Last year Megan and I decided that we needed to hike once a week after school; not just to chat but to enjoy the great outdoors.
We have proved dedicated to our hiking mission.
When it is daylight savings we do a more local mountain called Discovery, but until then we enjoy our hikes at Daley Ranch in Escondido.
Daley Ranch is 3,058 acres of pure beauty and solitude. For centuries it was frequented by Native Americans. In the late 1800's, Robert Daley claimed 3,200 acres of this land, and started a ranch. After his passing his family moved, but they still utilized the huge ranch. In 1996, Escondido made a wise decision to purchase the land as a habitat preserve. 15 years later it is the meeting spot for the Thursday Hike Day crew!
In order from left to right Thursday hikers are Kimmie, Lisa, Angelika, Megan, and myself.
There are over 300 different species of animals on the nature preserve. We have seen many of these species; birds, snakes, lizards, rabbits, toads, red velvet ants, and more...
Red Velvet ants are fairly common on our hikes. I did a little research and found out that these ants are actually wasps! Female wasps don't have wings and have this fuzzy appearance.
It was a hot day so we stuck to a flat trail. Boulder Loop (our usual trail) is much more challenging.
Stay hydrated ladies!
I love California chaparral. It is a different kind of beautiful.
Angelika and Meg were about 10 feet ahead of us when I saw them literally walk right over this Southern Pacific rattlesnake.
The juveniles have an orange, single segment tail (and therefore do not make a sound).
I always look forward to Thursday Hike Day. There is never a dull moment.