Gas station without pumps

2022 August 31

Secret Walks: West Cliff—River

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 17:38
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On Sunday 2022 August 28, my wife and I  did a combination West Cliff and Riverwalk walk.

We started out taking King to Miramar, then Rankin and Surfside to Delaware, jogging over half a block to take Bethany Curve out to West Cliff.  We walked along West Cliff to Beach Street, where we had lunch at the Picnic Basket, then took Beach over to the San Lorenzo River, where we hoped to see lots of birds in the lagoon formed by the construction work on the culverts.  We saw the construction site, but there was not much water backed up behind it and very few birds.  We walked along the river levee to Spruce Street, then took a one block detour to walk the length of Sycamore, before heading home along Laurel.

The morning was very cool and foggy, which made for pleasant walking, though it did get sunny for the last part of our walk.  The whole walk was between 5½ and 6 miles.

Parts of West Cliff are eroded back to the sidewalk—I think that the city will need to close one lane of West Cliff to cars in a few years (when we get some big storms).

The tide seemed to be high, with most of the rocks of the coast submerged.

The cormorants and pelicans were sharing this island, but not mixing.

This small natural bridge looks almost as if someone had Photoshopped a gap in the outcropping. The bridge will probably collapse in a few years also.

I think that these concrete objects by Steamer Lane are footings for a staircase that washed away (there is a newer staircase nearby).

The cormorants like to hang out on this very steep rock.

At the river, we saw this bird that we did not recognize. After I got home and could look at the photo and do some searches, I identified it as a female common merganser. There were about seven mergansers (all female), but most of them were sleeping with their beaks tucked under their wings, making them very hard to identify.

Here is the merganser preening.

My wife wanted this plant identified—it seems to be California mugwort (Artemisia douglasiana). I don’t know whether it was planted as part of the river levee rewilding or if it seeded itself there.

We regard a walk along the water as well formed if, and only if, we see an egret. This walk was well formed.

In fact, we saw two snowy egrets fairly close together.

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