Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve

Rattlesnake warning

We went for a wander in one of the many Open Space Preserves (as they’re called out here), this morning.

We saw signs warning about mountain lions, rattlesnakes and ticks, and then found this tiny little nature centre next to Alpine Pond that had a collection of stuffed animals, snake and animal skins, skeletons and skulls.

Mountain lion warning sign
Bobcat skull

Oh, and “Snickers” the Snake, who lived in glass tank in the corner. It was all a bit creepy, and further compounded by the quiet little man in the nature centre (the only other person there), who seemed surprised when I asked him if I could take a photo of the things on the table.

I asked him about all the items on display and which animals they came from (bobcat, coyote), but he wasn’t saying much, and seemed a bit jumpy.

As I left the building I suddenly realised he didn’t work there, and he hadn’t corrected me, even though I was clearly talking to him as though he did.

Steve was waiting outside and we dashed off to the rattlesnake path for protection. Two small (non-rattling) snakes, 5 unidentifiable birds, 378 crickets and about a thousand dragonflies later we made it back to the car, free from ticks and lion-savaging.

For ideas on walks to take you closer to nature than you’d sometimes like, check out the Bay Area Hiker site, which is where I found today’s trail.

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