Wildflower Hike

Karen and Dylan weren’t able to join me on Monday for our walk. Instead I hiked the Quicksilver trail on my own in search of wildflowers. I hoofed it up the hill and got my heart rate going, but I also enjoyed the opportunity to stop several times along the way.

The hills, parched and dry, are a worrying site this early in the year. Most of the grass along the trail’s edge is golden brown instead of green.

dry grass along the quicksilver trail

View of Silicon Valley from the Almaden Quicksilver Trail

Here and there, though I spotted tiny dots of color. It stands to reason that wildflowers native to our region are able to withstand the drought.

Here’s a sample:

variety of wildflowers

Santa Clara County wildflowers

wildflowers

This reminds me of a delicate orchid

assorted wildfowers 2

I also passed several happy pooches enjoying the trail. A few of them stopped for a photo-op, but they were more interested in walking and playing.

blonde dog on the trail

Cutie-patootie number one

dogs on the trail

Cutie-patootie number two

Birds flew in and out of the dry brush, camouflaging well among the branches.

bird at quicksilver

Can you see me now?

Half way down the hill, I heard a cacophony of birds in one tree, clearly distressed.  Here’s a sample:

I strained to see what I assumed was a predator, moving the lens of my camera back and forth. In the split second it took to adjust my eyes, I spotted the hawk. Just as quickly it flew away, a jay hot on its tail. My reflexes just weren’t fast enough.

Steller's Jay

Steller’s Jay

On the other hand, I’m pretty sure I spotted a Who from the beloved book Horton Hears a Who!  That, my friend, made my day.

wildflowers

Who-ville? Who knows.

18 thoughts on “Wildflower Hike

  1. Great video and photos. There is one with a purple flower above the orchid looking photo that looks a lot like the stickered plant my son has in his back yard. The flowers were pretty but the little tiny burrs they left behind were in the dogs fur and hard to get out. It does look parched and I hope you get through the summer months ok. We’ve had less rain than usual too. But I won’t complain. Need the sunshine too.

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    • LOL…the cat just walked across my keyboard as I was reading this and magically sent it to the trash. How could two tiny paws manage those random keystrokes. I guess she didn’t like the idea of stickers in her fur either!

      I know the little burrs you are referring to. In fact, she smaller of the two dogs pictured had a few in his fur when I bent down to pet him. Those burrs and the foxtails are so hard on animals.

      The distribution of rain and snow around the world seems as random as a roll of the dice this year. We rarely get any rain during June, July and August, so I fear we are at the end of the season for quite awhile.

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  2. Alys, some of the text is missing on my post – It’s where you write about the dogs you met up with …. the line starts in the middle of a sentence…… [I hope it’s not just me having eye trouble :-)]

    I recognise some of your wild flowers and not others. Some wild flowers are global by the looks of it. The cute patooties sure are!! My heart goes a little bit weak and wobbly around cute doggies at the moment. Must be on my guard else I’ll end up with a whole pack! Your whole hike looked to be a lovely adventure and I LOVE that you finished up with a Who or two!!

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    • Pauline, it might have just been a glitch with WordPress. I double checked, and it is all there. Thanks for letting me know, though.

      Yes, a Who or two for me and a pack of dogs, or one extra special one for you. Yippee!

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  3. Nature will adapt so much better than we do hey? Amazing collection too. The third collage, bottom centre, looks just like the wild rose of Alberta. Very prickly, they bloom in the ditches and in forests in the country areas and even in the river valley in the city.

    Don’t you just love to see a dog so darn happy just to be out with their peeps for a walk. I get giddy just thinking about their smiles and wagging tails. The husky has gorgeous eyes too.

    Your Blue Jays look a bit different than ours. Ours are very big with white chests and crowns and more of a lighter blue. But I can recognize the shape is the same. Quite the community siren they’ve got going on there. I guess that hawk thought he better skedaddle on out of there.

    Who-ville? Who knows…….love that caption. They really do look like Who’s Alys-lou. xoxox

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    • Wow…roses blooming in the ditches. That’s fantastic. I can’t wait to visit your beautiful area of the world. Lots of visual treasures await.

      I love seeing happy dogs. They make the walks all the more fun indeed.

      Apparently we have two types of Jay’s in the county, The Steller’s Jay (with the black crown, and a Scrub jay, crestless blue head with a white throat.

      We spotted a beautiful blue bird in the garden last weekend, but it came and went quickly with no chance to snap a picture. It was gorgeous. It might have been a Western Bluebird or a Lazuli Bunting. I hope it comes back.

      xox

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      • I’ve never seen an actual Bluebird, you’re so lucky. Some people out at the lake build bird houses especially to attract them. Apparently they used to be seen in and around rural Alberta. I just pulled up a map on Google for their current habitat preference and it seems they’re up and down the west coast mostly. Probably too many pesticides used in farming now to allow much of anything to call the prairies home. We learned at the bird store event, it’s a major reason for the declining owl population. They eat the rodents that eat the grains that are treated with all manor of toxicity for weed control. Isn’t it sad what we’re doing to the earth?

        Oh, I hope you’re able to get a photo or two. Really special little things for sure. Being that it’s a wild rose, the Alberta Rose blooms only once in the spring and then that’s it. It’s a very brief display. I guess most of the hybridized commercial roses we’re use to, are specially breed for long showy displays. Once, a group of us were hiking at the lake, we came to a clearing that had hundreds all in bloom. So pretty, but by the next weekend, they were done. I wish I had a camera with me the first time…..it was before smartphones, dang. I’ll have my fingers crossed for you and your trusty camera xox

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        • Oh how sad to think that pesticides are driving them away. What have we done to this earth? I didn’t know that about the owls, but it all makes sense. I still have scale on my Magnolia tree, but when we realized that the systemic recommended by the arborist could also be harmful to beneficial insects, we decided against it.

          I haven’t seen the bluebird again, but hope he’s lurking nearby. I’m see so many birds now that the flowers are blooming and dropping seeds.

          I just read up on their diet: mealworms and other small insects and berries. http://www.bluebirdnut.com/Feeding.htm

          Since our garden has earthworms and seeding flowers, they may not find much of interest. Too bad for me.

          Our California poppies are similar to your Alberta Roses with a short but spectacular life span.

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          • Next up: Meal worm farm..HA! Wowie, you really need an education to feed the bluebirds. Wouldn’t that be fantastic though? To have them buzzing around the yard and maybe even nesting. I wonder if the Phoebe cam will be operating this year? Thanks for the link, interesting stuff xo

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  4. Wild flowers are always a lovely sight to see – that pink orchid-like flower is really pretty. They are masters at adapting to their habitat, but I am also constantly amazed at how some manage to flourish in the toughest conditions. In our part of the world that can mean clinging to a limestone rock with hardly any soil and on an exposed hillside! Lovely photos Alys, and it was nice to share your walk with you! 😀

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  5. Those are gorgeous flowers. I especially love the one that looks like an orchid. And your Jays look much different from the ones here. I just filled the feeder and put out two new hummingbird feeders this morning.

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