Place: Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley, California
Coordinates: 37.88947, -122.23466
Length: about 2.5 miles round trip
The hills of the south-east Bay Area are slowly turning brown. Naturally, I had the impression that spring is waning. Today, however, I went for a hike in Tilden Regional Park and found to my pleasure that in the north-east side of the Bay Area, spring is still going strong. Therefore, I am quickly writing up this post and pushing it too to the top of the queue. Bay Area residents! This is the perfect time to go visit Tilden.
|Map is downloaded from the EBRPD site, the trail is labeled yellow|
|Uphill view from Arroyo Trail|
The Arroyo trail has a decent upgrade, which got me panting before too long. Wildflowers along the path gave me the perfect excuse to stop for frequent photo-breather stops.
The lower part of the trail goes along the Arroyo Creek (now dry) and is fairly shaded. As it goes up the tree groves become fewer and far between and the hillsides are covered with chaparral. As soon as I left the shade the wildflowers started paining the trail side.
Blue dicks (Dichelostemma capitatum)
|Sagebrush (Artemisia californica)|
|Pinapple weed (Matricaria discoidea), invasive|
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), invasive.
|California Laurel (Umbellularia californica)|
But there were plenty of wildflowers all around. Most of them I've seen on the upper part of the Arroyo Trail.
|Plantain (Plantago lanceolata), invasive.|
|Hill Morning Glory (Calystegia subacaulis)|
Just before meeting the Vollmer Peak Trail there is an open grassy area patched with a few lichen-coated rocks. The entire area was dotted with colorful wildflowers and I was hopping giddily from one patch to another, taking snapshots of the magnificent coastal spring.
|Dwarf Checkerbloom (Cidalcea malviflora)|
|California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica)|
Many of these wildflowers which paint the East Bay hills are, in fact, invasive weeds that immigrated here from the old world and took a powerful hold in this land, much at the expense of native species. The botanical landscape of the Bay Area today is very different than what is used to be before the European settling. For better or worse, they are now an integrated part of the local plant communities.
|A patch of clover (Trifolium hirtum)|
|A blooming Himalayan Blackberry (Rubus armeniacus), entertaining a visitor.|
(Less than a week after I returned with the chickas 4H group and the roadside was white with their large umbrella-like blossom).
|Cow Parsnip (Heracleum lanatum)|
There are large antennas at Vollmer Peak and a nice, shady tree overlooking to the east. Someone thought it a good idea to hang a swing on that tree and I spent some time rocking on that swing like a happy little child.
A waved to the familiar Bay Area land mark: Mount Diablo. Now should be the time to visit Mitchell Canyon to see the endemic globe tulips in bloom!
|The Golden Gate Bridge|
|Ocean liners move south past the Oakland Embarcadero|
I backtracked my footsteps to the Vollmer Peak Trail and started descending. There were plenty of wildflowers along that trail too. Some in small patches, like the yellow Mule's Ear, and some in wide carpets. like the bright orange Scarlet Pimpernel.
|Coast Range Mule's Ear (Wyethia glabra)|
|Scarlet Pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis)|
|Scotch Broom (Cytisus scoparius)|
|Forget-Me-Not (Myosotis latifolia)|
Summer (and berry season) is right around the corner.