California - Fall 2003 Coast to Mountains

People have asked if I would put flowers from my travels to other states on my site. So, here are some from our October 2003 trip California. (Yosemite NP, Sequoia NP, Monterey Bay, and Big Sur)
Image Number Image (Click to Enlarge)CaptionImage Viewed
1 This view of Yosemite Valley from <strong>Inspiration Point</strong> is one of the most photographed natural sites in the world! We were fortunate to see this, two days later smoke from a wildfire settled in the valley and we couldn't see a thing! El C...

This view of Yosemite Valley from Inspiration Point is one of the most photographed natural sites in the world! We were fortunate to see this, two days later smoke from a wildfire settled in the valley and we couldn't see a thing! El C...

This view of Yosemite Valley from Inspiration Point is one of the most photographed natural sites in the world! We were fortunate to see this, two days later smoke from a wildfire settled in the valley and we couldn't see a thing! El Capitan is the huge cliff on the left, Half Dome can be seen in the center far in the distance. Ken and I went to this parking lot one night and were amazed at the gazillion stars! It was the first time he had seen the Milky Way. The western parks are far enough away from cities to have problems with light pollution. map... 2390
2 Kris and Ken at Yosemite Valley.
(photo by a bystander)

Kris and Ken at Yosemite Valley. (photo by a bystander)

Kris and Ken at Yosemite Valley. (photo by a bystander) 1531
3 <strong>El Capitan</strong> is a massive monolith that is a magnet for climbers.

El Capitan is a massive monolith that is a magnet for climbers.

El Capitan is a massive monolith that is a magnet for climbers. 1543
4 People enjoy watching climbers on El Capitan. A good pair of binoculars will help!

People enjoy watching climbers on El Capitan. A good pair of binoculars will help!

People enjoy watching climbers on El Capitan. A good pair of binoculars will help! 1555
5 <strong>Mountain Misery</strong>
<em>Chamaebatia foliosa</em>
Yosemite National Park, CA 10-2-03<br>
I had read about Mountain Misery in one of my Yosemite guide books and the name intrigued me, so I hoped to see it. I was happy to see one still blo...

Mountain Misery Chamaebatia foliosa Yosemite National Park, CA 10-2-03
I had read about Mountain Misery in one of my Yosemite guide books and the name intrigued me, so I hoped to see it. I was happy to see one still blo...

Mountain Misery Chamaebatia foliosa Yosemite National Park, CA 10-2-03
I had read about Mountain Misery in one of my Yosemite guide books and the name intrigued me, so I hoped to see it. I was happy to see one still blooming in October (it normally blooms in the early summer). When I touched the leaves, I found out how it gets its name, my fingers reeked from the odor! Yucch! When hikers walk through these plants the odor gets on their clothes and boots and makes them smell awful!


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6 <strong>Half Dome</strong> is a massive granite monolith that was slowly sliced by a glacier millions of years ago. It is amazing to realize this beautiful valley was carved by ice and water. This is not a good park for people who are afraid of heights!

Half Dome is a massive granite monolith that was slowly sliced by a glacier millions of years ago. It is amazing to realize this beautiful valley was carved by ice and water. This is not a good park for people who are afraid of heights!

Half Dome is a massive granite monolith that was slowly sliced by a glacier millions of years ago. It is amazing to realize this beautiful valley was carved by ice and water. This is not a good park for people who are afraid of heights! 1621
7 A lovely high-country lake near <strong>Tuolumne Meadows</strong>.

A lovely high-country lake near Tuolumne Meadows.

A lovely high-country lake near Tuolumne Meadows. 1488
8 Tuolumne Meadows is a beautiful area in Yosemite. We drove through here on our way to Mono Lake.

Tuolumne Meadows is a beautiful area in Yosemite. We drove through here on our way to Mono Lake.

Tuolumne Meadows is a beautiful area in Yosemite. We drove through here on our way to Mono Lake. 1383
9 <strong>Tenaya Lake</strong> is near the eastern park border at nearly 9000 feet above sea level.

