Today's field trip, about 30 minutes south of San Francisco.
Buckeye fruit. I forget the name... Poisonous to some animals (like other Hippocastanaceae), but I hear they recover easily enough.
Hedera canariensis, cut to kill.
Toxicodendron. In all my life, I've never had a reaction to poison oak. Either I've been very lucky, or I'm insensitive to it. Nice fall color!
Into the woods...
Arbutus menziesii, Madrone. One of my favorite trees. If they stayed that small, I'd have planted one in my yard by now. Sigh. (A. menziesii, named for Archibald Menzies, the famous Scottish plantsman. The mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom, descends from the Menzies. Newsom's grandfather, Arthur Menzies, planted the California garden in the San Francisco Botancial Garden in Golden Gate Park. FYI.)
This is a middle-aged Madrone.
Up on the ridge, the oaks give way to manzanita, coyote bush, toyon...
and views of expensive California mini-mansions built on a seismic fault in a high fire zone inhabited by mountain lions.
Tough ferns growing in hot part-sun.
This chick had a nagging cough. I let her pass me so I didn't have to listen to her anymore.
Eucalyptus globulus. There's only a half dozen of them up here, and I'm surprised they weren't chopped down. Not that I mind; I generally like Eucalyptus but they're quite the invasive tree here. You can go for hundreds of miles in California without losing sight of a eucalyptus. They were brought over as a source of fast-growing wood for building, but they brought the wrong species and the wood is mostly useless. They should bring over koala bears too, to eat the leaves.
It's a hazy day but I can see all the way to Moffett Field in Santa Clara.
It's like some fall color colossus bestriding the chaparral.
Acer macrophyllum? I don't know. It looks a bit out of place.
Back at the trail head.
The short drive home.
Hwy 280 north, and south.
One of the things that makes the Bay Area what it is, are the dramatic changes in microclimate. Ten minutes and fifteen miles ago it was sunny. Now look at the fog. This is how it will look all day in this part of town.
And a few minutes later, and a few miles on, the fog gives back the blue sky.
In San Francisco, it's all about location, location, location.