In between winter storms sweeping through the area over the weekend, D. and I got out of the house for a couple of hours on Saturday to spend some time at Bayfront Park, and I took these pics.
The lagoon, at very high tide.
Northern shoveler afloat on the lagoon.
A pair of canvasbacks get their feathers ruffled by the fierce wind.
Filled with recent rainfall, a meander of the original slough that once flowed freely through here is highlighted in this abandoned salt crystallization pond.
Canada geese in the lagoon.
American avocets gather in an abandoned salt pond.
In a large flock it can be hard for a predator to distinguish one individual among the many with their winter plumage.
In the flock, do what everybody else is doing. Don't stick out. Don't attract attention. Blend in.
A flock of California gulls rests nearby.
Looking north across the abandoned salt pond to the rest of Bayfront Park.
Hello, I must be going.
On the trail we find several large puddles with drowning snails in them, so we spend a few minutes rescuing the ones we can and setting them on the side of the trail in the grass.
Within a few minutes, most of them revive and begin to move on.
(Sadly, not all are not going to make it.)
This is a repurposed landfill, after all, and it still needs maintenance.
This looks like really dirty snow, but it's really an island of salt in the abandoned salt pond next to Bayfront Park.
Somehow a child's bicycle has wound up in the salt pond channel and has developed a crust of salt.
A view of the park as the trail rises.
One of the many cryptic blue signs all over the park.
We assume they pertain to the landfill underneath.
More meanders in the abandoned salt pond.
A Canada goose on the trail.
Looking east over the salt barrens toward the Dumbarton Bridge.
More islands of salt in the channel.
A hillside. Underneath the 6 or so feet of soil is all landfill.
The trail, looking south.
A copse of trees.
Milk thistle seeds are good for the liver, but the plant is not native to California and most nature preserves try to eradicate it since it crowds out native species.
The white markings look like milk spilled on the leaves.
Dead thistle flowers.
Landfill guts exposed: interconnected gas extractor wells control the buildup of anaerobic decomposition by-products (landfill gas) underground. Landfill gas is approximately half methane and half carbon dioxide, with small amounts of nitrogen and oxygen. Since methane can burn or explode, the landfill gas has to be removed. To do this, a system of pipes and wells embedded in the landfill collects the gas. The methane is then extracted from the gas and used as fuel, and any excess that cannot be duly processed is vented or burned off in a flare stack.
They must be doing maintenance on them now, with so many wells exposed.
Crumbly concrete held together with duct tape? Time to replace, definitely!
In the middle of a field, there is a traffic control box.
Vehicles aren't allowed in the park, and anyway the nearest traffic light is over a third of a mile away.
Another cryptic blue sign.
As we circle back to the lagoon area, a small flock of Canada geese wheels overhead, honking amongst themselves.
They can't seem to make up their collective mind which way to go, and their skein unravels briefly until they can regroup.
They make another pass overhead and then head west to Flood Slough.
A snowy egret looks for food on the edge of the lagoon.