Sunday, April 29, 2012

Snake, rattle and roll

I get my first chance to lead a small group on a hike and what do I lead them into?  A rattlesnake.  I have all the fun on the trail.

I headed out to Morgan Territory to take Tracy Press copy editor Melanie Smith and her friend Ryan on a hike ans show them the wide open spaces.  Making our way up Stone Corral Trail toward Volvon Trail a fellow hiker warned us of small rattlesnake ahead on the right hand side of the trail near a small set of rocks.
Cautiously approaching the area I scanned the trail for the snake and there he was curled up enjoying the morning sunshine.  I got my group past safely and stopped for a few pictures.  He was a cute little gut about a foot-and-a-half, maybe two feet long.  Looks like a youngster with only 4 or 6 rattles.

A short time later I saw a lone rock sitting in the trail and made a careful loof around the backside  of the rock.  Resting partly in the shade was another snake, much smaller, maybe 10 or so inches long.  He looked like a baby rattler out on the trail but looking at his photo I'm not sure now.  it might be a common gopher snake.  Then again it could have been a rattlesnake.  best just to leave him alone.
Two snakes in one hike a few minutes apart, does it get any better than that on the trail?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Rejoice in the Sun

In honor of Earth Day last Sunday I took a solo hike to the rolling hills of Round Valley Regional Preserve's Hardy Canyon Trail.  Since it is all about the Earth I'll let the pictures do the talking today.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The high road

I decided to take a solo hike this past weekend and settled on the high slopes of Mount Diablo's Eagle Peak.

The hike is quickly becoming one of my favorites.  Long enough to work up a sweat, high enough for beautiful views and hard enough to keep me on my toes and keep my mind focused.  I packed light taking only my iPhone for the occasional artistic snapshot along the way.

The recent rains have wonderful for the mountain.  The hillsides are a lush green and wildflowers are sprouting along the trail.  From the calls of the wild turkeys echoing through the canyon to the splash of the runoff intom the creeks the sound of spring on the mountain was all around me.

It's days like this that I remember why I like hiking.  The sights of spring on the mountain and being alone on the trail is a unique peace hard to describe.

This coming weekend I look forward to hitting the trail with Alice as we return to Diablo's Donner Falls to see the creek's progress.

It's a magical time on the mountain and I plan to make the most of it.