Friday, December 24, 2010

Benicia State Recreation Area, cont. - Dec. 24, '10

Walking Distance: 2.8 miles (estimate)
Walking Time: 1 hr., 20 min. (2:32 - 3:52 p.m.)
Start and End Point: Benicia State Recreation Area, parking lot near botanic garden; Benicia, CA

Today I continued my walk through the Benicia State Recreation Area (the portion of the red line further West on the map). Unlike the clear, sunny weather yesterday, today was quite foggy. So, I missed what I'm certain would otherwise be some beautiful views of the Carquinez Strait and bridge.

Instead I saw a few ships appearing and disappearing in the mist, and listened to the blast of a train across the strait, in Martinez.

What's not shown on this Bay Trail map is there is actually a fairly dense network of trails in this lower "lobe" (west of Dillon Point). I followed all the various trails to make sure I didn't miss any of the segments of the Bay Trail in this area.

At the end of the hike I had a car picnic (view of tables and trees shown at right). I have to say, I enjoy car picnics -- no matter how simple the food and drink.

I noticed there were a lot of land snails on wild fennel and other plants in this area. Their bodies were a bit darker than regular garden land snails that I see in my garden. (I'll need to do some research to find out what kind they are.)

My efforts to photograph a kite (bird) in a dead tree failed. Sea gull-sized birds, kites are striking white birds with dark around their eyes, and they have a flutter hover that is very distinctive. Ah well. Next time perhaps.

Wildlife Sightings:
60 snails (with darker bodies); 1 kite (bird); 5 sea gulls; 41 little brown jobs (LBJs); 22 ducks; 2 large "rafts" of birds way out on water/strait - but they were too far away to identify (probably ducks or coots); and 1 Western or Clarks Grebe.

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