About a dozen people joined Amelia Ryan for a hike through the Bishop Pine forest at Tomales Bay State Park. The morning was foggy, but served to enhance the stately appearance of the trees and the lush undergrowth. In addition to the bishop pine (Pinus muricata), several members of the Ericaceae (Heath Family) were identified and discussed, including huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum), madrone (Arbutus menziesii), salal (Gaultheria shallon), the rare Marin manzanita (Arctostaphylos virgata), Eastwood manzanita (A. glandulosa ssp. glandulosa) and Labrador tea (Rhododendron columbianum). Several fern species were also highlighted, most notably deer fern (Blechnum spicant). At the midpoint of the loop, the group lunched on Pebble Beach where they saw several species of wildlife including terns and cormorants, a large flock of fifth-graders, and a bat ray.
Text by Amelia Ryan, photos by Doreen and Vernon Smith.