Monday, June 30, 2008

The Long Walk

From Sidewalk Trail on Sunday morning, we hooked up with Marsh Trail. As the name implies, Marsh Trail runs through a marsh. It then branches into a more wooded area called Ridge Trail. Ridge Trail runs parallel to and above Sidewalk Trail. I guess the whole loop is about 4 miles or so, and you get to walk through a lot of diverse ecosystems.
One thing I really like about Ridge Trail is that it's so far inland on the peninsula, but it alternates back and forth between a typical wooded path:
and spots so sandy that it's as if you're walking right on the beach.

We saw lots of birds in the woods...I wasn't quick enough to get pictures of most of them, but this Red-Headed Woodpecker stayed still long enough.

We saw at least 50 turtle egg nest sites! All of them seemed to be hatched and not destroyed by scavengers. Some of them were a long distance from the water!

We also saw the cute...

and the not-so-cute.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The upside of insomnia

I couldn't sleep last night. I finally dropped off around 3:00 and sat up wide awake at 5. Since I'm usually not up at that hour, I decided to take advantage and see how the other half lives. Dan was up too and the kids spent the night at my mom's, so we were free to head down to the peninsula and take a morning walk.

We got there in time to catch the sunrise, and a last glimpse of the crescent moon.

Not a fabulous shot I know, but it was neat to see this heron fly across the beautifully lit sky.

We headed over to Sidewalk Trail. This trail skirts a long boggy pond and we figured we might be lucky enough to see some morning wildlife.

No such luck on any big birds or animals, but there was a ton of cool stuff to see.

There were lots of these red and white mushrooms... doesn't the red part this one kind of look like the diagram of a uterus? (Minus a fallopian tube, I guess. I know. I'm weird.) It rained last night and was still really wet on the trail. Some of the water was so even it reminded me of frost.
Dragonflies (or damselflies? I don't know the difference.) were all over the place...
...including this poor guy who was caught in a spider's web. I guess spiders have to eat too, but doesn't it look like the dragonfly is looking right at you, hoping for help? And a few more random shots:

Monarch butterfly caterpillar
Red-winged Blackbird
cute little baby frog
And I *think* this is a Flicker.

We were there for almost 3 hours and I took about 200 pics so be prepared to see more of this in the next few days!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Oye Como Va

Last night we headed down to the bayfront to the Summer Festival of the Arts.

Totally random shot: Something has finally "clicked" for Liam when it comes to reading and now when we're out, we have to stop at various signs so he can read them aloud. In case you're interested, Sunrise Assisted Living is offering $1000 off moving expenses or first month's rent.

The Arts Festival is pretty big and there's lots to see and do. We got there a little late in the evening for good pics of the different booths and stuff. The main draw last night was Gregg Rolie Band. Gregg Rolie was the lead singer of Santana back in the day. That's his voice you hear on "Black Magic Woman" and "Oye Como Va." His band put on a great show. They did some originals and a lot of Santana songs.
This guy loved it.
This guy had the unenviable task of doing Carlos Santana's guitar parts. He was very good and was true to the original versions. Liam liked it so much he had to "breakdance." (I know this shot is burned out, but it was too funny not to share. My boy, the breakdancer.)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Creek walk on a summer evening

We love us some creek-walks in this family.

Last night we went to an area of Walnut Creek we haven't been to before.
In addition to the lillies I posted yesterday, there were some really neat rock formations.As soon as we got into the creek we scared off this heron. (At least I think it's a heron. If someone out there is more ornithologically-inclined than I am, feel free to correct me!)

Since I didn't bring Liam a change of clothes, I didn't want him to get soaked. He started out fine. A little walking....

Some rock-throwing....some climbing.

But as we were walking back towards our starting point, we came across some kids playing in the water. Liam wanted to join them so badly, I just couldn't say no. They were sliding down this tiny waterfallAnd of course, Liam had a blast. It was almost impossible to get him out to go home!