The first day I visited the peninsula more than four months ago, I spotted six Yellow-Crowned Night Herons in the low area at the far north end. It seemed this little piece of land belonged to the yellow-crowns. It was common to see several adults, as well as many juveniles, on daily visits. Today, I am lucky to see even one. The season has changed, and while we have some who remain here year-round, a good number of these herons have migrated farther south. The sighting above was a treat, finding this yellow-crown wading amid goldenrod and marsh grass.
The salt cedar (l) is another plant found scattered across the peninsula. This is not a native plant. The small tree with its delicate pink flowers is considered to be an invasive plant. It is originally from Asia and Europe, and is believed to have been brought to the West coast in the 1830s. The photo at the right shows a larger salt cedar–they can grow to 20 feet.
I’ve mentioned the Poison Bean also called Rattlebush before. The pea pods remain on the bush, and the peas inside become loose. When the wind blows, the bush rattles. I couldn’t wait to test this for myself. So I anxiously waited for the pods to turn brown, as seen in the photo at left, then gave the bush a shake. Amazing. Then I couldn’t resist recording it for you. Here it is: Rattlebush.