Beauty above, terror below…I thought I knew the Indian paintbrush…How could it hide this dark side from me? This was one of the day’s revelations aboard National Geographic Sea Bird while hiking with Jon Rebman from the San Diego Natural History Museum, digging into the botany of Santa Cruz Island. One of the intriguing aspects of excursions with Lindblad is the mix of people that come together for a time and the sharing and learning that occurs. Jon provided a unique lens and perspective with which to view the islands plant behaviors and adaptations. One of the hike’s insights was the quasi-parasitic nature of the Indian paintbrush, a beautiful plant that photosynthesizes but also uses its roots to sap nutrients from its neighboring plants: the paintbrushes dark side thus revealed. (Thanks for a great hike, Jon!)
National Geographic Venture
The most beautiful day of the trip broke just opposite Catalina Island and cast a gorgeous glow onto the town of Avalon. We went ashore into the bustling harbor and made our way into town. Some chose to find their own way through the streets amid the golf carts, while others took a walk up to the botanical gardens or the historic casino. Afterwards we returned to National Geographic Venture and set sail to the other side of Catalina Island for some more wild activities. We landed at Little Harbor and set up a beach party. Some opted for guided kayaking, some sprung for a long hike. Still others enjoyed their own meanderings on the beach or margaritas served onshore by the bar team. The sun set in a glorious Southern California fashion and closed out a beautiful trip.