Wildcat Peak (in Tilden Park) has a panoramic view of the Bay area. As someone put it to me, it is the highest mountain-without-roads in the Bay area. You can drive up both Mt Diablo and Mt Tamalpais, and they have structures at the top. The only way to get up Wildcat is to walk. Then you can enjoy the views of the Golden Gate, Tamalpais, and Diablo (the top of Diablo was fretted yesterday with fresh snow).
On the way up my pack felt a bit heavier than normal. I stopped to take a look, and discovered I had packed my bulky and heavy 200mm macro lens. I don’t normally carry this lens around on treks.
Coming out from the memorial grove of redwoods below Wildcat, I saw this salamander, a perfect subject for the telephoto macro. I believe it is a red-bellied newt, Taricha rivularis, native to California coastal areas north of San Francisco.
The newt had a dirty top and a bright pink underbelly. If he is indeed a red-bellied newt, his skin also contains strong toxins.
Part in the sun and part in the shade, he posed for his close-up portrait, and then ambled on all four legs into the bushes.