Toyon Trail

By Carol at 8:24 am on Tuesday, January 30, 2007

After a prolonged dry period, the storm door opened to three days of gentle rains. Portola Valley, crossed by the San Andreas Fault, offers many beautiful trails that are at their best this time of year. We went there looking for a short hike on Larry Lane or Coal Mine Trail, but we found Toyon Trail which climbs the edge of the valley. There are lovely views of redwood and fir forests full of deer and mountain lions. Tracks were evident all along the trail.

down in the  valley

Looking down into Portola Valley.

an easy hike on Toyon trail

An easy hike on Toyon trail in Portola Valley

moss and fern growth

Recent rains support moss and fern growth.

mossy stump catches the rain

Mossy stump catches the rain.

mossy oak over trail

Mossy oak leans over the trail.

cougar print

One of many cougar paw prints observed on the trail.
a leprechaun village

A leprechaun village.

mossy stump

A mossy stump along the way.

fallen log
Fallen log.

bench on trail

A few days later, hiking with a friend in the same area, I take advantage of a comfy log bench that was thoughtfully constructed on this well maintained trail.

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Trip to Foothills Park

By Carol at 5:26 pm on Friday, January 19, 2007

Our hiking group spent several hours hiking at Palo Alto’s Foothill Park. The trails took us through grasslands, oak forests, and meadows bordered by creeks and coastal redwoods. There were views across the Bay, and to the north we could see the city of San Francisco. We saw the large coyote, pictured below, lots of deer, and a variety of birds. Mountain lion warnings were posted along the way. After the recent rains, ferns and mushrooms are flourishing.

wild horse valley
Wild Horse Valley Trail

moss covered tree

Moss covered tree along the trail.

maidenhair and western sword fern

Maidenhair and western sword ferns were plentiful

Coyote

A large coyote disappears over a ridge.

Boronda Lake

Boronda Lake

waterside grasses

Waterside grasses

bridge to nesting area at Boronda Lake
Bridge to the island nesting area in Boronda Lake

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Springtime in the Foothills

By Carol at 4:09 pm on Friday, January 19, 2007

spring hills
Meadows and coastal live oaks are green, and skies are clear.

This is my favorite time for walks in the hills that surround Silicon Valley.

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