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Coyote Ridge Wildflower Hike, 5 April 2005
Sponsored by Committee for Green Foothills (CGF)
Board Member Peter LaTourrette welcomes guests to CGF's annual
Coyote Ridge Wildflower hike. Over half attending had not visited the Ridge before.
Environmental scientist Stu Weiss explains the complex ecosystem of Coyote Ridge.
The area's serpentine soil nourishes a wide variety of native plants & wildflowers.
Hikers followed a trackway up Kirby Canyon to reach Coyote Ridge.
Grassy hillsides buffer inland valleys from the effects of urban pollution.
During the hike up canyon, Stu spoke of urban pollution's impact on the environment.
A bank of trailside wildflowers.
A Buckeye Butterfly with tattered wing basks in the morning sun.
A hiker pauses to marvel at the intense color of a trailside wildflower.
Nearing the summit of Coyote Ridge.
Stu explains the nature of ongoing habitat research projects at Coyote Ridge.
Wind-swept cloudscape above a spectacular display of wildflowers.
Hikers spread out for a walk along Coyote Ridge.
Brian Schmidt (c) CGF's Legislative Advocate for Santa Clara County, spoke of the
ongoing effort to protect Coyote Valley from unregulated urban and industrial sprawl.
Both the Open Space Authority of Santa Clara County (OSA) and the California Native
Plant Society
share CGF's interest in preserving Coyote Valley's unique ecosystems.
Serpentine soil of Coyote Ridge provides a unique environment for many species.
Resting among the flowers two endangered Bay Checkerspot Butterflies.
A hiker in a field of gold pauses to take photos.
Carried by the wind, a coyote's repeated call reached us from a distant hillside.
One keen-eyed observer with binoculars saw a small herd of Tule Elk in the distance.
Grazing cattle keep vegetation trimmed low throughout the grassland habitat.
Lunch break with sweeping view of inland valleys.
(l. to r.) CGF's Brian Schmidt, CNPS Santa Clara Valley Chapter President Judy Fenerty,
SCV CNPS rare plants expert Don Mayall,
Ken Schreiber, SC County Planning Dept.,
and in front Pam Muick, CNPS Executive Director.
Ridge visitors engaged in photography and good camaraderie.
A pair of hikers enjoy lunch and the serenity of earth and sky.
Section of Anderson Reservoir, part of the Santa Clara Valley Water District.
Stu chats with a local rancher in the area to collect cattle. A chance meeting that
underscores the ongoing cooperation between land owners and preservation groups.
Far below the horseman passes like a shadow over the landscape.
A very special thanks to Peter and Sue LaTourrette for coordinating this year's hike and to
Stu Weiss and Don Mayall for sharing their environmental and rare plant species expertise.
To learn more about Coyote Ridge, see the following web page:
I have need of the sky . . .
I have business with the grasses . . .
I will up and away at break of day to where the hawk is wheeling lone and high
and where slow clouds drift by."  —Richard Hovey, 1894-1961
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