Friday, May 13, 2011

Day Hike - Kent Trail - 5-13-11

          Another after work excursion led me to the Sky Oaks Area of the MMWD. I parked in the dirt lot near Bon Tempe Dam and set off up the short steep fire road leading to the top of the dam. Crossing over the dam I observed the usual Osprey soaring overhead. The resident cormorants glided gracefully through the water disappearing from time to time as they dove for food.

Great Black Cormorant

          At the end of the dam I headed right toward the Kent Trail which skirts the edge of Alpine Lake.
          Dragonflies and Damselflies were abundant along the road to the pump.

Mating Pacific Spiketails

Western Larkspur

          The fire road passes a junction with Rocky Ridge and heads to the pump house where the Kent Trail begins as singletrack. The section of the Kent Trail leading along Alpine Lake is one of my favorites. It is often crowded on weekends but quite the opposite on weekday evenings.
          Oakland Star Tulips bloomed along the trailside thriving in the serpentine soil. Another serpentine soil lover was the Sickle Leaf Onion, with its brightly colored blooms jutting out of the rocky soil.

Sickle Leaf Onion (Allium falcifolium)

          I walked along the lake shore through rocky serpentine and chaparral. The trail briefly enters some grasslands and then into a forest of Douglas Fir where I came across several Spotted Coral Root Orchids.
          I eventually found a nice section of shore where I relaxed and let my thoughts wander. The sound of the water lapping up onto the shore nearly set me into a trance. A Great Blue Heron elegantly soared over the water hardly discernible from the shiny blue lake itself.

Great Blue Heron in Flight

          With all the days worries washed away I returned to my car and drove the short distance to Lake Lagunitas.
Along the way I passed by a Black Tail Deer in velvet and later a Red Shouldered Hawk perched conspicuously on a snag.

Black Tailed Buck in Velvet

Red Shouldered Hawk

          From the Lake Lagunitas parking area I made my way up to the dam where I noticed an Osprey perched in a tree along the shoreline.


          After walking around a bit I headed home for the evening.

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