Friday, December 27, 2013

No Bobcats Today

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I hadn't planned to do any more photo trips during this calendar year, although I had hoped to do some more "Hikes With Pam." Unfortunately, one or the other of us has been under the weather all week. I finally snapped out of it enough this morning to want to get out for a hike, so I thought I'd walk the hills in search of bobcats. I can't believe I still haven't even seen one during this whole blog project. I blame the weather.

We had some pretty weird weather today, with lots of rainless clouds. The sun's so low in the sky that the horizon still shows color in this shot even though it's after 9 a.m. I had to change out of my jeans and into short pants to go for my hike since it was so warm out.

I hiked down the mountain a ways, getting down below the Matt Davis Trail, and just sort of kept my eyes open for cats. I had great views far and wide, plus binoculars. I poked around and photographed this old slippery jack just to have something to do while I waited for a cat to wander into the open. I didn't see so much as a deer and after a couple of hours I hiked back up to the Jeep.

I drove up the hill and hiked a short loop near Rock Spring, again without seeing any wildlife, then continued south along Bolinas Ridge. It was after noon when I photographed this scene, yet still there was color in the sky.

Sometimes the nicest viewpoints are the easiest ones to reach.

Again, waiting for a bobcat to wander into view, I amused myself by photographing whatever I could find at hand. I've photographed these leaves before, but I can't remember what plant it is.

I even took a moment to photograph some filaree (aka storksbill).

I finally spotted a coyote way off to the south, so I tromped back to the Jeep to drive down there and try to get closer. I got to my pull-out just in time to see two coyotes disappear along the Coastal Trail. They were heading back in the direction I'd just come from, so I got back in the Jeep and chose another point to intercept them. Everything was going according to plan at this point (photo above). The coyotes were going to pass right by me and I was going to photograph them as they passed a sign for the Willow Trail. 

A trio of hikers started to approach from the north, and I hoped the coyotes would come around the bend before the hikers got too close and scared them off. The hikers finally reached the Willow Trail sign and headed uphill toward Ridgecrest Road. When the hikers had reached the road and I still had no coyotes coming around the bend, I knew something was amiss. I quietly hiked along the Coastal Trail toward the point where the coyotes should have been, but they were gone. Disappeared. A kestrel had scolded something on a ridge that I couldn't see from my old vantage point, and I wondered if the coyotes had doubled back over that ridge. I never saw them again.

But I did see something pretty weird for late December -- a sky lupine in bloom.

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