Friday, October 11, 2013

Life in the Snail Lane

Another couple days in Mountain View and a few more images that I took back to Seattle.

A milk snail (Otala lactea) crossing the trail that runs a few feet north Amphitheatre Pkwy. On this particular morning, I’m heading east toward Crittenden Lane around 8:15 am on a trusty GBike. I stop to take a picture of a snail, thinking about how I could have run it over. The snail crossing the trail is perhaps a good analogy to what I’m feeling about my job at the moment. I’ve photographed O. lactea on a few previous occasions in and around Vista Slope, the 65-acre park bordered by Permanente Creek on the west, Amphitheatre Pkwy on the south, and Shoreline Amphitheatre on the east.

Left: Otala lactea crossing a trail near Vista Slope; Right: Otala lactea on a Deborah Butterfield Horse
A milk snail (Otala lactea) A milk snail (Otala lactea)

Left: Climbing up to Vista Slope; Center: View of Moffett Field from Vista Slope; Right: View of South Bay from Vista Slope
Climbing up to Vista SlopeView of Moffett Field from Vista SlopeView of South Bay from Vista Slope

The bronze Deborah Butterfield Horse is technically in an open space called the Crittenden Site. I always feel compelled to stop and take a photo. A few months ago, when I stopped and explored the horse closely, I found a geocaching.com capsule in it’s jawbone. I wonder who is this Crittenden that lends his or her name to a lane, a park area, and other places and institutions around Mountain View? John J. Crittenden?

Left: Deborah Butterfield Horse in Crittenden Site; Right: Geocaching capsule in the horse
Deborah Butterfield Horse in Crittenden SiteGeocaching capsule in the horse

William King’s Vision Sculpture [1987] is a prominent landmark on Charleston Road. The three-story sculpture features a boy leaning out of a window. Or is that a cage that surrounds him? The boy is looking toward Vista Slope. Perhaps looking for a big O. lactea to eat…they are edible.

William King’s Vision Sculpture – Google Campus
William King’s Vision Sculpture – Google CampusWilliam King’s Vision Sculpture – Google CampusWilliam King’s Vision Sculpture – Google Campus

Left: A glimmer of the Google logo; Right: Nighttime at Crittenden waiting for a bus with a GBike
A glimmer of the Google logoNighttime at Crittenden waiting for a bus with a GBike

Schinus molle
– known by many common names like Peruvian peppertree (my favorite) – is a tree I’ve started to notice on on the streets and the wild places along trails and creeks. S. molle is part of the cashew or sumac family (Anacardiaceae). Quattrocchi says of the generic name: “From schinos, the Greek name for the mastic tree, Pistacia lentiscus L., Latin schino or schinus, i, as some species yield mastic-like juices or resin; see Carl Linnaeus, Species Plantarum. 388. 1753 and Genera Plantarum. Ed. 5. 184. 1754.”

Left: Schinus molle flowers; Right: Schinus molle tree on North Shoreline BlvdSchinus molle flowersSchinus molle tree on North Shoreline Blvd

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