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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.
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 CA 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 Advisory Board Member, spoke of
the ongoing effort to protect Coyote Valley from
unregulated urban and industrial sprawl.
Both the Open Space Authority of Santa Clara Valley (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 wildflowers, 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 crossing 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.
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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