The biggest valley oak in the Santa Clara Valley supposedly lives next door to where I lived in town. Well, that was too far to go to get the picture I needed for the garden column next week. Another lives on the other side of the tracks.
1. Roaring Camp Railroad is out back. The Depot is out of view to the right, on the other side of Zayante Creek. The big valley oak that I got a picture of is on the left, but does not look so big from here. A few ecosystems mix here, so ponderosa pines, Douglas firs and all the riparian trees mingle with the coast live oaks and redwoods. However, I doubt that valley oaks are native.
2. Rhody stayed home. These grates on the pedestrian catwalk on the bridge are not intended for small paws. Some of those trees down there are about thirty feet tall! Most are white alder.
3. Riparian trees are close enough for pictures from a pedestrian bridge just downstream. That foliage in the middle of this picture is a sycamore. However, the deteriorating bridge is closed.
4. Old valley oaks, which are native just a few miles away, seem to have been planted here; since they all are on roadsides or driveways. Whether native or introduced, they happily self sow.
5. Moss makes these sculptural limbs seem to be older than they are. This now massive valley oak was a shrubby young pup in photographs from the 1920s. It was likely planted after 1906.
6. Gnarly roots were exposed by erosion on an embankment between the big valley oak and the train tracks. I suspect that the tree was planted to shade the depot during the late afternoon.
This is the link for Six on Saturday, for anyone else who would like to participate: