|Meyers Ranch Trail|
Date: December 1 and 21, 2014
Place: Garin/Dry Creek/Pioneer Regional Park, Hayward, California
Coordinates, Dry Creek entrance: 37.607567, -122.017732 Garin entrance: 37.62800, -122.028950
Length, the large loop: 3.2 miles. The shorter loop: about 2 miles
Difficulty: normally easy but challenging when muddy.
Garin/Dry Creek/Pioneer Regional Park is a regular hound for me. Close enough to my home to frequent, isolated enough from the city to escape it, and pleasantly rich with natural diversity of plants, animals and, as was evident in my most recent whiles there: fungi. I love hiking in that park. Usually, when I go by myself, I hike up the hills where I have solitude. This fall I was planning to take my hiking groups there and I was checking out the loop trail that goes along Dry Creek, over the Jordan Pond Dam and up the west part of the High Ridge Loop Trail.
|Muddy Mayers Ranch Trail|
The hillsides glistened. It was droplet-covered cobwebs, spread between last year's dry weeds, that sparkling in the sunlight.
|Morning dew on cobwebs. on the hillside along Dry Creek Trail|
|Sycamore in winter dress|
November rains brought forth a bounty of mushrooms I haven't seen in a long time. Although not matching the variety of fungi I've seen in Northern California during my Thanksgiving family vacation, Garin Regional Park sported a splendid display nonetheless.
Not all of the fungi I've seen there were seasonal. Some are visible year-round. They too, however, look better after the rain.
|Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor)|
|View of the Bay from the High Ridge Trail Vista Point|
|California Buckeye in winter dress|
|A germinating California Buckeye|
We had a lunch break by the big sycamore near the cattle gate that separates the north and the south portion of Dry Creek Trail. The children found a newt wedged in a crack at the base of the tree trunk, peacefully waiting for the noisy humans to finish their business and go away.
A fallen log on the east side looked like it had grown feathers. On a closer look I saw it was covered with Turkey Tail fungus.
Fog covered the hills that day. The air was cool, refreshing, and promising of a long, wet winter. Sadly, December rains were the last. January has gone by without a drop and very little rain is in the forecast. The long California drought isn't over yet.
Garin/Dry Creek/Pioneer is a fantastic place to go hiking or even just to escape for a little while. For being really close to the city, this park is still amazingly wild. I love it there.
I'm not even sure they belong here in this blog post. I didn't make them part of the main post, but here they are, smiling at the bottom. Don't belong, but cannot be ignored.