Twentyone: Baylands Fun

Continuing the ‘Creeks and Rivers of Silicon Valley’ year long project. (Click here for complete info.)

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180 degree panorama from the Lucy Evans Center
180 degree panorama from the Lucy Evans Center

Ringing the lower San Francisco Bay is a wonderland of estuaries, marshes, ponds, tidal and fresh water habitats, accompanied by an amazing amount of small animals and particularly rich in bird life. It is a major migratory stopover on the Pacific Flyway and one of the best bird watching areas on the west coast.

The Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve is the largest remaing tract of undisturbed marshland in the San Francisco Bay area. Over the years, actually since the 1850’s, much of the bay’s shoreline had been converted to salt evaporation ponds for the production of sea salt. These are really quite pretty from the air. Much of that is being restored now to its natural state, but some still remain.

Once again, the Los Gatos group was out painting a place on my “to-do-list”, so I joined them again! We painted close to the Lucy Evans Nature Center. There was a good painting everywhere you turned. One friend in the Los Gatos group asked if this qualifies as a Creek or River in Silicon Valley. Most assuredly yes, I replied. The water is the estuaries formed by the San Fransiquito and Matadero Creeks as they empty into the bay.

Click this link for a map of all painting locations.

Some pictures of the day. You can now click on a thumbnail, then scroll directly from picture to picture—

I love the abstract shapes of the marshes with their islands of grass and the water reflecting the sky, so that was the focus of my painting. This is the first painting in the series which actually shows San Francisco Bay.

Baylands Fun, 8x10,oil on board
Baylands Fun, 8×10,oil on board

The distant shore is the East Bay Foothills above the Newark/Fremont area, and to the left going out of frame would be the Dumbarton Bridge. On the right distant shoreline, I indicated a few of the huge salt piles (which were really there). My guess is these are over 50 feet high. San Francisco Bay is the water just in front of the distant shore.

I plan on painting more around the bayshore before the project is finished. In fact will be painting on the distant shoreline looking back this way soon enough.