Tilden Park is a great and extensive wild area very near me. It is about 1/2 a mile up to the top of the hill and to the park entrance (right by Nicky’s pre-school).
The park is part of the California State Park system. Although bisected by high-tension power wires, and with wonderful attractions such as a narrow gauge steam railroad, animal farm, and merry-go-round, it is really, truly pretty wild. Wildlife includes the occassional mountain lion, eagle, and rattlesnake.
The park has miles and miles of trails and views of San Francisco Bay to the west, Mt Diabolo to the south and east, and Napa and the Straits of Carquinez to the north. It includes the entire Wildcat Basin, Wildcat Peak, Lake Anza, a botanical garden featuring California native plants, and an extensive nature preserve.
Mid-June is a little late in the year for wild flowers in the park. Mostly, everything turns a golden brown – and will keep getting crisper until the autumn rains. But even when everything is dry, one can still find treasures – witness the photo of the wild orchid hidden in dry grass that I found along the Meadows Canyon Trail this afternoon.
Here are a few more images from my set today taken along the Meadows Canyon Train in Tilden Park: