leaving the Palo Alto Baylands. We had seen gulls and crows with the egg earlier. Then the squirrel got in on the action. People usually think of squirrels as being ...

I got this photo of a Ground Squirrel eating a bird egg from the car window as we were leaving the Palo Alto Baylands. We had seen gulls and crows with the egg earlier. Then the squirrel got in on the action. People usually think of squirrels as being strictly herbivores, but they will eat meat if given the opportunity. 2417
26 The strong afternoon breezes attract after-work windsurfers in the southern end of San Fransisco Bay.

The strong afternoon breezes attract after-work windsurfers in the southern end of San Fransisco Bay.

The strong afternoon breezes attract after-work windsurfers in the southern end of San Fransisco Bay. 1228
27 We enjoyed watching the Windsurfers from the dock at the Palo Alto Baylands. These guys could really zip along on the strong breezes.

We enjoyed watching the Windsurfers from the dock at the Palo Alto Baylands. These guys could really zip along on the strong breezes.

We enjoyed watching the Windsurfers from the dock at the Palo Alto Baylands. These guys could really zip along on the strong breezes. 1277
28 This Snowy Egret is preparing to regurgitate a meal to one of its two fluffy gray chicks. There was a small rookery of egrets in some Eucalyptus trees.

This Snowy Egret is preparing to regurgitate a meal to one of its two fluffy gray chicks. There was a small rookery of egrets in some Eucalyptus trees.

This Snowy Egret is preparing to regurgitate a meal to one of its two fluffy gray chicks. There was a small rookery of egrets in some Eucalyptus trees. 1313
29 <strong>Northern Harrier</strong>
<em>Circus cyaneus</em>
Palo Alto, CA
July 3, 2008

This bird terrified the shore birds as it dived and hovered over their flocks. Harriers eat birds.

Northern Harrier Circus cyaneus Palo Alto, CA July 3, 2008 This bird terrified the shore birds as it dived and hovered over their flocks. Harriers eat birds.

Northern Harrier Circus cyaneus Palo Alto, CA July 3, 2008 This bird terrified the shore birds as it dived and hovered over their flocks. Harriers eat birds. 1218
30 I snapped this scene of the typical CA roadsides as we drove down Hwy. 101 to Salinas. It is amazing that as highly developed and populated as California is, there are still a lot of beautiful scenes like this! :)

I snapped this scene of the typical CA roadsides as we drove down Hwy. 101 to Salinas. It is amazing that as highly developed and populated as California is, there are still a lot of beautiful scenes like this! :)

I snapped this scene of the typical CA roadsides as we drove down Hwy. 101 to Salinas. It is amazing that as highly developed and populated as California is, there are still a lot of beautiful scenes like this! :) 1259
31 The Golden Gate Bridge really  is in this photo, it is just obscured by heavy fog as the sign warns! It is common to NOT see the bridge in the summer. Strong winds and chilly temperatures can be a surprise to San Fransisco tourists expecting sunny, hot...

The Golden Gate Bridge really is in this photo, it is just obscured by heavy fog as the sign warns! It is common to NOT see the bridge in the summer. Strong winds and chilly temperatures can be a surprise to San Fransisco tourists expecting sunny, hot...

The Golden Gate Bridge really is in this photo, it is just obscured by heavy fog as the sign warns! It is common to NOT see the bridge in the summer. Strong winds and chilly temperatures can be a surprise to San Fransisco tourists expecting sunny, hot weather in June, July and August. Walking across the bridge can be an exhilarating experience! The Golden Gate bridge is a toll bridge, south-bound drivers are charged $5.00 per car. 1214
32 Our view of the Golden Gate Bridge as we drove north of San Fransisco through the fog. The fog was so heavy it made the windshield wet! 
<a href="http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&gl=us&ie=UTF8&oe=UTF8&msa=0&msid=111048428162997367442.000452cec5538...

Our view of the Golden Gate Bridge as we drove north of San Fransisco through the fog. The fog was so heavy it made the windshield wet!

Our view of the Golden Gate Bridge as we drove north of San Fransisco through the fog. The fog was so heavy it made the windshield wet! map... 1214
33 We had to drive through a lot of fog on our way to Muir Woods. The fog is an important source of moisture for the plants of the California coast during the summer since it does not rain from May through November. What is that shadowy figure on the side...

We had to drive through a lot of fog on our way to Muir Woods. The fog is an important source of moisture for the plants of the California coast during the summer since it does not rain from May through November. What is that shadowy figure on the side...

We had to drive through a lot of fog on our way to Muir Woods. The fog is an important source of moisture for the plants of the California coast during the summer since it does not rain from May through November. What is that shadowy figure on the side of the road ahead?!... 1370
34 Is that <u>another</u> T. rex dinosaur coming over the hill through the fog?! No, it was just a windswept tree that we saw on our drive through the hills on the way to Muir Woods. :)

Is that another T. rex dinosaur coming over the hill through the fog?! No, it was just a windswept tree that we saw on our drive through the hills on the way to Muir Woods. :)

Is that another T. rex dinosaur coming over the hill through the fog?! No, it was just a windswept tree that we saw on our drive through the hills on the way to Muir Woods. :) 1475
35 <strong>California Buckeye</strong>
<em>Aesculus californica</em> 
Muir Woods National Monument,CA
July 4, 2008

The California Buckeyes were a spectacular sight in many areas of the central coastal mountains. We had seen them last year in the sou...

California Buckeye Aesculus californica Muir Woods National Monument,CA July 4, 2008 The California Buckeyes were a spectacular sight in many areas of the central coastal mountains. We had seen them last year in the sou...

California Buckeye Aesculus californica Muir Woods National Monument,CA July 4, 2008 The California Buckeyes were a spectacular sight in many areas of the central coastal mountains. We had seen them last year in the southern part of the state, but not blooming as profusely as these trees. 1602
36 Close-up of California Buckeye flowers

Close-up of California Buckeye flowers

Close-up of California Buckeye flowers 1349
37 <strong>Coast Redwoods</strong>
<em>Sequoia sempervirens</em>
Muir Woods National Monument
July 4, 2008

The Coast Redwoods are protected in Muir woods. This trail takes visitors through the Cathedral Grove where they can gaze in awe of the huge, ...

