Thursday, October 09, 2008

On to the next destination

After what was really a quick jaunt* to Zmudowski State Beach, we headed next to Moonglow Dairy which is by the Elkhorn Slough at Moss Landing.

At the entrance we were to spot the "California Specialty" Tri-colored Blackbird. Yep, it definitely was tri-colored. A Red-winged Blackbird with a white stripe below the red on the shoulder. I didn't grab my camera to take a picture quick enough. Sorry :(

We parked over by the eucalyptus grove which had across the way cattle feasting on artichokes... yes, artichokes! Geez, I thought you only fed pigs slop ;) I like artichokes and all, but these were apparently leftovers. Castroville, the next town south on Hwy 1 from Moss Landing, is the "artichoke capital of the world." (if you google artichoke capital Castroville comes up as 8 of 10 on the first page of hits) Click here for some interesting trivia on that! :)

We walked through the eucalyptus grove to see some non-water fowl that might be in there since it was a great riparian area. Here is a view through the trees to Elkhorn Slough.
Incidentally, Eucalypus trees are not native to California, they are natives to Australia and like most non-natives were introduced during the Gold Rush days. It's convenient to blame these "greedy" folks, but these kinds of things still happen today even based on good intentions and sometimes scientific theories. The common presumption is that they were planted for their fast growth to be used for firewood and needed building materials since California's trees are slow growers. Anyway, here at Moonglow, they were planted for wood and a windbreak.

The pathway through the eucalyptus grove must have been an old road. This was sitting along one side.
Doesn't it bring a whole new thought process to the commercial series, "got milk?"

After that, we walked back to where we parked and made a left onto the pathway that goes around the ponds and the slough. Kayaking is the way to go - except for a photographer!
I did not kayak, but it would be fun sans camera.

This is kind of a space alien POV :) Dried something or other on the path. I just love the coloring... sometimes a camera can enhance what is in nature and sometimes it just can't quite capture the majesty. This is one of the former.

Despite this area being Moss Landing, it was not so named based on the copious moss around. Really! I had assumed so. In fact, it was named for a Captain Charles Moss who set up a wharf area for commercial shipping in 1866.
Kinda creepy looking :) Would be cool halloween evening :D
This just fascinated me. Birds swim through this like it's nothing, but it looks thick... almost enough to walk on it. I don't recommend that of course. I am not sure what the purpose of that wood was. Maybe it was a walkway or something to fish off of once.

*seriously - yes i took tons of photos, and stretched it into three posts, but we spent only an hour there.


Mary C said...

Really cool pix, Red. I don't remember seeing these photos, but then you did take quite a few. Will you be posting the bird pix next?

Red said...

yep... in fact, i'm editing them right now... i id'd a red-necked phalarope! (those birds we thought that were similar to the turnstones)

zhakee said...

Looking at your photos, it seems you had a great time on that birding outing. That green slimy stuff is quite strange looking. I too noticed it when I was in the slough area. It seems to like the stale, barely moving waters.

Leedra said...

This is a great post, so many different things. Like the dried bush, or whatever it is.

Red said...

Hi Zhakee. Yes, it was pretty good. On this section of the trip I started trying to get off by myself a little bit. I was getting group-fried. I'm a loner, so too many people around me, especially in nature, starts to make me crazy. Next time you're down there, you should make a turn on the dirt road before Elkhorn where the sign says Moonglow Dairy. It'll be a different perspective.

Thanks a lot Leedra :) Yep, it's a dried bush of some type. Fall has hit here, and bushes drying out are about our only indication other than the sweet gums in neighborhoods.

Lutheran Lucciola said...

Hey, girl, are going to see Craig Parton (I think that's his name) at your church in a week? My pastor told me about it, I may try to go.

Red said...

Hey LuLu... yep, I'll be there. Well, if I wasn't, I guess I'd be in the office working, but still *there*. I hope you make it. It's supposed to be "From Evangelicalism to Evangel" That'll be interesting because a lot of online people I know are Evangelicals - in the modern sense of the word.

PS. you're right, it is Craig Parton. He'll be selling his new book there too.

Lutheran Lucciola said...

Red, can you set aside one ticket for me? Only if that's easy for you to do, it sounds like you work in the office.

I have to find you guys on the map, too. If you could just give me the address, I can easily Google map it.

To be in Cupertino at 9am, ouch. But I will do it! How cool it will be to meet you!!


Current skin is Spring Green 2009
Best viewed on Firefox at 1024x768, larger or widescreen.
If you must use Internet Explorer, update to IE8 or the sidebars will look funky.