Coyote Hills Regional Park
September 19, 2010
Mikey's Moments > Coyote Hills Regional Park
Today I want to get out but not have too far to drive. I had wanted to check out Coyote Hills Regional Park for sometime and it offers a nice mix of hill and bay scenery.
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I arrive on a cloudy gray fall morning which according to the forecast offers a 30% chance of rain. Some sun does however show itself and here it beautifully lights up the Alameda Creek as I head out on the Bayview Trail.


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Heading uphill on the Nike Trail I look back and have a nice view of the south San Francisco Bay and the Alviso salt ponds. Some of the levees that make up the ponds have been there over a hundred years...


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Turning my attention forward once again I continue along the Red Hill Trail...


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And snap these happy hikers enjoying the pleasant fall weather. It is not too cold but the low clouds ensure that the sun does not become too bothersome.


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Numerous ground squirrels are to be seen running from my footsteps but the occasional one stops and tries the camoflage trick and hopes not to have been spotted!


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This great egret is proudly carrying some weed from the bay. At this time of the year it may be for nest building.


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Traffic along the Bayview Trail close to the waters edge is quite light - which is great as there is nothing worse than a loud voice disturbing the tranquility of a nice hike. Turning a corner something makes me look up and there is a gorgeous hawk sat on the rocks above me. Unfortunately right at that moment two loud talking women and a cyclist appear and the hawk decides it is time to find somewhere more peaceful - so this is the best shot I manage to get of it... Timing... Timing... Timing...


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I love the gorgeous patterns made by the waves and the movement of the algae in this photo of a great egret...


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Here everything seemed to come together so well! The purposeful stride of the great egret and the background make for quite a dramatic and dynamic shot...


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Amongst the domination of the great egrets this snowy egret was quite happy to hang out on an old log...


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This great egret was caught not long after landing with its majestic wings still held high.


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The Dairy Glenn and Quaill Trails take me back towards the visitors centre and a little more greenery. However many trees were already well into their fall colours. These leaves are standing with one foot still in the summer and one already in fall...


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The Coyote Hills Regional Park visitors centre has a wonderful display of flowers growing outside and also in the dazzling nectar garden they built in the back. These vividly contrasting orange and violet flowers were right by the front entrance.


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The intricacy of natures creations is quite breathtaking and what better example than this beautiful passion flower?


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This hummingbird is a study of frozen motion. What marvellous creatures!

"A flash of harmless lightning, A mist of rainbow dyes, The burnished sunbeams brightening From flower to flower he flies" - John Banister Tabb


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While in the visitor center I hear about a skunk that has been hanging around for about five days and can't pass up that photo opportunity! I wander out to the side of the building and sure enough there is one rooting around in the leaves...


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Did you know the latin name for the striped skunk is "Mephista Mephista" which means: "noxious vapors, noxious vapors"? I guess that's why it holds its tail so high!


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This is the first time I have seen a skunk in the wild - a very wonderful end to a nice relaxing Sunday morning!


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One more shot of my guest star!


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I hope you enjoyed accompanying me on our hike around the Coyote Hills Regional Park!
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