Tenaya Lake is near the eastern park border at nearly 9000 feet above sea level.

Tenaya Lake is near the eastern park border at nearly 9000 feet above sea level. 1639
10 <strong>Vinegar Weed</strong>
<em>Trichostema lanceolatum</em>
Montara, CA 9-28-03<br>
I found that many of the plants in California are like the mountain men of old --- they are tough, hairy, and stinky! I was looking up this plant in my <u>Peterso...

Vinegar Weed Trichostema lanceolatum Montara, CA 9-28-03
I found that many of the plants in California are like the mountain men of old --- they are tough, hairy, and stinky! I was looking up this plant in my Peterso...

Vinegar Weed Trichostema lanceolatum Montara, CA 9-28-03
I found that many of the plants in California are like the mountain men of old --- they are tough, hairy, and stinky! I was looking up this plant in my Peterson's West Coast Wildflower Guide, when I smelled the leaves. They had a very rank odor, so it didn't take long to identify it as Vinegar Weed. It is a member of the Mint Family. The lavender flowers are very pretty.


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11 <strong>Star Thistle</strong>
<em>Centaurea solstitialis*</em>
Bells Station, CA 9-28-03<br>
This plant has pretty yellow flowers and wicked brown thorns. We had stopped at a pullout on the state highway east of Gilroy to eat breakfast on the road. ...

Star Thistle Centaurea solstitialis* Bells Station, CA 9-28-03
This plant has pretty yellow flowers and wicked brown thorns. We had stopped at a pullout on the state highway east of Gilroy to eat breakfast on the road. ...

Star Thistle Centaurea solstitialis* Bells Station, CA 9-28-03
This plant has pretty yellow flowers and wicked brown thorns. We had stopped at a pullout on the state highway east of Gilroy to eat breakfast on the road. I was so busy going through my wildflower books that I did not even notice that a CA Highway Patrol officer had stopped to ask my husband if everything was OK! He probably wondered what I was doing squatting along the side of the road with a wildflower book and a journal in my hands! Talk about "tunnel vision!" :) Yellow Star Thistle is toxic to horses and causes nigropallidal encephalomalacia or chewing disease. (story)


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12 A California Field, Great Valley Gumplant, and fog.<br>
<strong>Great Valley Gumplant</strong>
<em>Grindelia camporum</em><br>
A sudden sound startled me as I was looking at these flowers, I saw several pheasants explode from the bushes!

A California Field, Great Valley Gumplant, and fog.
Great Valley Gumplant Grindelia camporum
A sudden sound startled me as I was looking at these flowers, I saw several pheasants explode from the bushes!

A California Field, Great Valley Gumplant, and fog.
Great Valley Gumplant Grindelia camporum
A sudden sound startled me as I was looking at these flowers, I saw several pheasants explode from the bushes!


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13 <strong>Mountain  wildflowers in Yosemite NP</strong><br>
I got 44 new wildflowers to add to my lifelist on our trip to California! I was afraid I wouldn't see many since it was so late in the season and we were in such a high elevation.

Mountain wildflowers in Yosemite NP
I got 44 new wildflowers to add to my lifelist on our trip to California! I was afraid I wouldn't see many since it was so late in the season and we were in such a high elevation.

Mountain wildflowers in Yosemite NP
I got 44 new wildflowers to add to my lifelist on our trip to California! I was afraid I wouldn't see many since it was so late in the season and we were in such a high elevation.
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14 These granite boulders, called "erratics" were left by the retreating glaciers eons ago in Yosemite.

These granite boulders, called "erratics" were left by the retreating glaciers eons ago in Yosemite.

These granite boulders, called "erratics" were left by the retreating glaciers eons ago in Yosemite. 1584
15 We climbed up a dome and got a fantastic view from the top. Note the smoke from a wildfire on the far left of the photo.

We climbed up a dome and got a fantastic view from the top. Note the smoke from a wildfire on the far left of the photo.

We climbed up a dome and got a fantastic view from the top. Note the smoke from a wildfire on the far left of the photo. 1381
16 <strong>Lightning-started wildfires</strong> are allowed to burn. Fire crews stand by in case they get out of control. Fire is a natural and important part of the ecosystem. We had to keep reminding ourselves of that fact when we were disappointed by t...

