The Thursday Picture – Volcanic Color!

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Today’s Thursday Picture was taken on the Juniper Canyon Trail in Pinnacles National Park in California.  It was breezy all day…nice hiking weather!

With the wildflowers blooming, the native grasses and the volcanic rock, this scene repeated itself for most of the day along the trail.

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Coastal Larkspur – Delphinium decorum

Wildflowers were everywhere!

 

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Bush Poppy – Dendromecon rigida

Thanks to Calflora for the flower identification!

It looks like a busy weekend for me this upcoming weekend.  I don’t know if I will make it out on the trail.  Where are you hiking this weekend?

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

 

The Thursday Picture – Indian Warrior

 

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It’s a TBT Thursday Picture!  I took this shot of an Indian Warrior (Pedicularis densiflora) back in January, 2015.

I was hiking through the Thornewood Open Space Preserve when I came across several of these bright red flowers.  The Indian Warrior is a California Native perennial herb.  I see them most often in our Oak forests.  The Thornewood Preserve is a small preserve with only about 1.5 miles of trails.  This is one of our preserves where dogs on leash are allowed.  I remember seeing several beagles, full of energy, along the Bridle Trail.  The Beagles, barking and dragging their human through the second growth douglas fir and redwoods, were having a great time!

Where are you hiking this weekend?

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

 

The Thursday Picture – Bees Please

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Today’s Thursday Picture is four shots of flowers and bees growing alongside the Los Gatos Creek Trail in Los Gatos, California.

There were hundreds of bees that were, well, busy working away.

The Los Gatos Creek Trail is suitable for all ages.  I would advise an early morning hike.  There are several long stretches as you get close to Lexington Dam that have very little shade.  This park and trail are part of the excellent Santa Clara County Parks system.

Where are you going to be buzzing around this weekend?

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

Doppelpoppy

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“Doppelpoppy”

The California Golden Poppy on the top is from my hike at La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve.

The California Golden Poppy on the bottom is from my hike on Bald Mountian at Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve.

Hmm….and, the same flower photo bombed both shots!

Two great places to hike.  La Honda Creek OSP requires a permit and is “unimproved.”  However, It was awash in wildflowers when I hiked there a couple of weeks ago.  I could’ve dropped my trusty Nikon D40 just about anywhere and taken some great wildflower shots!  Here’s a random shot of a hillside next to the trail…

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Sierra Azul OSP is the largest preserve in the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District.  There is a new paved parking area

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on a ridge just off of Mt. Umunhum road south of San Jose.  For you engineering geeks (like me), there are some nice bio retention basins constructed on the north side of the parking lot.

The trail to Bald Mountain is an easy, family friendly hike of about 2 miles round trip.  The view from Bald Mountain to Mt. Umunhum can’t be beat…even on a cloudy day!

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On the lookout for more “Doppelpoppies” on the trail!

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

“Going to the mountains is going home.” – John Muir

20130127 Looking West from Saratoga Gap Trail Hike No 1

20130127 Looking West from Saratoga Gap Trail Hike No 1

Today’s Thursday Picture is from my very first hike that I posted on this blog back in 2013.  As a new year’s resolution, and with a little help from my daughter Kelley, I started my hiking blog, “I’m Over the Hill” to record my hikes and post some pictures of my adventures on the trail.  It was also a way to force me to take the time to exercise by doing something I really enjoy…hiking.

I chose Castle Rock State Park in the Santa Cruz Mountains of Northern California as the location of my first hike.  I wanted to go to the mountains.  I suppose, a little like John Muir, I’ve always felt at home in the mountains.  Although this guy looks a little cold (I was!) before setting out on the trail:

20130127 Castle Rock Hike No 1

20130127 Castle Rock Hike No 1

I’m posting pictures from my first hike because I hit a significant milestone today.

“I’m Over the Hill” attracted the 100th follower and also earned the 1,000th “like” today!

Now, I’d like to think that my brilliant prose and my incredible shots had something to do with these achievements.  But, the truth is, when I am able to hike in so many beautiful parks, wilderness areas, and open spaces, it is just not too hard to post something of interest to the outdoor and WordPress communities.

So, I would also like to thank the folks at WordPress’ Daily Post for helping me to polish my writing and photography.

I would also like to thank the following organizations for being great stewards of our land and for providing me with so many beautiful places to explore:

The National Park Service

The Forest Service

The Bureau of Land Management

The California State Parks

The Santa Clara County Parks

The Santa Clara County Open Space Authority

The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District

I’ve only just begun!  So, are you going home this weekend?

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

 

 

The Thursday Picture – National Wildflower Week!

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It’s National Wildflower Week!

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You can check out the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center on the internet for more information.

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To find out what these type of wildflowers these are that I discovered at Pinnacles National Park, check out the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower site.

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Where are you hiking to enjoy some wildflowers this weekend?

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