The beauties of Grant ranch

by

26 November 2011

The weather is good, so I want to do a hike every day during the holiday weekend. Therefore, I’m not going to do any killer hikes, which would imply rest days. Grant ranch today, but only an inner trail loop (14 miles, 3000 vertical feet).

When I arrived at the Grant lake parking lot, five pigs were busy rooting up the grass. I had never realized before how destructive they are, but they really tear up the turf. In small quantities, this is no problem, but they seem to have overrun the park.

These guys were small, probably born last spring, but they had no fear of humans. That’s bad, because when they grow to adulthood, they will be big, nasty, vicious and very dangerous. Speaking as a human, our best protection is their propensity to stay far away from us.

Indeed, I came upon an extended family of about ten later on, and they scurried away as fast as they could. The trails were heavily pitted with the marks of cloven hooves. It’s well past the time for a hunt to clear them out. Suckling pig for holiday dinner, anyone?

It was a cool, clear day, with almost no one on the trail. I came upon a feather, its fluffy bits filled with dew. Nice! And worth a few photos.

What I like in this last one is the little insect off there on the side.

The other micro-adventure of the day was the coyote, walking straight toward me in the middle of the trail, head in the clouds, maybe meditating. It was a full five seconds after we came into each other’s field of view before it noticed me.

A quick 180 and off it ran at full speed.

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