Monday, August 1, 2016

Amongst Elfin Pigmies

For many years I've heard about the Elfin Forest in Los Osos adjacent to the Morro Bay Estuary. I've driven by some of its trailheads on previous occasions, too, but never took the time to stop there and walk. That changed today as I visited it with my friends Kameron, Blake and his girlfriend Krystal. It was overcast with a thin veil of coastal stratus which gave some measure of respite from the harsh August sun and heat battering points further inland. I was in this area last week looking for a place to walk my dog which I was unable to do given California State Park's open hostility towards dogs or anything else non-native aside from people. This locality is under the management of San Luis Obispo County Parks and allows dogs on leashes which means I'll be back soon I hope with my little monster Tequila.

This tragic fiery head-on collision on Highway 46 East near Shandon is still seared in my mind. I was rather surprised that it was in any connected to this place but it is a most appropriate tribute.
I'm glad I visited this place before it might burn given the ongoing drought cum new drier normal and how heavy are the fuels here. A fire in here would really change the place in a way that it would take longer than my remaining lifetime to return to its former state.
I love the artistic patterns created by the Creator on this mudflat.
That is Morro Strand in the distance capped with sand dunes.
This was my first encounter with a dwarf forest of pigmy oaks.
Although not present in this image, there were patches of ferns growing scattered throughout this preserve.
All photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

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