Windy Hill, Purisima Redwoods

by

Sunday, 30 March 2014

I often write about volunteer work for the open space district, more often than not, pulling weeds, and more often than not, pulling broom. Here’s what broom looks like. The large bushes are full of pretty yellow flowers, starting right about now.

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Last weekend, I did a quick hike at Windy Hill open space preserve. Nothing particularly out of the ordinary, except for these pretty little green bells. I have no idea what they are, but I like the way they try to hide, showing their true selves only to a view from below.

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Today, I hiked Purisima creek redwoods open space preserve. It has been rainy this last week, but I got my annual REI dividend and bought myself a new rain shell, so I was happy to try it out. (So of course it didn’t rain, but that’s fine, too.) I volunteered here a few weeks ago, unplugging invasive ivy from a slope, and today picked off a few stragglers that had been overlooked the first time.

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Tis the season. The caterpillars are out in force, roughly a gazillion of them!

This hike is not all that long, not all that hard (Allison would disagree), but I can make it a mini-industrial strength hike with a 4-mile 800-vertical feet extension up Borden Hatch Mill trail and down Grabtown Gulch trail (total: 14 miles, 3500 vertical feet). And yes, once upon a time, there really was a Grabtown up in these hills.

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Nice to see a few fungi, fresh from this week’s rains.

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I also flagged six downed trees at various spots along the trail. The drill is to catch a GPS location and a photo, and file a trail report to the open space district. I’m only scheduled for trail patrol volunteer training in June, but I know the login password, so why not!

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The hiking sticks are there to provide a scale for evaluating the problem.

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And I spotted a tiny gray furry mammal, most likely a vole, as it ducked into the duff. I fired up my camera, then pulled away the duff, but it could burrow faster and deeper than I could uncover it. I loosed off a few desperation shots with the camera, but of course nothing came out.

Nice day, good to get out.

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