Hidden Villa has eight miles of well-maintained single-track trails snaking through its 1,800 acres, but the farm is really the main attraction. It has pigs, chickens, goats, sheep, cows — just add kids singing “ee-eye-ee-eye-oh” and the picture’s complete.

I mentioned the farm animals to Melissa and she instantly wanted to tag along. We took a few pictures of the critters, then I started checking out the trails. I usually come back from hiking smelling like a farm animal anyway, so it wasn’t that much of a change for Melissa.

First, let’s check out some animal pics:

A pig's snout

Melissa got this excellent shot of a young pig thoughtfully chewing on a piece of metal fence. When they get older they learn to lie around in the mud all day, which proves pigs are every bit as smart as everyone says they are.

Kids these days

A young goat says “please, take me to your house and let me eat your sofa.”

The farm's in a valley at the base of the hills

The trails are in the hills over there.

A rooster

A rooster declares his domain over all hens and chicks in the immediate environs. Hens and chicks wish he’s shut up and learn to clean up after himself.

OK, enough lame attempts at humor at the expense of perfectly innocent farm animals. Now for some scintillating pictures of paths in the woods.

Start of the Creek Trail

The Adobe Creek Trail is a pretty walk along a creekbed. Prettier still when there’s actual water in the creek.

Hostel Trail

The Hostel Trail looks out over the Santa Clara Valley after you hike up a half-mile or so. The nice thing about the valley is how much better it looks from several miles away.

Has to be one of these

Gnarly tree of the week.

Weed, gone to seed

What’s left of a weed, gone to seed.

The backcountry

Much of the terrain in California looks like John Wayne ought to come riding along, high in the saddle. Mostly because all of John Wayne’s movies were made in California.

Hikers on the Creek Trail

I did an easy loop uphill for awhile, realized it was 90 degrees out there on the ridges and headed back down toward the shade as soon as possible. This is back on the Adobe Creek Trail.

Riparian walk

More of the walk along the creekbed. It’s nice and quiet with no water running.

Tree canopy

A look at the tree canopy.

A few hours on a Sunday at a farm: just like when I was a kid and Mom took us out to her Dad’s farm. This time I didn’t come home caked in mud. But hey, she’s coming for a visit later this year, maybe we can do it then.