pahavit (pahavit) wrote,

Sunday's Field Trip: Bayfront Park 2

Sunday's Field Trip: Bayfront Park 2

Sunday D. and I returned to Bayfront Park in Menlo Park. We'd been there a couple of weeks ago but there was a glitch with D.'s camera at the time, so we went back Sunday to try again (all pics by D. today).

When we get there we saw a small group of people on their own field trip. A docent from the SF Bay National Wildlife Refuge (where we were yesterday) is giving a talk about how salt ponds are being restored to wetland habitats. They had just begun when we arrive.

Here's a very saturated salt pond, with a little bit of a water channel barely visible within it still.

This is the salt covered with a layer of brown wind-blown dust and dirt. The salt crystalizing out of the water hasn't had time to get dirty yet, so it still looks pristine.

Another view of the salt pond, with the Dumbarton Bridge in the background. The edge of the salt is red due to the high concentration of halophilic bacteria in the water. They are the only organisms that can live in such a high salinity level. There are no fish or birds at all in those waters.

A radio-controlled glider soars around the hilltop. The park is a popular place for a local model glider club to fly their planes.

Here's a peculiar canker on a madrone tree. The tree has them all over its branches but it looks very healthy in spite of them.

Here is a cluster of estivating snails in a dead pine tree.

Some of them have climbed their slow snail way right up into the topmost branches of the tree. Snails do this to get above the hot ground and to be away from ground-based predators.

Another mystery was why here and there we saw a few pipes with coaxial cable sticking out of them. It is landfill underneath the hill, not condos needing ESPN and cable internet.

It was a joy to see a pair of red-tailed hawks overhead, riding the thermals on this hot, dry day.

For some reason they are flying with their feet dangling down instead of tucked behind them.

This is a great pic of a red-tail, with its characteristic dark patagial marks on its wings and its rusty-colored tail.

Off they go toward another thermal somewhere else in the park.

The last time we were there (, there were no maps or guides to the Great Spirit Path sculpture. Today, there are plenty!  (I find it more than a bit odd that two weeks after mentioning this in my blog, the brochures suddenly appeared in their designated display boxes in the park . . .  . . . OK, who here works for the County of San Mateo?? Fess up! Thanks for getting it done, whoever you are! )

Standing amid one of the sculpture's rock formations, I imagine what it's like to be a hawk.

I wish I could fly free to ride the thermals too.

This last rock formation represents The Great Spirit Everywhere. I invoke the spirit of the red-tailed hawk.

Walking back over the landfill.

Tags: art, bayfront park, bird, field trip, hawk, menlo park, red-tailed hawk, salt pond, sculpture, snail

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