KG and I left Long Ridge close to 6:30 to go over to Russian Ridge for our scouting hike on 7/02/09. We started on the trailhead around 6:50 with PB and JO. The weather was mild, the sky clear, and the moon was out.
There were a lot of beetle tracks in the very dusty trail. And lots of darkling beetles (there are 445 species in CA, not all of them squirt noxious chemicals). We noted the fire breaks for the upcoming prescribed burn.
We took the Ridge Trail directly to the cleared area at the intersection near the Caltrans entrance. Soap Lilies were blooming, and bees were visiting them. Along the trail, there were many beetle tracks. We also came across a lot of the track makers, and also a few lizard tracks.
After dinner, we continued on to Hawk Ridge Trail arriving at the intersection around 9:00. We admired the blanket of fog lying low,
and heard a Great Horned Owl.
As darkness fell, JO and I took out our UV lights to see what might appear. A scorpion! That entertained us for a while. It was on the trail bank in dirt, and was only about 2.5″ long.
We took Alder Springs to Mindego Ridge to Ancient Oaks (the open part) back to Ridge Trail. That was almost five miles.
Almost back at the lot, there were a lot of pillbugs around. There was also a small Solfugid, as well as a large field cricket and a centipede.
We started later than the scheduled hike, so got back to the lot a bit late. It was a beautiful night, though.
More photos here.