Saturday, April 26, 2008

April 24, 2007

This time we began our day with an exploration of the coyote bush around the parking lot. There were plenty of cool pathways just the right size for eight-to-eleven year old bodies to crawl around in, and, unfortunately, plenty of junk for them to find. I guess I can kind of understand why they would find bottle caps in there, but the discarded make-up case Maya found is a little unsettling.

Eventually we were ready for our hike in to Horseshoe Lake. As we approached the lake, we saw a large waterfowl perched on some kind of stump in the water. It was spreading its wings out to catch the sun, and every now and then would flap them a little, but mostly stood still as a statue.

We checked out the pool where the newts had been last week, but they seemed to be all gone. The water was somewhat murky, and its possible they were lurking around on the bottom, but we definitely couldn't see any. The tree frog was making itself scarce, too. So we followed the dry river bed into the trees, and climbed down what must have been a waterfall, to a place where there were the most interesting soft black rocks. Erica and Maya spent some time flint knapping, while Ziad and Henry began construction on a wizard's village.

After some snacks, it was time to explore the Lambert's creek trail. This trail heads up into the woods, then starts downhill at a pretty steep clip (as we discovered when we had to hike back up). As we rounded a corner, I scared a garter snake that had been sunning itself on the path. It disappeared up the bank next to the trail, and although Ziad make a good effort to catch it, he came up empty. We emerged onto the most beautiful sunny hillside, covered with grass and wildflowers, and took a brief moment to identify the Blue Dick, a lovely flower relative of the Amaryllis.

Then, while I continued on down the path to reconnoiter, it was time for a game of foxtail (another game I don't really know the rules of) while Erica and Maya took a break in a handy tree.

Erica found a caterpillar up there, pale with dark diamonds on its back, but none of us knew what it was.

Then, fearing it could take us a while to get back up the hill we had come down, we headed back towards the lake. Heroic efforts were made by Katherine, who was carrying Margaret on her back, and Oscar, who is still very young for these steep uphill hikes. We all made it, though, and as we came up to the lake we saw that the bird was still there.

We were almost to the parking lot when we saw the coyote on a hillside meadow in front of us. It was an exciting end to a wonderful day.

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Blogger Lesley said...

I hope you remember to bring your walking stick!

We went on a hike yesterday too.
Back to Quicksilver. This time we went in through the Mockingbird Hill Lane entrance. Saw 2 deer. Audrey only fell once. It was a Boy Scout pack hike.

10:08 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

What trail did you hike? Most of the trails I know from that entrance are super steep. Unless you hiked sideways back to the McAbee entrance, which is a great hike, in my opinion.

5:32 AM  
Blogger Lesley said...

I think it was New Almaden trail.

5:54 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Back to the McAbee entrance or up the vertical hill?

7:10 PM  

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