When we were there earlier this month on a docent-led walk, we enjoyed Bear Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve so much that on Saturday D. and I returned. Here's some of the pics I took.
The pond near the abandoned buildings.
Irises are garden escapees from when the land used to be a lavishly-landscaped rich guy's estate.
Bindweed is an invasive vine related to the morning glory and is in bloom now.
As we approach the abandoned buildings we see this arrangement of tires (but is it art? ).
The building once supported by this brick column is long gone, victim of a huge fire long ago.
Some views of the remaining abandoned buildings, last inhabited by a Jesuit school.
There is not an intact pane of glass left in the place. Fences do not keep out determined vandals.
Somewhere in all that ivy is a door.
The veranda of one of the buildings.
Many doors are boarded shut, and some have an assist from aggressive ivy.
Some of the rooms are open, though. These look like classrooms.
Nature reclaims what man destroys.
Alice and Madcap were here. Bully for them.
Blackberry is very aggressive and will overgrow anything sitting still for more than a nanosecond.
Virginia creeper is spreading everywhere too.
Nature is taking over.
More blackberry, the Himalayan variety this time.
Near another abandoned building are cultivated roses gone feral.
A Euphydryas Chalcedon checkerspot butterfly comes to visit the roses.
This red-tailed hawk soars high overhead looking for rodents, snakes or lizards to eat.
Another abandoned building.
Another dilapidated structure on the grounds.
An abandoned roto-tiller, engulfed in ivy.
Another veranda, untenanted for half a century.
In another abandoned building we find what must be the party room. It is full of mold, so I hold my breath for as long as I can to take a peek and snap a couple of shots.
A peeling ceiling in the party room.
Needing to breathe again, I step outside and get some shots of graffiti.
Something made a nest in this circuit box.
Either a baptismal font or a fountain.
Moving on, we follow a trail through a redwood, Douglas fir, oak, and madrone forest, leading deeper into the preserve toward another pond. Along the way we see sticky monkeyflower, which likes damp, shady areas.
Approaching the pond we find a stand of forget-me-nots, creating a galaxy of tiny blue stars at the side of the trail.
Next to the pond appears to be a mountain lion's dining room.
Junk in the pond.
Along the shore we find a peculiar container, conveniently marked "geocache" on its side. As D. tries to open it, it begins to vibrate and buzz. Oh no!
The source of the scare is this. (Yes, a wind-up toy. )
Returning from the pond, we see the ranching equivalent of Chanel No. 5?
They really are gold on the back.
We can figure out BO 7, but what's this?
A couple of views of the trail.
A poison oak vine climbs this tree trunk. There is poison oak everywhere.
A helicopter flies loudly overhead.
We pass by more abandoned buildings on our way back. One seems to have a car inside it.
Chain-link fencing between the trail and rickety, dilapidated structures.
Another garden escapee, gone feral.
Circling back to the first pond, we see a double-crested cormorant near the shore.
Not if you have a permit . . .