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pahavit
Date: 10-26-2010 12:20 AM
Subject: Picchetti Ranch Open Space Preserve
Security: Public
Tags:banana slug, bird, cupertino, field trip, floof, fungus, indian, oh hai, peacock, picchetti ranch, poison oak, pond, quarry, reservoir, sign, stevens creek reservoir, walnut
Picchetti Ranch Open Space Preserve


On Saturday D. and I went to Picchetti Ranch Open Space Preserve. Picchetti Ranch is not only a preserve, it is also a winery. We went there to walk some of the woodsy trails and hope the rain held off till we were done. We also took some pics. Mine first.


The trailhead at the main entrance.





Some of the historic buildings next to the winery's tasting room.





If this wasn't "historic," it'd be condemned. 







Welcome to the winery!  But beware of rattlesnakes as you sip your pinot noir.  Oh, and you have to leave your dog at home. But welcome! 





As we start out on the Zinfandel Trail, we pass by a figure in the window of one of the old buildings.





He doesn't look very happy. 





We see a banana slug moseying across the trail.







The Zinfandel Trail.





As the trail rises, we get a view over the Santa Clara Valley.





The Stevens Creek Quarry, down the road from the preserve, is visible from the rise in the trail.





Remnants of the old orchard, when the Picchetti brothers ran a ranch here long ago.





We arrive at the seasonal pond.





The pond is dry at this time of year.  It is a shallow grassy bowl littered with fallen dead eucalyptus and valley oak limbs.







At one end of the pond are the remains of a huge valley oak, whose contorted limbs create a twisting figure on the ground.













A walnut tree's foliage makes a green canopy overhead.





The Vista Trail passes through an oak woodland behind the pond, rising to a scenic viewpoint.





A bracket fungus.





More oak woodland near the scenic viewpoint.





A glimpse of Stevens Creek Reservoir is visible from the viewpoint.





As we proceed on the Orchard Loop Trail, we see a spotted towhee and a California quail in the brush.







Fiery red poison oak lines the trail.





More Orchard Loop Trail.





Another view of the mountains beyond Stevens Creek Reservoir.





Back on the Zinfandel Trail, we enter a mixed oak woodland and see evidence of a termite nest in a rotten stump.





The berries on this stand of toyon are not quite ripe yet.  They will turn from orange to holly berry red when they are.





A fallen log is encrusted with bracket fungi.





The Zinfandel Trail goes all the way through the preserve and on into neighboring Stevens Creek County Park.





The trail crosses an un-named creek, whose pools glisten in the rainy woods's half-light.





Looking down the gulch, which feeds into the reservoir.





Back at the winery we see the oldest of the historical buildings, built in 1882 and once used as housing for ranch hands, storage for gallon wine jugs and housing for birds.





One of the peacocks living on the winery grounds perching on the oldest building interrupts his preening to peruse us.




❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧

And here are D.'s pics.


Edumacational sign about the ranch's history and stuff.





View from the Zinfandel Trail.





Part of the old orchard, remnants from the ranching days before the preserve was created.





A gnarled log from a fallen valley oak at the seasonal pond.





Fallen oak leaf, emblem of autumn.





Oak woodlands.





A view of Stevens Creek Reservoir and surrounding mountains, and vast looming sky which eventually does rain on us a little.





Orchard Loop Trail.





Evidence of a termite nest is a rotted stump along the Zinfandel Trail.





Floofs on a vine.





"Picchetti" has 2 C's, not one.  All the other preserve signs are correct except this one at the boundary of neighboring Stevens Creek County Park.



Whenever I see "Picchetti," a little voice in my mind says "pasketti" anyway.  Sketti! 


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