The Thursday Picture – Stay on the Trail!

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Today’s Thursday Picture was taken at the Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve in the foothills above San Jose/Silicon Valley.

I hike a lot.  Before this year is over, I will have gone on over 50 hikes.  Many of my hikes are up Harwood Hill in the Sierra Azul Mountains above my neighborhood.  I’ve also hiked this year on trails in National Parks, California State Parks, Santa Clara County Parks, Santa Clara County Open Space Authority, and the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space Authority.  All of these agencies struggle with maintenance budgets that just barely allow them to maintain our trails and the natural environments around them.  When hikers venture off marked trails, like these clowns above, bad things can happen to our trails, parks, and open spaces:

  • Surface vegetation, animal habitat, fragile soils, and/or entire communities of life can be trampled beyond recovery.
  • Organic matter, such as leaves and even the soil itself, helps protect land from the erosive forces of rainfall and wind. Walking, biking, or riding your horse off trail disturbs the protective cover and can accelerate erosion. Do not use shortcuts.
  • Damage to surface vegetation can disrupt natural processes and may destroy a food source or otherwise harm wildlife habitat. Be careful where you step.
  • In some areas, disturbing rocks can leave a visible impact for hundreds of years. Lichen-coated and time-varnished rocks are irreplaceable. Leave rocks where they lay.

If you look closely at this picture, you can see how these hikers….uh….er….those look like black tailed deer.

Never mind.

Where are you hiking this weekend?  Wherever you go, Please do stay on the marked trails!  See the California State Parks information about staying on the trail above and here!

If you’re looking for me, I’m over the hill.

 

 

 

 

The Thursday Picture – Oak Hugs

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Today’s Thursday Picture was taken on the Wildcat Loop Trail in the Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve.  I like how these Oak trees seem to reach over to give passing hikers a reassuring hug.   They seem to be saying, “It’s ok.  Keep on going…you’re almost to the Rogue Valley!”

Of course, as a young boy, these trees would probably scare me.  I can picture myself riding with my sisters and brother on a doom buggy through the dark forest in the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland.  The trees reach over at you, threatening to pluck you out of the ride!  Yikes!

Well, that’s the first mention of one of my favorite places to visit;  Disneyland….not the dark forest.

Where are you hiking this weekend?

I’m very close to reaching my hiking goals that I set for myself way back in January.  So, if you’re looking for me, I’m over the hill.

 

 

 

The Weekly Photo Challenge: Trio

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Trio.”

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I took this picture at the Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve that is part of the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District.  This bridge is located just east of the Mindego Gateway staging area in the western part of the preserve.

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This bridge is part of the Ancient Oaks Trail which winds through some native oaks on the western side of Russian Ridge OSP.  Located largely in the mountains and foothills of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties above San Jose/Silicon Valley, the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District provides 62,000 acres of open space, like Russian Ridge OSP, open to hiking, biking, and equestrian uses.  If you’re either living in the Bay Area or just visiting, and want to enjoy the outdoors, check out the trails of the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District.

So, where are you hiking this weekend?

If you’re looking for me, I’m over the hill.

The Thursday Picture – Sometimes you just get lucky

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Sometimes, when I’m out hiking, I have problems with the light, with the sun being in the “wrong place,” or with the really interesting shot being just beyond the range of my lens.

And sometimes, when I’m out hiking, I just lift up my trusty Nikon D40, frame my picture, and press down on the shutter with very little adjustment.

Today’s Thursday Picture courtesy of the North Ridge Trail at the Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve in the Santa Cruz Mountains above San Jose/Silicon Valley.

Where are you hiking this weekend?

If you’re looking for me, I’m over the hill.