Sombody’s Watching Me

Do you remember the hit single from the mid-eighties I always feel like, somebody’s watching me?

I snapped several photos on a recent hike, and the song’s lyrics came to mind.  I watched the video, and promptly developed an ‘earworm.’  Since the tune is rattling around in my head today, I thought I would share Rockwell’s lyrics with my photos from the trail.

spider hole

Who’s watching?
Tell me who’s watching.
Who’s watching me?

orange rock

I’m just an average man, with an average life.
I work from nine to five; hey hell, I pay the price.
All I want is to be left alone in my average home;
But why do I always feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone, and

I always feel like somebody’s watching me.
And I have no privacy.
fairy house in the woods
Woh, I always feel like somebody’s watching me.
Tell me is it just a dream?

When I come home at night.
I bolt the door real tight.
People call me on the phone I’m trying to avoid.
Well, can the people on T.V. see me.
Or am I just paranoid?

missing tree roots

When I’m in the shower.
I’m afraid to wash my hair.
‘Cause I might open my eyes
And find someone standing there.
People say I’m crazy.
Just a little touched.
But maybe showers remind me of
“Psycho” too much.
That’s why. . .

missing tree roots closeup

I always feel like somebody’s watching me.
And I have no privacy.
Woh, I always feel like somebody’s watching me.
Who’s playing tricks on me?

spider web

Who’s watching me?
I don’t know anymore . . . are the neighbors watching
Who’s watching?
Well, it’s the mailman watching me: and I don’t feel safe anymore.
Tell me who’s watching.
Oh, what a mess. I wonder who’s watching me now,
(WHO?) the I.R.S.?

DSC_0057

I always feel like somebody’s watching me.
And I have no privacy.
Woh, I always feel like somebody’s watching me.
Who’s playing tricks on me?

I always feel like somebody’s watching me.
I always feel like somebody’s watching me.
I always feel like somebody’s watching me.
I always feel like somebody’s watching me.
I always feel like somebody’s watching me.

I always feel like somebody’s watching me.
And I have no privacy.
Woh, I always feel like somebody’s watching me.
I can’t enjoy my tea.

spider web closeup

I always feel like somebody’s watching me.
I want my privacy.
Woh, I always feel like somebody’s watching me.
Woh, I always feel like somebody’s watching me.
Stop playing tricks on me

Read more: Rockwell – Somebody’s Watching Me Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Everyone P**ps

You can take the girl out of England, but you can’t take the English out of the girl.

I came really close to naming today’s blog Everyone Poops, from the children’s book of the same name.  Written in Japanese, and translated into English, I first spotted this book nearly twenty years ago in a Mendocino bookstore.  I giggled.

My dad was British, my mom Canadian.  We used more polite words when discussing bodily functions, and even in my fifties I give pause before using this particular word.

Yet today on my hike, when this lovely deer provided a front row seat to her daily elimination, I kept thinking about that book.

deer in the woods

Taking care of business

deer on the path

On her way

I thought of other things as well.  She was trusting enough to hold my gaze while at the same time holding that position.  It was fun for me, hiking alone, to have her walk along the same path for a few hundred feet before heading up the hill.

Hiking companion

Hiking companion

Generally they close the park trail to traffic, but the gate was open this morning.  As I snapped away, I heard a large truck pull up behind me.  I moved off the path to let the truck pass. I giggled some more.

clean out tank

Clean-out Tank

You’ll never hear this discussed on Downton Abbey, but the reality is it’s true.  Everyone p**ps.

Goofing Off

selfie

Selfie with Silicon Valley in the background

It’s a holiday in the US today, more specifically President’s Day.  The boys are out of school, Mike’s home from work and the sun is shining.

We desperately, desperately, desperately need the rain and this is the month we get the most of it.  That said, it’s hard not to enjoy such a clear, bright warm day.

We hiked at Almaden Quicksilver, and enjoyed the bits of green along the trails edge thanks to some recent rain.  The California Poppies are up as well.  We hiked mid-day, a terrible time for decent photos, but I hope to go back soon to snap some shots while the poppies are still in bloom.

In case you think I’m a complete deadbeat, I did a lot of digging, pruning, weeding and planning over the weekend and will share more with you later in the week.

See you then!

orange poppies

California Poppies (October 2013)

If Fences Could Talk

We’re finally seeing some fall action here in San Jose, which for us means cloudy skies and temperatures south of 50 F (10C).  It also means perfect hiking weather!

Almaden Quicksilver trail view

Almaden Quicksilver trail view

My walking partner cancelled this week, so I took myself up to the Quicksilver trail for a ninety-minute hike.  I love social hikes, but now and again, it’s great to go alone. I’m able to tune in more to the nature around me, to see things that I might have missed.

On my recent hike, I noticed the number of fences running along the trail head and into the hills as I climbed.  Wooden fence posts seemed to be re-joining the landscape. Once tall trees, whittled into fence posts, forgot all about formalities. They were gradually returning to a natural state.

decaying fence

Like the understudy in a play waiting in the wings, here was their chance to shine. Each fence post took on shape and character, gathering moss, lichen and weathered decay. Fences meant to keep trespassers out quietly invited small guests in. Signs of a woodpecker, insects and moss were everywhere. I had the sense that if i lingered awhile, those fences would tell me a story.  That perhaps I wasn’t alone after all.