Lightning-started wildfires are allowed to burn. Fire crews stand by in case they get out of control. Fire is a natural and important part of the ecosystem. We had to keep reminding ourselves of that fact when we were disappointed by t...

Lightning-started wildfires are allowed to burn. Fire crews stand by in case they get out of control. Fire is a natural and important part of the ecosystem. We had to keep reminding ourselves of that fact when we were disappointed by the lack of visibility! 1388
17 It is amazing where some trees can grow! The roots of this tree may crack the rock even more, helping it turn into smaller pieces.

It is amazing where some trees can grow! The roots of this tree may crack the rock even more, helping it turn into smaller pieces.

It is amazing where some trees can grow! The roots of this tree may crack the rock even more, helping it turn into smaller pieces. 2604
18 This fire burned in Yosemite several years ago. It takes a very long time for the forests to recover from a devastating fire. Controlled fires, which burn quickly, do much less damage to the environment than uncontrolled wildfires.

This fire burned in Yosemite several years ago. It takes a very long time for the forests to recover from a devastating fire. Controlled fires, which burn quickly, do much less damage to the environment than uncontrolled wildfires.

This fire burned in Yosemite several years ago. It takes a very long time for the forests to recover from a devastating fire. Controlled fires, which burn quickly, do much less damage to the environment than uncontrolled wildfires. 1464
19 <strong>Coyote</strong>
<em>Canis latrans</em>
We watched this coyote wander through a parking lot in Yosemite, they are quite accostomed to people.

Coyote Canis latrans We watched this coyote wander through a parking lot in Yosemite, they are quite accostomed to people.

Coyote Canis latrans We watched this coyote wander through a parking lot in Yosemite, they are quite accostomed to people. 1325
20 Mule deer are common in Yosemite, we saw this one next to a trail.

Mule deer are common in Yosemite, we saw this one next to a trail.

Mule deer are common in Yosemite, we saw this one next to a trail. 1449
21 <strong>Mustang Mint</strong>
<em>Monardella lanceolata</em>
Lee Vining, CA 9-30-03<br>
This plant was found just outside the eastern entrance of Yosemite National Park.

Mustang Mint Monardella lanceolata Lee Vining, CA 9-30-03
This plant was found just outside the eastern entrance of Yosemite National Park.

Mustang Mint Monardella lanceolata Lee Vining, CA 9-30-03
This plant was found just outside the eastern entrance of Yosemite National Park.


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22 <strong>Bridge's Penstemon</strong>
<em>Penstemon rostriflorus</em>
Lee Vining, CA 9-30-03<br>
Tioga Pass in Yosemite NP

Bridge's Penstemon Penstemon rostriflorus Lee Vining, CA 9-30-03
Tioga Pass in Yosemite NP

Bridge's Penstemon Penstemon rostriflorus Lee Vining, CA 9-30-03
Tioga Pass in Yosemite NP


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23 <strong>Cut-leaf Daisy</strong>
<em>Erigeron compositus</em>
Lee Vining, CA 9-30-03<br>

Cut-leaf Daisy Erigeron compositus Lee Vining, CA 9-30-03

Cut-leaf Daisy Erigeron compositus Lee Vining, CA 9-30-03



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24 <strong>Pride-of-the-Mountain</strong>
<em>Penstemon newberryi</em>
Yosemite National Park 9-30-03<br>

These beautiful, bright pink penstemon flowers were growing out of crack in a granite dome at Yosemite NP. The tenacity of plants never ceases t...

Pride-of-the-Mountain Penstemon newberryi Yosemite National Park 9-30-03
These beautiful, bright pink penstemon flowers were growing out of crack in a granite dome at Yosemite NP. The tenacity of plants never ceases t...

Pride-of-the-Mountain Penstemon newberryi Yosemite National Park 9-30-03
These beautiful, bright pink penstemon flowers were growing out of crack in a granite dome at Yosemite NP. The tenacity of plants never ceases to amaze me!


