Canal Memories with Michael – 25 March 2013

Monday fish wrap?

The Pickleweed Park area proved to provide a terrific new hike! We followed a water level route along the San Rafael Creek enjoying a visual feast of waterbird and shorebird sightings all along the way. This was one of our dog-friendly walks and three four-footed visitors added a great deal to the group ambience. In one sense, we were all getting a view of Maureen Valentine’s world – our friend who passed away last October 17th. Anne Caple pointed out her house to us and her “window” as we walked past on Monday.

Here’s a 1959 top map showing the area of the hike. It refers to the off shore islands at West and East Marin Islands. Just to the north off Pt. San Pedro it notes some other islands as “The Sisters”. Across San Pablo Bay, “The Brothers” are just off Pt. San Pablo. Curiously it refers to Mt. Tamalpais Game Refuge, the State Park was designated in 1963 just a year after Pt. Reyes National Seashore.

On an earlier walk we talked about the West and East Marin Islands. Peter Fimrite who writes so well in the SF Chronicle had an article in 2004 that detailed some history of the Marin Islands:

Pickleweed Park is a tribute to the efforts of the Canal Alliance whose advocacy for the community has provided opportunities for the people of this area of San Rafael to shine and succeed.

Scott was asking about the history of the area. Here is a lovely interactive map of Marin County Ranchos from the Anne T. Kent Room of the Marin County Library at Civic Center.

Our hike area is entitled somewhat discouragingly designated as “Swamp Lands” but this was before it was appreciated as tidal marshes. The original “Grantee” was Timothy Murphy (Timoteo Murphy) on February 14, 1844. Here is a brief but really colorful history of Alcalde Murphy:

More recently the area was the scene of a variety of companies owned by George Lucas (among others), originally Kerner Optical described as a ghost name for what is Industrial Light and Magic before he moved to the Presidio in 2006. Less recently, I recall the derelict remains of a drive-in theater on Bellam at Kerner now a small shopping center. Still more to discover.

Michael speaking Pickleweed

Getting to know you

Bird watching

Dog watching

Enjoying a tour of Karen and Armand’s BAMBI, they were off to the Pinnacles National Park. Michael also has a beautiful BAMBI. If you look up Bambi Trailer, what do you think you’ll find? Probably not this link:

Yes, many gorgeous birds on the hike. I think this is a California Coast Song Sparrow but I defer to Michael and my better birder friends . . White Throated Sparrow, Fox Sparrow mystery sparrow?

So many lovely moments: Black Oyster Catchers, Double Crested Cormorants, Gadwalls (remember Wall Street), Canada Geese (so common and so amazing), Canvasbacks, Scaups (Greater or Lesser?) Clark’s Grebe also with that technicolor RED eye, American Avocet, Anna’s Hummingbird, Northern Mocking Bird, and a remarkably large Toucan. Please add to this partial list, thanks

Ceanothus frames the trail and a hiker as it and he head toward the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.

Cat walking, ah, dog walking off the Bay

Best thoughts and memories, Lew

P.S. Slide show to come separately, thanks.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s