L’atelier de fabrication

L’atelier de fabrication, originally uploaded by dmzajac2004.

Copyright © 2010 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

Sunol Regional Wilderness
East Bay Regional Park District
Sunol, CA
Alameda Creek
Flag Hill Trail

I met a friend here our goal was to photograph wildflowers. I think we found 13 different varieties today. Our hike was moderate I think we only hiked 3 miles today.

The wildflowers aren’t yet peaking here. I’ll try to make it back next week. There weren’t too many poppies yet, and the Fiddlenecks were just beginning to flower.

The weather was really nice. Overcast in the morning, but not cold. It warmed up in the afternoon. The morning grass was covered with dew, and the night before it had rained. My shoes were soaked through. I’m investing in waterproof hiking boots this week.

When I arrived I noticed a few artists with their easels and paints busy painting the wonderful woodland scenery. I popped into the Visitor’s Center and saw it was buzzing with activity.
I discovered that there was a painter’s contest on this morning. They must be done with their painting by noon. Have it framed and ready to be judged.
The winner gets a small prize.
On our way over to Little Yosemite we stopped by the viewing area to see all the finished paintings.

The artist was no where around-we surmised he must have been the lone hiker that pasted us as we were photographing in area a little ways before this.

We later discovered that it was indeed the lone hiker who was the artist of this painting in process. His starting bid on his finished work was $250.00


“The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Copyright © 2010 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

Western Scrub Jay
Pinnacles National Monument
Paicines, CA
San Benito County

High Peaks Trail – He wasn’t too happy about our presence in his territory, but I thought he looked grand sitting there.

Grant Ranch House

Grant Ranch House, originally uploaded by dmzajac2004.

Copyright © 2010 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.
Grant Ranch House

Grant Ranch County Park
Santa Clara County
San Jose, CA

Joseph D. Grant County Park, the largest of Santa Clara County’s regional park and recreation areas.
This 9,560 acre park includes some of the County”s finest open space resources, as well as rich environmental,
cultural and recreational assets. The landscape is characteristic of the east foothills of the Santa Clara Valley with
grasslands and majestic oak trees.
Joseph D. Grant County Park is located at 18405 Mt. Hamilton Rd., San Jose, CA 95140, in the east of Santa Clara Valley.

Cultural History:
Adam Grant, the father of J.D. Grant, bought his initial holding of Canada de Pala in 1880.
Adam Grant was a founder of Murphy, Grant, & Company, a dry goods store which sold supplies to gold miners.

Grant changed the name of Bernal Lagoon to Grant Lake, built dams and diverted streams.
He remodeled the original house which was built in 1882, and added a cookhouse, servants quarters,
other houses and buildings, a rose garden and a large aviary to the property.

J.D. also used his influence to have Mount Hamilton Road moved one-half mile northeast of his
home so it would not interfere with his privacy. Entertainments on the ranch included swimming
in the pool and horseback riding through the rambling hills.

In addition to managing his father’s dry goods business, J. D. Grant founded the Columbia Steam Company,
served as President of the California-Oregon Power Company, and served on the Board of Directors of the
General Petroleum Company and the Central Pacific Railroad.

Grant owned mansions in San Francisco, Burlingame, and Pebble Beach.
He was a member of the Bohemian Club and was a life trustee of Stanford University.
Grant also belonged to the Sierra Club, and was president of the Save-the-Redwoods League for 21 years.

When Joseph D. Grant stayed at his ranch, he entertained guests such as Leland Stanford and Herbert Hoover.
Hoover stayed at the ranch for a month after his election loss to Franklin Roosevelt.

Joseph D. Grant died in 1942, and was followed in death by his wife, Edith, in 1946.
After her parents’ death, their daughter, Josephine, purchased shares in the ranch from her two
siblings and became sole owner of the property.
Josephine became a full time resident of the ranch in 1958 and
remained at the ranch until her death in 1972.

Josephine Grant’s will deeded half of the ranch property to
the Save-the-Redwoods League and the other half to
the Menninger Foundation. The property was purchased by
Santa Clara County in 1975 to be preserved as a park.
In 1978, Joseph D. Grant County Park, named after the
man and his family who had owned the property for nearly 100 years, opened to the public.
~Santa Clara County Parks and Rec

Spring Is…

Photograph by:Copyright © 2010 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

…flowers, longer days, new beginnings, and baby birds.

A friend called me yesterday to tell me his mother had found a Hummingbird nest in her rose bush while pruning it. He invited me over to photograph the nest which has an egg, and perhaps get the mama bird in flight.
Of course I couldn’t resist. It was thrilling to see how tiny the nest and egg are. To get her landing in the nest was the cherry on top of an already pretty good day.

