Sunday, June 21, 2015

Please Touch! Animal Sculptures At The San Francisco Zoo

Hammerhead Shark
One thing I love about the San Francisco zoo is how they constantly strive for improvement. Recently they added an animal Sculpture Learning Plaza that they want visitors to touch and explore. It's lots of fun and offers great learning opportunities as well as photo ops.

Life-Size Crocodile!

Climb On!

A Seahorse - 20x Its Actual Size

The zoo's website also has educational materials and games you can download for your kids to increase their exploration of the sculpture learning plaza. Of course the best way to explore is to just have fun . .

This Is The Only Way You Can Touch A Rattlesnake And Her Eggs

Incredibly Realistic
Riding A Hammerhead Shark
 The plaza itself is not very big, but there are still nearly 100 sculptures and reliefs in it with more to come. When we were there, there was also a docent to answer any questions.

That's Not The Docent - Just A Happy Mom Watching Her Child

Signage And Tri-folds Of Information

 There's even some giant sized insects.

A Leafcutter Ant
A Black Scorpion - Shudder!
 After the Sculpture Plaza, we enjoyed seeing the rest of the zoo, and not just the animals. The zoo has many beautiful plants from "all over the world."

California Tree Poppies - Also Known As The "Fried Egg Poppy."
One way the zoo tries to keep the animals from getting bored is by giving them toys. This lioness was enjoying her ball while her mate looked on.

My Ball!
If you'd like to learn more about the San Francisco zoo, you can check out my other blogs

Regarding the San Francisco Zoo . .

A New and Fantastic Playground at the San Francisco Zoo

An Incredible Art Exhibit at the San Francisco Zoo! (A past exhibit) 

and the zoo's website. And remember to bring a jacket; it's usually foggy in the morning. Bring good walking shoes too, it's a very large zoo.

Keep Your Eye(s) Peeled And Have Fun!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Half Moon Bay's Beautiful Coast Side Trail

The six mile Coast Side Trail in Half Moon Bay is one segment of the California Coastal Trail Project  that began with a Save The Coast initiative in 1972.  Only half of it is done; it is a loooong work in progress. Last week I went for an early-morning walk along the trail; I saw bunnies, songbirds, wildflowers, and even a gray whale mother and calf!

This Is The Baby Sticking Its Head Up - Wish I Had A Better Camera!

The Whales Were Incredibly Close, They Hung Out For Around 20 Minutes.
 You can access the trail several different ways. The most common way would be to park at one of the Half Moon Bay State Beaches, such as Dunes Beach or Roosevelt Beach. But you can also park in one of the oceanside neighborhoods and access the trail that way. I parked at the corner of Pilacitos and Wave Avenue, off of Kehoe Ave, from HWY 1. This gets you to the beginning (or end) of the trail.

If You Bring A Dog, Please Remember To Clean Up After It.

There Is Something Magical About The Morning, Although The Trail Is Beautiful Any Time Of Day.

You should bring water, but there are public restrooms and water fountains at the beach parking lots.
Field Of Mustard
A Rufous-Sided Towhee
Hooker's Evening Primrose - A Native Plant

Sweetwood Group Camp
A word about Sweetwood Group Camp - It’s tent camping only, by groups of up to 50 people. Facilities include tables, a fire ring, barbecues, chemical toilets, and parking for 12 vehicles. Call 1-800-444-7275 for reservations.

This Is A Long Tailed Weasel - He Was Popping In And Out Of Holes At The Sweetwood Campground.
One Of Many Beautiful Beaches Along The Trail
I'm Told This Is A Very Good Restaurant, And You Can't Beat The View!
Go Right At Magellan, Then Left To Continue On The Coast Side Trail. This Dirt Path To The Left Leads To A Beach.
You Can Take The Paved Road Or Go Left On The Dirt Road. I Chose The Dirt Road And Walked Along The Cliffs.

Stay Away From The Edge - Erosion Causes The Ground To Give Way Quite Often.
You Can Continue Walking All The Way To Pillar Point Harbor, But Here Is Where I Turned Around.
The Return View . .
If you go: on weekends, if you are coming inland from Highway 92, try to arrive before 10 AM so you can beat traffic. If you are coming during the month of October, arrive even earlier than that because Half Moon Bay is pumpkin crazy during that time and their are many, many visitors.

It can be windy, foggy, or sunny, so wear layers, bring water, snacks and a lunch. There is no place to grab a bite unless you go into a restaurant, and there are not too many along this route. Don't forget your camera or binoculars and have fun!