Light of Morn
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Twilight Hike, Rancho San Vicente
20 August 2011
A series of old ranch roads wind their way through Rancho San Vicente.
Coffeeberry with coffee bean-like fruit. When in bloom, coffeeberry is a rich nectar source for insects.
One of many ancient oaks that dot the landscape.
This smaller trail-side oak is my personal favorite.
Native Ohlone called the Bay Laurel the "medicine tree" and used its leaves as a decongestant.
Numerous outcrops of serpentine rock embellish the landscape.
As the road climbs uphill, rolling grassland dotted with oaks gives way to dense forests.
Near the summit, a small stand of wind-sculptured oaks hug the hillside.
Across Almaden Valley, a section of Santa Teresa County Park can be seen.
Rancho San Vicente, Calero County Park and Rancho Canada del Oro OSP share common boundaries.
Light fading fast. Time to retrace our steps back to where we started.
Fading light illuminates a hillside spine of serpentine.
Setting sun casting long shadows.
This "out and back" hike was about 3 miles total. It is rated strenuous due a steep half-mile climb uphill.
Large group of park visitors make their way downhill as darkness falls.
It will be full dark by the time we reach the parking lot.
Active during cool evening hours, this Western Toad crossed our path as we neared our parked cars.
The large "warts" behind its eyes are actually glands filled with foul tasting fluid to deter predators.
Go to for more information on upcoming Rancho San Vicente hikes.
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