May 14, 2018

Hike Description:

We are always searching for new places to go, mostly on the web. Some obscure reference led us to Del Valle, located about six miles southeast of Livermore. We often have reservations about reservoirs, but in this case it seemed interesting and had gotten nice reviews. The drive there and back would take up a good part of the day, but luckily it had a nice campground, which made for a perfect overnight trip. One big surprise was downtown Livermore. The common conception  is a dull bedroom community's center. It may have been that years ago, but now has been made over to more resemble a quaint European town. The ride along Mines Road was an interesting mixture of Old California ranch with south of the border influences thrown in, some leaning more to Tijuana than Acapulco.


Blooming Plants Not Photographed:
NN=Non Native

Achillea millefolium (Yarrow)
Achyrachaena mollis (Blow Wives)
Acmispon glaber (Deer Weed)
Baccharis pilularis (Coyote Bush)
Barbarea orthoceras (Winter Cress)
Brassica nigra (Black Mustard) NN
Castilleja affinis (Indian Paintbrush)
Collinsia sparsiflora (Blue Eyed Mary)
Delphinium hesperium ssp. pallescens (White Western Larkspur)
Erodium botrys (Long Beaked Filaree)NN
Erodium cicutarium (Red Stemmed Filaree)NN
Erodium moschatum (White Stemmed Filaree)NN
Geranium molle (Doveís Foot Geranium)NN
Hirschfeldia incana (Short Pod Mustard) NN
Hypochaeris radicata (Rough Catís Ears) NN
Leptosiphon bicolor (True Baby Stars)
Logfia gallica (Dagger Cottonrose) NN
Lupinus bicolor (Miniature Lupine)
Matricaria discoidea (Pineapple Weed)
Medicago polymorpha (Bur Clover)NN
Melilotus indicus (Sweet Yellow Clover) NN
Micropus californicus (Cottonweed)
Mimulus aurantiacus (Sticky Monkey Flower)
Phyla nodiflora (Lippia)
Pseudognaphalium californicum (Ca. Everlasting)
Sambucus nigra (Blue Elderberry)
Solanum umbelliferum (Blue Witch)
Spergularia rubra (Purple sand Spurrey) NN
Torilis arvensis (Field Hedge Parsley) NN
Trifolium hirtum (Rose Clover) NN
Urtica urens (Dwarf Nettle) NN
Vicia villosa (Hairy Vetch)NN





Matillija Poppy (Romneya coulteri)
A native of Southern California, this striking bush is  quite aggressive when established. It was planted by EBRPD personnel.

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Some pictures can be enlarged

Even though this Fremontia (Fremontodendron californicum) is a native it was planted by the park district.   The trailhead is at the Del Valle Marina Boat Launch, where there is ample clean parking.
This is a typical section of the 'East Shore Trail'.


    Horehound (Marrubium vulgare)
While the Hetch Hetchy trail isn't the most scenic, it does provide some good views of the lake once you climb a bit. But this is the best route to the more wooded upper trails.   This attractive mint is not a native. It can also be invasive.



Small Clarkia (Clarkia affinis)    
An aptly named native as it was only about 1/2"across.   View of the reservoir's Badger Cove from the Swallow Bay Trail.




Italian Thistle (Carduus pycnocephalus ssp. pycnocephalus)    
These problematic non native weeds had  uncommonly dense flower heads. Unfortunately they seemed to be spreading uncontrollably.   Another view of the nearly 3 mile long reservoir from the Swallow Bay Trail.



A close up of our showy native Buckeye Tree (Aesculus californica)  flower.   The hilly section of the East Shoreline Trail as it heads back south.



Royal Larkspur (Delphinium variegatum)    
Herbalists maintain certain Delphiniums can kill lice, treat asthma & help control nervous system disorders. Native.   View of the reservoir through the trees.



Ithurielís Spear (Triteleia laxa)    
 We saw hundreds of these natives along the trails in the shady areas.   The East Shoreline winds along the East Shore (makes sense) for probably the best views of the reservoir from any trail. The only other major trail is the Heron Bay trail on the northern section.



    Mule Fat (Baccharis salicifolia)
We saw several of these native Gold Nuggets (Calochortus luteus) near the Venados group camp   We donít commonly find this native bush, but we found several plants growing right next to the reservoir.


Harvest Brodiaea (Brodiaea elegans)    
This native has underground bulbs which are suppose to have a nutty flavor. American Indians are said to have eaten these.   Venados Group Camp. The picnic area under the trees looked idyllic to us with the proximity of the water and shade giving needed relief from the summer heat.