The Weekly Photo Challenge – Landscape


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.


The Thursday Picture – Feeling Young



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!


Sierra Vista View

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I’ve been nominated by my friends, Kathy Bauman and Laura Better-Henry, to participate in a seven day nature photography challenge. I will post one nature video/photograph every day for seven days.

Day Three Above:  I took this shot on the Sierra Vista Trail in the eastern foothills above San Jose/Silicon Valley.

Located just above the City of San Jose’s Alum Rock Park is the Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve.  There are some fantastic hiking trails in both Alum Rock Park and Sierra Vista OSP with some pretty views of the eastern foothills above San Jose.  This is one of my favorite hikes along the Sierra Vista Trail.  It’s not unusual for me to see several Red Tailed Hawks soaring above this valley.

If you’re looking for a good out and back Half Dome training hike, try starting out from Alum Rock Park on the North Rim Trail/Weather Trail/Todd Quick Trail and continue up the hill and take the Boccardo Loop Trail to the Sierra Vista Trail/Lower Calaveras Loop Trail.  It’s about 14 miles out and back with a total elevation gain of well over 1,200 feet.  It’s not as steep as Mission Peak in Fremont…but, it is a good long, scenic trail.

Where are you hiking this weekend?

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


Connected – Los Gatos Creek Trail

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Connected.”


This boardwalk along the Los Gatos Creek Trail carries hikers over a busy roadway, through the tree tops, and connects the east and west sides of the trail.  I took this shot with my iPhone 6.

One of my favorite parts of the Los Gatos Creek Trail!

This is part of the excellent Santa Clara County Parks System.

Where are you hiking this weekend?

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

The Weekly Photo Challenge: Beneath Your Feet

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Beneath Your Feet.”1-DSC_8427

I have size 13 – 2E feet.  There…I said it.  Yes, I have big feet.

So normally, anything having to do with, well, my big feet, I normally avoid.  However, I was going through my pictures recently and remembered that I had taken this nice shot of some California Golden Poppies at the Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve off of the Skyline Boulevard in the mountains above San Jose/Silicon Valley.  This particular picture was taken very close to the newer Mindego Gateway parking and trail staging area.

Russian Ridge OSP has some really terrific hiking trails where you can view both the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean.  It’s also not unusual to see some red tailed hawks circling the sky while hiking here.  Finally, this OSP has some of the best accessible wildflower areas in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Yes, that is one of my big feet in the lower left hand corner of the picture.  I’m wearing my KEEN boots which have carried me all over California.  My Keen’s are the most comfortable hiking boots I’ve ever worn.  They’ve shared many adventures with me without one complaint.

My knees have also been on many adventures with me.  Unlike my Keen’s, my knees always complain.

Where are you hiking this weekend?

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Beneath Your Feet

The Weekly Photo Challenge: Close Up

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


I don’t normally do much Macro Photography…unless, it is a shot of flowers along the trail.  Truthfully, I was hiking in the Russian Ridge OSP back in March and stopped to take some pictures of the field of wildflowers.  This bee was focused on the job at hand…collecting pollen.  It looks like this bee had been collecting pollen for quite a while.  Notice the “pollen basket” on his leg – it’s looks kind of like a goldish football shape.

Anyway, this bee photo bombed my flower shot.  What do you think?

If you are interested in bees, I was able to find some interesting information on the U.C. Berkley Urban Bee Lab web site.

I’m going to be looking for more opportunities to practice my macro photography skills the rest of the summer.

Where are you hiking this weekend?

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Close Up

Weekly Photo Challenge: Half and Half

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


When I read this week’s photo challenge, I knew almost immediately what photo I could use.

This is a picture of Lily Rock that I took from the Devil’s Slide Trail.  I could hear climbers yelling, “belay” and, “you’ve got it!”  However, I couldn’t see them.

You can get this picture on the Devil’s Slide Trail a few hundred feet above Humber Park.

A great hike up to the US Forest Service lookout on Tahquitz Peak starts here.  My “Half and Half” entry was taken on the way down the trail….all the while, my knees were screaming at me, “Get to the car, we’re beat!”

Where are you taking your camera this weekend?

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

The Weekly Photo Challenge: Enveloped


This week’s picture was taken at Rancho Canada del Oro Open Space Preserve located in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains in the southern part of Santa Clara County.

I like how the Oaks envelope the trail…and, seem to frame the view of the valley beyond.

What do you think?

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Enveloped