Here are some pics I took on Sunday during a rather wintry visit to Monte Bello Open Space Preserve.
The depression in the middle of the pic is the trace of the San Andreas Fault.
The sag pond sitting atop the fault is choked with dead cattails. The pond began as a shallow depression caused by fault movement . The depression filled with water from an underground spring, providing an ideal place for aquatic plants, such as cattails, to grow. The pond will gradually fill in with sediments and decaying plant material, creating a wet meadow. Eventually shrubs and trees will establish and the meadow will become a forested area. This long process of change in vegetation is called succession. Along with plants, animal species that can be found here will also change with the habitat. All plant communities are at some stage of succession.
Arroyo willows near the sag pond are budding.
Views of the mountains from the Canyon Trail.
Lichen looks weird when it's reproducing.
A tightly-furled buckeye leaf bud is about to pop open.
The canopy of this buckeye is festooned with clumps of lichen.
Remnants of autumn linger along the trail.