December 15th, 2016

Coyote Hills Willows Trail

Coyote Hills Willows Trail

On Sunday D. and I returned to Coyote Hills Regional Park to take a stroll on parts of the Crandall Creek Trail and the Willows Trail around the DUST Marsh, and I took a few pics before I got too tired and achey and we had to come home.

Alameda Creek runs next to the park on its way to San Francisco Bay.

Crandall Creek feeds into ponds in the marshes at Coyote Hills.

An abandoned pump rusts in the weeds next to the trail.

Dead thistles bristle against the gray sky.

A great egret hunts in the field next to the trail.

The line of trees at the far end of the field delineates the Willows Trail.

Another great egret hunts in Crandall Creek.

We arrive at the DUST (Demonstration Urban Stormwater Treatment) Marsh.

Mallards enjoy the ponds in the DUST Marsh.

Saltbush grows at the edge of the marsh.

Due to seasonal flooding (and our reluctance to go wading), we cannot go any farther, so we double back.

We see a juvenile gray fox hunting, but it runs for cover before I can get a pic, so we proceed down the Willows Trail

Around a bend in the trail we see a red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) in the middle of the trail.

It is utterly unfazed by our presence, and it comes closer to investigate my camera getting video of it.

On our way back a jackrabbit flees past us on the Crandall Creek Trail.  We look behind us to see a red fox hunting about half a mile away in the field next to the Willows Trail.  How very unusual to have seen not only a crayfish on the trail but also both a gray fox and a red fox, all on the same afternoon.