Hidden Villa
Los Altos Hills, California

8th Hike: Foothill College Day Hike
Instructor: Thomas McCarthy

Friday, November 22, 2013

By Peter Y. Chou

Preface: Hidden Villa is an outdoor education center in Los Altos Hills, with many farm animals and crops. It also has several miles of hiking trails exploring the wooded hills around the farm. This is the eighth hike in Thomas McCarthy's Day Hike Class (PHED 23B) at Foothill College. A friend gave me a ride to today's hike at Hidden Villa, 26870 Moody Road, Los Altos Hills (Official site, Map, Bay Area Hiker, Photos). Hiked here last in September 2007. We made a wrong turn on Elena Road and got to Hidden Villa at 1:35 pm. Met Carl from the class with his bike in the Parking Lot, who gave us Tom's hike instructions: "Stay on Long Bunny Loop; Don't do Bypass Trail; Follow sign Creek Trail; Go straight, then left up hill on Toyon Trail; Back to Parking Lot." There was no map left at the Welcome Info Board, so we went to the Dana Education Center. There were several workers in the office, and they gave us a "Visitor Guide & Trail Map". It was a treat seeing a stuffed Black Bear there. While taking its photo, left my walking stick nearby. It was from a tree branch that eased my hiking uphill since 2008 (Colleen phoned on Dec. 2 telling me they have my walking stick which another friend retrieved for me). Took two dozen photos of sheeps and cows in the barn. Our instructor Tom drove his SUV and found us by the cow barn (2:25 pm). His doctor ordered him to wear a boot after twisting his left ankle, so he couldn't hike. Tom told us that it's too late for us to complete the Long Bunny Loop and Toyon Trail, and recommended us to hike on the Short Bunny Loop before it gets too dark. When we heard the cows mooing, we went for another photo. Tom tells us "The Bunny Loop is thata way!" He also told my friend of a Horse Sculpture in White Barn which we saw at the end of our hike (5:05 pm). There was no Short Bunny Loop signpost until ten minutes hiking on the Long Bunny Loop. Are there buried treasures in Hidden Villa? Perhaps Blackbeard the Pirate may have left his gold at "X Marks the Spot". But you may have to dig at another similar spot. I'm just happy to find Dancing Ferns by Fallen Bay Tree and Branch Singing in the Air. I'm sharing these surprising delights among the 156 photos from today's hike.

Hidden Villa Entrance Sign

Welcome Info Board & Sun Rays

Stuff Black Bear at Dana Center

Fruits on Buckeye Tree

Hill at Hidden Villa

Bird Drank in this Water Puddle

"Number 8" or "Infinity ∞" Puddle

Scarecrow in Farm Garden

Hill Above Farm Garden

Hidden Villa Hostel Sign

Yellow Daisies at Hidden Villa Hostel

Colorful Flowers by Hidden Villa Hostel

Sheep Sighting across Farm Field

Black Sheep in Barn

Two Sheeps Sleeping (Sheep Looking)

Sheeps Looking and Sleeping

Big White Sheep

Big White Sheep Looking

Black-Headed Sheep

Black-Headed Sheep Closeup

Sheep Looking Centerpiece

Two Sheeps Looking Centerpiece

"Journey of Food through a Cow" Board

Two Cows in Barn

Flame Cloud in Sky (12:32 pm)

Tall Pine at Hidden Villa Hostel

Bending Bay Trees

Two Cows below Distant Hill

Cow with Sheeps in Background

Cow Looking Closeup

Mother & Child Looking at Cow

Cow with Sheep in Background

Cabbage in Field & Farm Houses

Trees at Edge of Garden

Life Tree from Dead Stump

Brown Cow Closeup

Cow's Udder Closeup

Sunflare through Bay Tree

Y-Shape Redbud Tree

Chickens & Bay Tree

Bridge to Duveneck House

Golden Rooster Closeup

"Heart" Redbud Leaves (Cercis canadensis)

