Sunday, December 25, 2011

habitat ~ 12/25/11 ~ Jacks Peak County Park

Jacks Peak County Park
December 25, 2011

For the record, I'm not sure if this County Park was officially open on Christmas Day, but we took one of several little-known trails up the hill. It starts off as coast live oak woods then gradually turns into Monterey pine forest as the elevation increases. In a couple spots, freshly fallen trees blocked the old trail. I was impressed with how soft the new trail was around these disturbed areas. It felt very spongy on the feet, as if I were walking underneath redwoods. I've heard this area is called a closed-cone pine forest from a blogger who recently shut down his blog. I wasn't aware of this term before. Despite the lack of fire, it looks like the Monterey pine has no problem reseeding itself. Jacks Peak has one of the few remaining native stands of Monterey pine in the world. We also looked for where the proposed zipline will be placed, which has caused quite a controversy among the prominent older folks in our area. The views are absolutely stunning from the summit of Jacks Peak of both Monterey harbor and "the mouth of the Valley" as us locals refer to it, which is really the east side of Carmel and whose main claim to fame is Clint Eastwood was once mayor. The zipline would be thrilling and perhaps a nice tourist attraction. However, I can't say I'd fork out $100 for the experience, especially since I live here.

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