Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Unfurling Spring on the Los Gatos Creek Trail

Another reason to appreciate my new place: it's a short walk to this spot, one of the Campbell entrances to the Los Gatos Creek Trail, which follows (surprise!) Los Gatos Creek from Lexington Reservoir to San Jose. Wide paths along both banks in this section make a great 2-mile loop for just about anyone on feet, paws or wheels.  ~click any photo to enlarge~

Today it really felt like spring on the trail, after a rainy and chilly week. Loved the remains of these wild almond blossoms...the petals were white, these are just the stamens!

Still my favorite red berries, Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia) has been looking great since December.

More almond blossoms...

Doesn't this just shriek spring?

Huge native Sycamores (Platanus racemosa) on the banks are just starting to put out their leaves, which will be the size of dinner plates by summer.
Thick stands of Fennel (Foenicululm vulgare) are sprouting amongst last year's stalks, and will soon be waving their licorice-scented fronds high overhead.

More Sycamore leaves...

Sycamore leaves and fruit...

Willow catkins!

A lone cattail, about to implode...
Fresh new leaves on the Willows...

I love this stage of Redbud (Cercis occidentalis) bloom, when the tiny heart-shaped leaves start to emerge as well...

Some of the bushes (perhaps the really happy ones?) have flowers along every twig.

Vigorous tufts of pleated leaves launch this year's Buckeyes (Aesculus californica).

The new growth on the live oaks looks like flowers. See how these things can grow several feet in a season?

Lots of water in the creek, and our loop is complete! I think this will serve as a good surrogate garden for me. (Next month...poppies!)


  1. Wow...teasing us in higher country with spring, I see! Great scenes there; I remember the live oaks and sycamores in San Diego, too. We have many of the latter planted in Abq, and even a few Calif. Buckeye in town; I'll have to compare their spring progress once I return.

  2. Ah, the scent of sycamores. When camping as a kid, I thought it was the river that somehow was responsible for that gorgeous scent, but now I know better. What a great local walk, Laura.

  3. Oh, WOW! Thank you for the treat! My first opportunity to enjoy the almond blossoms without feeling like I was losing my eyes and nose! And those Redbuds - oh, my goodness! They're just always so much more gorgeous than the southern variety! Thanks for sharing!

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  5. Fabulous fabulous spring bursting out pictures!!

  6. Beautiful photos...so great to see spring arriving, bit by bit!

  7. I so loved my virtual walk through your new neighborhood's surroundings! Beautiful photos. I miss my native California, can't wait to be back!

  8. I have tried to get redbud to take to my clay, but no go. Boy, I wish it would. Should I try one more time, and have my heart broken yet again?

  9. It's wonderful to see all your photos of Spring bursting out. Here in the CA foothills the buckeye is always the first tree to get it's green leaves.

  10. I frequently run or bike the Los Gatos Creek Trail. There is a tree and maybe shrub that is blooming. The blooms are yellow orange with these thin spiky firm (petals). I'm not even sure if they are petals? The leaves are thin with a silver color underneath. Can anyone identify this tree for me? Much appreciated.

  11. Beautiful View on Spring in the Los Gatos Creek Trail. i love it!