On Sunday D. and I took a walk along the Stevens Creek Trail between Yuba Dr. and Sleeper Ave., and I took some pics.
The trailhead is next to a substation.
Looking down from the Yuba Dr. bridge through the trees into the dry creek bed.
Some of the landscaping along the trail.
Milk thistle is a non-native weed common throughout the area.
Buckeye blossoms have a light, sweet fragrance.
The trail follows the high-tension power line right-of-way.
Dances With Lightning Bolts.
If they don't want people to climb the towers, they shouldn't make it look like so much fun.
California wild rose.
Not surprisingly, the Stevens Creek underpass below El Camino Real has some graffiti in it.
Looking downstream inside the tunnel beneath El Camino Real.
On the outside of the tunnel, barn swallow nestlings wait for another snack from mom.
We decide to follow the creek upstream. The creek bed is dry, level and fairly even. It is like walking along a shaded sunken roadway.
At a drop structure we find some junk in the creek.
Sunlight dapples the foliage.
Bracket fungi on a rotting log next to the creek.
This bigleaf maple leaf has a hole in it.
These buckeye buds haven't opened yet.
Poison oak berries.
Another look up the dry creek bed.
A cluster of bigleaf maple leaves reach into a patch of sun.
The creek is dry now, but in March 2011 it rained so heavily that the creek rose high enough to erode this section of bank and endanger several homes. This retaining wall was eventually built.
We leave the creek bed and return to the trail alongside, where an apricot ripens on an ancient tree, a minuscule fragment of the vast fruit orchards that once blanketed the Santa Clara Valley prior to WWII.
As we get closer to Sleeper Ave., where the trail currently ends, we begin to see signs of the new trail extension under construction, and the concrete barriers ("K-rail") keeping trail users separated from the construction equipment have acquired some ornamentation.
More trail landscaping.
Construction equipment can be scary.
This is the business end of the Ditch Witch, which is a trencher designed to install buried service lines of various sizes.
Danger, Will Robinson.
Yes, it's really called Ditch Witch.
Being a construction site, of course there is graffiti.
The new trail overpass across Highway 85 isn't ready yet.
Surveyor's flags lie in a pile at the construction site.
Power lines march north toward San Francisco Bay.
As we return down the trail, a California ground squirrel finds some shade beneath the ancient apricot tree.
The creek bed is dry now because we had hardly any rain last winter, and no more is due until late this autumn. Are we in for another drought?