On Saturday D. and I went back to Alum Rock Park to walk the Creek Trail, and I took these pics.
A red-tailed hawk circles above the parking lot.
This is blue witch, a nightshade family plant (related to the tomato). It is poisonous.
An impish octet of oxalis flowers.
Next to the creek I find an opossum skeleton.
A flock of wild turkeys drinking from the creek hastens up the opposite bank and melts into the woods upon hearing my shutter clicking.
Pale gold and cobalt blue: afternoon in the canyon.
The sycamores are sprouting new leaves.
Arroyo willows are in bloom.
Penitencia Creek Trail follows along the bed of an early 20th Century steam train that once brought visitors into the park.
The canyon's shady north-facing slopes are lush with ferns.
Lichens (and a dab of moss) make abstract patterns on this tree trunk next to the creek.
These white flowers are called milkmaids. They like to grow on shady slopes and grasslands in the winter and early spring.
Turkey tail fungi on a rotting log, helping to decompose it and return its nutrients back into the environment for new life to utilize.
I love the abstract imagery created by ripply water.
Another sycamore sprouting new foliage.
The exposed roots of this tree show how high the creek can flood and gouge out the banks after heavy winter and spring rainfall.
In the creek, we notice a piece of rail from the narrow-gauge steam railway that used to run in the park.
This is directly below the pediment of a bridge that used to cross the creek.
We also see pieces of rail sticking out of massive chunks of concrete strewn in the creek, apparently used as rebar.
Late afternoon light spills across the creek.
This web in leafless branches looks like spun glass in the sun.
California Polypody ferns are full of golden spores. This little fern likes to grow on anything vertical: rotting logs, rock faces, even on the bark of living trees. It goes dormant during our dry summers.
Steps lead up to a dead-end.
Several plaques proclaim this retaining wall along the trail was a project of a local Eagle Scout troop. We suspect that's what inspired the dork comment.
Autumn foliage still lingers on these blackberry vines at midwinter.
This oak gall in the creek was created by a gall wasp on a nearby tree for her larva.
A lichen-encrusted twig in the creek's shallows.