Sunday, March 4, 2012

Santa Barbara

 I love Santa Barbara.  I could very easily live there.  We rented a small townhouse and went out to see the sights.  We visited the mission and took in the history and the beautiful views, we ate on the pier, shopped on state street, visited UCSB, went to my favorite zoo (twice) and played at the beach.  All in 2 and 1/2 days!!!

 Established on the Feast of Saint Barbara, December 4, 1786, the
Santa Barbara Mission was the 10th (of twenty-one total) 
California Missions founded by the Spanish Franciscans during the 1700's.
 Little Friers. 
 Portions of five units of its extensive water works, built by Indian labor, are preserved in this park, a filter house, Spanish grist mill, sections of aqueducts, and two reservoirs. The larger reservoir, built in 1806, is used today as part of the city water system. Ruins of the pottery kiln and tanning vats are here, also. The fountain and lavadero are nearby in front of the Old Mission. A dam, built in 1807, is located in the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, 
one and one-half miles up Mission Canyon.

The Zoo
 Otters.  The thing I learned about otters is that they are latrine animals.  Meaning that they all go to the bathroom in the same place.  One stinky rock and everywhere else is clean.  Pretty cool!
 The SB zoo is clean, casual, fun and it has lots of cool animals.  It is not too big and the paths are shady and nice.  The kids also like the play ground.

The weather was beautiful on our last morning there, so we went down to chase some seagulls and feel the water.  We played jump rope with the seaweed and played tag, but true to the Anderson way, pretty soon all 4 of my brave little kids were in the water....BURRRR!!!

Just a note on the jump rope kelp:

Kelp only grows on rock, except above Santa Barbara, where it seems to grow in the mud. It is used for food by only about 3 fish. Indirectly it is used by other fish to allow them to extend their range by letting them know where the rocks are. They follow the kelp down to the rocks like divers do. Fish population is dependent on the rocks under the kelp, not the kelp. In a rocky kelp forest, the fish population may be up around 35 pounds per acre. This is also true in a rocky reef where there is no kelp such as Guadeloupe Island. In the Santa Barbara area, where the bottom under the kelp is not rocky, the fish are about 3 pounds per acre. Fish need hiding places from predators and kelp helps, but is just not what it takes. The invertebrates, urchins and mollusks (abalone) are the ones that really eat the kelp. They mostly eat the kelp leaves that have broken off and drifted to the bottom. Over populations of urchins may destroy a kelp bed by attacking the holdfasts of the kelp plants.

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