Saturday, November 19, 2005

I feel so butch!

This morning I went over to Pacifica to do some extra credit (i.e., yard work) for the bio class I'm taking at CCSF. My bio teacher has an agreement with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy to help do some necessary clean-up work for the various parks all over the Bay Area, and luckily the one I had to go to, Milagra Ridge, was a short 10 minute drive.

My friend and I got there just a couple of minutes late, but late enough so that we didn't have to pull up grasses and deal with poison oak. We ended up getting to clear off South African ice plants which are planted by CalTrans to fight erosion along the beaches, like SF's Ocean Beach, but are a nuisance in other areas around the bay since they reduce biodiversity by crowding out native plants since these plants thrive in the Bay Area because our climates are similar. They were actually pretty easy to clear out, and we were treated to wonderful views of Pacifica (one of the few days where it wasn't completely foggy!) and a mini history lecture of the place.

Apparently, during World War II, the whole place was a site for nuclear missile defense. Fortunately for us, they realized that the nuclear fallout from any missiles launched from that area would be blown right back into the Bay, thanks to the ocean breezes that come onshore, and so these outposts were abandoned. Another funny fact was that in an attempt to hide these defense outposts, the government had originally tried to camouflage these outposts by planting trees. However, because the California coastline is primarily brush plants, the trees had the unintended effect of making them stand out even more from the air. As the (cute) guide told us, if you see a bunch of trees along the coast, more likely than not, they're old WW2 defense outposts. Before these outposts, the whole area was all artichoke farms, which are now solely located in the Monterey Bay.

Pictures from this morning are in my FlickR filmstrip on the side.


:: jozjozjoz :: said...

That's right, butchie!

Mags said...

Very interesting! I just hiked Milagra Ridge yesterday. It's a beautiful and short hike, but the views from the two highest points are spectacular. Thanks to you and all the volunteers who helped clear out that ice plant shit.

Interesting info re: the nuclear stuff. I live like, 2 minutes from MR. Pretty freaky thought. Good thing they abandoned that idea...