Posts Tagged ‘Bobcat’

Grant Ranch killer hike

January 17, 2015

Saturday, 17 January 2015

I wanted to do a killer hike today, and what better killer hike than the circumambulation of Grant Ranch? (21.3 miles, 4500 vertical feet). Left the car at the gate near the old barn and started out about 7:30.

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Fog in the lowlands, but burning off quickly.

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Jacky thinks these pictures suggest drought. Well, yes, if you think of dust instead of fog and attribute the bare trees to lack of water rather than winter.

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They do rather have a tintype look, don’t they!

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Interesting that the grass under the oaks is greener than elsewhere. I assume this is because the elsewhere retains the tall grass from last season, while the area under the oaks was lower and less hearty. Why should that be? I wonder whether the oak exudes anti-growth hormone from its roots into the surrounding soil.

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I saw a total of three coyotes. This was one of a pair hanging around the open range cattle, who were not the slightest bit concerned about their presence. Other wildlife: six hikers, one mountain bikie, and … well, wait and see.

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It looks to me as if Silicon Valley is having a cloudy day today.

Stopped at the Antler point trail junction to eat an apple. Stopped again for munchies at a tiny stream in the piney woods, a rare feature in the bay area, and again about 3 o’clock at the high point on the west side, a bit beyond the next three pictures.

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A stock pond, surrounded by oaks.

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Acorn woodpeckers leave behind more holes than wood. I was wondering whether the woodpecker finds an acorn first, then makes a hole, or whether it just makes holes on spec, hoping to fill them with acorns later.

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Taking life easy.

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A view from the overlook. 3 PM, and it still doesn’t look like there’s any sun down there. Life’s tough.

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Going on down Edwards trail the last mile to the car, I came around a turn, only to find a lynx. I need to have a serious talk with my camera: why doesn’t it focus on what I’m interested in? Thinking about it, I bet wearable technology will track my eyeballs and do exactly that within five years, maybe a maximum of ten.

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I wasn’t completely sure the bobcat knew I was there. It was just moseying along the trail, checking things out.

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I shouted, “Hi,” just to make friends. Still, the cat isn’t much impressed.

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Better things to do, hoping for a mouse or a vole.

Good start to the weekend. Beautiful place, at least in springtime, Grant ranch.

Bear creek anvil trails

October 18, 2014

Saturday, 18 Oct 2014

Today I hiked all of the trails at Bear Creek redwoods open space preserve. It claims to have 10.3 miles of trail, so I wasn’t surprised that the day turned out to be 15.3 miles of hiking. This preserve is open by permit only, although I have been here before on volunteer projects. Broom, and the whole preserve is chock full of it. If 7 maids with 7 mops broomed it for half a year, they would stand no chance of sweeping it clear.

Started the day by going uphill, into the redwoods. Pretty nice; and at the top is a Presentation Center. Never heard of it. When I got home, I checked its web site: hosted by a convent (below), its purpose is legal training in the advocacy of social justice. Barf!

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Whatever my views of their positions, I have to admit it’s a nice place. Walked through the campus to a trailhead on the far side, and back down into the redwoods.

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There are a lot of ruins here; this is where Alma college once was. But this chimney base was far up in the redwoods, well away from the little townlet that used to be here.

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A cornish pastie fungus. Looks delicious!

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A quiet little pondlet where it would be possible to have lunch. I didn’t; I went on and perched later on a rock at the side of what might be a stream if it ever rains again.

Much of the lower part of the preserve is open grassland, devoid of charm and interest. Just a matter of putting in the time. Met an equestrienne and two other hikers, but mostly had the place to myself. Found three deadfalls; two of them I was able to clear myself; took a photo and reported GPS coordinates of the third for a preserve maintenance visit.

Back to the car early, about 2 — this is a moderate hike, after all. The parking area is shaded by trees above the shore of a pleasant little pond (larger than the pond we see above). As I stepped up to the trees, I flushed a bobcat from the vegetation at the shore. First bobcat I’ve seen for two or three years. My adventure du jour.