Golden Rooster and Hens

White Rooster

Pigs at Hidden Villa

Pigs, Crow, and Chicken

First Bridge to Bunny Loop Trail

Long Bunny Loop Signpost

Long Bunny Loop Trailhead

V-Shape Oak Tree

Top of V-Shape Oak Tree

Porcelain Duck at Duveneck House

Wooden Bridge at Bunny Loop

View of Trail after Bridge Crossing

Arching Bay Trees

Semi-Circle Bay Tree

"O Canada" Maple Leaf

Summer Art & Benches

Arching Bay Trees

"Sword-Crossing" Bay Trees

Short & Long Bunny Loop Signs

Y-Branch Coast Live Oak

Field of Ferns

Valley View of Trees

"Neptune's Trident" Tree

Field of Ferns

Trees on Distant Hill

Bending Bay Trees

Sunny Hill & Dark Trees

"Antler Branches" Oak

Mushrooms on Bay Tree

Twin Oaks "Lovers"

Switchback Trails

"X Marks The Spot"

"Sling Shot" Oak Tree

Tilted Bay Tree on Trail

"Don't Bump Your Head"

Bay Tree over Short Bunny Loop

Sunny Hill & Virgin's Bower

"Dead Sling Shot" Tree

Steps Down the Trail

View of Hills via Bay Trees

House on Hill through Bay Trees

Maze of Bay Trees

"Bird Beak" Stump & Bay Tree

"Bird Beak" Stump Closeup

"Serpent Branch" Bay Tree

"Serpent Branch" Closeup

"Dot in Heart" Bay Tree

"Serpent Branch" Bay Tree

Trail Continues Beyond Trees

Y-Tree & Bending Bay Trees

Field of Ferns & Bay Trees

Step through Trees to Trail

Row of Arching Bay Trees

Second "X Marks The Spot"

"Platonic Lambda" Fern

Big Rock on Trail

Giant Rock on Trail

Entangled Bay Trees

"Dancing Ferns" by Fallen Bay Tree

A Branch "Singing in Air"

View of Houses on Hill

Monster Rock on Trail

Tree Branch over Monster Rock

Bay Tree over Big Rock

Gnarly Branches of Bay Tree

Moss on Coast Live Oak

Gnarly Bay Tree

Y-Branch & Monster Rock

Shelf Mushrooms on Fallen Trunk

Horizontal Bay Tree

"Sling Shot" Trunk

View of Hills from Trunk

"Turkey-like" Trunk

Curvaceous Bay Tree

Serpentine Bay Tree Branch

Vertical Branches from Horizontal Branch

Short & Long Bunny Loop Signs

Twin Peaks from Bay Trees

Cannon-like Trunk

Serpentine Bay Tree Branch

Window through Bay Tree

"Bend Tuning Fork" Bay Tree

Bend on Bunny Loop

Stump on Dark Trail

"Tilting Trident" Bay Tree

Lambda Branch Bay Tree

"Sundial" Trunk Cross Section

To Hidden Villa Signpost

Rocks in Dry Bunny Creek

Duck under the Fallen Branch

Branches in Dry Bunny Creek

Bridge View through Bay Trees

"Letter A" from Trees

Trail Rules Sign Board

Maple Leaves on the Trail

Monster Rock

Bridge to Bunny Loop Trails

Bridge to Hidden Villa

Creek Trail Signpost

"Letter A" from Trees & Benches

Horse Sculpture in White Barn

Hidden Villa's White Barn 1860

Horse Head Sculpture in Barn

Horse Sculpture in White Barn

Trunk by White Barn

Tall Pine by White Barn

Drawing in White Barn

Wanda Water Drop in White Barn

Wagon Wheel under Pine Tree

Trunk Stump by White Barn

Whole View of White Barn 1830

Hidden Villa's White House

Tree with Outstretched Arm

— Photographs by Peter Y. Chou, November 22, 2013

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