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25 Green Rabbitbrush - close up

Green Rabbitbrush - close up

Green Rabbitbrush - close up 2117
26 <strong>Rosy Buckwheat</strong>
<em>Eriogonum roseum</em>
Yosemite National Park 
9-30-03
This is a very common plant in the Sierras.

Rosy Buckwheat Eriogonum roseum Yosemite National Park 9-30-03 This is a very common plant in the Sierras.

Rosy Buckwheat Eriogonum roseum Yosemite National Park 9-30-03 This is a very common plant in the Sierras.


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27 <strong>Sierran Raillardia</strong>
<em>Raillardia scaposa</em>
Lee Vining, CA 
9-30-03
This flower is a composite that doesn't have any "petals" or ray flowers.

Sierran Raillardia Raillardia scaposa Lee Vining, CA 9-30-03 This flower is a composite that doesn't have any "petals" or ray flowers.

Sierran Raillardia Raillardia scaposa Lee Vining, CA 9-30-03 This flower is a composite that doesn't have any "petals" or ray flowers.


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28 <strong>California Fuschia</strong>
<em>Epilobium canum</em>
Yosemite National Park 
9-30-03

I was so frustrated by seeing these brilliant red flowers from the car with no place to stop. Finally, I noticed a scenic overlook where we could pull ov...

California Fuschia Epilobium canum Yosemite National Park 9-30-03 I was so frustrated by seeing these brilliant red flowers from the car with no place to stop. Finally, I noticed a scenic overlook where we could pull ov...

California Fuschia Epilobium canum Yosemite National Park 9-30-03 I was so frustrated by seeing these brilliant red flowers from the car with no place to stop. Finally, I noticed a scenic overlook where we could pull over safely. These flowers were nearby! 1551
29 <strong>Ice Plant</strong> <em>Carpobrotus edulis
</em> is planted along scenic Highway 1, which overlooks the Pacific Ocean, to help slow cars down if they drift off the road (at least that's what I heard!). I'm not sure I'd want to trust it to stop ...

Ice Plant Carpobrotus edulis is planted along scenic Highway 1, which overlooks the Pacific Ocean, to help slow cars down if they drift off the road (at least that's what I heard!). I'm not sure I'd want to trust it to stop ...

Ice Plant Carpobrotus edulis is planted along scenic Highway 1, which overlooks the Pacific Ocean, to help slow cars down if they drift off the road (at least that's what I heard!). I'm not sure I'd want to trust it to stop my car from careening off one of those cliffs! The leaves are thick and succlent. There is a pink-flowered type that has icy-looking, liquid filled leaves. 1576
30 The <strong>General Grant</strong> tree in Yosemite National Park is awe-inspiring. The branches are larger than many mature trees here in the eastern forests!
<a href="http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&ll=38.026459,-119.602661&spn=1....

The General Grant tree in Yosemite National Park is awe-inspiring. The branches are larger than many mature trees here in the eastern forests!

The General Grant tree in Yosemite National Park is awe-inspiring. The branches are larger than many mature trees here in the eastern forests! map... 1693
31 It is hard to believe that the four huge trees behind my husband, Ken, came from seeds dropped from a sequoia cone like this one. This cone would have had numerous seeds, very few of the seeds from any of the trees will grow to become one of these gian...

It is hard to believe that the four huge trees behind my husband, Ken, came from seeds dropped from a sequoia cone like this one. This cone would have had numerous seeds, very few of the seeds from any of the trees will grow to become one of these gian...

It is hard to believe that the four huge trees behind my husband, Ken, came from seeds dropped from a sequoia cone like this one. This cone would have had numerous seeds, very few of the seeds from any of the trees will grow to become one of these giants. Even though these trees are huge, they are just "teenagers!" 1479
32 <strong>Green Rabbitbrush at Mono Lake</strong>
<em>Chrysothamnus vicidiflorus</em>
Lee Vining, CA 
9-30-03

Green Rabbitbrush at Mono Lake Chrysothamnus vicidiflorus Lee Vining, CA 9-30-03

Green Rabbitbrush at Mono Lake Chrysothamnus vicidiflorus Lee Vining, CA 9-30-03


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33 Long before the trees in Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks were protected people enjoyed cutting tunnels in them to allow wagons, and then cars, to drive through.

