Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Paradise Beach Park - Dec. 8, 2012

Walking Distance: 2.4 mi.
Walking Time: 1 hr., 22 min. (3:45 - 4:35 p.m., and 4:39 - 5:11 p.m.)
Start and End Point: Paradise Beach Park, 3450 Paradise Drive, Tiburon, CA

This afternoon I continued to follow Paradise Drive (located on the north side of the Tiburon peninsula), shown as a dotted dark green line on the new San Francisco Bay Trail Map set. I would not recommend walking here unless you feel comfortable walking on very narrow setbacks and around potentially blind corners.

However, I did enjoy scenic views of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, the Bay, and ships passing by;  and there was a nice county park to explore. Also, the California Buckeye trees were dropping large, interesting looking (chestnut-like) seeds by the roadside -- fun to examine if you're a plant/tree lover. Some of these were germinating/sprouting in place giving them an alien look.

I started my walk, by ambling downhill to the fishing pier in the park. (Note: Paradise Beach Park, a Marin County park, was, except for the fishing pier, closed to the public, the day I was there, due to shorter winter hours, and likely budget cutbacks.) After a quick walk around the pier area, I walked back uphill and left the park to walk along Paradise Drive.

I first walked southeast to 3333 Paradise Drive (where I'd ended a previous walk). After I reached this point, I turned around and walked back (northwest, passing the park) as far as the No. 4 Mailbox on Paradise Drive, near 3825 and 3700 Paradise Drive. Sunset followed by inevitable darkness forced me to call it a day. (I would not advise walking on Paradise Drive at dusk or in the dark.) So, I turned around and I walked back to my car at Paradise Beach Park.

As I returned to my car in the parking lot, I looked down to fish out my car keys from my pack. I glanced up again, and froze. There was a beautiful buck (deer) with large antlers standing inches from my car. For a brief moment we just stared at each other at close range. If I'd moved an inch (to take a picture), I'm sure he would have bolted. So, I'm reduced to a mere mention of this encounter here. I only photographed "small game" today (banana slugs and small birds).

Wildlife Sightings:
2 pigeons; 1 sea gull; 1 Western/Clark's grebe; 2 banana slugs; 7 little brown jobs (LBJs); 1 blue jay; 1 deer (with full set of antlers, standing next to my car)

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