Coyote Ridge Open Space Preserve is a more recent preserve of the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority. It has a number of endangered species, so access to it is currently limited to teacher-led walks or special events where a limited number of self-guided visitors are allowed. I took advantage of one of those special events last Saturday, hoping to see some good wildflowers and maybe see some of the wildlife.
I rode my electric recumbent bike to the start on Malech Road in San Jose. There I met enthusiastic and friendly volunteers who got me started after I parked the bike and switched to walking mode. They are mainly classic grasslands common in the California foothills. They are starting to color, but we had quite a bit of rain last night, so I hope they stay green for a while. It’s quite a climb uphill to Coyote Ridge, after which the trail follows the ridge and is undulating. I saw quite a few beautiful poppies, lupines and popcorn flowers. After a few kilometers I ran into some fellow ex-Ibm people. I was only there for three years, 1984-87, but Larry and Howard were there a little longer, with software in Endicott, NY, and later at IBM on Bailey Road in San Jose. I went on with them and enjoyed exchanging stories about our days with Big Blue. I was glad I did as they persuaded me to do a round trip to a spectacular vantage point, which for me was the highlight. We had less luck with wildlife, no Tule Elk or hawks in sight but did see some butterflies and a raven too. These are larger cousins to crows, but more skilled fliers.
I had my small digital camera, but Larry is a talented photographer with a much higher quality camera, and he kindly allowed me to use his camera (which are annotated below ©Larry England).
This ended up being a 3+ hour hike for me, and along with the round trip bike ride made for a 4 hour workout so I slept well that night.
At the entrance. I parked my small recumbent bike next to the Porta potty. Loma Prieta and Mount Umumhum are in view to the west
Part of the big climb to Coyote Ridge
Morgan Hill’s El Toro looks like a molehill from here
One of many useful interpretive signs
Mount Hamilton to the northeast, with a few lupines in the field in the foreground
Loma Prieta to the west, with poppies among the rocks in the foreground
I’ve taken more photos of wildflowers, but they don’t do the scenery justice. So I’m going to show you some of Larry.
©Larry England, 3/26/22
©Larry England, 3/26/22
Poppies and popcorn flowers ©Larry England, 3/26/22
Howard, left, one of the volunteers, right, and me, at the lookout (©Larry England, 26/32)
Beautiful valley to the east. The Open-space Authority has acquired much of this land, including a former rocket engine testing facility. Can’t wait to check it out when they open (©Larry England, 3/26/22)
View of the northeast of the Diablo range. Mount Hamilton with the white dots of Lick Observatory, right of center (©Larry England, 26/32)
Spotting butterflies! Bay checkerspot butterfly (©Larry England, 3/26/22)
View with poppies between the rocks (©Larry England, 26/32)
Published by BionicOldGuy
I am a mechanical engineer born in 1953, Ph. D, Stanford, 1980. I have been in the mechanical CAE field for decades. I also have a lifelong interest in outdoor activities and fitness. I had both hips replaced and a heart valve replacement due to a genetic condition. This blog describes my adventures to stay active despite these bumps in the road. View all posts from BionicOldGuy
Published March 30, 202229 March 2022
This post Wildflowers and Wildlife at Coyote Ridge – BionicOldGuy was original published at “https://bionicoldguy.home.blog/2022/03/30/wildfires-and-wildlife-at-coyote-ridge/”