Sunday, April 1, 2012

Springing here

Jacob and I went for a picnic/walk at Wilder Ranch State Park. The park contains 5000 acres of coastal habitat, trails, farms, and historic buildings. Many things merge at this particular spot on the Pacific Coast just north of Santa Cruz. The area is rich with preserved history, a dance between the past and present. The Ohlone people once hunted the hills and fished along the shorelines for abalone. Settlers converted the land to dairy farms. Today it is the setting for recreation, wildlife restoration and preservation, and farming.

We walked along a path bordered by scrub and agricultural farms and followed the coastal bluffs. Along with stunning views of the rocky shoreline, we witnessed a restoration project in progress, returning agricultural farms to thriving coastal wetland and riparian habitats, providing refuge for endangered species such as the Snowy Plover and Peregrine Falcon. I caught glimpses of gulls and terns, raptors (I was unable to identify), canadian geese, and tried to keep my eyes peeled when we approached views of the intertidal shelves and cliffs for nesting birds.  We had lunch at Sand Plant Beach, where we were greeted by the bobbing head of a seal, checking us out while the waves crashed around him/her. Wilder Ranch SP elicits a desire to frolic and skip, do cartwheels. And so I did. Cartwheel, I mean.

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.
–Robert Frost

California Poppy

Calla Lillies

Pretty Purple Flower

I thought this was an egg, but upon closer inspection realized it was a mushroom.

Gulls, terns and other birds congregate on the ledge

Cliff's at Wilder Ranch State Park
oh, happy day.
Happy April.

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