Bothin Marsh and Turtle Back Hill Nature Trail (10/16/2021)

Today I had my first of two field trips as part of my CCSF class, Ecology of San Francisco Bay. We visited the Bay Model, Bothin Marsh, and Turtle Back Hill Nature Trail (near/part of China Camp State Park).

I was either the oldest or second oldest student! These kids are so young and all want to do Marine Biology or Forestry or on and on, and it’s wonderful to overhear them talk about how they’re not sure what to focus on yet.
Can’t say how nice it was to have a guide through familiar but not truly known sites to me. We even had a Nature Journaling portion at Bothin Marsh. No Bothins were harmed to provide this information. And, a Snowy Egret and a couple Black-necked Stilts kept me company while I drew and observed the Western Marsh Rosemary and Fleshy Russian Thistle and Fat-hen and Pacific Glasswort.

The highlight was Turtle Back Hill Nature Trail. Not because it was chock full of anything, exactly. But, our professor said that the China Camp area is largely untouched/unchanged, ecology-wise. It is entirely impacted by the drought years, but no development for a large portion of the peninsula. Pacific Madrones and gorgeous Manzanitas all around. Oh, and I saw an Osprey in a nest out there!

Overall, a big, long day that started way too early but was pretty satisfying. Outdoor classrooms are pretty sweet, I must say.

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