Sunday, October 23, 2011

Monterey Bay

 Who says "Spiders can't fly"?  High in and above the Sequoias hundreds of spiders were observed 'ballooning' on air currents at over 7,000 foot altitude.  Flying sure beats walking even if you have eight legs.  Our High Sierra RV park had hundreds of these webs from ground to upper canopy of the Redwoods.

Yes, we are still birding and were blessed to get a 'life bird' in Santa Cruz.  Cued by a hotline tip, we found a Yellow-green Vireo less than 20 feet from our RV in an urban park.

 We visited two different Monarch Butterfly Habitat Preserves with eucalyptus trees: the Lighthouse Field in Santa Cruz and Natural Bridges State Park.  This sheltered canyon provides a winter home for thousands of monarch butterflies. A few of the early arrivals are depicted in the photo to the right.

Down the coast at Moss Landing and Elkhorn Slough we encountered thousands of shorebirds: Avocets, Black-necked Stilts, Willets, Long-billed Curlews, Marbled Godwits, both Dowitchers, and many others.  Plus we saw a Barn Owl in an abandoned barn in the preserve.
This picture to the left is a Sea Dragon, one of the new displays at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  This showcases one of God's truly unique creatures. Since our last visit 14 years ago we found many new exhibits including the children's interactive area.  It is amazing all the wonderful creatures that were there, so many that we had not seen before: the cuttlefish, sea horses, octopus, sharks, the huge ocean sunfish (looked like it was made by a child), and a variety of eels.

We recommend a visit to this wonderful area of California.   Until next time,  Ida & Ty

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