See which way the wind blows

See which way the wind blows

“When hot air rises, cooler air rushes in to fill the space it leaves, thus making wind at the land’s surface.” This quote is from an educational sign at San Mateo’s Seal Point Park ‘Wind Walk’.

This park is located next to the bay. I started the walk at the top, where you can also park your car.

Wind rose sculpture by Reed-Madden DesignsThe first sculpture there is a wind rose with multiple layers that spin. Next to it are three interestingly shaped sculptures.

One looks like two giant cymbals, one an organ and one a tree-like piece. Wind sculpture at Seal Point Park

If you follow the lower path you will walk by three groups of three wind structures. Only one of the nine was moving when I was there. It might be that the wind was not very strong.

Windstruments by Reed-Madden DesignsThis is all built on a landfill. So, I congratulate the city of San Mateo to create a great retreat out of some rubbish. I’m not quite sure the sculptures work as proof of wind, but they are interesting to look at nonetheless.

Do you know of any wind sculptures?

Transport yourself to Arizona

Transport yourself to Arizona

Why Stanford’s Arizona Garden a blooming cactusis also called Cactus Garden is quite obvious when you come closer. Here are more than 500 species of cacti and succulent. In fact, these species are from around the world, not just local to Arizona.

 

I was there when some of them were in bloom; what a spectacular site!

 

While lizards are native they tend to be rare to find, but here you have a great chance to see them. We saw at least three on our little excursion.

another cactusYou can find this free garden between Campus Drive and Arboretum Road. It  is a bit of a hidden treasure; when I asked about this in the visitor center, the students had to ask around to find out where it was.

 

Have you ever been to this garden?  What did you think?

 

Do you have another favorite public garden?

Where the secret giants are

Where the secret giants are

 

giant redwoods at Muir Woods One of the must-sees for every visitor coming to the Bay Area are those “really big trees”. If you can, head over to Muir Woods and enjoy the short to medium hikes among the redwoods. If you like to park your car nearby you have to get there really early. Due to the micro climate it might even be a little damp.

Here in Silicon Valley there are a few patches of redwoods spread out. Notable is the walk at Redwood Grove Nature Preserve in Los Altos. This is only a short drive away, but it sure does transport you into the woods. Since this is a well kept secret you probably have the place to yourself. It is not much of a hike, just for show and tell. If you like you could have a picnic at next doors Shoup Park

Happy Earth Day! Now go hug a tree!

Lili hugging a redwood

Do you know a good spot to see redwoods?

 

The difference between a Redwood and a giant Sequoia

The trees you find around here are the redwoods. A redwood is the tallest of trees and can reach heights of more than 350 feet / 107 meters.  The giant sequoia is the world’s largest tree. It can grow to about 30 feet / 9 meters in diameter. To see the giant sequoia you have to go near the Sierra Nevada, as it grows only at elevations of 4,000 to 8,000 feet.

Read more at:

http://www.livescience.com/39461-sequoias-redwood-trees.html

https://www.nps.gov/parkhistory/online_books/cook/sec2.htm