Alkali. It’s a thing.

Yesterday’s non-hermit activity was going to a nature place less than a mile from where we staying. It’s on a fascinating tidal lagoon.

Lagoon from the trail

The place was CRAWLING with wee ones. It’s actually one of the nicest interactive nature exhibits for children that I’ve ever seen. There was so much for them to do and see, from making kites to painting rocks to interacting with the birds and reptiles the place takes care of.

Coastal golden bush. Bugs, too.

It’s the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation nature center, discovery center, or something. As I took photos of the native plants around the trail, which was relatively child free, I discovered that many of the plants are specific to the Pacific coastline. Lots of them have “alkali” in their names.

Interesting, huh? Carlsbad is actually famous for alkali water, which I didn’t know before. The area we were in consists of vernal pools, which have lots of marsh and alkaline-living plants. I learned something! Vernal pools are common in the Mediterranean, but are also found in California.

This gorgeous thing is Algerian sea lavender. Obviously introduced, as are so many plants here.

I really enjoyed the walk and all the new plants I discovered. It’s obvious that it’s very dry here. I can see why the fire danger is so high. The natural areas are so brown. But there’s beauty. Here are some more plants.

Later yesterday we walked around the resort. Again, I was amazed at how many Australian plants they’ve put here. There are lots of these tuckeroo trees with annoying seeds all over the paths. I guess they have other redeeming qualities.

And there are tons of eucalyptus trees. They smell just like eucalyptus!

Yep. This is an interesting place. I’m glad I’m getting to learn about these different ecosystems. That’s my idea of vacation fun.

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

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