Windy Hill

by

Sunday, 20 April 2014

A nice day for a short hike. Windy Hill is nearby, easy to reach, and enough work to make it feel worthwhile (short loop 7 miles, 1500 vertical feet). This is one of the parking lots that overflows severely on weekends. But as a morning person, I never have trouble.

I like to ascend Spring Ridge trail, open and steep, good for the cool time of morning. Off to the side, a coyote prowling around looking for breakfast. The wildflowers are out, yellow and pink and red and orange. Nice.

Along the ridge top, I can see fog lying along the coast, but ocean beyond.

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The descent is long and gradual, mostly through the forest. I had never particularly noticed before, but it’s true that the wildflowers in the forest tend toward the blue. Not to say there aren’t blue flowers in the open country, and pink flowers in the forest, but there are differences in the predominant groups.

At one point, the ground was peppered with tiny blue flakes, and the overhead was filled with the sound of buzzing. I looked up the embankment, to see the expected ceanothus, surrounded by bees.

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I heard a snake, saw the vegetation move to indicate where it was going, but never did get a glimpse of it. Probably a garter snake. Good show!

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Guaranteeing a continuing supply of beetles.

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On the way back, I stopped for a moment at Sausal pond. A few frogs lurked until it was time to jump away, a lizard froze in hopes I wouldn’t see it, a few dragonflies darted around, quite a few tiny fish prowled the shallows at the edge.

Nice.

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