Saturday, March 15, 2014

On the Trapper's Trail

Trapper's Trail fire road is the express hiking route to the very top of Foothills Park: 1,000 feet of elevation gain in about 2 miles. Because it's a fire road, the brush has been cleared on both sides, so as you ascend the ridge you get ever-expanding views of the Bay. The brush removal also provides plenty of sun exposure for chaparral plants and encourages shrubs that seem to thrive in disturbed places. That would include our version of the bush poppy (Dendromecon rigida). This stand was adjacent to a nice patch of chaparral pea, just starting to blossom. In two weeks, if the poppies keep it up, this spot will be a riot of hot yellows and magentas...

Up a little higher, some scrappy penstemons colonizing the road:

On the way back down the delicate meadow rue are out:

And the big-leaf maple, throbbing with the humming of bees:

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