Long before the trees in Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks were protected people enjoyed cutting tunnels in them to allow wagons, and then cars, to drive through.

Long before the trees in Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks were protected people enjoyed cutting tunnels in them to allow wagons, and then cars, to drive through. 2013
34 Fire is an important part of the life cycle of the giant sequoias. The trees have bark nearly 1-foot thick, so the trees are unaffected by quick-burning ground fires. The sequoia cones have to have the heat from fires to soften the resin to allow the s...

Fire is an important part of the life cycle of the giant sequoias. The trees have bark nearly 1-foot thick, so the trees are unaffected by quick-burning ground fires. The sequoia cones have to have the heat from fires to soften the resin to allow the s...

Fire is an important part of the life cycle of the giant sequoias. The trees have bark nearly 1-foot thick, so the trees are unaffected by quick-burning ground fires. The sequoia cones have to have the heat from fires to soften the resin to allow the seeds to be released. 1526
35 These trees had fallen across the trail and had been cut. They were not full-grown trees, but they were huge! The dark center part is the <em>heartwood</em>, the strong dead wood. The lighter wood is the <em>sapwood</em> which transports sap from the r...

These trees had fallen across the trail and had been cut. They were not full-grown trees, but they were huge! The dark center part is the heartwood, the strong dead wood. The lighter wood is the sapwood which transports sap from the r...

These trees had fallen across the trail and had been cut. They were not full-grown trees, but they were huge! The dark center part is the heartwood, the strong dead wood. The lighter wood is the sapwood which transports sap from the roots. Note the thick, fibrous outer bark. 3411
36 The old road leaving Sequoia National Park went through Tunnel Rock. It has now been re-routed around the rock, but visitors can still walk under the rock.

The old road leaving Sequoia National Park went through Tunnel Rock. It has now been re-routed around the rock, but visitors can still walk under the rock.

The old road leaving Sequoia National Park went through Tunnel Rock. It has now been re-routed around the rock, but visitors can still walk under the rock. 2457
37 <strong>Mono Lake</strong> is a saline lake located in a Forest Service preserve just east of the Yosemite border. It is an interesting side trip. The fascinating tufa towers can stand as tall as 30 feet.  These strange calcium carbonate towers form as...

Mono Lake is a saline lake located in a Forest Service preserve just east of the Yosemite border. It is an interesting side trip. The fascinating tufa towers can stand as tall as 30 feet. These strange calcium carbonate towers form as...

Mono Lake is a saline lake located in a Forest Service preserve just east of the Yosemite border. It is an interesting side trip. The fascinating tufa towers can stand as tall as 30 feet. These strange calcium carbonate towers form as a result of the chemical reactions of freshwater from springs coming in contact with the saline water in the lake. They became exposed as the lake level dropped when water from feeder rivers was diverted to Los Angeles. Like Great Salt Lake in Utah, Mono Lake has no outlet, so the salts and carbonates build up. When I scooped up a bottle of the water I noticed my hand quickly turned white from the salts and carbonates as the dessicating winds evaporated the water. map... 1742
38 Tufa is quite hard and has the consistency of concrete.

Tufa is quite hard and has the consistency of concrete.

Tufa is quite hard and has the consistency of concrete. 1408
39 Only three organisms can survive the saline water of Mono Lake --- brine shrimp, brine flies, and green algae. I enjoyed seeing the delicate half-inch shrimp swimming in the clear water. The black area on the beach is a layer of millions of brine flies...

Only three organisms can survive the saline water of Mono Lake --- brine shrimp, brine flies, and green algae. I enjoyed seeing the delicate half-inch shrimp swimming in the clear water. The black area on the beach is a layer of millions of brine flies...

