Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Water Chickens at Alviso

Amidst all the weird June rain last week, I snuck out between showers for a quick mountain bike ride along the levees at Alviso Marina County Park. Naturally the length escalated as I rode from home, and added on loops at Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge and Sunnyvale Baylands, leading to a delightful 40 mile ride. At any rate, there were a lot of scenic rain clouds to look at, as well as many, many shorebirds -- also known as "water chickens" in Nimue-parlance. Here are a few shots for you all to enjoy.

The hills to the east
Friendly-looking avocet
Great Blue Heron. This one surprised me by taking off and flying across the trail a mere six feet in front of me. They're big!
The blurs in the previous shot were actually part of an apocalyptic cloud of bugs; it was actually hard to breathe for about half a mile due to the sheer number of these little gnats. Fortunately, I eventually went around a corner into the wind and they all blew off. Blow up the picture and you will see layers upon layers upon layers of bugs.
Cute little white flower that was everywhere, which turns out to be an invasive non-native: broad leaved peppergrass.
Fun little scraps of trail along the way home. I'm amused by the juxtaposition of mustard-strewn singletrack with the high tech Silicon Valley buildings.
The interesting part of the route
If I had more time and inclination, I could have continued from Sunnyvale Baylands along the dirt road behind Moffet to Shoreline Park, then through to Palo Alto Baylands, and along another trail to Ravenswood Open Space Preserve. Then maybe across the Dumbarton Bridge to to the levees on the other side to ....

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