Date: November 19, 2015
Place: Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, Felton, California
Coordinates: 37.031863, -122.041874
Length: 2.6 miles
I planned a special surprise for Papa Quail's birthday. I convinced him to take a day off from work, arranged with the babysitter to pick up the chikas from school, and I took him to the redwoods. The surprise was a canopy zipline tour in Mt. Hermon but we arrived there nearly 2 hours early so we went hiking in the nearby Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park.
I visit this park frequently enough, but nearly always I hike in the old growth area near the main park's entrance. This time we went to the campground on the east side of the park and hiked the lovely Pine Trail that goes in a wide loop around the campground.
As we curved around and started going south the trail broke out of the trees and into chaparral. The soil in that area is sand and the vegetation is very different than at the west side of the park.
Common chaparral member in that area are manzanita bushes. I always love to see their deep red branches. On this hike they also glistened with morning dew, still hanging on the bark even so late in the morning.
We heard the knocking of woodpeckers. Not surprising, the most common woodpecker there is the acorn woodpecker.
We continued on. While our trail was in chaparral, the valley below us was fully forested. A multi-level forest of oaks and Douglas fir. And then, the bright red fruit-laiden Pacific madrone.
From the campground the trail mildly slopes up towards an observation deck that's up on the hill. Up near the observation deck the chaparral subsides and spaced, knee-high shrubbery takes its place. One of the shrub species is the silver bush lupine, pretty with its palm-like leaves even without blossoms.
|Silver Bush Lupine (Lupinus albifrons)|
|A Cedar Waxwing, on the right, near the top.|
|Pine Trail south of the observation deck.|
|Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)|
|Hair Moss (Polytrichum commune)|
|Coastal Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)|
|Pileated Woodpecker, male|
Many thanks to members of the California Native Plants Society for their help in identifying the moss!