The Thursday Picture – Mule Ears

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Today’s Thursday Picture is of Wiethia Helenioides commonly known as Gray Mule Ears.

I came across this large yellow flower while hiking at Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District’s La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve.

Here’s another shot of the Gray Mule Ears plant:

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I’ve spent a busy week in Southern California “hiking” around several college campuses on tours with my wife and daughter.  It is an exciting time in our family as our daughter prepares to go off to college next year!

Some of our daughter’s favorite campus tours were at Loyola MarymountPepperdine, UCLA and UC Irvine .  She is looking to study Biology.  I am looking forward to hiking this weekend to get some good shots of more wildflowers in the Santa Cruz Mountains.  Although, I can see that in addition to wildflowers, we will be needing to search for scholarships! 🙂

Where are you hiking this weekend?

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

 

 

 

View from My Truck – Driving to the Clouds

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My entry in the Daily Post “Landscape” 

Driving through the La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve checking on the condition of some of our ranch roads.  I took this shot while I waited for a colleague to check on another road just before we reached the top of this hill.  On the other side of the hill, we could clearly see the Pacific Ocean.  I like this shot because of the contrast in the colors.  I did not boost the color at all!

This is Northern California cattle country.  Although, in this shot, only a lone hawk could be seen from this road.

This preserve can be accessed by obtaining a permit here.

Where are you hiking this weekend?

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

 

 

The Weekly Photo Challenge – Landscape

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The Weekly Photo Challenge: Landscape

We had been hiking along this old ranch road checking on the condition of a berm on the south side of a ranch pond.  About 30 cattle scanned us and decided to trot off.  They weren’t sure what to make of these two humans…one carrying a camera and a large clipboard.

I was actually looking at the condition of this road when I looked up.  Sometimes, when I am out hiking or driving my truck at La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve, I am overwhelmed with the vibrant colors of nature.  No, I haven’t done any “post processing” to boost the greens and blues shown in this picture.  This is what we typically see when working in the coastal mountains of San Mateo County, California.

You too can enjoy these vibrant spring colors by visiting the La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve …but, entrance to this preserve requires a permit.  Visit the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District’s Permits page to find out how you can enjoy La Honda Creek OSP.

Where are you hiking this spring weekend?

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

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The Thursday Picture – Feeling Young

 

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Today’s Thursday Picture was taken at Bear Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve in the Sanra Cruz Mountains above San Jose / Silicon Valley.  

These Coast Redwoods are probably well over 150 years old.  What is interesting is that I am writing this entry on my new Apple iPad 2 that my family gave to me for my 56th birthday.  I love it….although, I am going to have to get used to typing on a screen and not a keyboard.  I can’t help but feel young when hiking through one  of California’s forests!  So, I guess this kid will just have to keep learning new things…. Like typing on my iPad screen!

Any suggestions on what sort of cover I should get to protect my iPad2 while I’m out hiking?  I would like to experiment with taking pictures with my iPad2 and my iPhone 6 while also uploading them to my iCloud storage.  I can then access them on my iPad2 and write a first draft for my hiking blog.  Am I getting too ambitious?

So, what are you going to do to feel young this weekend?

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

 

The Thursday Picture – Wearing O’ The Green

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“Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhuit!”

Today’s Thursday Picture was taken at Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District’s La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve.    Yes, the hills of La Honda Creek OSP do a great job of “wearing the green” this time of year.  

If you want to hike in a sea of green, submit a request for a permit here and then get your hiking gear ready!

Green socks are not required…but, are highly recommended.  Make sure you keep an eye out for Leprechuans!

“Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you!”

 

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

 

 

The Thursday Picture – Stand Still!

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Today’s Thursday Picture was taken at Santa Teresa County Park in San Jose’s Almaden Valley.

This Calypte Anna (Anna’s Hummingbird) perched on spent wildflower right as I started hiking up the steep switch backs of the Stile Ranch Trail.  As I switched lenses…this scrappy guy kept shifting on his perch…

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I think he must have been protecting his territory…

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Stand still will you buddy!

Santa Teresa County Park is one of my favorite places to hike in the winter and spring.  There are many birds and wildflowers, rolling green hills, and interesting vistas not far at all from busy San Jose/Silicon Valley.

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So, where are you hiking this weekend?

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

The Weekly Photo Challenge – State of Mind

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The Weekly Photo Challenge – State of Mind

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”
― John Muir, The Mountains of California

 

We had been in the field most of the day.  Checking the condition of a bridge and a ranch road.  We were figuring out what repairs were needed.  Finally, we stopped for lunch on a crest that overlooked the hills rolling down to the Pacific Ocean…and, to take a deep breath and just look around.

You too can visit the La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve …but, entrance to this preserve requires a permit.  Visit the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District’s Permits page to find out how you can enjoy La Honda Creek OSP.

It looks like rain this weekend in California.  Put on your rain gear and get outside.  Where are you going to hike?

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

 

 

 

 

The Thursday Picture – Mindego Hill

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Today’s Thursday Picture was taken on the Mindego Hill Trail at the Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

This terrific view looking west towards a fog covered Pacific Ocean over miles of forested coastal mountains is just one of the special places at this preserve.  The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District is set to open yet another open space area this coming March!

On March 30th, a new portion of trail will allows visitors to hike out to the peak of Mindego Hill.  I’ve been looking at this peak for a few years now, wondering when I will get the opportunity to hike out to the peak.  For a quick peak at the Mindego Hill Trail Extension, check out this video shot for Doug McConnell’s “Open Road” television show here.

If you would like more information on how you can take part in the Mindego Hill Trail Extension grand opening, visit the Mindego Hill Grand Opening page here.

I can’t wait to hike out to the Mindego Hill Peak for the great views….and, for a surprise or two!   Moo!

Where are you hiking this weekend?

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