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All across the country Kossacks gathered to meet up with like-minded people, sharing drink, food and great conversation. The SFKossacks were one of these groups, but we took it to a different level.

Our get-together was smaller than usual as we traveled south to Elkhorn Slough located between Watsonville and Monterey. Those in attendance included angelajean, Mr. angelajean, lineatus, remembrance (my wife), our little one (TLO), thousands of living creatures and a couple departed creatures.

Follow me below the KosKarcass for more...

We got an early start driving about an hour to the predetermined meeting place, of course allowing for a few wrong turns for which I am famous. We were greeted by our smiling tour guide lineatus who was waiting with fresh strawberries and treats for TLO. After signing in at the ranger station, we got a warning to be on the look out for mountain lions and a dead deer carcass. lineatus led the way pointing out the different birds, some seen and some identified by their call. It wasn't long before we were tempted to jump the railings to follow an unusual sound coming from down by the slough.

We never found what was making the noises...

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but did find a deer carcass that was pretty well cleaned up by the vultures...

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We eventually got back on the trail and headed to a blind overlooking the slough...

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We saw Terns and trains...

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And Pelicans drying their feet during low tide...

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The seals were also soaking up some of the fog filtered sun...

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But it wasn't all birds and seals, we also saw many pollinators...

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On the way back for a lunch break and to gather the rest of our group we ran across an old barn and (maybe) a chicken tractor...

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and a beautiful yellow poppy...

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Then back on the trail...

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and on to a rickety old pier...

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but it was worth the risk when we found this Blue Heron preening his beautiful plumage...

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and the shy crabs scurrying about on the pier...

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and rocks...

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Back on terra firma we found this little orange parasitic vine in bloom...

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more pretty flowers...

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more walking...

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more pollinators...

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all leading us to...

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but first we had some tracks to cross...

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and bridges to go over...

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hmmm..??..this is not a hummingbird...why I otter...

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By now it was getting late, so we headed back towards the car. We had no Egrets...

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but this owl did...as predator turned to prey...

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The vulture lives for others' regrets and he is very vigilant...

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...as he keeps an eye on his meal...

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Well we never did see a mountain lion, but he may have been near...

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One last decision was thrown at us. I was the only one excited about checking out the toilets, so we continued on...

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After our day at the slough lineatus invited us up for dinner at her cabin in the Santa Cruz Mountains. As we drove aimlessly thru the mountain roads Mr. lineatus cooked up some great chicken, served with corn on the cob, salad and wine. Harlan the parrot enjoyed and entertained as he devoured the remaining corn.

Things got blurry after that, but I do remember celebrating my beautiful wife's birthday with some cake before heading home...

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One last thing for me to do, thank my beautiful wife for having the patience and tolerance to put up with my silliness. I love you more than you will ever know. and to you always..!!

4:59 PM PT: Okay...make that seven...Sebastopol represents..!!


Originally posted to The Plumber's Throne on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 03:43 PM PDT.

Also republished by Kitchen Table Kibitzing, Birds and Birdwatching, and SFKossacks.

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