Yes, it's still technically winter, and admittedly a bit cool for spring, but the most recent storm was a few days past, and the weather looked like, well, this:
(As usual, click to enlarge.)
Twenty of us set out from the Skyline Ridge parking lot, heading down into Monte Bello, then across Page Mill to Coal Creek, across Skyline to Russian Ridge, then through the tunnel under Alpine back to Skyline Ridge, and thence back to where we were parked.
There's the first interesting fungus of the day, still on the first downhill stretch into Monte Bello.
A nice little scene in Coal Creek.
Follow me, follow
Down to the hollow,
And there let us wallow
In glorious mud!
Cute trailside vegetation. (Still in Coal Creek.)
Hey, where'd that city come from?
The view out across the Bay.
If that's the Pacific Ocean, this must be Russian Ridge.
I hope the weather out at the coast is like this next Sunday.
Back into the woods, and there are these cute little mushrooms growing among the moss.
The view ahead, as we exit the woods and return to grassland.
It's almost traditional to see a fire... on one occasion, it was up close and personal. This time, it was just off in the distance, and not running wild. We never did identify the source of the smoke.
One last snap, from the vista point in Skyline Ridge. The smoke is still there.
Yes, it was a fine day for a hike. Despite a fairly long lunch break and the long-cut through the woods, we got back to the cars a little after 2:30, and back down to the carpool point just at 3:00.
Oddly, there wasn't much wildlife out. We didn't encounter any newts, and there weren't many birds in evidence.
After 33 shots, many with the flash, the battery charge indicator still hadn't budged from "full." That cheap extra-capacity battery is vastly better than the old worn-out original batteries.