Coast Redwoods Sequoia sempervirens Muir Woods National Monument July 4, 2008 The Coast Redwoods are protected in Muir woods. This trail takes visitors through the Cathedral Grove where they can gaze in awe of the huge, ...

Coast Redwoods Sequoia sempervirens Muir Woods National Monument July 4, 2008 The Coast Redwoods are protected in Muir woods. This trail takes visitors through the Cathedral Grove where they can gaze in awe of the huge, ancient trees. Coast Redwoods are not as huge in trunk diameter as the Giant Redwoods in the Sequoia National Park far to the east in the Sierra mountain range. However, they are the tallest trees on earth reaching up to 379 feet in height and 26 feet in diameter. Thank heaven people had the foresight to save this fabulous grove of giant trees from inevitable logging one hundred years ago in 1908! map... 2124
38 An upward view of the Coast Sequoias.

An upward view of the Coast Sequoias.

An upward view of the Coast Sequoias. 1291
39 Our family enjoyed our hike at Muir Woods!
Jeanie, Curtis, Kris, and Kenny
Photo by a bystander

Our family enjoyed our hike at Muir Woods! Jeanie, Curtis, Kris, and Kenny Photo by a bystander

Our family enjoyed our hike at Muir Woods! Jeanie, Curtis, Kris, and Kenny Photo by a bystander 1639
40 <strong>Redwood Sorrel</strong> 
<em>Oxalis oregana</em>
Muir Woods National Monument
July 4, 2008

These pretty little "shamrock leaves" carpet the ground below the giant sequoias. This flower is a late bloomer, the majority of the flowers had bl...

Redwood Sorrel Oxalis oregana Muir Woods National Monument July 4, 2008 These pretty little "shamrock leaves" carpet the ground below the giant sequoias. This flower is a late bloomer, the majority of the flowers had bl...

Redwood Sorrel Oxalis oregana Muir Woods National Monument July 4, 2008 These pretty little "shamrock leaves" carpet the ground below the giant sequoias. This flower is a late bloomer, the majority of the flowers had bloomed earlier in the spring. Even though it looks like a clover, sorrel is not related to that plant. 1449
41 <strong>Trail Plant</strong>
<em>Adenocaulon bicolor</em>
Muir Woods National Monument
July 4, 2008

This is an easy plant to identify because of its distinctive seed growth. It is common on the west coast. We had seen it in the forests of Washing...

Trail Plant Adenocaulon bicolor Muir Woods National Monument July 4, 2008 This is an easy plant to identify because of its distinctive seed growth. It is common on the west coast. We had seen it in the forests of Washing...

Trail Plant Adenocaulon bicolor Muir Woods National Monument July 4, 2008 This is an easy plant to identify because of its distinctive seed growth. It is common on the west coast. We had seen it in the forests of Washington in 1998. 1342
42 <strong>California Spikenard</strong>
<em>Aralia californica</em>
Muir Woods National Monument
July 4, 2008

The circular clusters of flowers reminded us of floral fireworks, appropriate for the 4th of July! The leaves seen in this photo are from ...

California Spikenard Aralia californica Muir Woods National Monument July 4, 2008 The circular clusters of flowers reminded us of floral fireworks, appropriate for the 4th of July! The leaves seen in this photo are from ...

California Spikenard Aralia californica Muir Woods National Monument July 4, 2008 The circular clusters of flowers reminded us of floral fireworks, appropriate for the 4th of July! The leaves seen in this photo are from a different plant. California Spikenard grows over 6 feet tall! 1847
43 This group of California Spikenard plants grew next to Redwood Creek.

This group of California Spikenard plants grew next to Redwood Creek.

This group of California Spikenard plants grew next to Redwood Creek. 1852
44 This Fallen Giant may be the same Sequioa that had crashed to the ground 2 weeks before our visit to Muir Woods in 1996. Redwood has a high tannin content, making it resistant to decay, so this well could be the same tree. This rot-resistant quality is...

This Fallen Giant may be the same Sequioa that had crashed to the ground 2 weeks before our visit to Muir Woods in 1996. Redwood has a high tannin content, making it resistant to decay, so this well could be the same tree. This rot-resistant quality is...

This Fallen Giant may be the same Sequioa that had crashed to the ground 2 weeks before our visit to Muir Woods in 1996. Redwood has a high tannin content, making it resistant to decay, so this well could be the same tree. This rot-resistant quality is also why the trees have been heavily logged. 1265
45 Some Sequioas grow in circular groups because they grew from suckers on a common stump hundreds of years ago.

Some Sequioas grow in circular groups because they grew from suckers on a common stump hundreds of years ago.

Some Sequioas grow in circular groups because they grew from suckers on a common stump hundreds of years ago. 1182
46 Sequoia trees have bark that is thick and fibrous, protecting them from fire. Rangers set controlled fires occasionally to burn the forest floor tree litter and to help the seedlings grow.

Sequoia trees have bark that is thick and fibrous, protecting them from fire. Rangers set controlled fires occasionally to burn the forest floor tree litter and to help the seedlings grow.

Sequoia trees have bark that is thick and fibrous, protecting them from fire. Rangers set controlled fires occasionally to burn the forest floor tree litter and to help the seedlings grow. 1905
47 <strong>Banana Slug</strong>
<em>Ariolimax columbianus</em>
Muir Woods National Monument, CA
July 4, 2008

I was thrilled to find this 7"-long slug sliding along the side of the trail! I had last seen one at Mount St. Helens in 1998.

Banana Slug Ariolimax columbianus Muir Woods National Monument, CA July 4, 2008 I was thrilled to find this 7"-long slug sliding along the side of the trail! I had last seen one at Mount St. Helens in 1998.

Banana Slug Ariolimax columbianus Muir Woods National Monument, CA July 4, 2008 I was thrilled to find this 7"-long slug sliding along the side of the trail! I had last seen one at Mount St. Helens in 1998. 1444
48 Heuchera

Heuchera

Heuchera 1350
49 <strong>Western Azalea</strong>
<em>Rhododendron occidentale</em>
Muir Woods National Monument
July 4, 2008

We saw only one bush of this beautiful azalea on our hike through the Cathedral Grove. What a lovely flower it has!

Western Azalea Rhododendron occidentale Muir Woods National Monument July 4, 2008 We saw only one bush of this beautiful azalea on our hike through the Cathedral Grove. What a lovely flower it has!

Western Azalea Rhododendron occidentale Muir Woods National Monument July 4, 2008 We saw only one bush of this beautiful azalea on our hike through the Cathedral Grove. What a lovely flower it has! 1621
50 It is a very good idea to learn how to identify <strong>Stinging Nettle</strong>! This plant is quite common in some areas of California and can cause considerable pain if you have a close encounter with it. The tiny barbs are barely visible on the lea...

It is a very good idea to learn how to identify Stinging Nettle! This plant is quite common in some areas of California and can cause considerable pain if you have a close encounter with it. The tiny barbs are barely visible on the lea...

It is a very good idea to learn how to identify Stinging Nettle! This plant is quite common in some areas of California and can cause considerable pain if you have a close encounter with it. The tiny barbs are barely visible on the leaf stems in this photo. The following photo shows a close up of the nasty little glass-like spines which break off when touched. 2431
51 <strong>Stinging Nettle</strong> barbs are hollow like hypodermic needles. They have an irritating toxin in the little bulb at the base of the barbs. Not only do the barbs break off into the skin of the person unfortunate enough to touch the plant, but...

Stinging Nettle barbs are hollow like hypodermic needles. They have an irritating toxin in the little bulb at the base of the barbs. Not only do the barbs break off into the skin of the person unfortunate enough to touch the plant, but...

Stinging Nettle barbs are hollow like hypodermic needles. They have an irritating toxin in the little bulb at the base of the barbs. Not only do the barbs break off into the skin of the person unfortunate enough to touch the plant, but the toxin is released causing extreme pain for several hours. 2211
52 <strong>Poison Oak</strong>
<em>Toxicodendron diversilobum</em> / Cashew Family
Saratoga, CA
July 7, 2008

This is another plant that everyone who lives or travels in the western states needs to learn to recognize and avoid. It is related to Poiso...

Poison Oak Toxicodendron diversilobum / Cashew Family Saratoga, CA July 7, 2008 This is another plant that everyone who lives or travels in the western states needs to learn to recognize and avoid. It is related to Poiso...

Poison Oak Toxicodendron diversilobum / Cashew Family Saratoga, CA July 7, 2008 This is another plant that everyone who lives or travels in the western states needs to learn to recognize and avoid. It is related to Poison Ivy and Poison Sumac and causes the same miserable rash in many people. It can grow like a large shrub or a vine. In the fall (or when stressed during a drought) the leaves turn a brilliant red and burgundy. formerly known as Rhus diversiloba 3091
53 When we arrived at Pt. Reyes National Seashore around lunchtime all the picnic tables were taken. We found this old stump in the middle of the field and used it as our "table". Sometimes the most impromptu picnics are the most fun!

When we arrived at Pt. Reyes National Seashore around lunchtime all the picnic tables were taken. We found this old stump in the middle of the field and used it as our "table". Sometimes the most impromptu picnics are the most fun!

When we arrived at Pt. Reyes National Seashore around lunchtime all the picnic tables were taken. We found this old stump in the middle of the field and used it as our "table". Sometimes the most impromptu picnics are the most fun! 1421
54 When I was young, I envisioned the San Andreas fault as being a long and wide crack running through much of California! :) Believe it or not, you are looking at that famous fault across Tomales Bay in Pt. Reyes National Seashore in this photo. The hill...

When I was young, I envisioned the San Andreas fault as being a long and wide crack running through much of California! :) Believe it or not, you are looking at that famous fault across Tomales Bay in Pt. Reyes National Seashore in this photo. The hill...

When I was young, I envisioned the San Andreas fault as being a long and wide crack running through much of California! :) Believe it or not, you are looking at that famous fault across Tomales Bay in Pt. Reyes National Seashore in this photo. The hills in the distance are on the stationary North American Plate, I was standing on the Pacific Plate which is moving slowly to the northwest. Needless to say, this area is highly seismically active. 1459
55 A view of Limantour Beach at Pt. Reyes. We are overlooking Drake's Bay at this point. The National Seashore area is very large, it would take most of a day to get just a quick overview of the park. It would take 2 or 3 days to really do it justice. 
<...

A view of Limantour Beach at Pt. Reyes. We are overlooking Drake's Bay at this point. The National Seashore area is very large, it would take most of a day to get just a quick overview of the park. It would take 2 or 3 days to really do it justice. <...

A view of Limantour Beach at Pt. Reyes. We are overlooking Drake's Bay at this point. The National Seashore area is very large, it would take most of a day to get just a quick overview of the park. It would take 2 or 3 days to really do it justice. map... 1302
56 This salt marsh Pt. Reyes lies just behind the dunes of Limantour Beach. It was a good place to look for birds. We just saw a family of ducks and a great egret.

This salt marsh Pt. Reyes lies just behind the dunes of Limantour Beach. It was a good place to look for birds. We just saw a family of ducks and a great egret.

This salt marsh Pt. Reyes lies just behind the dunes of Limantour Beach. It was a good place to look for birds. We just saw a family of ducks and a great egret. 1271
57 This Great Egret was hunting fish in the salt marsh at Limantour Beach. It is fun to watch them stalk slowy through the plants and water.

This Great Egret was hunting fish in the salt marsh at Limantour Beach. It is fun to watch them stalk slowy through the plants and water.

This Great Egret was hunting fish in the salt marsh at Limantour Beach. It is fun to watch them stalk slowy through the plants and water. 1256
58 Kenny and me (Kris) at Limantour Beach at Pt. Reyes NS. The water of the Pacific Ocean was quite peaceful that day. 
Photo by Curtis Light

Kenny and me (Kris) at Limantour Beach at Pt. Reyes NS. The water of the Pacific Ocean was quite peaceful that day. Photo by Curtis Light

Kenny and me (Kris) at Limantour Beach at Pt. Reyes NS. The water of the Pacific Ocean was quite peaceful that day. Photo by Curtis Light 1125
59 Beach Grass

Beach Grass

Beach Grass 1225
60 <strong>American Badger </strong>
<em>Taxidea taxus</em>
Pt. Reyes National Seashore
July 4, 2008

As we were driving through the ranch lands to go to the lighthouse, we spotted an animal in the road. It ran to the side of the road and turned back...

