Monday, December 17, 2012

Coastal Visit ´˜ California - Cemetery Surprise in Saratoga - Glessner and Browns

Here are Kevin and Jeff, two guys  from San Jose I met in South Dakota at a traditional ceremony in August of this year.   Not knowing what was in store for me, Kevin suggested a spontaneous trip to Ano Nuevo State Park, which is north of Santa Cruz on Sunday.  Kevin is a public school math teacher and Jeff is a student at San Jose College not far from where he lives.   Here they are on our way into the park for the 10:30 walk to the area of the elephant seals. 

On our way to meeting our docent, we found out the current census of elephant seals.  The males show up first and the females gradually come in.  We are at the beginning of the winter season I learned. 

Looking back at the visitors center and Hwy 1, we first heard the vocalizations of the male seals, some describe as a Harley turning over without firing.  Wonder how they were described before the internal combustion engine :-)

Rob Wamstad is our docent, who has Norwegian Ancestry and very much interested in the natural history of the area.   This shows the migration pattern of the males and females up to Alaska and back down to the California coast for mating in one season (winter) and molting in the summer!
An effective teacher, here Rob engages Leo, a lad from Sussex England on the sandy trail to where the elephant seals are coming on shore. It was Robs first group of the season, as the park just opened over the past couple of days for the seal walk. 
Here is a female, the light brown one, with gray drift wood nearer. 

Near the end of our 2 1/2 walk,  Jeff took this photo of me with a resting elephant seal on the beach in the background.  Amazing sounds of life and the surf.

Having our long walk to see the seals, Jeff directed us down the coast to Moss Landing inward from the big PG and E power plant where his tribal land has been established.  In the background is a wonderful estuary where we walked along a railroad track noticing all the wildlife, birds, harbor seals and quiet!   Great to see an initi frame here as well. 

Jeff and Kevin sharing a meal of seafood and all, (pickled artichokes, as Watsonville, nearby is dubbed the artichoke capital.) MMMM

Monday morning after a night at Kevin and Nancy's in the east hills of San Jose, I found the Madronia Cemetery where the Glessners, my great uncle Lewis W, his wife Helen Macgill and Robert Glessner's first wife,  Gertrude, are interred in a family plot.  

One big surprise here is that Mary Brown the wife of the famous John Brown of Harper's Ferry at the beginning of the American War of Succession, sometimes referred to as the "Civil War" as if any W.A.R. is civil.    My son Jesse married into the Brown Family in May, so it is very interesting the thread here. 

Glessner family plot - Lewis, Helen, Gertrude. 
The author here leaning on a Metasequoia (dawn redwood). Interesting it was rediscovered in China in the 1940's and introduced around the world.  Unlike the native redwoods, it is deciduous and loses its needles for the winter.

Metasequoia was first described as a fossil from the Mesozoic Era by Shigeru Miki in 1941, but in 1944, a small stand of an unidentified tree species was discovered in China in Modaoxi (磨刀溪; presently, Moudao (谋道), in Lichuan County, Hubei[7]) by Zhan Wang. Due to World War II, these were not studied further until 1946, and only finally described as a new living species of Metasequoiain 1948 by Wan Chun Cheng and Hu Hsen Hsu
1941, but in 1944, a small stand of an unidentified tree species was discovered in China in Modaoxi (磨刀溪; presently, Moudao (谋道), in Lichuan County, Hubei[7]) by Zhan Wang

A view of Silicon Valley as I drove on the ridge of mountains from Saratoga, stopping for lunch at Alice's Restaurant made famous by the Arlo Guthrie song. 

A welcome rest and place to listen to the surf and take a nap. Half Moon Bay, Kelly Beach.  Being really Embodied with Self Awareness of being at one with the ocean and life.  I just love this little group of shore birds.  So dear....:-)

Looking south at Half Moon Beach with a gathering of gulls. 

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