Only three organisms can survive the saline water of Mono Lake --- brine shrimp, brine flies, and green algae. I enjoyed seeing the delicate half-inch shrimp swimming in the clear water. The black area on the beach is a layer of millions of brine flies. These small flies will scatter a few inches above sand when disturbed; fortunately, they don't bother people! The California gull will enjoy the flies as a snack since there are no fish in the lake. The shrimp and fly larvae eat the algae, which begins this very limited food chain. 3.3.spi.2, 4.3.tpi.5, 5.2.tpi.1 1699
40 <strong>Alkali flies</strong>
<em>Ephydra hians</em>
The black objects are alkali flies, the white ones (upper right) are dried pupae cases. Early native people ate these salty, crunchy, protein-filled morsels! Yum?!!! :0

Alkali flies Ephydra hians The black objects are alkali flies, the white ones (upper right) are dried pupae cases. Early native people ate these salty, crunchy, protein-filled morsels! Yum?!!! :0

Alkali flies Ephydra hians The black objects are alkali flies, the white ones (upper right) are dried pupae cases. Early native people ate these salty, crunchy, protein-filled morsels! Yum?!!! :0 1832
41 The second time we planned to go to Yosemite Valley, the smoke  from the forest fires was so thick it was difficult to breathe.  Backcountry, lightning-started fires are allowed to burn themselves out.

The second time we planned to go to Yosemite Valley, the smoke from the forest fires was so thick it was difficult to breathe. Backcountry, lightning-started fires are allowed to burn themselves out.

The second time we planned to go to Yosemite Valley, the smoke from the forest fires was so thick it was difficult to breathe. Backcountry, lightning-started fires are allowed to burn themselves out. 1250
42 We went to <strong>Hetch Hetchy Valley</strong>, a little-visited area of Yosemite because of thick smoke in Yosemite Valley. There is a nice hiking trail that passes over the dam and then along the edge of the canyon. The white waterline can easily be...

We went to Hetch Hetchy Valley, a little-visited area of Yosemite because of thick smoke in Yosemite Valley. There is a nice hiking trail that passes over the dam and then along the edge of the canyon. The white waterline can easily be...

We went to Hetch Hetchy Valley, a little-visited area of Yosemite because of thick smoke in Yosemite Valley. There is a nice hiking trail that passes over the dam and then along the edge of the canyon. The white waterline can easily be seen just above the lake. 1458
43 The <strong>Hetch Hetchy Dam</strong> was built in the Hetch Hetchy Valley as a reservoir for the water supply for the city of San Fransisco. Construction on the dam slowed our hiking trip because we had to wait to be escorted past the crane. It is sai...

The Hetch Hetchy Dam was built in the Hetch Hetchy Valley as a reservoir for the water supply for the city of San Fransisco. Construction on the dam slowed our hiking trip because we had to wait to be escorted past the crane. It is sai...

The Hetch Hetchy Dam was built in the Hetch Hetchy Valley as a reservoir for the water supply for the city of San Fransisco. Construction on the dam slowed our hiking trip because we had to wait to be escorted past the crane. It is said that the naturalist John Muir was so distraught at the thought of this beautiful valley being flooded, he died of heartache. 1491
44 This is the old Mission in <strong>San Juan Bautista</strong>. The land next to the mission sunk several feet during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. This area is quite seismically active.

This is the old Mission in San Juan Bautista. The land next to the mission sunk several feet during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. This area is quite seismically active.

This is the old Mission in San Juan Bautista. The land next to the mission sunk several feet during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. This area is quite seismically active. 2803
45 <strong>Monterey Bay</strong> from the Point Lobos State Reserve Trail. The name "Lobos" (Spanish for "wolves") comes from the sea lions that are often seen on the rocks. The black dots on these rocks are cormorants, diving sea birds.

Monterey Bay from the Point Lobos State Reserve Trail. The name "Lobos" (Spanish for "wolves") comes from the sea lions that are often seen on the rocks. The black dots on these rocks are cormorants, diving sea birds.

