Enjoying one more day! Wednesday, 2/25/15
The weather was a bit changed this morning ... fog shrouded the trees and campers when I looked out the window at 7 am. Temp was warmer, too. But, by 9 am, after our coffee, breakfast, and internet stuff, the sun was shining again and the day was warming. We debated about how to spend today and decided to drive down the Point Reyes peninsula to the small town of Bolinas.
As we approached the mud flats, we could see the tide was going out, with low tide around 11 am, and many shore birds were working the shallows. These look like Willets in this picture, and we saw a bunch of them (tho "bunch" might not be the correct word for a whole lotta birds!).
After a bit of maneuvering, we finally found Agate Beach at low tide. I don't know what to call this rocky stuff -- dark, with red beneath the black. It was hard. We didn't find any agates, but enjoyed examining the tide pools, looking for sea glass and shells. The usual stuff we like doing. Just being present at the seashore.
Didn't expect to see Chitons clamped onto the rocks, as we usually don't. Today we saw quite a few.
While I was ambling along, looking down lest I slip and fall into the ocean or break a hip, I nearly bumped into the above fisherman. Fishing is important. Being polite, I said, "excuse me," and gave it a wide berth. My reward for courtesy was being able to catch the above shot. Good catch!
When we'd explored all we wanted on Agate Beach, we walked back up the hill. Since we'd forgotten our map (sigh ...), we were traveling by the seat of our pants, so to speak. Nonetheless, somehow we manage to find all kinds of neat things while we're Out and About in Smartie.
This is one of those neat things! Jimmy is standing in front of the wonderful Art Deco RCA Communications Building. The really fascinating thing about it is Guglielmo Marconi sited and commissioned the building of this wireless telegraphy transmitting station in Bolinas (and the receiving station in Marshall, on Tomales Bay), in 1913-1914. And we were invited inside! The building houses a nonprofit organization now, with a bird art exhibit upstairs. Way cool!
From there, we continued up Mesa Road (on the peninsula's west side) to Point Reyes Bird Observatory (field station). A sign out front said, "Visitors Welcome." I don't know what we expected, but we didn't see anyone around, and no feeder stations. Another sign pointed us to a half-mile Nature Trail. We shrugged and said, "OK, why not?" These pictures are from the nature trail, which carried us down to the Arroyo Hondo stream and back up again. Very strange trees, and what kind of stout, almost decorative, vine is Jimmy clasping above?
Fern-lined Arroyo Hondo stream.
And what the heck is with these tree trunks?
We called these "stick trees."
Jimmy was leading the way on the nature trail as we started up the other side of the Arroyo Hondo. As he began to take his next step, something didn't look right about the stick lying on the path. He turned to me and said, "that looked like a snake." Pause. "It IS a snake!" By gum, he was right. Thing didn't move, but then it stuck out its tongue. Obviously not poisonous, I reached down and touched it's smooth, soft skin. Still no movement. Only when I put my foot next to it (above), did it slowly slither off the path.
Back at the Field Station, I found a young lady to ask about the snake and those stick trees. She thought the trees were a California Bay. The snake is a completely docile Rubber Boa. I wear a size 7 shoe, so we're estimating the sneaky snake at 18". This fella is crepuscular and not easily seen, so we count ourselves lucky to have run across it. Well, not literally, of course!
It was mid-afternoon by the time we left and made our way to Tergel, and after tidying up a bit, we drove to Point Reyes Station (town) to look for dinner. (No cooking for me this nite!) We settled on Cafe Reyes and some of the tastiest pizzas we've ever had. Excellent choice.
Tomorrow morning we'll pack up and pull out, and head on home. Since we live so close, we won't be in any hurry. Surely have enjoyed our visit to outstanding Point Reyes National Seashore. We will be back.