Gas station without pumps

2022 March 18

Secret Walks: Harvey West-Quarry loop

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 14:57
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On Saturday 4 March 2022, my wife and I took a short (3.97 miles) but slightly hilly walk to the quarry owned by the Springtree Homeowners Association, which is where the spring is that gives Spring Street its name.


We started on the red route to get to Harvey West Park and go up the Wagner Grove trail, then the orange route to get to the quarry. In retrospect, we should have taken the yellow route, which would have given us another pedestrian-only path on the route and eliminated the one duplicated block that we walked. We then took the green route: the stairs up to Limestone Lane, down to the pedestrian cut-through to Quarry Court, and down to Westlake. From there we took the blue route home.(Click image for higher-resolution map.)


This mixture of snapdragons on King Street was a colorful display.


I’m partial to weird flowers, like this grevillea.


The fig trees were just beginning to open their leaf buds.


This is the first time I’ve noticed seedpods on a redbud.


This huge yucca plant is an impressive front-yard tree.


I’m no good at telling the various fruit-tree blossoms apart, but I like them all for the short time that they are around.


This walk has a lot of Little Free Libraries—and we picked up a few books that my wife wanted on this walk.


Most of the calla lilies around here are large white ones, but a few people have planted smaller colored ones—they don’t seem to naturalize as much (which is probably a good thing).


Neither my wife nor I recognized this plant as baby sage (Salvia microphylla), but Google Lens identified it for us.


Both my wife and I like the architecture of the Piedmont Court, which is now senior condos. I was playing with the zoom on the camera to get this view of the medallion in the center.


On the path above Highway 1, we saw wild cucumber.


We also saw a dead tree with these weird seed clusters—we believe it is (was) some sort of eucalyptus.


The buckeye trees have fresh young leaves and catkin-like flowers—very different from their late summer appearance.


Our route took us past the Evergreen Cemetery—one of our walks will have to go through the cemetery, looking at all the gravestones, but that was not part of this walk.


We walked up the path through the Wagner Grove, which I had done before, but my wife had not.


The only part of the walk that made my wife uncomfortable was scrambling under this fallen tree, as the path underneath has mostly crumbled away and has quite a cross-slope. A little path repair here would be welcome. (There is an alternative route going back a little ways and climbing up to a slightly higher trail that we have taken before.)


This plant was identified by Google Lens as black nightshade. I can usually only identify nightshade when it has berries.


Looking back from the stairs need the top of the park shows the redwoods lining the (mostly dry) creek.


Our second Little Free Library of the walk.


This old machinery in the quarry may have been part of pumps used to drain the quarry, back when it was used as a quarry.


The quarry itself is mostly a tule marsh now, with the tule reeds covering at least 80% of the pond.


I was amused by this palm tree crossing (and almost blocking) the outflow from the pond. I also wonder how often the wooden retaining walls for the outflow need to be replaced.


The Springtree Homeowners Association maintains a nice picnic area tucked back behind the pond.


I was playing with my zoom again, to get a picture of the fence at the top of the quarry taken from the picnic area.


These steps up to Limestone Lane are referred to as the “dragon stairs” by one of my wife’s former colleagues, who lives near the base of them. (We ran into him and chatted for a while on this walk.)


This pedestrian path runs from Limestone Lane to Quarry Court.


Here is our third Little Free Library.


And our fourth.




And sixth.


In Westlake, we saw a cormorant sunning itself in the middle of the lake. It looks like a turtle has joined it.


There are almost always mallards.


But the ring-necked ducks are more unusual sight.


Coots are very common.


But buffleheads are a rarer sighting.


Canada geese and mallards are the most commonly seen birds, though the canada geese may be seasonal.


Frosty the Lamppost is a rather light-hearted yard ornament.


Coming down the steep part of Laurent, there are some fine blooms of pride-of-madeira. The bees were delighted with them, and I managed to get a couple of shots of the bees. I find bees and hummingbirds difficult to get pictures of—by the time I have found them and gotten the picture framed, they have usually flown away.

We probably won’t be doing a walk this weekend—not only is it supposed to rain on Saturday, but I’ll be judging at the Santa Cruz County Science and Engineering Fair all day.


  1. […] last week’s walk, we saw some unidentified machinery in the privately owned park in Kalkar […]

    Pingback by Old quarry machinery | Gas station without pumps — 2022 March 20 @ 15:36 | Reply

  2. Nice duck pics!
    We bring 3-5 pounds floating waterfowl maintenance feed, Matzuki I think is the maker, when we go there, usually every other week.
    And, turtle food. the turtles should just be coming out of winter torpor now. Getting the food to them is tricky as turtles are very slow compared to ducks and geese.
    I would just bet that Keith over at Capitola Pump could tell you something about that cool pump.

    Comment by rick rebman — 2022 March 20 @ 17:22 | Reply

    • The ultrazoom lens on the new camera does help get the duck pictures, though they are still blurrier than I’d like. There is a turtle on the island with the cormorant.

      I’ll try asking Keith about the pump crankcase.

      Comment by gasstationwithoutpumps — 2022 March 21 @ 18:44 | Reply

  3. […] is that gives Spring Street its name. This is a somewhat easier walk than the one described in Secret Walks: Harvey West-Quarry loop, but still has a couple of steep uphill segments (on Laurent and on Limestone […]

    Pingback by Secret Walks: Kalkar Quarry | Gas station without pumps — 2022 September 3 @ 18:44 | Reply

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