Monterey Bay from the Point Lobos State Reserve Trail. The name "Lobos" (Spanish for "wolves") comes from the sea lions that are often seen on the rocks. The black dots on these rocks are cormorants, diving sea birds. 1487
46 The geology of the California coast is fascinating. I enjoyed seeing these striated sandstone boulders. It shows the cycles of flooding that occured thousands of years ago. The coarse bands are conglomerate rock and the lighter, smooth bands are sandst...

The geology of the California coast is fascinating. I enjoyed seeing these striated sandstone boulders. It shows the cycles of flooding that occured thousands of years ago. The coarse bands are conglomerate rock and the lighter, smooth bands are sandst...

The geology of the California coast is fascinating. I enjoyed seeing these striated sandstone boulders. It shows the cycles of flooding that occured thousands of years ago. The coarse bands are conglomerate rock and the lighter, smooth bands are sandstone. The Carmel River, the source of these rocks, is now about a mile north of this area. 4.9.spi.2, 4.9.tpi.5 1460
47 Beautiful sandstone and conglomerate rock at Point Lobos State Reserve in Carmel, California.

Beautiful sandstone and conglomerate rock at Point Lobos State Reserve in Carmel, California.

Beautiful sandstone and conglomerate rock at Point Lobos State Reserve in Carmel, California. 1476
48 More wave-polished sandstone at Point Lobos State Reserve.

More wave-polished sandstone at Point Lobos State Reserve.

More wave-polished sandstone at Point Lobos State Reserve. 1450
49 The Big Sur area of the California coast has spectacular views. We were excited to see a whale spouting in the distance from the cliffside.

The Big Sur area of the California coast has spectacular views. We were excited to see a whale spouting in the distance from the cliffside.

The Big Sur area of the California coast has spectacular views. We were excited to see a whale spouting in the distance from the cliffside. 1390
50 The <strong>Bixby Creek bridge</strong> on Hwy. 1 is often seen in car commercials. It was built in the 1930's.

The Bixby Creek bridge on Hwy. 1 is often seen in car commercials. It was built in the 1930's.

The Bixby Creek bridge on Hwy. 1 is often seen in car commercials. It was built in the 1930's. 1383
51 The beach below Bixby Creek Bridge along Highway 1 is a fabulous view.

The beach below Bixby Creek Bridge along Highway 1 is a fabulous view.

The beach below Bixby Creek Bridge along Highway 1 is a fabulous view. 1485
52 Kris and Ken at an overlook along Highway 1. The breezes blowing in from the cold ocean make a day at the beach a really cool experience! Jackets are a must! It seemed strange that we were warmer in the high mountains of Yosemite than we were on the co...

Kris and Ken at an overlook along Highway 1. The breezes blowing in from the cold ocean make a day at the beach a really cool experience! Jackets are a must! It seemed strange that we were warmer in the high mountains of Yosemite than we were on the co...

Kris and Ken at an overlook along Highway 1. The breezes blowing in from the cold ocean make a day at the beach a really cool experience! Jackets are a must! It seemed strange that we were warmer in the high mountains of Yosemite than we were on the coast. Fog is a very common occurance along the coast. (photo by Duane Meneely) 1401
53 36-ft.-long Bull Kelp seaweed
This <strong>Bull Kelp</strong> is seaweed (an alga, in the Kingdom Protista), not a flower (or even a plant for that matter), but it was so interesting I decided to include it on the site. It took three of us, my cousin ...

36-ft.-long Bull Kelp seaweed This Bull Kelp is seaweed (an alga, in the Kingdom Protista), not a flower (or even a plant for that matter), but it was so interesting I decided to include it on the site. It took three of us, my cousin ...

36-ft.-long Bull Kelp seaweed This Bull Kelp is seaweed (an alga, in the Kingdom Protista), not a flower (or even a plant for that matter), but it was so interesting I decided to include it on the site. It took three of us, my cousin Glenna, my husband Ken, and me, to hold up this huge kelp frond. Glenna is holding the "holdfast," the root-like end that attaches to rocks and I am holding the large, hollow, air-filled bladder that floats on the surface of the ocean. This was taken at the beach at Julia Pfeiffer State Park south of Monterey, California. (Photo by Duane Meneely) 1464
54 Hole-in-rock at Julia Pfiffer Burns State Park. Constant pounding from the waves is breaking up the rock wall making not only this big hole, but also smaller rocks and eventually sand.

