A visit to the Alviso Flat


Alviso Flat lies just a hundred yards north of the Alviso Marina County Park. Lying to the west of the 1880 South Coast Pacific railroad grade, the flat is a widening of the ditch flanking the rail tracks. I have no idea why the ditch widens here but it makes an interesting and photographic landscape feature. The area fills with a few inches of water during our winter rainy season and tends to dry out in the summer. This has been an exceptionally dry winter so I was a bit surprised to find water in the flat during this January visit. Perhaps it is due to the adjacent salt ponds, which were relatively full, or a connection to the New Chicago Marsh on the other side of the tracks. This marsh is running with much higher water levels since the Salt Pond A16 construction project.

Alviso Flat Alviso Flat

Moody views of the Flat.

As you walk along the levee past Alviso Flat you can see the vague remnants of a few marsh channels. These are much more evident from the air as is the color du jour of the flat’s shallow water (in this case light brown).

Alviso Flat

KAP images often offer surprises, such as these strange growths eminating from the buckle lines in the gypsum pond bottom (note the reflection of the camera cradle and kite).

Fellow KAPper Dave Wheeler, who was visiting from Maryland, accompanied me on this outing. You can see Dave’s white Rokakku kite in several of the images. During our late day hike there were rain showers here and there interspersed with the occasional dollop of sunshine. We stayed dry and the predominant cloud cover made for very nice reflections in the still waters of the Flat.

Alviso Flat

Youthful hiking companions.

I had been out at the Alviso Flat and the Weep just two weeks prior with a group from the Children’s Discovery Museum in San Jose so I have added a few images from that outing to the Flickr set that follows.

Here is a set of images from the session that I have posted to Flickr:


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