bay area hikes: huckleberry preserve.

We love hiking, so we’re lucky that there are so many great hikes around the Bay Area!  We’re still working on checking out as many as possible, and I thought it might be fun to showcase some of our favorites here!

Quick Tip:  We use Bay Area Hiker to find great hikes in the area.  It maps them out and gives directions to the start of the trail, as well as some tips for each hike.  It is really a great resource!

We recently went to Huckleberry Preserve to do a quick morning hike.  It’s been hot here in the last few weeks (by hot, I’m only talking ~85 degrees Fahrenheit, but to be fair, it’s usually only in the 70s this time of the year!) so we tried to beat the sun a bit.

Huckleberry Preserve has a short trail of about 2 miles and takes about an hour to complete (although we spent some time bird-watching by the huckleberry bushes!).  It’s fairly easy with only a few short climbs.  There are many different plants including manzanita trees, various berry bushes, beautiful ferns, and lots of poison oak (be careful!).

Here are a few snaps from the hike:

hb13

a peek down the trail.

hb14

a wasp checking out some thistles.

hb3

hb12

always love the texture & colors of tree bark.

hb11

a forest floor covered in ferns. (fun fact: did you know that ferns are among the oldest living organisms on earth?!)

hb10

a pop of color.

hb9

bird watching.

hb8

and the huckleberries!

hb6

beautiful lichen.

hb4

never forget to look up!

hb7 hb5 hb2

hb15

delicious!

If you visit this trail at the end of summer or early autumn, you might be lucky enough to find a few huckleberries to snack on.  Remember to make sure you can identify them correctly, though!  I’ve also heard that the spring is wonderful, too, with many wildflowers and new blooms.

We ended the morning at the farmer’s market where they had amazing pomegranates.  They’re definitely one of my favorite fruits.  But that means summer is really coming to a close, doesn’t it?

Have you been to the Huckleberry Preserve?  Or do you know of any other great hikes in the Bay Area?  We’d love to hear about your favorites!

 

A Garden is the Best Medicine.

plants - 4

I was feeling a bit under the weather this morning so I decided to take a day at home to rest and relax.  I am not great at sitting still, or letting my mind be still, so I went for a short walk to the community garden near my apartment where we have a small plot.

IMG_20150806_110907

“And the secret garden bloomed and bloomed and every morning revealed new miracles.” -Frances Hodgson Burnett in ‘The Secret Garden’ (one of my favorite books of all time!)

plants - 2

the bee & the borage!

plants - 8

chamomile flowers from our plot.

plants - 17

“There’s naught as nice as th’ smell o’ good clean earth, except th’ smell o’ fresh growin’ things when th’ rain falls on ’em.” from ‘The Secret Garden’

plants - 22

lemon blooms and fruits.

It is so healing to be among the plants.  To pull up some weeds.  To listen to the hummingbirds buzz and chirp and watch the blue jays fly by.  To hear the leaves rustle and the morning dew disappear, lifting back into the sky.  To look closely at blooming flowers.  So closely that you can see their little hairs and pollen, almost as if it’s oozing out of the center.

plants - 61

look at the colors, that detail, and that pollen!!

plants - 43

some feverfew in our plot.

plants - 37

succulents on the path.

plants - 55

amazing details.

plants - 52

curly-q beans!

When we lived in Michigan, we had an 800 square foot garden where we grew so much food!  I was canning and making jams nonstop just to keep up.  Now, that garden is bigger than our current little San Francisco apartment.  We waited two years on a waitlist to get our garden plot here, and it is much, much smaller than what we were accustomed to, but it’s been so nice to finally have our little piece of land to tend and grow beautiful, delicious plants.

plants - 66

the ladybug & the fennel.

plants - 69

This garden is also adjacent to a day-care center, so as I worked and watched in the garden, I could also hear songs about flowers and gardens floating through the air in high sing-songy, beautiful voices.  Garden and earth-lovers in training!

This is what I would call a perfect morning.

(for more photos from this beautiful garden, please visit tsoana’s through the lens section of the site!)

plants - 11

delicious strawberries from our plot!