Hike and Tour at Jasper Ridge

Saturday, April 29

Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve is up in Woodside, just off Portola Road before you get to Old La Honda Road. It is part of Stanford campus, which extends west far up into the hills, a good ways from the main part of campus down in the flatlands of Palo Alto. (Stanford campus is 8,000 acres and the largest campus in the United States; Stanford is the largest landowner in Santa Clara county.)

The MLA alumni association organizes guided tours/hikes (MLA being the Master's in Liberal Arts program that I'm in.) The weather gods smiled; April 29 was literally the first real spring Saturday, sunny and in the 70s. We have survived the long wet winter.

Click on any picture below to see a larger version.

  1. When we were getting started, it was cloudy (foggy) and a bit windy and frankly a bit freezing. I hadn't brought a sensible jacket mit, but I was able to buy a Jasper Ridge sweatshirt from inside the research center! It got plenty sunny and warm later, but I was glad to carry the sweatshirt. Actually it's quite nice.

  2. I love live oaks. You can see the ridge layer of fog/clouds rolling in and slowly burning off.

  3. The same tree, and, well, practically the same shot. Fiercer editors than I would just delete one of them.

  4. The innocent gray box in the meadow is measuring deep down seismic waves and sending them down to Stanford and to the Menlo Park USGS. They theorize spikes in some sort of activity down there in the earth's crust (I've already forgotten what type of activity) might signal an earthquake "minutes to hours" in advance. The ethical dilemma is what to do with the information should a major earthquake be predicted by this monitoring. Is it better to freak everyone out and clog the freeways, or try to encourage people to be aware and prepared but please stay put?)

  5. The solar panels power a bat tracking system. There are 65 research projects at Jasper Ridge.

  6. A tunnel of trees.

  7. Rat's nest.

  8. Perfect example of a multi-generation rat's nest built of twigs and branches. They build little rooms inside the larger structure.

  9. Noch ein mal.

  10. This one's for Mike. This shows (I think) the lava pedigree of this hillside.

  11. An unsuccessful attempt to photograph the compelling blanket of fog that rolls over the ridge on days like these.

  12. Soap plant, which the Indians/Native Americans dug up for the soapiness of the root. They ground the root up and threw it into streams, which made the fish float to the top for easy pickings.

  13. Thirty years ago, Jasper Ridge was a public park and swimming hangout. This tree used to hold a sign saying "No Swimming Here". The tree has grown around the sign.

Marianne Mueller
Last modified: April 30, 2006