American Badger Taxidea taxus Pt. Reyes National Seashore July 4, 2008 As we were driving through the ranch lands to go to the lighthouse, we spotted an animal in the road. It ran to the side of the road and turned back...

American Badger Taxidea taxus Pt. Reyes National Seashore July 4, 2008 As we were driving through the ranch lands to go to the lighthouse, we spotted an animal in the road. It ran to the side of the road and turned back to look at us. I yelled, "It's a badger!" Curtis' girlfriend had dozed off and awoke with a jolt, but she was excited to see it too.That was the first time any of the 4 of us had ever seen a live one. I had to snap this photo very quickly from the car window so it is not as sharp as I would have liked. These animals are useful because they eat rodents. 1481
61 <strong>Yellow Bush Lupine</strong>  
<em>Lupinus arboreus</em> / Pea Family
Pt. Reyes National Seashore
July 4, 2008

These pretty yellow flowers dot the hillsides of Pt. Reyes. I liked finding Ladybugs on the blossoms.

Yellow Bush Lupine Lupinus arboreus / Pea Family Pt. Reyes National Seashore July 4, 2008 These pretty yellow flowers dot the hillsides of Pt. Reyes. I liked finding Ladybugs on the blossoms.

Yellow Bush Lupine Lupinus arboreus / Pea Family Pt. Reyes National Seashore July 4, 2008 These pretty yellow flowers dot the hillsides of Pt. Reyes. I liked finding Ladybugs on the blossoms. 1393
62 <strong>Coastal Gumplant</strong>
<em>Grindelia hirsutula maritima</em> / Aster Family
Pt. Reyes National Seashore
July 4, 2008

This sub-species of Gumplant grows close to the ground, other species are up to 3' in height. Gumplant has a sticky wh...

Coastal Gumplant Grindelia hirsutula maritima / Aster Family Pt. Reyes National Seashore July 4, 2008 This sub-species of Gumplant grows close to the ground, other species are up to 3' in height. Gumplant has a sticky wh...

Coastal Gumplant Grindelia hirsutula maritima / Aster Family Pt. Reyes National Seashore July 4, 2008 This sub-species of Gumplant grows close to the ground, other species are up to 3' in height. Gumplant has a sticky white liquid on the buds to protect them from insects. 1806
63 We saw this windswept tree on our walk to the Pt. Reyes lighthouse (which was hidden by fog and we never saw). The trees grow away from the direction of the constant ocean breezes.

We saw this windswept tree on our walk to the Pt. Reyes lighthouse (which was hidden by fog and we never saw). The trees grow away from the direction of the constant ocean breezes.

We saw this windswept tree on our walk to the Pt. Reyes lighthouse (which was hidden by fog and we never saw). The trees grow away from the direction of the constant ocean breezes. 1725
64 This fuzzy orange Alga covered a large rock on a cliff at the Pt. Reyes lighthouse.

This fuzzy orange Alga covered a large rock on a cliff at the Pt. Reyes lighthouse.

This fuzzy orange Alga covered a large rock on a cliff at the Pt. Reyes lighthouse. 1193
65 Beach Aster and Iceplant covers the top of a cliff at Pt. Reyes NS.

Beach Aster and Iceplant covers the top of a cliff at Pt. Reyes NS.

Beach Aster and Iceplant covers the top of a cliff at Pt. Reyes NS. 1354
66 <strong>Leatherleaf Fern</strong>

Pt. Reyes National Seashore

Leatherleaf Fern Pt. Reyes National Seashore

Leatherleaf Fern Pt. Reyes National Seashore 1146
67 <strong>California Coast Phacelia </strong>
<em>Phacelia californica</em>
Pt. Reyes National Seashore
July 4, 2008

I found this flower blooming along the trail to the Pt. Reyes lighthouse.

California Coast Phacelia Phacelia californica Pt. Reyes National Seashore July 4, 2008 I found this flower blooming along the trail to the Pt. Reyes lighthouse.

California Coast Phacelia Phacelia californica Pt. Reyes National Seashore July 4, 2008 I found this flower blooming along the trail to the Pt. Reyes lighthouse. 1374
68 <strong>Salal</strong>
<em>Gaultheria shallon</em> / Heath Family
Pt. Reyes National Seashore
July 4, 2008

I was becoming a bit discouraged when I hadn't seen many wildflowers on our trip to California. I finally found a few on the south west end...

Salal Gaultheria shallon / Heath Family Pt. Reyes National Seashore July 4, 2008 I was becoming a bit discouraged when I hadn't seen many wildflowers on our trip to California. I finally found a few on the south west end...

Salal Gaultheria shallon / Heath Family Pt. Reyes National Seashore July 4, 2008 I was becoming a bit discouraged when I hadn't seen many wildflowers on our trip to California. I finally found a few on the south west end of Pt. Reyes. This one was seen along the trail to the lighthouse. 1396
69 <strong>Kenilworth Ivy</strong>
<em>Cymbalana muralis*</em> / Snapdragon Family
Pt. Reyes National Seashore
July 4, 2008

The species name of this non-native plant alludes to its habit of growing on rock walls (thus the species name <em>muralis</e...

Kenilworth Ivy Cymbalana muralis* / Snapdragon Family Pt. Reyes National Seashore July 4, 2008 The species name of this non-native plant alludes to its habit of growing on rock walls (thus the species name muralis

Kenilworth Ivy Cymbalana muralis* / Snapdragon Family Pt. Reyes National Seashore July 4, 2008 The species name of this non-native plant alludes to its habit of growing on rock walls (thus the species name muralis). The first time I saw this plant was in Germany. In California I saw it in Pt. Reyes and growing in the crack of a sidewalk in Santa Cruz. 1498
70 <strong>English Daisy</strong>
<em>Bellis perennis*</em> / Aster Family
Pt. Reyes National Seashore
July 4, 2008

This little non-native daisy is a common wildflower found in lawns and meadows in the western states.

English Daisy Bellis perennis* / Aster Family Pt. Reyes National Seashore July 4, 2008 This little non-native daisy is a common wildflower found in lawns and meadows in the western states.

English Daisy Bellis perennis* / Aster Family Pt. Reyes National Seashore July 4, 2008 This little non-native daisy is a common wildflower found in lawns and meadows in the western states. 1396
71 This beautiful eroded Sandstone was on a cliff above the Pt. Reyes Lighthouse.

