Day 96 :: Rock Formations


I went hiking the other day in the Diablo Foothills in Walnut Creek. There are some amazing rock formations. Below you can see some limestone/chert/sandstone rock formations that have been tilted from the flat layers that formed them at the bottom of the ocean millions of years ago. I find that incredible! The 1,060 acres of Diablo Foothills are bounded by two dramatic East Bay landforms, the Castle Rocks of Mt. Diablo and the undulating "camelback" ridges that form Shell Ridge. These ridges link the park to the City of Walnut Creek's Shell Ridge Open Space and Mt. Diablo State Park. Together they represent one of the largest open space preserves in the East Bay. There is a wide variety of vegetation including grassland and oak savannah on the hills and riparian and oak woodland in the valley. The diverse habitat supports a wide array of wildlife including mule deer, bobcats, coyote, grey fox, long-tailed weasels, raccoons, gophers, rabbits, and ground squirrels. Birds such as red-winged blackbirds, northern mockingbirds, scrub jays, California quail, brown towhees, orioles, and woodpeckers use the park for nesting and foraging habitat. The rocks shelter garter and gopher snakes, western fence lizards, southern alligator lizards, tree frogs, and California salamanders. Castle Rock is closed currently due to the falcons that mate and nest in the rocks during this time of year. There is also Golden eagles and red-tailed hawks. It's truly a beautiful and amazing area and one that I will visit over and over again.