Sunday D. and I went to Rancho San Antonio County Park. The park used to be part of Rancho San Antonio, one of the original Mexican land grants from before California became a State. It's been a park for about 30 years, with over 20 miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails traversing several different wildlife habitats and plant communities; some picnic tables; and four tennis courts. Three branches of Permanente Creek run through the park, and since we live half a block from Permanente Creek in town, we wanted to take a look at its origins up in the hills.
(Note: all pics by D. except where noted.)
We arrived and had lunch while watching a group of model airplane enthusiasts flying their little craft.
Model airplanes in a row, awaiting their chance to soar.
Across the road from the park is Maryknoll Seminary, with its unusual oriental motif.
Mountain lion info. We see these signs in many of the parks we visit. Maybe one of these days we'll see an actual mountain lion. (And live to tell about it.)
The bees love the poppies.
The beginning of the Permanente Creek Trail. (my pic)
The 165-acre county park abuts the 3,800-acre Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve. The trails all connect with each other.
Colorful poison oak. It was everywhere creekside and trailside.
Several Steller's jays were very unhappy to see us next to the creek. They made sure to tell the whole woods we were there. Very loudly.
A view downstream. Eventually this water will find its way into San Francisco Bay, passing half a block from our house down in town (although it's in a cement culvert by then). (my pic)
Damselflies are like airborn jewels. The creek teemed with them. (my pic)
As I rested my palm on the cool water of Permanente Creek, a pair of them landed on the back of my hand and sat there for a minute in the sunlight, then flew away.
A big black bug on a creek rock.
Western gray squirrel. Three of them were cavorting and chattering in the branches.
Habitat restoration on a section of creek bank. Most of the native plant seedlings planted there seemed to be wild rose (thorny) and poison oak (rashy); I think they found a good way of botanically saying "Keep Out."
Part of the Deer Meadow Trail. This goes almost all the way right up to Interstate 280. We could hear the incessant traffic noise.
Ticks, poison oak, rattlesnakes, mountain lions and fire danger. It's a wonder anyone survives visiting here!
A watchful crow lets the whole park know we were walking along the trail.
Some of the lovely, modest wildflowers near the creek. Their beauty is easy to overlook unless you go slow and keep a sharp eye out for the quietest little jewels scattered along the trail's edge.