This beautiful eroded Sandstone was on a cliff above the Pt. Reyes Lighthouse.

This beautiful eroded Sandstone was on a cliff above the Pt. Reyes Lighthouse. 1147
72 It was interesting to see the Sandstone and conglomerate layers on the cliff of the Pt. Reyes National Seashore. The geology of California is so fascinating! It is obvious that long ago this rock was once a river bottom.

It was interesting to see the Sandstone and conglomerate layers on the cliff of the Pt. Reyes National Seashore. The geology of California is so fascinating! It is obvious that long ago this rock was once a river bottom.

It was interesting to see the Sandstone and conglomerate layers on the cliff of the Pt. Reyes National Seashore. The geology of California is so fascinating! It is obvious that long ago this rock was once a river bottom. 1175
73 This overlook of Drake's Bay at Pt. Reyes gave us a beautiful view of the beach and cliffs below. Jeanie and I enjoyed watching Western Grebes and an osprey here. We did not see the Elephant Seals that the overlook was named for, it was the wrong time ...

This overlook of Drake's Bay at Pt. Reyes gave us a beautiful view of the beach and cliffs below. Jeanie and I enjoyed watching Western Grebes and an osprey here. We did not see the Elephant Seals that the overlook was named for, it was the wrong time ...

This overlook of Drake's Bay at Pt. Reyes gave us a beautiful view of the beach and cliffs below. Jeanie and I enjoyed watching Western Grebes and an osprey here. We did not see the Elephant Seals that the overlook was named for, it was the wrong time of year. 1095
74 <strong>Soap Plant</strong>
<em>Chlorogalum pomeridianum divaricatum</em>
Pt. Reyes National Seashore 
July 4, 2008

This Soap Plant had straight leaves, in contrast to the Wavy-leaf variety I saw at the Elkhorn Slough 2 years ago. A soapy substan...

Soap Plant Chlorogalum pomeridianum divaricatum Pt. Reyes National Seashore July 4, 2008 This Soap Plant had straight leaves, in contrast to the Wavy-leaf variety I saw at the Elkhorn Slough 2 years ago. A soapy substan...

Soap Plant Chlorogalum pomeridianum divaricatum Pt. Reyes National Seashore July 4, 2008 This Soap Plant had straight leaves, in contrast to the Wavy-leaf variety I saw at the Elkhorn Slough 2 years ago. A soapy substance in the roots was once used by early Native Americans as a shampoo. 1328
75 Thistle

Thistle

Thistle 1446
76 <strong>Brownie Thistle</strong>
<em>Cirsium quercetorum</em> / Aster Family
Pt. Reyes National Seashore
July 4, 2008

This is similar to the Elk Thistle I've seen in other western states. It seems unusual to see a cream-colored thistle since most...

Brownie Thistle Cirsium quercetorum / Aster Family Pt. Reyes National Seashore July 4, 2008 This is similar to the Elk Thistle I've seen in other western states. It seems unusual to see a cream-colored thistle since most...

Brownie Thistle Cirsium quercetorum / Aster Family Pt. Reyes National Seashore July 4, 2008 This is similar to the Elk Thistle I've seen in other western states. It seems unusual to see a cream-colored thistle since most of them are pink-flowered. 1401
77 <strong>Wally Basket; 
Ithuriel's spear; Grass Nut</strong>
<em>Triteleia laxa</em> / Lily Family
Pt. Reyes National Seashore
July 4, 2008

I had long been intrigued by the common names of this beautiful pale purple lily. I was so excited to find...

Wally Basket; Ithuriel's spear; Grass Nut Triteleia laxa / Lily Family Pt. Reyes National Seashore July 4, 2008 I had long been intrigued by the common names of this beautiful pale purple lily. I was so excited to find...

Wally Basket; Ithuriel's spear; Grass Nut Triteleia laxa / Lily Family Pt. Reyes National Seashore July 4, 2008 I had long been intrigued by the common names of this beautiful pale purple lily. I was so excited to find it blooming in the meadow above Drake's Bay. 1522
78 Wally Basket peeks out from below a fence.

Wally Basket peeks out from below a fence.

Wally Basket peeks out from below a fence. 1156
79 <strong>Bluff Angelica; Henderson's Angelica</strong>
<em>Angelica hendersonii</em>
Pt. Reyes National Seashore
July 4, 2008

Bluff Angelica; Henderson's Angelica Angelica hendersonii Pt. Reyes National Seashore July 4, 2008

Bluff Angelica; Henderson's Angelica Angelica hendersonii Pt. Reyes National Seashore July 4, 2008 1432
80 <strong>California mule deer</strong> buck
<em>Odocoileus hemionus californicus</em>
Pt. Reyes National Seashore
July 4, 2008

This handsome fellow was barely visible in the fog. We enjoyed seeing a small herd of the mule deer near the Drake's Bay...

California mule deer buck Odocoileus hemionus californicus Pt. Reyes National Seashore July 4, 2008 This handsome fellow was barely visible in the fog. We enjoyed seeing a small herd of the mule deer near the Drake's Bay...

California mule deer buck Odocoileus hemionus californicus Pt. Reyes National Seashore July 4, 2008 This handsome fellow was barely visible in the fog. We enjoyed seeing a small herd of the mule deer near the Drake's Bay overlook. These deer are named for their large, mule-like ears. 1231
81 <strong>California mule deer</strong> doe
<em>Odocoileus hemionus californicus</em>

California mule deer doe Odocoileus hemionus californicus

California mule deer doe Odocoileus hemionus californicus 1169
82 A fog bank off the central California coast.

A fog bank off the central California coast.

A fog bank off the central California coast. 1278
83 Jeanie has lived in California for 2 years  so she knew a lot of the interesting places to go. Natural Bridges Park was a beautiful state park north of Santa Cruz. It has a rock   bridge (arch) with birds such as gulls and cormorants, a nice sand beach...

Jeanie has lived in California for 2 years so she knew a lot of the interesting places to go. Natural Bridges Park was a beautiful state park north of Santa Cruz. It has a rock bridge (arch) with birds such as gulls and cormorants, a nice sand beach...

