Saturday D. and I went back to Stevens Creek Trail and investigated another section of it. Here's some of what we saw.
Upper and lower trail. The upper trail is level, paved, and well-used by walkers, joggers and cyclists. The lower trail runs creekside and is dirt/gravel, uneven, and mostly deserted -- but oh so much more interesting.
Mr and Mrs Mallard enjoying a quiet day amid the creek's algae.
Little fish, big fish, swimmin' in the water . . .
Milk snail sleeping on a leaf.
At intervals along the trail, we see drainage pipes coming from under the upper main trail opening onto the lower trail. Most of them are muddy or have standing water in them (one has a tadpole and some small fry in it). We spend a few minutes by one looking at a couple of egrets in the creek. Suddenly we hear some deep gurgling and glugging noises coming from deep inside the pipe. Nothing else happens for several minutes except for the intermittent noises. Then we hear the unmistakable sound of rushing water. And then out it comes, flowing for 2 or 3 minutes, pouring into the creek, scaring off the black-crowned night heron that is perching on a nearby rock, then the water suddenly stops.
'Heirloom spinach.' D. and I got something that looked just like this at the farmer's market last fall. The grower told us it was "heirloom spinach," and that it's prepared by sauteeing it with some onion and garlic in olive oil for 5 to 6 minutes. (It was really good, btw, with a mild, nutty flavor . . . but then just about anything sauteed with onion and garlic in olive oil is going to be really good.) We think it's the herb called lamb's quarters. I don't recall how much the farmer's market charged us for it, but now we know where we can get plenty for free if we ever run out of money!
View up Stevens Creek from the bridge at Crittenden.
Dry grasses. On the other side of this berm is the NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field.
D. sees what looks like a pheasant disappear into the brush on the island that divides the creek along this section. We see what appear to be pheasant tracks in creek mud.
Wild radish trailside.