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Pahavit's Universe

pahavit
Date: 8-9-2011 12:15 AM
Subject: Nob Hill, Fremont Older Open Space Preserve
Security: Public
Tags:berry, feather, field trip, fremont older, insect, lizard, mt. umunhum, poison oak, power lines, sign, stevens creek county park
Nob Hill, Fremont Older Open Space Preserve


On Saturday D. and I decided to visit Nob Hill in Fremont Older Open Space Preserve, via a trail coming in from Stevens Creek County Park. Here's some of the pics I took.


Oy, all these rules.  I'm afraid I might accidentally do something wrong without even knowing it. 





The Lookout Trail goes through shaded oak woodland.





This field trip is brought to you by the number 10!  Or maybe it's the number 16?





A ripening California bay nut.



When ripe, it looks like a tiny avocado (avocados and bays are in the same botanical family).



When ripe in the fall, these California honeysuckle berries will be edible but very bitter.  Birds love them.





The trail is mostly shaded with small sunny patches here and there.





Hokay, I think I'll just stick to the trail here. 





Little beetles have lunch on poison hemlock.





Poison oak is beginning to turn red for autumn already.





As the trail climbs we catch a glimpse of turquoise-colored Stevens Creek Reservoir down the canyon.





The view to the southeast.





The Bowhunters Unlimited Archery Club meets at the archery range in Stevens Creek County Park.



The archery range is 1/4 mile away and 200 vertical feet below the trail where the warning sign is.  Would a stray arrow really go that far? 



As we cross over into Fremont Older Open Space Preserve, there is a sign with instructions on how to handle a mountain lion encounter, with a couple of helpful suggestions added by someone.





Oh yes, I always go hiking in the open space preserves schlepping a sword along with me.  Doesn't everyone?



On the Wedding Trail, we pass right next to a high-tension power line.







The lower legs of the tower are festooned with gnarly spikes.





Whee! Dances With Lightning Bolts!



If they don't want people to climb on the tower, they should stop making it looks like so much fun.



Looking north to the next tower.





These pylons are a prominent part of the local landscape and never fail to capture my attention, striding dramatically across the foothills.  They are like an alien geometry, carrying a coded message from another time and another world, waiting for us to decipher it.



Looking east from the Wedding Trail.





The Wedding Trail is popular with equestrians, judging by the abundance of road apples along the way.





The deep blue and black of a Steller's jay feather stands out from the earth tones of the dried grasses on the side of the trail.





Another view along the Wedding Trail.





California quail eat mostly seeds, leaves, flowers, catkins, grain, manzanita and poison oak berries, acorns, and occasional invertebrates such as caterpillars, beetles, mites, millipedes and snails.



Its head plume, or topknot, looks like a single feather, but it is actually a cluster of six overlapping feathers.



Parker Ranch Trail, a remnant from the ranching days before the nature preserve.





Looking east into the Santa Clara Valley.





The trail keeps climbing.  We are almost there.





Hazy views from the summit.









Mt. Umunhum to the southeast.





Looking south to the Santa Cruz Mountains.





One of the huge live oaks near the top of the hill.





No short cuts down the hill allowed! 





On our way back on the Lookout Trail, we find an alligator lizard, the first one I've ever seen outside my back yard.





Alligator lizards eat insects and their larvae, especially ground beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, ichneumon wasps and other arthropods such as spiders (including black widow spiders), centipedes, scorpions, sow bugs, as well as snails and tadpoles.


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