Jeanie has lived in California for 2 years so she knew a lot of the interesting places to go. Natural Bridges Park was a beautiful state park north of Santa Cruz. It has a rock bridge (arch) with birds such as gulls and cormorants, a nice sand beach, a creek, and a fascinating sandstone wall with amazing rock patterns. 1577
84 Our son, Curtis, and his girlfriend, Jeanie (our "tourguide") at Natural Bridges State Beach.

Our son, Curtis, and his girlfriend, Jeanie (our "tourguide") at Natural Bridges State Beach.

Our son, Curtis, and his girlfriend, Jeanie (our "tourguide") at Natural Bridges State Beach. 1151
85 The <strong>Natural Bridge</strong> (the namesake of the park) in the surf. Constant pounding from the surf has eroded a hole through the rock to form the bridge. The rock is home to lots of gulls and cormorants. The white stuff on the top of the rock ...

The Natural Bridge (the namesake of the park) in the surf. Constant pounding from the surf has eroded a hole through the rock to form the bridge. The rock is home to lots of gulls and cormorants. The white stuff on the top of the rock ...

The Natural Bridge (the namesake of the park) in the surf. Constant pounding from the surf has eroded a hole through the rock to form the bridge. The rock is home to lots of gulls and cormorants. The white stuff on the top of the rock is not snow!;) map... 1237
86 Jeanie gets a surprise when she walks into the 50 degree F surf! The water of the Pacific is uncomfortably cold along most of California's coast due to the frigid Alaska current.

Jeanie gets a surprise when she walks into the 50 degree F surf! The water of the Pacific is uncomfortably cold along most of California's coast due to the frigid Alaska current.

Jeanie gets a surprise when she walks into the 50 degree F surf! The water of the Pacific is uncomfortably cold along most of California's coast due to the frigid Alaska current. 1201
87 Every trip has a "favorite photo", this is the one from our 2008 trip! I like the waves breaking on the rocks, the birds, and the gazebo at Natural Bridges SP. The people living on the cliff above the rock beach have a fabulous view!

Every trip has a "favorite photo", this is the one from our 2008 trip! I like the waves breaking on the rocks, the birds, and the gazebo at Natural Bridges SP. The people living on the cliff above the rock beach have a fabulous view!

Every trip has a "favorite photo", this is the one from our 2008 trip! I like the waves breaking on the rocks, the birds, and the gazebo at Natural Bridges SP. The people living on the cliff above the rock beach have a fabulous view! 1172
88 I love to watch the power of waves as they crash on the rocks along the California coast. This was on a day when the water was quite calm, I can't imagine what the waves generated by winter storms must be like!

I love to watch the power of waves as they crash on the rocks along the California coast. This was on a day when the water was quite calm, I can't imagine what the waves generated by winter storms must be like!

I love to watch the power of waves as they crash on the rocks along the California coast. This was on a day when the water was quite calm, I can't imagine what the waves generated by winter storms must be like! 1117
89 <strong>Aggregating Anemone</strong>
<em>Anthopleura elegantissima</em>
Santa Cruz, CA
July 6, 2008

These small anemones can become large colonies by splitting and cloning themselves. These were photographed in a tiny tide pool at Natural Bridges...

Aggregating Anemone Anthopleura elegantissima Santa Cruz, CA July 6, 2008 These small anemones can become large colonies by splitting and cloning themselves. These were photographed in a tiny tide pool at Natural Bridges...

Aggregating Anemone Anthopleura elegantissima Santa Cruz, CA July 6, 2008 These small anemones can become large colonies by splitting and cloning themselves. These were photographed in a tiny tide pool at Natural Bridges SP. During low tide the anemones pull in their tentacles and look much like mushy rocks. They often have pieces of broken seashells and sand attached to their top side. 1473
90 Seaweed, anemones and snails in a small tidepool

Seaweed, anemones and snails in a small tidepool

Seaweed, anemones and snails in a small tidepool 1130
91 Kenny watches a wave as it runs up the  slot between the sandstone outcroppings. There was a small ledge (unseen at the right of the photo) that had to be negotiated to get from one side to the other. It was a tricky traverse, especially with my 20-lb....

Kenny watches a wave as it runs up the slot between the sandstone outcroppings. There was a small ledge (unseen at the right of the photo) that had to be negotiated to get from one side to the other. It was a tricky traverse, especially with my 20-lb....

Kenny watches a wave as it runs up the slot between the sandstone outcroppings. There was a small ledge (unseen at the right of the photo) that had to be negotiated to get from one side to the other. It was a tricky traverse, especially with my 20-lb. camera pack since it makes me top-heavy. I finally had to take it off and pass it over. This is another reason I took out a special policy and insured my camera equipment! This photo was taken as the tide was rising, in a few hours the slot would be full of water and the rocks would be covered. 1151
92 I was so fascinated by the fabulous designs in the sandstone at Natural Bridges State Park, I had never seen such unusual stone. It was hard to stop photographing the varied designs and look at the rest of the beach!

I was so fascinated by the fabulous designs in the sandstone at Natural Bridges State Park, I had never seen such unusual stone. It was hard to stop photographing the varied designs and look at the rest of the beach!

I was so fascinated by the fabulous designs in the sandstone at Natural Bridges State Park, I had never seen such unusual stone. It was hard to stop photographing the varied designs and look at the rest of the beach! 1180
93 More patterns in the sandstone at Natural Bridges State Park.

More patterns in the sandstone at Natural Bridges State Park.

More patterns in the sandstone at Natural Bridges State Park. 1141
94 One more photo of the sandstone patterns. Amazing!

One more photo of the sandstone patterns. Amazing!

One more photo of the sandstone patterns. Amazing! 1124
95 <strong>Yellow Sand Verbena</strong> 
<em>Abronia latifolia</em>
Santa Cruz, CA
July 6, 2008

These plants have leathery leaves and flowers to help them survive the harsh conditions of their beach habitat. There is a Pink Sand Verbena too.

Yellow Sand Verbena Abronia latifolia Santa Cruz, CA July 6, 2008 These plants have leathery leaves and flowers to help them survive the harsh conditions of their beach habitat. There is a Pink Sand Verbena too.

