Purisima, again


Saturday, 31 October 2015

Hiked Purisima for the second time this week. This time, with a little more sweat, over 18 miles, 4300 vertical feet.


Dawn alpenglow in the west, out over the ocean. Very pretty.


I have been thinking that I should have a self-portrait in hiking gear. No sooner said than done.


I went up Borden Hatch Mill trail and down Irish Ridge, where there were some terrific views. This would probably be San Gregorio State Beach.

Even though it is still daylight time, it felt like the day was getting on by the time I got back down to Purisima Creek trail. And what should I discover but a giant salamander! In thirty years, I have only seen three, and as it happens, all three were here at Purisima. The next preserve down has a Giant Salamander trail, but I think it’s just marketing fluff.


If I can’t see you, you can’t see me!


But I can lift the leaves off, and then what do you have to say?


Nothing, that’s what. These guys are completely torpid except when they actually panic. Because it was out in the middle of the trail, I was concerned that a mountain bike might come along and splat it. So two of us got little sticks and encouraged it over to the side of the trail. It panicked, of course, which was actually okay, because otherwise it wasn’t entirely clear that it was capable of more than a twitch.


A beautiful clear day. Onshore, anyway. Half Moon Bay bright and sunny, even though the ocean is fogged in. Mavericks surf visible to the left of the radomes.

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4 Responses to “Purisima, again”

  1. Jim Says:

    Nice pics. I will have to get back there with my friend Bob.


  2. dipperanch Says:

    Several friends saw salamanders out in the past week as if they knew this 1.5″ of rain was coming. Very nice to see a giant salamander. btw- El Corte de Madera does have quite a few salamanders. We had a SFSU grad student researching gi sallies in ECDM and she found plenty of the neotenic form (sorta partway between larvae and adult) in pools in the creeks. She described them sorting themselves out so that the biggest ones would get the head of the pool where all the bugs first pour in, medium-sized ones farther back in the pool, and the smallest ones having lots of nip marks on their fins and toes from territorial battles. She said she was going to make a population model for giant salamanders based on the number of nipped fins on the salamanders in the downstream end of the pool, but then she moved to Norway. With some rain, maybe we will get to see more of the salamander world.


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