On Friday D. and I went on a ranger-led twilight walk at Arastradero Nature Preserve, to enjoy the preserve in the quiet of the evening and look for which creatures are ending their day and which are just starting out as the sun sets. D. took these pics.
Scenery along the DeAnza Trail.
A half moon lights our way.
White-tailed kite alighting in a huge valley oak.
White-tailed kite pair.
Spiky star thistles. Don't touch, big owie.
"Leaves of three, let them be." Ranger Kathleen points out a patch of poison oak along the trail.
A few California quail scamper across the trail.
The quail's little topknot is easily seen here as he makes a mad dash for the underbrush.
Mugwort, a native plant with medicinal properties, grows along this section of the trail.
The brilliant red hips of the California wild rose.
A barn owl on patrol, a silhouette against the sunset.
An enormous valley oak dominates the hillside at twilight.
We also saw lots of bats feasting on the insects around Arastradero Lake, but they were way too fast and too small to get any pics of them in such low light.
Looking across the preserve, on the other side of Interstate 280, one of Stanford Univeristy's satellite dishes can be seen.
The spooky shape of a great horned owl perches on utility wires running along the Wild Rye Trail.
It was too dark now to take anymore pics. We made our way along the trail back to the parking lot by the faint light of the yellowy half moon as it began to set, wondering if our progress was being assessed by a mountain lion.