Hole-in-rock at Julia Pfiffer Burns State Park. Constant pounding from the waves is breaking up the rock wall making not only this big hole, but also smaller rocks and eventually sand.

Hole-in-rock at Julia Pfiffer Burns State Park. Constant pounding from the waves is breaking up the rock wall making not only this big hole, but also smaller rocks and eventually sand. 1531
55 This patchwork quilt of green and brown is an aerial view of the San Joaquin valley, the "Garden Basket of America". Much of the nation's produce --- lettuce, strawberries, artichokes, garlic, and other fruits and vegetables --- come from this area. Th...

This patchwork quilt of green and brown is an aerial view of the San Joaquin valley, the "Garden Basket of America". Much of the nation's produce --- lettuce, strawberries, artichokes, garlic, and other fruits and vegetables --- come from this area. Th...

This patchwork quilt of green and brown is an aerial view of the San Joaquin valley, the "Garden Basket of America". Much of the nation's produce --- lettuce, strawberries, artichokes, garlic, and other fruits and vegetables --- come from this area. The next time you are in the produce section of the grocery store look for Salinas, Watsonville, Prunedale, and Gilroy on your bags of fruits and vegetables! 1660
56 Things aren't bigger in just Texas! California has its share too! This bigger-than-life cutout of a produce farmer is located in Salinas. 
(photo by Duane Meneely)

Things aren't bigger in just Texas! California has its share too! This bigger-than-life cutout of a produce farmer is located in Salinas. (photo by Duane Meneely)

Things aren't bigger in just Texas! California has its share too! This bigger-than-life cutout of a produce farmer is located in Salinas. (photo by Duane Meneely) 1507
57 We joined the crowd watching the sun sink below the horizon at Carmel Beach. A beautiful end to a fabulous trip!

We joined the crowd watching the sun sink below the horizon at Carmel Beach. A beautiful end to a fabulous trip!

We joined the crowd watching the sun sink below the horizon at Carmel Beach. A beautiful end to a fabulous trip! 1468
58 One day my cousin Glenna, her husband Duane, Ken and I went sea kayaking up the Elkhorn Slough. It was fun, but difficult since we were fighting either wind or the current most of the time. It was exciting to see seals, otters, pelicans, and other sea ...

One day my cousin Glenna, her husband Duane, Ken and I went sea kayaking up the Elkhorn Slough. It was fun, but difficult since we were fighting either wind or the current most of the time. It was exciting to see seals, otters, pelicans, and other sea ...

One day my cousin Glenna, her husband Duane, Ken and I went sea kayaking up the Elkhorn Slough. It was fun, but difficult since we were fighting either wind or the current most of the time. It was exciting to see seals, otters, pelicans, and other sea birds at such a close range. The otters would pop up near the kayaks (it is against the law to paddle near them, but if they came near us, it was a different story!). (photo by a bystander) 1285
59 Elkhorn Slough as seen from the sanctuary visitors' center. There are hiking trails here that go down to the water.

Elkhorn Slough as seen from the sanctuary visitors' center. There are hiking trails here that go down to the water.

Elkhorn Slough as seen from the sanctuary visitors' center. There are hiking trails here that go down to the water. 1314
60 Lagunita School is a tiny school in Salinas.

Lagunita School is a tiny school in Salinas.

Lagunita School is a tiny school in Salinas. 1973
61 Lick Observatory is located high atop a mountain near San Jose. It was a long, very curvy drive up there, but what a view!

Lick Observatory is located high atop a mountain near San Jose. It was a long, very curvy drive up there, but what a view!

Lick Observatory is located high atop a mountain near San Jose. It was a long, very curvy drive up there, but what a view! 1493
62 This is the old telescope at Lick Observatory.

This is the old telescope at Lick Observatory.

This is the old telescope at Lick Observatory. 1688

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