Antler point

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Saturday, 3 January 2015

Another of these days about as nice as could possibly be imagined. Lena and I parked at the lake in Grant Ranch park, hiked to Antler point, then around the Pala Seca loop. Chilly, sunny, icy crusts even into the afternoon in the shadows, and great to be out here.

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It was Lena’s first visit here, and a wonderful time of year to introduce the park. Antler point was a good stopping place to soak up apples and scenery. Hazy down in Silicon Valley — it’s a spare-the-air day down there. We’re glad we’re up here in the clear air, Lick Observatory crisp on the skyline in the other direction.

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From Antler point, the remains of the old Pala Seca cabin, burned about a year ago, surely by vandals. What a shame. We hiked down along that trail and through the valley below it, where on occasion, I have seen wild pigs.

On the climb from the valley back to the ridge, we did indeed see a single wild pig. A little unusual to see only one; maybe it’s just a bit early to see families out here. And while we’re on the subject of wild pigs, we saw two large ones from the road as we departed later on, pigs to the right, and a flock of maybe thirty wild turkeys to the left. We could have stayed in the car and let the wildlife come to us! Well, not really.

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Looks like one of those Chinese paintings, horizon behind horizon behind horizon behind …

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It sounded like a bird chirping, but it wasn’t. Fun to watch its whole body puff up to lend weight to its chirp. No idea what the chirp is suppose to communicate, or to whom. Certainly no fear of us.

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Speaking of birds, as well as TuVus, we also saw several acorn woodpeckers in the oaks, and woodpeckers of some description, possiby acorn woodpeckers, in the eucalyptus grove further down.

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Half a dozen couples and groups of hikers to meet and talk with, but we had the world mostly to ourselves. Just shy of 11 miles, just shy of 2000 feet of climb. Nice!

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