On Sunday it looked rainy and drizzly, so D. and I went to Fremont Older Open Space Preserve because we'd never been there and we thought we would be low enough to be out of the fog and the clouds. We were, sort of. It was very "atmospheric" there, but it warrants a return visit when the air isn't full of mist.
So many of the Open Space Preserves are the former estates of turn-of-the-(20th) century rich dudes, and this one is no exception. Fremont Older was a San Francisco newspaper editor, and he and his wife Cora entertained a lot of notables of the day in their house on the grounds (which is currently leased as a private residence and not open to the public). But the rest of the preserve is open to the public from dawn till dusk, so we went there and took a bunch of pics. First, mine.
Setting out in a light rain, we begin on the Cora Older Trail.
Colorful poison oak.
Going through an oak woodland.
This dead log, sprouting bracket fungi, looks like it's encrusted with potato chips.
The trail takes us past an old walnut grove.
Poison oak turns some remarkable colors in autumn.
An old fence is blanketed with a patchwork of lichen.
It's like a mini-universe.
More lichen, on a live oak trunk.
Continuing on the Cora Older Trail we pass by an olive tree with immature fruits.
The sodden fields of hay and thistles are brightened by the small white flowers of hayfield tarweed.
Not a trail.
At the next junction we see a box on a post.
There is another one on the other side of the trail.
Closer inspection reveals it's a counter, sending a beam across the way to gauge trail usage.
On the Seven Springs Loop Trail, we see the first of many deer.
Rising on the trail, we get a view, such as it is, to the southeast.
These toyon berries are still ripening.
The brilliant poison oak is hard to miss.
More deer, a pair (probably mom and a yearling).
Ripe toyon berries.
This doe seems to be asking, "Friend or foe?"
Yet another deer near the junction of the Ranch Road Trail.
Ranch Road Trail.
Ascending toward the scenic viewpoint on a hill called Hunters Point, we get another misty view.
Near the top of the hill are the remains of an apricot orchard from the ranching days. These trees have really seen better days.
At the scenic viewpoint on the hilltop is the Artemis Ginzton memorial bench.
Artemis Ginzton was a local educator and activist, helping to preserve open space in the southern San Francisco peninsula.
We are alone atop Hunters Point, save for a seemingly ailing mourning dove.
It is too misty to see anything from up here.
So we turn around in the mist and head mistily back to the car, planning to return on a non-misty day.
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And here are D.'s pics.
The Cora Older Trail.
This is the most sun we saw all day.
A mossy tree trunk.
A dilapidated shack, half-visible through the trees.
View from the trail.
Mr. Deer. (Or would that be Mr. Buck? )
On the Seven Springs Loop Trail, we find wild cherries on this tree.
Another view into the mist.
A hillside is blanketed in dead ferns. Evidence of a fire is visible on trees a little farther along; the ferns were likely singed or cooked as the fire swept through.
The branches of this tree are sprouting thick nodules of fungus.
A yearling, scampering off the trail at our approach, joins up with mom in the safety of the woods.
This live oak busts through the flimsy remains of an old ranch fence.
Quail on the trail.
I don't know what this brilliant red tree is, but it's very impressive (it's not poison oak).
A thing near the creek, probably related to ranch irrigation somehow (it had a pipe going into it).
Another deer goes bopping up Ranch Road Trail.