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Palo Alto Baylands - Pahavit's Universe — LiveJournal

pahavit
Date: 5-5-2007 3:23 PM
Subject: Palo Alto Baylands
Security: Public
Tags:airport, baylands, bird, black-crowned night heron, field trip, fountain, grass, palo alto, plane, sign
Saturday's Field Trip: Palo Alto Baylands, San Francisquito Creek Trail


Saturday D. and I walked the San Francisquito Creek Trail at Palo Alto Baylands Preserve.

It was a pleasant walk in spite of the very strong winds blowing in off the Bay (which was full of white caps). The trail first skirted the edge of Palo Alto Airport, which cautions landing pilots to "also watch out for bird and jackrabbit activity" on the runway.


Here's the control tower and some planes.





The tide was out when we got there, with a lot of mudflats exposed. In the distance we saw a Canada goose struggling in the mud. At first we thought it was stuck, but we watched it laboriously push itself along on its belly toward the shore. We wondered why it didn't just fly to safety.


They are serious about weed removal on the trail, and they bag them up so nice and tidy to boot. (It is Palo Alto, after all.)  They even put mulch around the new native species planted along the trail.





Much of the Preserve is sensitive habitat, home to the endangered red-bellied salt marsh harvest mouse.  (No, we didn't see anyone in the marsh.)





We watched this gyrocopter take off, and later, land, at the airport.





A close-up of the gyrocopter.





Dried annual grasses means summer is just about here.  Come late summer this will be a tinderbox.





A paved portion of the San Francisquito Creek Trail. Some of it was gravel.





What day is it?  It's Jones Day!





We stopped to rest on their back entrance.





The trees above us as we rested. Very peaceful.





Around the front they had a nice fountain.





Heading back to the parking lot we passed under an enormous eucalyptus full of black-crowned night heron nests. One was regarding us suspiciously from above.  We decided not to sit on the bench under that tree.





Aw, teh cute!   Sign at the duck pond near the parking lot.





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