On Sunday D. and I really needed to get out of the house because we haven't been anywhere in a long time. Because I'm still really struggling physically we had to pick someplace flat and close by. Baylands Nature Preserve fit that bill, so that's where we went (our tenth visit there), and I took these pics.
Power lines. Of course.
This fly gets oriented on the map at the trail head.
The San Francisquito Creek Trail.
A cross orb weaver in its web alongside the trail.
The low angle of the afternoon sun glints on the mud banks of San Francisquito Creek at low tide.
A yellowlegs probes in the exposed mud for little things to eat.
Fronds on trailside palm.
Bee on trail.
The outfall structure at the O'Connor Storm Water Pump Station.
This pump station flap gate looks like it ate something that disagreed with it.
Our 10th visit here, my first time seeing a horse on the trails.
Waterfowl enjoying San Francisquito Creek.
Headless mallard is only napping.
What do mallards think about when they're sitting on a rock?
Looking upstream, back the way we came.
Looking north across the marsh to recently-renovated Cooley Landing.
An American Kestrel perches next to the trail.
This is the real reason we came here.
The end of the runway at Palo Alto Airport is only 300' from the San Francisquito Creek Trail. It's a great place to get pics (and video) of planes taking off and landing.
Lights identifying the end of the runway are in the levee along the edge of the trail.
These are approach path indicator lights, helping the pilot adjust the glide slope angle for a safe landing.
These lights look evil, like they're going to spring up on their little legs and come scrabbling at you to ZAP you with its LAZOR EYES.
Windsock, a.k.a wind cone.
A small plane heads toward the taxiway after landing.
A low-wing Mooney Ovation comes in for a landing. Visible in the background are the peaked tent tops of the Shoreline Amphitheatre and the K-rail chevrons in the hillside of neighboring Byxbee Park, aligned toward the runway.
Ovations have a cruising speed of 270 mph.
Another plane taking off.
This is a Piaggio P180 Avanti turbo-prop. It has a cruising speed 455 mph (supposedly the world's fastest turbo-prop).
The Avanti can carry up to 9 passengers and 2 crew. It's 47' long, with a 46' wingspan. And it's loud.
Lying in the grass alongside the trail at the end of the runway, it's easy to get more pics of planes taking off because they are going right overhead.
Looking southeast toward the preserve's nature center at the edge of San Francisco Bay and the forest of high-tension power lines.
Heading back into the sinking sun along the San Francisquito Creek Trail.
A hummingbird rests for a moment on a dead branch.
Late afternoon sun turn this gumplant flower into a luminous vessel.
The Friendship Bridge over San Francisquito Creek provides a framework for orb webs and hacklemesh webs.
Fennel seed heads bob and sway in the late afternoon breeze.
Mallow leaf = solar panel.
Power lines heading north along the creek channel.
Looking downstream along San Francisquito Creek toward the Friendship Bridge.
Late autumn grasses are a golden tapestry alongside the trail.
Jessie, you are loved, and now every hiker on the San Francisquito Creek Trail who happens to look down at the edge of the trail at a certain spot and bothers to stop and read what the graffiti says, knows it.