Monday, April 27, 2009
In the manner of all good used bookstores, The Overland in the Sunset knows what I need better than I do. Last week I entered the store to find a good mystery and walked out with a $5 copy of "Best Hikes for Children: San Francisco Bay Area." It lists 90 interesting hikes ranging from easy (strolling among the ferns near Fish Ranch Road) to the difficult (climbing ladders on Steep Ravine Trail in the North Bay).
This trail has some unusual plants because the soil doesn't hold water well. The shale and chert rock formation underneath was originally laid down on the ocean floor and later pushed up. Little numbered signposts pointed out the difference between the sword ferns (dark leaves, needs cool, shady moist spots) and wood ferns (light and feathery and tolerates more dryness). Benny looked out for the next number and I would read the little geeky description. Pictured above is No. 15, a Pallid Manzanita, which is now almost wholly confined to the preserve.
One down, 89 more trails to go. We're looking forward to hiking more trails in this book, now that springtime is here, hopefully moving from easy to difficult as Benny grows bigger.