Saturday, February 4, 2012

habitat ~ 02/04/12 ~ Monterey Harbor & Marina

Monterey Harbor & Marina
February 4, 2012

Often on our days off when we don't want to be in a car and deal with the traffic to get out of town for a hike, we will walk along the Monterey Bay Recreation Trail from Pacific Grove to Monterey. From home it's about 1/2 mile to the Monterey Bay Aquarium on Cannery Row and 2 miles to the Monterey Municipal Wharf No. 2 (shown in the second pic above). The Rec Trail is great for tourist watching (I love hearing all the foreign languages), but after a while we get fed up with all the rented bike surreys and dawdling tourist groups that hog up the trail, especially on weekends and area special events like the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf hoopla. On our way back home, we sometimes take a shortcut through the Monterey Presidio. Very few people seem to know that the lower part of the Presidio is still open to the public. From this little hill, there are incredible views of the Old Fisherman's Wharf (shown in the first pic above), the Municipal Wharf II (shown in the second pic above), the Monterey Harbor, and the Monterey Coast Guard Pier.

Sheez, I'm starting to feel like a tourist guide. Considering I haven't decided if I want to use google maps due to my own blog policy that I not use others' graphics (although, the background of this blog is part of the templates google blogger offers), I realized I haven't done a habitat post of the area that I most frequently visit. So here it is. To see my past posts of this area, check out the following links:
Monterey Municipal Wharf No. 2.
Monterey Fisherman's Wharf
Monterey Coast Guard Pier
Monterey Bay Recreation Trail (for the areas shown above)
Monterey Bay Recreation Trail (all)
Monterey State Historic Park Secret Gardens

almond blossom ~ 02/04/12 ~ Cooper Molera Garden


Given my total confusion about early blooming blossoms (is it a cherry, or plum, or cherry plum?), I had no difficulty identifying this particular blossom tree. Why? Because there was a handy-dandy ID sign at the Cooper Molera Garden, which is filled with various fruit trees restored or representative of the 1860s. Really, I should be able to recognize this tree anyways, since I spent many CA winters playing underneath 2 almond trees that my dad planted next to my swing set. I used to pretend the white fallen petals were snow. Aw, fond memories!

I liked harvesting almonds with their split fuzzy hull and especially liked eating them. So, it came as a bit of surprise that I haven't liked almonds purchased at the store for a while, and I couldn't figure out why. Then, a friend recently gave me almonds from his dad's farm. They taste fresh like how I remember from when I was a kid. He said they're unpasteurized. As I was researching this post, I learned that there's now a mandatory pasteurization program for CA almonds shipped in North America. Who knew? Like with fresh apple cider, I do think some foods do taste better unpasteurized.