September 16, 2011 – Banana Slug
I love banana slugs (Ariolimax californicus). They’re photogenic, fun to paint and just plain cool. I love seeing such exotic looking creatures with that shock of bright yellow in a damp redwood forest. They always remind us, that even though we do not have a rainforest in California, we’re close with our fogforest. Today I was down the San Mateo Coast and went to Butano State Park near Pescadero. It is prime banana slug habitat. My young friend Zora is already one year old, she needed to meet the banana slugs. There were plenty out and about and as friendly as a banana slug can be.
May 29, 2011 – Just Over the Hill
One of the many pleasures of living in the Bay Area is our immediate access to nature. Places like Big Sur and Yosemite are all of four hours away, but so many incredible places are much closer. You can just go right across the Golden Gate Bridge to Marin Headlands. Today we were just the other side of Oakland. Just over the hills, a few miles from downtown, hidden away is Redwood Regional Park. We stopped for lunch at a crowded shopping center in Emeryville on the way. By contrast the park was quiet and uncrowded. It was a beautiful day with mild, sunny weather and why one would choose shopping over nature is always a mystery to me. The park is a beautiful place t with a remote feel. As you stroll down one of the shaded trails, you have no sense that you are in the heart of an urban area with over 7,000,000 people.
Oddly, last night I had dreams about a giant, 3 foot tall grackle. I just thought it was a ridiculous dream. Okay, I didn’t see a big grackle, but my brain must have been picking up the signal from the wild turkey and her chicks that I met on the trail.