East Bay, (San Francisco Bay) - Pictures
Images from East Bay region of San Francisco Bay.

Western Terrestrial Garter Snake - 
    Garter Snake on a sidewalk near Coyote Hills in Fremont, CA 
  Western Terrestrial Garter Snake - Garter Snake on a sidewalk near Coyote Hills in Fremont, CA
Apparently the garter snakes in the bay area are some of the most toxin-resistant in North America. They have become more and more toxin-resistant as the newts in this area have become increasingly toxic to avert garter snakes who is their only predator. Do not ever mess with a garter snake if it is lying idle. It is probably immobilized due to high levels of TTX toxin after swallowing a poisonous newt.
This one is called Western Terrestrial Garter Snake (WTGS) and is different from the Western Aquatic Garter Snake (WAGS). It looks very much like the Alameda Whipsnake (AW).
Both WAGS and WTGS are colored ranging from black to brown. Both have dorsal stripes. WAGS' dorsal stripe is brownish whereas WTGS' is yellowish. WTGS has a thin yellowish stripe on each side of the body. WAGS does not have sidestripes. AW does not have any dorsal stripe. It has an orange sidestripe on each side of the body.
Coyote Hills Marsh - 
  Marsh at Coyote Hills Regional Park, Fremont, California
  Coyote Hills Marsh - Marsh at Coyote Hills Regional Park, Fremont, California
Fall Leaves - 
    Fall colors - Leaves on the road
  Fall Leaves - Fall colors - Leaves on the road
Mission Peak, Fremont - 
    Looking south from Mission peak.
  Mission Peak, Fremont - Looking south from Mission peak.
McClure Spring on Mission Peak, Fremont - 
    Spring along a trail to Mission Peak
  McClure Spring on Mission Peak, Fremont - Spring along a trail to Mission Peak
This is located on the Grove trail. Start at the trailhead on Stanford Avenue. Once you reach the Grove trail junction (there is a ranch here), bear right. This trail is quite shaded and goes along a creek that starts at McClure spring. The trail soon joins the peak trail and you reach the Mission Peak from the Southeast.
Poppy flowers on Mission Peak - 
  California desert poppy flowers bloom all over the upper part of the
  Mission Peak hills in late March / early April. 
  Poppy flowers on Mission Peak - California desert poppy flowers bloom all over the upper part of the Mission Peak hills in late March / early April.
Flag Hill, Sunol Regional Wilderness, Fremont - 
    A view of Flag Hill at Sunol Regional Wilderness
  Flag Hill, Sunol Regional Wilderness, Fremont - A view of Flag Hill at Sunol Regional Wilderness
One of the most beautiful parks in the east bay area. Flag hill trail is quite steep. This picture was taken from Canyon View trail that leads from Visitor center to Little Yosemite area.
Sunol Regional Wilderness, Fremont - 
    Sunol Regional Wilderness, East Bay area
  Sunol Regional Wilderness, Fremont - Sunol Regional Wilderness, East Bay area
One of the most beautiful parks in the east bay area. Picture taken from Canyon View Trail. Winter and spring are the best times to visit this park.
Little Yosemite at Sunol Regional Wilderness, Fremont - 
    Little Yosemite, Sunol Regional Wilderness, East Bay area
  Little Yosemite at Sunol Regional Wilderness, Fremont - Little Yosemite, Sunol Regional Wilderness, East Bay area
Little Yosemite is a scenic little gorge on the Alameda Creek. This area is about 1.5 miles away from the visitor center. The trail is pretty flat. For best views of the canyon, take the McCorkle trail to Canyon View trail. You will be walking at a higher elevation on a gentle slope with great views of the Alameda creek and the canyon. The trail drops down to the Little Yosemite area. After spending time here, walk back to the visitor center along the Little Yosemite trail. Take some of the side trails to see some pools of water. You will see Rainbow trout.
Little Yosemite at Sunol Regional Wilderness, Fremont - 
    Little Yosemite, Sunol Regional Wilderness, East Bay area
  Little Yosemite at Sunol Regional Wilderness, Fremont - Little Yosemite, Sunol Regional Wilderness, East Bay area
There is not very much water in late spring and in summer. Visit the park just after rain in winter to see plentiful water in this area. Watch out for Tarantulas on the trail. Rattlesnakes might be seen near the visitor center in late spring and summer. The rangers track some of the rattlesnakes with radio-collars. I saw a little one right outside the visitor center on the brown grass in late summer, perfectly camouflaged.
A view of rolling hills at Sunol Regional Wilderness, Fremont - 
    Rolling hills at Sunol Regional Wilderness, East bay area, seen from
    McCorkle trail/Canyon View trail. 
  A view of rolling hills at Sunol Regional Wilderness, Fremont - Rolling hills at Sunol Regional Wilderness, East bay area, seen from McCorkle trail/Canyon View trail.
Rolling hills at Sunol Regional Wilderness, East bay area, seen from McCorkle trail/Canyon View trail. The best time to visit the park is spring or early summer. There is not much water on the Alameda creek late in the summer and the park is quite crowded on summer weekends.

I do not visit the park in summer as often as I do in winter and spring as I like to see greenery, blooming flowers and a lot of running water while I am hiking. The niles canyon road offers a scenic ride from Fremont area to the park.

Horseback rides are available in the park. The shortest trip is to the Little Yosemite area and back. Longer trips go up to a small camp on top of the hills to the north and east.

It costs $5 to enter the park with a car. If you live in the east bay area and visit the park often, you might want to consider a membership with East Bay Parks foundation. They increased the membership fee from $30 to $45 per year, starting in 2005. It is quite expensive in my opinion, but still worth every penny, if you visit the parks often.

Aerial picture - Mountain View, California - 
  A not-so-sharp aerial view of Shoreline area of Mountain View
  Aerial picture - Mountain View, California - A not-so-sharp aerial view of Shoreline area of Mountain View
Shoreline lake is visible clearly.
Aerial picture - Redwood city, Redwood Shores - California - 
  A not-so-sharp aerial view of Redwood City/Redwood Shores, California
  Aerial picture - Redwood city, Redwood Shores - California - A not-so-sharp aerial view of Redwood City/Redwood Shores, California
Are those Oracle buildings on the left edge of the picture?
Aerial view of east Golden Gate Park and some of San Francisco - 
  A not-so-sharp aerial view of the eastern part and the panhandle of 
  Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.
  Aerial view of east Golden Gate Park and some of San Francisco - A not-so-sharp aerial view of the eastern part and the panhandle of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.
Aerial view of Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco - 
  An aerial view of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
  Aerial view of Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco - An aerial view of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
Aerial view of Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco - 
  Another aerial view of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
  Aerial view of Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco - Another aerial view of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
Aerial view of Alcatraz Island, San Francisco Bay - 
  An aerial view of Alcatraz Island, San Francisco Bay
  Aerial view of Alcatraz Island, San Francisco Bay - An aerial view of Alcatraz Island, San Francisco Bay


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