To the Ridge Trail

Last Sunday I wrote about heading out along the Anderson Flats Trail while visiting Clear Lake earlier this month. I was hoping to climb the ridge and look out over a grand vista; but I had a little bit of trouble figuring out which of several branching paths to follow. Later on I realized I did find the roughly circular Ridge Trail but rather than climbing to the top, it took me around to the other side of the ridge. It didn’t much matter; I was very happy to have the mostly shady trail all to my own, with huge old oak trees to my left and long meadow vistas to my right.

Oak Woodlands
The two oak woodland communities on Lewis Ridge include blue oak on the steeper slopes and valley oak in the lower areas, where the ground is more moist. In early spring, wildflowers accent the beauty of the understory. In the drier oak woodlands, nesting birds find seclusion. Tree swallows, Cooper’s hawks, and various woodpeckers — including Nuttall’s, Lewis’s, acorn and pileatedwoodpeckers — use the area. Black-tailed deer, western gray squirrels, California ground squirrels, and black-tailed hares enjoy a relatively peaceful existence — Anderson Marsh SHP brochure

I was on the lookout for snakes along this stretch of trail but only saw a fence lizard sunning himself in a rock cleft


An acorn woodpecker “granary” in a dead oak tree

I wasn’t sure where the McVicar trail led, but my curiousity got the better of me so I headed off in that direction. I was hoping it would take me down to Cache Creek; I could hear the songs of red-wing blackbirds in abundance down there. But that part of my hike will have to wait for a later post!

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