Wednesday, July 16, 2014

San Benito and hiking around the park.

Whenever we move its usually on a Monday and July 6th was no exception.  We left Rancho Oso following Bill and Diane in their rig headed for the San Benito Valley.  Southern California terrain is made up of high hills or low mountains with wide shallow level valleys between.  We drove the usual up the mountain, down the curves, along the valleys.  We drove from marine cover to clear skies, back through the cover, and on to partly cloudy skies.  We drove highways and byways with no incidents. 

At a rest stop we ate lunch.  I noticed this windmill because it was white.  

This is a very unusual sight--the only oil pumps we've seen in CA.  There was a string of them directly alongside the highway.

All of the valleys include huge fields of produce--broccoli, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, garlic, strawberries, etc.

Fruit/nut trees are in abundance--pistachios, apricots, peaches, citrus, nectarines, cherries

and nowhere is without the grapevines.  Hundreds of vineyards can be seen everywhere.  The San Benito Valley differs from the others we've seen in that here the vines are planted on the hillsides.

We finally arrived at our new home for two weeks.  

Since there is no pickleball court, we are back to walking every morning.  Below are some of the things we've seen around the park.

Mom and baby.  We saw the baby one evening alone but of course had no camera.

acorn woodpecker

There is a short walking trail partway around the park, but one day we walked up the hill out of the park and down the road to take pix of this horse herd.  Horses are prominent in these valleys, with only a few small herds of cattle.

The effects of the drought are very evident.  This is the dry season, and it is not unusual for the grass to be brown, but the grass is very brittle and broken.  These horses are fed hay every day.

View from the hill.  The park is situated just the other side of the trees in front.

Besides woodpeckers, there are Steller's jays, western scrub jays, hummingbirds, doves, robins, quail, crows, and magpies like the one below.

This looks like a Mexican/Arizona/Texas jay but I'm not sure.

Water for the wildlife

Acorn woodpeckers are so called because they drill a hole and stuff it with an acorn.  This dead tree was riddled but still standing.

The weather here is the same as everywhere we've been in CA--cloudy and cool or clear and cool turning to sunny and warm and back again.  It gets hot when the wind doesn't blow and when it blows warm in the afternoons.  Most days it is very pleasant.

Next time, we expand our explorations.

Louise and Duane

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