Monday, December 23, 2013

habitat ~ 12/23/13 ~ Jacks Peak County Park

December 23, 2013

It's as if someone pushed the pause button on the seasons.  While the evergreen coast live oaks seem to be holding their own as usual, the Monterey pines look thinner and yellower around the edges.  Closer to the ground, there's a sense of bursting at the seams, of impatiently waiting for the starter's pistol of winter rains.  The push towards spring cannot be contained.  Dustings of green grass are making their best efforts despite the lack of water.  I also found fuchia-flowered gooseberries and monkeyflowers just beginning to show their cheery reds and oranges.  I'm curious to see how everything will fare in the coming months.  Surely, we will get rain, someday?

Honestly, I wasn't expecting to find much for IDs, but I really enjoyed this heart-pumping, hilly hike. The rich smell of pines that's so distinctive to Jacks Peak and the amazing views never cease to amaze me.  In the first picture above (click to enlarge) are several locations I feature on Nature ID, starting at about 11:00 along the water's edge: the Monterey Bay Aquarium towers, Cannery Row, San Carlos Beach, Coast Guard Pier, Rec Trail, Fisherman's Wharf, Wharf No. 2, and Municipal Beach.