Here she is coming back to the nest! This was thrilling. I wasn’t even sure I got the shot until today when I uploaded them.

First I saw this…

Photograph by:Copyright © Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

Then she sat on her egg never taking her eye off me.

Photograph by:Copyright © Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

” I will be the gladdest thing under the sun! I will touch a hundred flowers, and not pick one.”~Edna St. Vincent Millay

Copyright © 2010 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

Few-Flowered Shooting Star.
This is the first time I’ve seen this little wildflower. I really like it’s dart like appearance, and the colors are marvelous.

Pinnacles National Monument
Paicines, CA
San Benito County

Looking Down on Bear Gulch Reservoir

Pinnacles National Monument
Copyright © 2010 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

I’m not quite up to Scout Peak here. Close though. Look how far I’ve climbed!
We hiked a total of: 7.1 miles
Total ascent: 1600ft.
We finished this hike in: 7.75 hours.

I hiked up Bear Gulch Trail to Bear Gulch Reservoir to
Rim Trail over to High Peaks Trail up to the Overlook
where I looked through Ranger Dan’s telescope to view a nesting male Condor sitting on an egg.
Ranger Dan said the female
and male condor are taking turns sitting on the egg.
From here we continued up High Peaks Trail (Steep and Narrow trail)
to Old Pinnacles Trail and finally
onto Bench Trail which led us back to Bear Gulch where we started.

A bit of information about the park and condors.
An Ancient Volcano

Rising out of the chaparral-covered Gabilan Mountains, east of central California’s Salinas Valley,
are the spectacular remains of an ancient volcano.
Massive monoliths, spires, sheer-walled canyons and talus passages define millions of years of erosion,
faulting and tectonic plate movement.

California Condors at Pinnacles
Pinnacles National Monument is a release site for the endangered California condor,
and the birds can sometimes be seen from hiking trails throughout the park.
Pinnacles National Monument has been a part of the California Condor Recovery Program since 2003.
The park now manages 22 free-flying condors. Each bird is monitored carefully after its release to
increase its chances of survival. Biologists ensure that they choose safe roosting sites, find feeding areas,
and stay away from hazards such as lead-contaminated food and power poles.
~US National Parks Service

Bear Gulch Reservoir

Bear Gulch Reservoir, originally uploaded by dmzajac2004.

Copyright © 2010 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

Pinnacles National Monument
Paicines, CA
San Benito County

This is on the Bear Gulch Cave Trail. I waited for a friend who went through the cave here then we proceeded up Rim Trail to High Peaks Trail. Up at Scout Peak we looked through the Ranger’s telescope at cliff across the valley to view a Condor nest with a male Condor sitting on an egg. The Ranger told us the Female and Male Condors take turns sitting on the egg.
They trade places about every 3 days.

From here we hiked up the High Peaks Trail or the Steep and Narrow trail across the High Peaks and down to Old Pinnacles Trail to Bench Trail to finally arrive back at Bear Gulch parking lot.
Total miles- 7.1
Total ascent 1600 ft.
Time- 7.75hrs

A challenging hike. One I plan to do again.
For the History buffs-

Pinnacles National Monument
The difference is immediately apparent. Rock spires, ramparts, and crags that bear no resemblance to the nearby foothills dominate the landscape. Massive monoliths, sheer-walled canyons, and boulder-covered caves define millions of years of erosion, faulting, and tectonic plate movement.

Rising out of the chaparral-covered Gabilan Mountains, east of central California’s Salinas Valley, are the spectacular remains of an ancient volcano. Or part of the remains, for the rest of this
volcano lies 195 miles to the southeast. Does this seem impossible? It is part of the story of the San Andreas Fault Zone, which runs just east of the park, and of the geological forces that have shaped this landscape for millions of years.
It is the story of heat, frost, water, and wind wearing away rock. Fault action and earthquakes also account for the talus caves, another Pinnacles attraction. Deep, narrow gorges were transformed into caves when boulders toppled from above and wedged among the rock walls. These boulders form ceilings and areas of darkness, enticing visitors and many species of bats. The topography of the Pinnacles is not all spires and crags. Elevations range form 824 feet long along Chalone Creek to 3,304 feet atop North Chalone Peak, and much of the park consists of rolling hills. To safeguard these rock formations and caves, Pinnacles was proclaimed a national monument in 1908. Today the park encompasses over 26,000 acres, including some 16,000 acres designated as wilderness. The park protects native plants and animals, historic features, recreational opportunities, and open space in an increasingly urban setting.

Pinnacles is a place for rejuvenation. People come to appreciate the unspoiled wilderness, hike the trails, climb the rock walls, explore quiet caves, stargaze in clear night skies, and picnic or camp in the shade of the ancient oaks.
~National Park Service
US Department of the Interior