Yellow Sand Verbena Abronia latifolia Santa Cruz, CA July 6, 2008 These plants have leathery leaves and flowers to help them survive the harsh conditions of their beach habitat. There is a Pink Sand Verbena too. 1385
96 <strong>Double-crested Cormorant</strong> 
<em>Phalacrocorax auritus</em>
Santa Cruz, CA
July 6, 2008

This cliff at Natural Bridges State Park was covered with Cormorant nests. The fuzzy chicks are quite large at this point, but they are not yet ...

Double-crested Cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus Santa Cruz, CA July 6, 2008 This cliff at Natural Bridges State Park was covered with Cormorant nests. The fuzzy chicks are quite large at this point, but they are not yet ...

Double-crested Cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus Santa Cruz, CA July 6, 2008 This cliff at Natural Bridges State Park was covered with Cormorant nests. The fuzzy chicks are quite large at this point, but they are not yet ready to fly. 1156
97 A surfer catches a short ride on a wave in Santa Cruz. We enjoyed watching the surfers from a cliff above the bay.

A surfer catches a short ride on a wave in Santa Cruz. We enjoyed watching the surfers from a cliff above the bay.

A surfer catches a short ride on a wave in Santa Cruz. We enjoyed watching the surfers from a cliff above the bay. 1176
98 Curtis and Jeanie pose in front of the Santa Cruz surfer monument. Curtis was getting sunburned, so he wore Jeanie's hat. He inherited Kenny's Irish genes for fair skin!

Curtis and Jeanie pose in front of the Santa Cruz surfer monument. Curtis was getting sunburned, so he wore Jeanie's hat. He inherited Kenny's Irish genes for fair skin!

Curtis and Jeanie pose in front of the Santa Cruz surfer monument. Curtis was getting sunburned, so he wore Jeanie's hat. He inherited Kenny's Irish genes for fair skin! 1141
99 On July 3, downtown Mountain View had a street fair which included a PT Cruiser show. It was fun to see the "Woody" and the other cars that had been fixed up by their owners.

On July 3, downtown Mountain View had a street fair which included a PT Cruiser show. It was fun to see the "Woody" and the other cars that had been fixed up by their owners.

On July 3, downtown Mountain View had a street fair which included a PT Cruiser show. It was fun to see the "Woody" and the other cars that had been fixed up by their owners. 1815
100 No, that is not a volcano erupting on Monterey Bay! It is a huge plume of smoke from the Big Sur fire that was burning south of Monterey many miles away. The summer of 2008 will go down in the record books for devastating fires throughout the state. Ma...

No, that is not a volcano erupting on Monterey Bay! It is a huge plume of smoke from the Big Sur fire that was burning south of Monterey many miles away. The summer of 2008 will go down in the record books for devastating fires throughout the state. Ma...

No, that is not a volcano erupting on Monterey Bay! It is a huge plume of smoke from the Big Sur fire that was burning south of Monterey many miles away. The summer of 2008 will go down in the record books for devastating fires throughout the state. Many of the places we visited in the Big Sur area in June 2006 were threatened and may have been destroyed. 1165
101 A lot of people were out enjoying the water and the beach at Santa Cruz on a long 4th of July holiday weekend.

A lot of people were out enjoying the water and the beach at Santa Cruz on a long 4th of July holiday weekend.

A lot of people were out enjoying the water and the beach at Santa Cruz on a long 4th of July holiday weekend. 1229
102 A Pidgeon Guillemot in flight over the surf of Monterey Bay. These fish-eating birds nest in holes in the sides of the cliff. I liked their bright orange feet! :)

A Pidgeon Guillemot in flight over the surf of Monterey Bay. These fish-eating birds nest in holes in the sides of the cliff. I liked their bright orange feet! :)

A Pidgeon Guillemot in flight over the surf of Monterey Bay. These fish-eating birds nest in holes in the sides of the cliff. I liked their bright orange feet! :) 1182
103 These California Sealions were lounging all over this large rock in Santa Cruz. When the wind is blowing the right way you can often smell them before seeing them! It was fun to hear them barking. The smaller lighter brown females greatly outnumber the...

These California Sealions were lounging all over this large rock in Santa Cruz. When the wind is blowing the right way you can often smell them before seeing them! It was fun to hear them barking. The smaller lighter brown females greatly outnumber the...

These California Sealions were lounging all over this large rock in Santa Cruz. When the wind is blowing the right way you can often smell them before seeing them! It was fun to hear them barking. The smaller lighter brown females greatly outnumber the larger darker males. 1226
104 <strong>Pacific Harbor Seal</strong>
<em>Phoca vitulina richardsi</em>
Santa Cruz, CA
July 6, 2008

Seals don't have the external earflaps that California Sealions have. They have a more rounded snout too.

Pacific Harbor Seal Phoca vitulina richardsi Santa Cruz, CA July 6, 2008 Seals don't have the external earflaps that California Sealions have. They have a more rounded snout too.

Pacific Harbor Seal Phoca vitulina richardsi Santa Cruz, CA July 6, 2008 Seals don't have the external earflaps that California Sealions have. They have a more rounded snout too. 1170
105 A Giant Kelp frond I saw floating in Monterey Bay from the Santa Cruz pier. The air bladders help the kelp float.

A Giant Kelp frond I saw floating in Monterey Bay from the Santa Cruz pier. The air bladders help the kelp float.

A Giant Kelp frond I saw floating in Monterey Bay from the Santa Cruz pier. The air bladders help the kelp float. 1338
106 We enjoyed watching this Sea Otter as it dived and ate on the surface. I noticed it would pop up and look around before diving. Otters wrap up in the kelp fronds at night to keep from drifting away.

We enjoyed watching this Sea Otter as it dived and ate on the surface. I noticed it would pop up and look around before diving. Otters wrap up in the kelp fronds at night to keep from drifting away.

We enjoyed watching this Sea Otter as it dived and ate on the surface. I noticed it would pop up and look around before diving. Otters wrap up in the kelp fronds at night to keep from drifting away. 1205
107 Santa Cruz beach on a busy July 4th weekend!

Santa Cruz beach on a busy July 4th weekend!

Santa Cruz beach on a busy July 4th weekend! 1222
108 A warning sign on the Santa Cruz pier!

A warning sign on the Santa Cruz pier!

A warning sign on the Santa Cruz pier! 1253
109 <strong>California Sea Lion</strong>
<em>Zalophus californianus</em>
Santa Cruz, CA
July 6, 2008

A California Sealion swims in Monterey Bay near the Santa Cruz pier. The tiny ear flap is just visible in the water behind the seal's eye. These high...

