It had been over a year since D. and I last visited Coal Mine Ridge Open Space, so we decided to go back on Sunday and see the place again. I took these pics.
We see hedgehog dogtail grass as we set out on the Alpine Trail.
Ripening California hazelnut.
The Alpine Trail.
Rigid hedge nettle and California honeysuckle.
California bee-plant, and an unidentified aster-family fleur.
Miner's lettuce, complete with fauna.
As we continue on the Deer Path Trail, we find ourselves entering a fancy-schmancy neighborhood, with hand-carved street signs!
As the trail rises, the twin peaks of Windy Hill become visible to the west.
The Deer Path Trail goes through a residential neighborhood.
Some of the live oaks along the trail.
Little rattlesnake grass has stylish Art Deco seed pods.
Mugwort will be in bloom next month.
A decoction of the plant was used by the native Ohlone Indians as a compress for rheumatism pain.
Poison oak is everywhere. Here it sends up its characteristic triple leaflet through a stand of California maidenhair ferns.
Fern geometry (complete with discreet wildlife).
Hmph. I can tell when I'm not wanted.
Coincidentally, this very spot happens to be pretty much directly over the San Andreas Fault. http://djbphoto.net/Pahavit/Photo/Smilies/unimpressedvp.gif
California oak moths are swarming around frantically fanning their wings, spreading pheromones through the air in search of mates. The caterpillars feed on leaves of oak, especially California live oak.
A ganoderma fungus at the base of a tree.
Oat and Harding grass.
Lichen grows abundantly on a bridge over a Corte Madera Creek tributary.
Following the Black Oak Trail, we find Ithuriel's spear in bloom.
I think we're safe to cross.
A look into the creek bed, dry at this time of year but lush with vegetation.
California blackberry, like poison oak, has a triple leaf, and it can be hard to tell them apart sometimes.
False turkey tail fungi peek out from a dead log.
The canopy overhead on the Black Oak Trail.
Oceanspray is in the rose family.
Sunbeams light up all the debris trapped in this spider web.
The Black Oak Trail.
California wild rose and pipestems.
This is an oak gall, formed by a wasp which lays an egg in it. This one has fallen off the oak onto the trail. It's one of the largest galls I've seen, about the size of a baking potato.
Another trail pic.
The black and blue junction.
Sticky monkeyflower looks like a pair of headlights.
This is some kind of puffball fungus poking up through the trail.
Do you think if I somehow started to float up into the sky, the branches would lean in and grab hold of me?
Even though the woods are shady, the air is quite warm and there is very little breeze. It makes for hot going.
A yellow mariposa lily glows like a beacon in the shade along the trail as we make our way back.