On Sunday D. and I went to Long Ridge Open Space Preserve, in search of the views of Butano Ridge and Monterey Bay mentioned in the preserve brochure. We wound up wandering through endless woods, foiled by a poorly-written trail description and too many confusing intersecting loop trails. But on the way we took some pics. Here's mine.
We start out on the trail.
In the first shady patch we see coyote mint.
We also see a yellow mariposa lily.
The surrounding hills are tinder-dry.
The shade is welcome.
But it doesn't last long.
We pass a meadow close to Peters Creek.
Where the trail crosses Peters Creek, we see some newts in the water.
They are likely Coastal Range newts, a subspecies of the California newt. Their skin secretes a potent neurotoxin.
We pass by another meadow.
The trail plunges into the shade again.
The forest canopy is thick overhead. The understory is at least 50% poison oak.
I wonder if they're finished?
Another dry hillside, this one with a fence remnant.
More sunny trail.
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And here are D.' pics.
Acmon Blue butterfly on Great Valley gumweed.
A little bug on yarrow blossoms.
A bigleaf maple leaf on the trail.
Spider webs festoon the underbrush.
Steller's jay feather on the trail.
Another Acmon Blue butterfly on Great Valley gumweed.