The mountain range facing the Pacific Ocean has oodles of open space set aside for hikers, bikers and others who like to gawk at green stuff. I went with Mike, Kathy & company on Saturday to trod some of the trails in a small section of the range called Long Ridge Open Space Preserve. The map at the trailhead identifies eight open space preserves along the mountain ridges up here. Our little hike was just a pinch of what’s available — you could hike for days and never run out of trail.

The scenery is less spectacular than, say, the Pinnacles, but it’ll do.

Big slabs of rock along the trail make me wonder who left ’em there.

Joanne pauses to take in the view. On some days you can see the Pacific Ocean from up here. All we got Saturday were the clouds, but they put on a bit of a show.

One of the nice things about these trails — besides the common everyday visual splendor — is that they start from a road at the top of the ridge, so you don’t have to climb for hours to see views only available from the highest elevations.

Requisite wildflower pix.

Even the pine trees are throwing out new buds.

Just a view up out of the trees from one of the shady trails

Somebody suggested this rock looked like a lion’s head.

More flowers and sky.

Used to be a branch here.

Sun, give my people sun!

A tree across the path is as good a reminder of the cycle of life and death as you’ll find. And no buzzards feeding on it, which is always a bonus.

A solitary drake on a little pond in a valley between the hills.

More clouds moving across the sky.