Still Life, La Honda Creek

photo-collage, “Oh, the finds you find!”

Turret spiderwebs, fantastic vistas, faces between trees, oh my! These are some of the things I saw as I recently walked along the trails and spaces of La Honda Creek.

The feathers and leaves, the patterns and colors, may all wend their way into my art. Oh! The things you find when you look, listen and smell along a walk.

At La Honda Creek there were the smells of: coyote brush; a fading whitish plant giving off the scent of maple syrup; pine and other evergreen trees; and scorched summer earth and grasses.

Still life, i (What is this animal?)

On the forest floor I came across this little guy, truly a still life for he was dead. I know not what this creature is but I am guessing it and others like it are responsible for many of the holes I saw along the paths. Its little snout is probably good for ferreting and making holes. Then too, there were the spider holes from the turret spiders, so ethereal in the sunlight. These I encountered before I entered a grove of mixed evergreen and oak trees.

Turret spiders are only to be found in California, in moist woodlands. They almost always make their homes along north-facing slopes. Look for them as you walk the hillsides and trails and as you walk alongside rivers and creek banks. Although their webs are easy to spot, they are not. The only time I ever saw one is when I was on a night hike at Monte Bello Ridge. It was up by the headwaters of Stevens Creek. A fellow hiker, using an infrared light, pointed it out as it nested in its hole. That picture may also find its way into my paintings.

Here are more photographs from my hike. I hope you can see the  outline of a face between the tree trunks. A perfect end to the day was a stop at Alice’s, in Woodside, for a Laguanitas. California has such interesting beer names: Laguanitas, 21st Amendment, Old Dirty Bastard, A Little Sumpen Sumpen (not sure of spelling but it’s good!). Check out Alice’s if you are ever up Woodside along Skyline Boulevard and Sky Honda/La Honda way. If you are not a vegetarian, try their Kawasaki burgers and their Teriyaki Skirt Steak. I also recommend their sweet potato fries. Here is Alice’s Web link: http://www.alicesrestaurant.com/.

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