A mountain lion takes over a segment of the park

Yesterday was a bit odd. We kept trying to leave for a hike in our favorite park but kept encountering problems, including a flat tire. We finally made it about 2 hours after our initial attempt only to find that part of our usual route was blocked due to a mountain-lion sighting.

We spent a good deal of time at the warning sign, studying our own map, to see where we could go instead. Finally we sorted that out and off we went.

On the way a pair of joggers passed us, then a single female jogger. Later, she turned back and asked to hike with us. Turns out she knew what happened because on Sunday she overheard a ranger talking on a radio saying the mountain lion had finished eating the deer and was looking at people. LOL! I don’t know, that just struck me as funny. I figured his eyes registered movement, and he was probably looking out for who might come and steal his prey. But can you imagine overhearing that conversation? “Well, he’s finished the deer and is now looking at people.”

Honestly, I don’t know why anyone would hike alone here. There are posted warnings about mountain lions. I was seriously paying attention to the trees today. They like to pounce from above.

All three of us went up a new path together. Well, since I was looking at all the trees for lions, I saw these and had to stop to take a photo:

Oak trees with yellow grass on a hillOak trees on the hill, photographer ceases to be a useful lookout as she takes a photo

Another hiker passed us, so our friend ditched us and went with her. She caught on quickly that once I took out that camera, we were going to move even more slowly. I kept my camera out and continued snapping…and looking for lions. We caught up to the two hikers at a fork in the path, which was very fortunate because the other hiker was familiar with the route and saved us taking the wrong path.

We followed the switchbacks down the side of the ridge, spotting this beautiful deer. Really, deer were everywhere. Why would a lion bother with a person? Sometimes they do, though. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fatal_cougar_attacks_in_North_America Don’t hike, bike, or even cross-country ski alone, and don’t let your kids play alone in the yard, walk alone on the road, or ride his or her trike alone, even in the burbs.

Oh, but these deer…so sweet.

Fawn eating in Rancho San Antonio park Doe eating in Rancho San Antonio Park, Cupertino California

Doe eating, close up of her face
Doe eating

Doe eating in Rancho San Antonio Park, Cupertino California

I wanted to take the doe home and keep her as a pet and keep her safe from the mountain lion. I realized this was a ridiculous thought, but it did cross my mind when she looked at me with those huge sweet eyes and then went back to nibbling leaves with her black velvety muzzle.

As we descended through the trees we found our views out to the bay were better on this side of the park.

View of San Francisco Bay
View of San Francisco Bay

My husband told me to use my 28 – 200 mm lens outdoors instead of the smaller one. I’m so glad because I wouldn’t have had access to all these shots, and it was beautiful out in the forest.

Red berry bush
Red berry bush
An oak in the sunlight
An oak in the sunlight
A bit of water in a creek in Rancho San Antonio Park, Cupertino
A bit of water in a creek from recent rain

Our delays let us meet up with that woman who was very afraid of the lion but who wanted to get in her whole workout. She was able to tell us exactly what had happened with the lion, and her connection with the other hiker helped us avoid going the wrong way and having too long of a hike. It’s lovely when we go with the flow and cooperate with each other, don’t you think?

Have you ever had a delay that you felt protected you or served you or someone else?

California poppies (and art self-education)

The feature photo has no photo enhancement.

This is the same photo with Corel Painter Essentials Auto Painting->Detailed Watercolor applied. Beautiful but why…

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so faded? How to enrich it in Corel Painter Essentials, don’t know, so… (good ‘ol) GIMP, Colors->Auto->White Balance followed by Colors->Auto->Color Enhance. Satisfaction.

Poppy_Painting enhanced

This next one has Photoshop Essentials Enhance->Auto Smart Fix applied because the poppy was too out of focus and this tool improved it enough to make the photo work. Intention was poppy in focus, grass blurry but opposite achieved. (Working with LCD display in bright sunlight without knowing the camera that well, and in a hurry.) Nonetheless, this composition makes the photographer happy.

field and skyI

Take a walk in the park… Rancho San Antonio, Cupertino, California

Note: All tree closeups I owe to sethsnap.com for teaching me to see  “tree art.”  http://sethsnap.com/2013/02/16/tree-art-of-halls-creek/

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Bridge over quiet waters
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Light storm
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Variety of life
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Pull up a stump and stay awhile
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Tree frame
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Tree cathedral

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Follow me
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What a tangled web we weave
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A distant, tranquil spot among the oaks
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Texture
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Silicon Valley

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Hiking

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San Francisco Bay
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Way home beckons
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Joy
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Peace
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Shadow of the observer