Russian Ridge

I know that in the past I’ve said that this or that hike was really great, but today actually was really great. I mean, look at this.

long view

Pretty great, right?

There’s a storm a-brewin’ in our area, and we somehow found  a seam between frontal boundaries for our hike today. There are many open space reserves nearby, and this time we selected Russian Ridge, one that we had not visited for some time. We started on the Ridge Trail, and quickly detoured down the scenic Ancient Oaks Trail, where Coyote (the Trickster) was lounging beneath some of those old oak trees. He spotted us and quickly made for the high ground.

coyote1

coyote2

He kept a close eye on us as we moved along the trail. I like these guys. Curious, agile, and alert.

coyote

The trail contours down along the ridge, and opens up to some good views of the coastal hills. We’ll be back on a clear day for some pictures to contrast with this. The ocean is out there somewhere.

mist

As the trail winds in and out of side canyons you’ll find the full range of San Francisco Peninsula habitats. Grassy hillsides, oak groves, and creeks banked with ferns. Didn’t encounter the Redwoods, but if the trail dipped down into one of these canyons I’m sure we’d find them.

deer

ancient oaks

moss

Following this wild variety of scenes, the trail climbs Hawk Ridge. I would like to have some pictures to show you of this area, but I was concentrating on remaining earthbound. Very windy here. The Hawks they talk about were having no problem managing the wind. Several were pinned to the sky, making slight wing adjustments to stay aloft in the gale.

From this point, we made our way back on the Ridge Trail, mostly walking into the teeth of a Small Craft Advisory.

https://i1.wp.com/farm9.staticflickr.com/8485/8238583684_b51594548f.jpg

I almost forgot – we saw a California Giant Salamander on the trail. First time I’ve run across one of these guys. This one was about 6 or 7 inches long, I’d guess. They can get up to a foot long, when you count the tail. I’m sure they’d want you to count the tail.

salamander

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