September 21, 2010
Despite a couple of cancellations and two no-shows, we still had a great group of 11 hikers for our most enjoyable journey around Clear Lake. Previous days’ rains had left the forest air fresh, the trail dust-free and the flora, especially the vine maple, sporting its brilliant fall colors. With no wind, the lake surface was like a mirror reflecting its surrounding landscape. With all armed with lake brochures, we took turns reading the descriptions for each numbered vantage point (it was no American Idol, but we did have at least one dramatic performance).
None of the wildlife mentioned in the brochure made their presence known to us (except for some ducks), but we did find an amazing blue tailed skink. Post-trip research indicates that this was a young western skink. Apparently it’s the juveniles that have the blue tails and this one had a very impressive electric, almost florescent blue tail. He was brave enough to let all of us get a good close-up look at him.
Thanks to Anne Montgomery, we got a lot of wonderful information on many of the plants we passed. We had sun and partial sun about half way around the lake, including during our lunch at Great Spring. Then the clouds took over, obscuring our view of the Three Sisters on the final leg of the loop. By then, however, everyone was more than pleased with the day’s experience.
Nonmembers on the hike included George and Judy Tanner, Jill Marvin and her sister Jane Morgan (visiting from Houston), Barbara Aten and Linda Harris. Members were Myron Cook, Patricia Esch, Marshall Kandell (leader) and Pat Soussan. Thanks to Patricia and Jill for volunteering to be drivers.