Lake Merritt and the Rotary Nature Center

Right smack in the middle of Oakland, Lake Merritt is the oldest wildlife refuge in North America, but to most of the people walking by, it is just another city park. In fact, Lake Merritt was designated as a wildlife refuge in 1870, and is home to a vast array of wildlife, including dozens of species of birds, fish, shrimp, clams, mussels, and crabs. The lake is actually a tidal lagoon, fed by the San Francisco Bay to the west, and several creeks coming down from the Oakland hills to the east.

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The Solar Eclipse was Clouded Out in the Bay Area 

Eclipse watchers in the Bay Area, myself included, were disappointed this morning to wake up to cloudy skies. We knew this was a likely possibility, but we hoped that the usual morning fog would clear away in time to see the eclipse. As late as Sunday night, people were still looking for eclipse glasses, and stores were sold out. But those glasses were not needed after all. For most of the Bay Area, the clouds stayed stubbornly in place for the entire eclipse event.

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SF Bay Trail at Eden Landing

In the latest issue of Bay Nature magazine, there was a great article about Eden Landing Ecological Reserve. Eden Landing is on the San Francisco Bay Trail, and it is a section that I have been meaning to visit for a long time, but I just couldn’t get around to it. On a map, Eden Landing looks strange. I knew that it was a vast wetland area, but I really had no idea what to expect. But I am so glad that I went.

Eden Landing was formerly a settlement, founded in 1854. The location was bought a year later by Richard Barron, who changed the name to Barron’s Landing, and it seems that the name was later changed to Edendale later, but I can’t seem to find an exact date. In any case, I like the name Eden Landing.

The big industry here was salt. In the pictures below, you can see some of the ruins of the salt works that still remain.