16 de marzo de 2012

A Rainy Walk on Jasper Ridge

Faced with the knowledge that we were going to be cooped up in the field station for the entire 1-5 class session, I took to the trails this morning at Jasper Ridge. The light mist under a thin layer of shifting clouds created a surprisingly pleasant atmosphere as the rich colours of the vegetation were allowed to express themselves. My first encounter was a rather wet red tail hawk that looked surprisingly like a raven in its inglorious state. Next I came upon a mildly albino turkey that looked as if it had wandered off a farm. The marsh was teeming with birdlife and the arroyo willows were all flushing with new leaves. All of Jasper ridge seemed bursting with life as the past week of rain lures more plants into sprouting. My pictures today were only of unfamiliar plants that popped into view (taken with the iphone). Along the trail I noticed the continuum of ceonothus from almost budless to bursting forth bundles of intricate white flowers beaded with mist. The walk was a wonderfully peaceful one and offered up great views of spotted towhees and Ana's hummingbirds staking their claims from high perches. It was certainly hard to rejoin the busy real world after but I did so much refreshed for having my damp sortie around Searsville lake.

Publicado el 16 de marzo de 2012 a las 08:55 AM por markham markham | 5 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

29 de febrero de 2012

Another Morning in Monterey

An escalating swell drove us to retreat from Dive plan A, to instead explore the pilings of the municipal wharf. We were rewarded not only with much calmer waters but an astonishing array of unfamiliar critters skittering about. Each piling was covered in dense colonies of colonies of bryozoans of various species, clamoring loxorhynchis decorator crabs, barnacles, anemones, various seastars and more. Even the sandy bottom boasted a surprising abundance of Hermissenda crassicornis nudibranchs, various snails, and sabellid worms. Toward the end of the dive (at which point I was essentially footless and handless with the exception of my shutter finger) we looked up to investigate the debris being showered on us from above to find a feasting sea otter tearing at the marine life on the piling. My first sighting of a sea otter underwater! Another beautiful day in Monterey Bay.

Publicado el 29 de febrero de 2012 a las 05:03 AM por markham markham | 16 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario