THURSDAY WAS A DAY that can only be described
as a harbinger of spring. The warm sun beat down on Sunol, flashing
light on pink and white buds and a profusion of daffodils throughout
our canyon. There are so many birds calling from the trees in
their varied voices, one is tempted to join I the chorus. It's
definitely time to start thinking about doing more outdoors,
and Sunol Regional Wilderness is a great place to start. Here's
a sampling of the events coming up in the park that simply sing
ALL ABOUT BLOOMS: There are a number of programs at
Sunol Regional focused on spring flowers. For all of the following
events, unless otherwise noted, please call 925-862-2601 for
information. There is no event charge for most of these hikes,
but a parking fee may be charged.
Naturalist Cindy Taylor leads Mission Peak from the Backside
for those eight-years-old and older on Sunday, March 23 from
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This is a 10.5-mile nature hike up this famous
Bay Area landmark to discover wildflowers and enjoy spectacular
bay views from the summit. Cindy is also the leader for Blooms
for Beginners, a two-mile hike over hill and dale exploring
spring wildflowers on Saturday, April 19 from 2 to 4 p.m.
On Sunday, April 6 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., there will be a
staff-led Spring Wildflower Fest, including a wildflower walk
and a butterfly and wildflower slide show. This is a chance
to learn about interdependency and diversity in nature, make
a wildflower craft, play nature games and view children's wildflower
posters and other art. On Saturday, April 12 from 1 to 4 p.m.,
naturalist Norm Kidder leads Mother Nature's Bloomers, an easy
hike for nature lovers seven and older. Norm will teach you
the names, structures, goals and uses of native wildflowers.
Here's one for those of you with an artistic calling. Cindy
is leading two Wildflower Sketch Hikes, one on Saturday, April
12 and the other on Sunday, April 20, both from 9 a.m. to 1:30
p.m. This hike features a few stops for sketching and longer
stops for drawing sessions and lunch. The April 12 event will
explore flower form, function and adaptations as you marvel
at nature's colorful wildflower explosion. Tree forms will be
the focus of the April 20 hike, with information on why and
how trees grow. These hikes require registration and carry fees
for Sunolians of $12 for adults and $10 for children, and $14
and $12 from non-residents. Please call 510-636-1684 to register.
ROCKS, CREEKS AND TRACKS: Interested in learning about
the intense geological forces at work in our area? Then Sunday's
(3-16) Geology Walk to Little Yosemite from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
is for you. This is a three-mile loop hike and it's on rain
or shine. Bring a trail snack.
Then there's Cindy's Vista Grande hike on Saturday, March 29
from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. This one is a 5.5-mile meander along
Alameda and Indian Joe creeks - be prepared for some creek hopping
- continuing skywards to an "eagle's view" before
descending to Little Yosemite. There will be lots of hill climbing,
rewarded by wonderful views and beautiful wildflowers. The event
is for hikers eight and older, and Cindy asks that you bring
lunch and a beverage.
On Saturday, April 12, Norm's up again with Springtime Tracking
from 9 a.m. to noon, a nature exploration for those ten and
older. Spend the morning looking for clues about what has been
happening in the wilderness. Learn animal tracks plus the signs
left by insects, water and wind, and sharpen your observation
BY THE LIGHT OF THE MOON: And finally, how about an
Almost Full Moon Hike as the sun sinks in the west? Cindy leads
this winding trek up to High Valley, where you can glimpse the
moonrise before descending by moonlight. Bring a flashlight
to catch sight of creatures that work by night and be prepared
for some creek hopping. And if you really must, howling at the
moon may be allowed.