Today we drove to Portola Valley for a hike up Hamm’s Gulch near Windy Hill. Most of the hike was shady and still damp from recent rains.
Jim, Joannie and Bob survey the ravine below the trail.
Parts of the trail were lined with snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus) bushes. The white fruit grows in clusters and provides winter food for certain species of birds such as quail. It contains alkaloids which are considered mildly poisonous to humans.
Bigleaf maples showed their yellow colors in the woods today. Below is a close-up of a single leaf.
Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia) berries, maturing in the fall, provide food for several species of birds as well as mammals, including coyotes and bears. The fruit was prepared in various ways, by native Americans and early settlers of the West, for use in foods and beverages..
Leaving the trail we cross a creek on this mossy old iron bridge.
These streamside plants look a lot like darmera peltata.
Back on the road there are more big leaf maples and rows of redwoods.