If those fences could talk, what do you think they would say?
crossing fence posts fence with barbed wire fence with lichen

Halloween Countdown:

lacy pumpkin

All dressed up: Lacy pumpkin

Nature’s Garden, No Tarantulas

The good news (if you’re a tarantula) is its mating season.

Additional good news (for arachnophobics) is I didn’t spy a single one on my hike this week. You may safely continue reading without any surprises herein.

I’ve really missed my weekly hikes along the Almaden Quicksilver trail. Hiking trails feel like nature’s garden, a place to enjoy flora and fauna and if your lucky, a bit of wildlife.  I generally hike with my friend Karen and her sweet dog, Dylan. They weren’t available this week, so I decided to hoof it alone.

I bent down to take a photo of some fall leaves, when two women approached and said “is that a tarantula?”  Momentarily confused, I realized the hikers thought I was taking a picture of one of our eight-legged friends. The hikers I spoke with saw three tarantulas on the trail that morning.

Off I went in pursuit of exercise and wildlife (with four legs), careful to keep my eyes down whenever I approached a patch of shade. Years ago a tarantula crossed my path on a hike around this time of year. They’re actually slow-moving and quite docile, so other than the startle factor, I wasn’t concerned.

One of the amazing things about hiking this trail is how quickly you feel like you’re away from the city.  I can get there by car in 15 minutes. I love that.

Given the long, dry year we’ve had, things were looking pretty brown.  Even so, I loved the smell of fall in the air, the shadows in the trees and the view of downtown San Jose.

Come have a look at one of the quicksilver trails: nature’s garden, and as promised, no tarantulas.

McAbee Road Trail head

McAbee Road Trail Head

Potpourri of fallen leaves

Potpourri of fallen leaves

trail incline

The first steep incline (no spiders here)

view of silicon valley

A view of Silicon Valley and the dreaded smog we have this time of year.

parched earth

Parched earth

tree cave

‘Tree cave’

Remnants from the Quicksilver days

Remnants from the quicksilver mining days

The bottom of the hill

The bottom of the hill

camouflaged deer

A well camouflaged deer

Almaden Quicksilver County Park

Hiking with Dylan

After three weeks of conflicting schedules, I finally got to hike with my four-legged friend, Dylan. Karen came too!

I love all animals, but I have a special place in my heart for Dylan. Unlike my sister’s cat who knows me as “that woman with the vacuum,” Dylan knows I’m his walking buddy. I heard from Karen that he also knows me by name. That news made me stand a little taller. It’s hard to top the selfless love of an animal, isn’t it?

Dylan

Who’s a happy dog?

Early March is beautiful around here. All the trees are starting to bloom in bursts of pink, white and purple. We hiked along the Campbell trail, with a brief stop at the dog park.  It was a feast for the eyes.

I’ve been walking the Campbell Par Course for over twenty years and I never tire of it. I think that’s the way it goes with nature. Nature is constant, but the variables are forever changing.  The creek nearby rises and falls, seasons of course change too. Trees fall, new trees grow, ducks and geese lay their eggs. Two ancient foot bridges finally gave way to wider, safer and more aesthetic ones.  The trail’s essence remains the same.

Come walk with me. Here is part of the view:

Daffodils at the Trail Head

Daffodils at the Trail Head

Trees in bloom

Trees in bloom

Dylan at the Dog Park

Dylan and a new friend at the dog park
The park backs up to a building sporting the mural…dogs on pedestals of course.

Approaching the foot bridge

Approaching the foot bridge

Campbell Par Course

Campbell Par Course

Campbell Par Course

Growing along the trail

Crossing the second footbridge

Crossing the second footbridge

DSC_0035

Do you have a favorite walking place?

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Hiking the Quicksilver Trail

Karen and Dylan

Hiking Buddies

We officially launched our back-to-school hiking season today along one of the beautiful Quicksilver trails.  It was a perfect fall day! I hike with my friend Karen, and her sweet dog, Dylan during the school year.  With four children between us, we rarely find time for these hikes in the summer.  It’s good to be back.

Dylan was so happy to see me, that he climbed in my lap and prepared to stay there…all 58 pounds of him. Dogs have an innate ability to make you feel loved. I adore him! He was also happy to be back on the trail with his senses working in overdrive.

Almaden Quicksilver

Almaden Quicksilver boasts a vast web of trails throughout Almaden Valley, a suburb in Silicon Valley. Once home to Quicksilver Mines, it’s now a 4,152-acre county park “encompassing several historic remains, including abandoned towns, cemeteries, old equipment, and mine entrances.”

Hiking Trail

Almaden Quicksilver Hiking Trail

We’ve had no measurable rain for months, so the trails are a dry, brown hue. Though I love the verdant green winter and spring days, there is something magical about this time of year.  Evergreen shrubs and trees cast shadows on the well-worn trails. Patches of dried bramble shelter rabbits, lizards and birds. The soft rustling adds to the experience.

popcorn like flowers going to seed

Flowers going to seed or popcorn on the vine

Just as I bemoaned the fact that we’d not seen deer for a while, we spotted some near the head of the trail. Their legs blend in with the dried grass. I took my eyes off of them to adjust my camera, and they seemed to momentarily disappear.  My heart sings a little when I get a close glimpse of them. Wildlife continues to flourish in the heart of Silicon Valley.

A pair of deer at trail head

pair of deer

Always on the alert for predators

Halloween Countdown

Man of La Mancha pumpkin

Man of La Mancha Pumpkin
Don Quixote and Sancho Panza