Grant ranch circumambulation

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In late 2002 I damaged both Achilles tendons; my logbook for 2003 is almost empty. That’s when I had to quit doing long distance bike rides and take up long distance hiking instead. It’s better now, but I still need to be careful: if my ankles hurt, I take a day or two off. The steep hike on China’s great wall was enough load on my ankles that I have been taking it easy since then, 15-mile hikes on the weekends with less than 3000 feet of elevation gain. But I thought I might be okay for a serious hike this weekend: the Grant ranch circumambulation, 21.2 miles, 4500 vertical feet.

Sore ankles. I’ll take a few days off.

Usually the camera focusses on the nearest objects. Once in a while, it actually pays to read the user manual: there is a setting on this camera that causes it to focus on the most distant object instead, in this case Lick observatory.

One of the more interesting spots on this hike is a little stream whose bed is actually the trail for some little distance. It tends to dry up in summer, but at this time of year, there are likely to be small animals if you look carefully, maybe turning over a rock or two.

I have no idea what these little guys are. Insect larvae, I suppose.

I don’t think I have ever seen a western skink in previous years, but this is the second one in a month. Interesting how either the population of various animals waxes and wanes over the years, or maybe how my ability to perceive them changes.

These are more along the lines of the usual lizards we see all over the place.

Lots of butterflies. I liked the way this one was just casually perched on a nascent grass seed.

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