January 26, 2008 (Sat) - Ranch Lake Newts

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  • Ranch lake is part of the Sanborn county park system, located just minutes up Rt 9 from downtown Saratoga. The lake itself is about 300 yards long and maybe 100 yards wide, depending on the time of the year. I'm not sure if it's an official reservoir for drinking water but it is apparently under some sort of management. The lake, or really more a pond, is a favorite destination for me. I found it about 10 years ago while exploring the various parks in the Bay Area. The trailhead is at the end of Sanborn Rd (there's another trailhead on the other side but requires about a 1.5 mi hike to get to the lake) and the lake is a short 0.5 mi (uphill) hike from the trailhead.
  • I love this place because it's so secluded (read: not too many people know about it or go there) and there's always some sort of wildlife every time I go. In the winter, as this photo set shows, it is Newt and ladybugs season. Around the new years, the newts emerge into the waters in the reeds fields and mate and lay eggs - perhaps 2 dozen in a transparent jelly ball about 1" in diameter. If the timing is right, you'll find hundreds of newts and thousands of egg balls. It takes a few weeks for the eggs (within the egg balls) to hatch. What an amazing process and show of life!
  • Looking for newts, mating season. Water level much much higher than last year at this time. No eggs yet.
  • See also photos from a few weeks ago: 1/6/2008
   


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