Santa Cruz Island, January 2018

Earlier this month, several of us took a field trip to Santa Cruz Island to continue our research project on foliar water uptake in island ferns. This time, we were transplanting island ferns to the mainland for further experiments.

As always, the boat ride was fantastic! Dolphins followed us part of the way, and the fog was clearly visible around the island as we approached.

The island has many different microsites with small differences in climate. Thus, we needed to travel all over the island to locate our eight diverse fern species!

Many of the fern species were located near the west end of the island in Christy Pines. This seems like a logical place for the ferns to grow because this west end of the island is frequently foggy. After collecting the ferns, we continued past Christy Pines to Christy Beach.

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Gaby at Christy Beach

The next day, we drove back to the dock at Prisoners’ Harbor. From there we hiked to Pelican Bay, where the rest of our fern species grow. There is a small perennial water source near Pelican Bay, and many of the dehydration sensitive evergreen ferns grow there.

It was certainly a successful trip! I am excited for the experiments we will run over the next few months, and I am definitely looking forward to returning to the island.

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Leaving Santa Cruz Island

Superbloom in Anza Borrego Desert

Last week, my friend Sabrina and I went to the Anza Borrego desert to check out the superbloom! Many of the flowers grew close to the roadside.

We found some beautiful Cheilanthes parryi! This small fuzzy white fern grows primarily in the shade of large rocks on the shady side of the hill.




Monterey and Point Lobos

Here are some of the photos I took at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Point Lobos. The weather was beautiful, and I even caught a glimpse of a rainbow over the ocean!


The Monterey Bay Aquarium is featuring an excellent exhibit called “Tentacles.” The octopuses (octopodes?) changed colors several times while we watched.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is located right next to Stanford’s Hopkins Marine Station, where scientists perform world-class research right in the bay.

After Monterey, my friends and I explored Point Lobos, located 20 minutes south of Monterey. First we visited Whalers’ Cove, named for the 19th century Chinese fishermen.

On the trail we found ferns!


My friends and I enjoyed exploring the tide pools.

I’m looking forward to going back!




Nature Photography, December 2016


Here are some of my favorite pictures from my recent travels! Photo credits: Helen Holmlund. Please ask permission before using.