Salt Marsh to Mudflats 
Docent led adventure by Dr. Curt Beebe

Friday, June 8th, 2001, 5:30 AM

Description:  Salt Marsh to Mudflats.  Visit an environment whose inhabitants endure daily changes of water levels and salinity. See the plants that grow there and consider the food chain they support. Wear shoes for mud, but no wading in deep mud is planned. Binoculars suggested. Meet at the east end of the marina parking lot in Morro Bay State Park. (Easy) 1 mi., 2 hr. 

(Click images below to enlarge. Images are self-explanatory to an extent, by viewing image names on mouse-over.)

The salt marsh and mudflats that we visited are part of the Morro Bay estuary, as seen here later that afternoon from Black Hill _estuary-to-cuesta-by-the-sea-at-low-tide.jpg (183216 bytes).  Docent Dr. Curt Beebe curt-beebe-docent.jpg (163392 bytes) led this very interesting and educational event, attended by several enthusiastic jack-interested-participant.jpg (53940 bytes) participants curt-beebe_jack_heidi_mudflats-walk.jpg (76025 bytes) curt-and-jack.jpg (56917 bytes).  We started before sunrise, watching Venus 6-8-01-venus5.18am.jpg (45308 bytes), and then Mars 6-8-01-mars.5.10am.jpg (65057 bytes) fade in the west sky, to a thrilling sunrise sunrise4-cerro-cabrillo-reflects-in-estuary.jpg (61779 bytes) sunrise-cerro-cabrillo-reflects-in-estuary.jpg (83963 bytes) bw-sunrise-mudflats.jpg (86778 bytes) estuary-toward-los-osos.jpg (52448 bytes) color-sunrise-mudflats.jpg (148045 bytes) mudflats-saltmarsh-at-sunrise.jpg (56545 bytes).  There were thousands of crabs line-shore-crabs.jpg (125609 bytes), a preponderance of pickle weed  pickleweed.jpg (132482 bytes) pickleweed2.jpg (150519 bytes) pickleweed3.jpg (169007 bytes), arrow grass arrow-grass2-by-non-native-ice-plant.jpg (134951 bytes) arrow-grass-by-non-native-ice-plant.jpg (112124 bytes), and a variety of other interesting cur-beebe-examines.jpg (159099 bytes) plant and animal life closeup.jpg (113206 bytes), including many California horn snails horned-snails.jpg (151721 bytes) curt-jack-horned-snails.jpg (78567 bytes) and Monterey pines monterey-pine-cones.jpg (148573 bytes)... oh, and more than a few mosquitoes :)