California Least Tern

California Least Tern at the Alviso Slough Trail at the Don Edwards SF Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Alviso (San Jose)

The California Least Tern is one of a few Tern species. They are still considered an endangered bird species. The bird is relatively small measuring ten inches with a wing length of four inches and weighing only 45-55 grams. Their diet consists of diving towards the water picking off fish just below the surface. California Least Terns are identified by a short, forked tail, and a long, slightly decurved, tapered bill. Their territory is only in the United States along the immediate coast of California from San Francisco Bay south to the Mexican border. But due to coastal development and intense human recreational use of beaches the numbers greatly diminished with numbers around 6,000 pairs today.

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Lithops

Colorful Lithops

Lithops are drought resistant succulents grown by seeds and can be either located indoors or outdoors. Another name for Lithops are living stones or flowering stones. They are originally from Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa. Lithops are only 2.5 cm (1.2”) in size and only need to water when completely dry. Soil is the main the potting mixture mixed with perlite, pumice, sand, and fine lava. They avoid being eaten by blending in with surrounding rocks. Lithops are known to be popular house plants and there are 37 species of Lithops and 145 varieties.

Fair Play Rose

San Jose Heritage Rose Garden at Guadalupe River Park in San Jose, CA May 2022

Fair Play Rose

Rosaceae Family

1 ft. to 5 ft. size

1 ft. to 5 ft. width

edibles, shrubs

medium leaves, deciduous

purples, reds

Bloomtime Range: Early Summer to Mid Fall

Asukayama Park Tokyo

Asukayama Park in Kita-ku Tokyo

Asukayama Park is a public park near Oji station in Kita-ku in Northern Tokyo. It is known for Cherry Blossom viewing during the beginning of Springtime with over 600 Japanese cherry trees. It’s history started during the 18th century, when, shogun Yoshimune Tokugawa (1684-1751) built the premises for Edo’s (Tokyo) population. It was one of first public parks in Tokyo. In addition, one can watch the JR Keihin-Tohoku and the Tohoku Shinkansen pass by from the pedestrian crosswalk near the South exit of the Oji Station. To access Asukuyama Park get off at either 1. Oji Station: JR Keihin-Tohoku Line or Tokyo Metro Namboku Line 2. Asukayama Station: Toden Arakawa Line 3. Oji-Ekimae Station: Toden Arakawa Line.

Turkey Vulture

Turkey Vulture photograph taken on the Alviso Slough Trail at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Alviso (San Jose) August 2021.

Turkey Vultures are fairly large birds with long, broad wings. Their colors are dark brown with a featherless red head and pale bill. They are graceful but unsteady soarers and fly low to the ground and have a great sense of smell. Turkey Vultures are scavengers and can be seen at roadsides, farm fields, countryside, and landfills. They help clean the environment by eating flesh off dead animals before they decay. Researchers have noted that turkey vultures can travel 200 miles a day. Their life span is up to 24 years old and they live in Southern, Canada, North America, and South America.

Summer Design


Alviso Slough Trail taken at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Alviso July 2021

Today’s weather

 

 

Tides and currents

 

 

Nature’s paintbrush