Wednesday, April 22, 2009

22April09 Wildcat Canyon Regional Park

Wildflowers are blooming and the temperature is balmy. A strong east wind carried sweet aromas of wildflowers, sage, and farms as we explored Wildcat Canyon Regional Park on Wednesday afternoon. This vast greenbelt area lies north of Berkeley/ElCerrito, and south of Susuin Bay. The grassy hills conceal the built-up alluvial land closer to the bay.

Wild Lupine and California Poppy carpet the hillsides.

Unidentified snake crossing the trail.. Anyone can help me identify this guy?

Looking south over the green hills.

Butterfly on coyote poop.

Walking on the fire trail.

Then the low thump, thump thump of a helicopter disturbed the quiet. The bird swooped in low and hot, then did a steep banking turn and reversed course. It circled us, then fired up the siren. I was just beginning to formulate what was going on when a mountain biker popped up from the roll behind us. He swerved left, swerved right, then hopped off the fire trail onto an adjacent and intersecting single track. The helicopter swooped in again, in hot pursuit of the biker. They both dropped behind the rise ahead of us and we scampered ahead to see the resolution. See the fields of wildflowers beyond,

The chopper set down smack dab in the middle of the trail ahead of the biker (who was no having to peddle up hill). By the time I got this shot off, the park ranger was out of the bird, biker was kneeling down by his bike. You can see the faint single track trail beyond the helicopter. The two stayed in conference in this position for a long time, then a 4WD truck drove over the rise and blocked off the biker's escape route.

Ticket issued, the biker hiked back up the trail to where it joined the road, hoped on and rode off, even as we tried to catch up to hear his side of the story. The rotors whirred, and the chopper lifted off the meadow and circled us as it flew up and away.

Bird of Paradise on our front hillside

1 comment:

meg said...

Beautiful photographs of great adventures, retirement sounds good. Please email me back. Marc Ellyn