Sunday, April 10, 2016

Return To Seattle

I made it back to seattle, by driving with my friend Wes, up from San Carlos, Sonora.  What a trip!  We crossed the border into the USA without trouble, and went towards the Salton Sea, where we saw some nice bunnies and California Quail, as well as passing tons of solar power plants.  There are normal silicon panels, as well as one kind that uses tons of half-pipe kind of mirrors to focus the light onto tubes.  The tubes all run together and the heated liquid goes to a central cooling station where the power is taken out, probably by steam turbines.  I think its a great solution-low cost since there isn't so much refined silicon needed, and probably more efficient than the silicon anyways.  
We also stopped at a sand dunes area, east of the Salton Sea.  There were sand dunes only on one side of the road, and the other side was more grown in. I was wondering if the sand dunes were possibly created by the people driving their cars over the sand and killing the plants that would turn the dune into a hill.  Another possibility, since the area is the ancient mouth of the Colorado River, is that the advent of farming loosened the soil and the sand began to dune up after that.  In any case, there were large areas nearby that were not creating dunes and I thought it was human influenced in some way.

 At the Salton Sea we saw a bunch of ducks, and I believe these are Ruddy Ducks. They might just be the first Ruddy Ducks I have ever seen.  I cannot recall a previous sighting.
 We proceeded to LA to visit my brother and his family, and then onwards up the coast to Monterey Bay, where we saw a loon on land.  Crazy!
 And my favorite bird sighting of the trip was an American Avocet in mating plumage.  I've seen these before twice, but never in mating plumage.  I noticed that they sweep their bills side to side to collect things in the mud.  It probably helps to have an upturned bill.
 Our final night was spent near the Redwoods, along the coast of Northern California, in a secret spot overlooking the ocean and a lagoon.  It was a strange night, because it might have been the warmest night of the trip.  It was warm, there was no dew and the next day it was 85 degrees as we drove along.  Now that I am in Seattle, it feels like July.  The weather is very strange, and probably will be getting stranger.
I also made a video of the trip in Altair north from La Cruz de Huanacaxtle (in Nayarit) to San Carlos (Sonora).  I hope you enjoy it.

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