Archive for December, 2009

California giant salamander

December 31, 2009
California giant salamander

California giant salamander

The first one I have ever seen, and I wouldn’t have seen this one had I not been photographing nearby fungi. Purisima redwoods open space preserve, San Mateo county, Ca, 2009 December 31.

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Grant ranch 09 12 21

December 23, 2009

2009 December 21, Monday

Saturday, my colleague Elmar and I hiked 16 miles (3000 vertical feet) in Stevens canyon. Sunday was a rest day. On Monday, I decided to try for the circumambulation of Grant ranch, about 21 miles, 4500 vertical feet.

Started at Washburn trail at 7:30. After an hour or three, I wondered whether I had enough daylight for the complete circumambulation. Running numbers in my head, but I don’t know what time sunset is… After a while, it occurred to me that GPS really ought to know such things, and sure enough, my GPS receiver told me that sunset was at 4:52. A cloudy day, so it would be good to finish at least by then.

I met no one all day long. Lots of deer, including a buck with one antler, two good-sized herds of wild turkeys, a coyote. Nice day.

Well, nice except for the rain. An hour of moderate rain over in the corner closest to Lick observatory, then a break for an hour, and then real rain for the remainder of the hike. I was especially concerned about the last part, Heron trail and Edwards loop, which can become real muckholes when they’re softened by rain and the cows have churned them into continuous pits a foot deep. But it’s still early enough in the season that the cow tracks are only an inch or so deep into the mud, and though it was definitely squidgy, it didn’t bog me down completely.

Finished about 3:30. Good to turn the heat up all the way in the car and warm up a bit. I had a rain shell, and a padded vest under it, but my gloves were soaked and of course I was wet from the waist down. Not the most comfortable of days, but definitely a good day.