California Sea Lion Zalophus californianus Santa Cruz, CA July 6, 2008 A California Sealion swims in Monterey Bay near the Santa Cruz pier. The tiny ear flap is just visible in the water behind the seal's eye. These high...

California Sea Lion Zalophus californianus Santa Cruz, CA July 6, 2008 A California Sealion swims in Monterey Bay near the Santa Cruz pier. The tiny ear flap is just visible in the water behind the seal's eye. These highly intelligent sealions have been trained by the US Navy and as "Circus seals". 1382
110 This is one of many Sealions that we saw on a dock below the Santa Cruz pier. While we were watching the sealions two teenage boys started to climb down the steps onto the dock to get closer to the sealions. When their parents didn't say anything, my "...

This is one of many Sealions that we saw on a dock below the Santa Cruz pier. While we were watching the sealions two teenage boys started to climb down the steps onto the dock to get closer to the sealions. When their parents didn't say anything, my "...

This is one of many Sealions that we saw on a dock below the Santa Cruz pier. While we were watching the sealions two teenage boys started to climb down the steps onto the dock to get closer to the sealions. When their parents didn't say anything, my "teacher instinct" kicked in! I said to them, "I don't think that's a good idea!" One of them asked, "Why, would they get mad"? I answered (a bit sarcastically), "Well yeah, this is their territory! They have teeth and they can bite!" Just because an animal is furry and cute, it doesn't mean it will be safe to approach them! This was a California version of a Dumb Tourist Trick! Sealions have been known to attack people when they have felt threatened. 1204
111 This big male Sealion rolled over and knocked the female on the right off the dock and into the water! There were several sealions of different sizes and ages snoozing on the dock. There were 2 adult males, like this huge dark brown one. Adult males ar...

This big male Sealion rolled over and knocked the female on the right off the dock and into the water! There were several sealions of different sizes and ages snoozing on the dock. There were 2 adult males, like this huge dark brown one. Adult males ar...

This big male Sealion rolled over and knocked the female on the right off the dock and into the water! There were several sealions of different sizes and ages snoozing on the dock. There were 2 adult males, like this huge dark brown one. Adult males are huge, they may reach 850 - 1,000 lbs. and grow up to seven feet in length. Females can grow to 220 lbs. and up to six feet long. 1074
112 This male Sealion is using his "girlfriends" as pillows! These sealions were sleeping on the dock at the Santa Cruz pier. 
<a href="http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&gl=us&ie=UTF8&oe=UTF8&msa=0&msid=111048428162997367442.000452cec5538b51effd3">map....

This male Sealion is using his "girlfriends" as pillows! These sealions were sleeping on the dock at the Santa Cruz pier. map....

This male Sealion is using his "girlfriends" as pillows! These sealions were sleeping on the dock at the Santa Cruz pier. map... 1112
113 Sleeping Sealions

Sleeping Sealions

Sleeping Sealions 1032
114 California Raspberry

California Raspberry

California Raspberry 1190
115 <strong>Coastal Brookfoam</strong>
<em>Boykinia occidentalis</em>
Saratoga, CA
July 7, 2008

On our next to the last day Kenny and I headed up Hwy. 9 into the mountains. We were happy to find a trail that followed a creek. After a quick lunch on t...

Coastal Brookfoam Boykinia occidentalis Saratoga, CA July 7, 2008 On our next to the last day Kenny and I headed up Hwy. 9 into the mountains. We were happy to find a trail that followed a creek. After a quick lunch on t...

Coastal Brookfoam Boykinia occidentalis Saratoga, CA July 7, 2008 On our next to the last day Kenny and I headed up Hwy. 9 into the mountains. We were happy to find a trail that followed a creek. After a quick lunch on the rocks we took a short hike up the trail. We were excited to realize we were in a forest of Coast Redwoods like we had seen in Muir Woods! I noticed this pretty wildflower growing along the creek bank. It was a bit late in the season for woodland wildflowers, so I was happy to find this one. 1559
116 Eucalyptus flowers

I was surprised how many different kinds of eucalyptus trees grow in California! This one has interesting flowers. These trees are non-native having been brought from Australia. Eucalyptus trees were first planted in California th...

Eucalyptus flowers I was surprised how many different kinds of eucalyptus trees grow in California! This one has interesting flowers. These trees are non-native having been brought from Australia. Eucalyptus trees were first planted in California th...

Eucalyptus flowers I was surprised how many different kinds of eucalyptus trees grow in California! This one has interesting flowers. These trees are non-native having been brought from Australia. Eucalyptus trees were first planted in California the early 1870's. They are very fragrant due to an aromatic oil, but the oil is also highly flammable in wildfires. 1621
117 <strong>Oleander</strong>
<em>Nerium oleander</em>

Although it is not a wildflower, White Oleander (and red and pink) is planted as a landscaping shrub in many parts of California. It is as deadly as it is beautiful! People have died from using the...

Oleander Nerium oleander Although it is not a wildflower, White Oleander (and red and pink) is planted as a landscaping shrub in many parts of California. It is as deadly as it is beautiful! People have died from using the...

Oleander Nerium oleander Although it is not a wildflower, White Oleander (and red and pink) is planted as a landscaping shrub in many parts of California. It is as deadly as it is beautiful! People have died from using the branches as hot dog skewers. 1266
118 So much for our nice view of Silicon Valley from the plane! Smoke from the fires had obscured the view.

So much for our nice view of Silicon Valley from the plane! Smoke from the fires had obscured the view.

So much for our nice view of Silicon Valley from the plane! Smoke from the fires had obscured the view. 1158
119 Another view of the Rocky Mountains from the air. Oh, how I would have loved to have been in those green mountain meadows!

Another view of the Rocky Mountains from the air. Oh, how I would have loved to have been in those green mountain meadows!

Another view of the Rocky Mountains from the air. Oh, how I would have loved to have been in those green mountain meadows! 1089
120 Back home! Flying into the Knoxville airport. It's so good to see clear air and green grass again! :)

Back home! Flying into the Knoxville airport. It's so good to see clear air and green grass again! :)

Back home! Flying into the Knoxville airport. It's so good to see clear air and green grass again! :) 1268

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