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Springlike January Day in Los Gatos

Date: Jan. 31, 2013
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If you had a chance to be outdoors today, this was your lucky day.  The weather was sunny and mild, with little or no breeze, and it felt like the mid to upper 60s in Los Gatos.  (This is a subtropical climate, but not every winter day is quite this pleasant.) Folks who were out walking or just taking in the sun were smiling.  What's not to love about a day like this? 

Below are a couple of photos from Vasona a week or so ago - same glorious weather.  (The leaves seem to be from fall, but there are a number of brilliant ones now, even while other trees are starting to blossom.) 

 Can you imagine wanting to live anywhere else?

Vasona Lake County Park in Los Gatos, CA, on a warm January day

And some of our noisier residents, the Canada geese.

Canada Geese at Vasona Lake County Park in Los Gatos, January 2013.

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Footbridge between Old Town and Forbes Mill in Los Gatos: mural art and views

One of the many places that helps to give Los Gatos its character is the bridge between the Old Town Shopping Center and Forbes Mill. It's a  pedestrian bridge, with views of the nearby Santa Cruz Mountains in one direction and much of Silicon Valley in the other. 

Foot bridge from Old Town to Forbes Mill in Los Gatos

The image above is looking toward Forbes Mill and the Los Gatos Creek Trail. The one below is looking toward Santa Cruz.  The bridge viewed ahead is on Main Street (that bridge, in an earlier incarnation, was once known as the "Hanging Bridge").

View toward Santa Cruz (on the Forbes Mill side)

The panels along each side have been decorated by kids.  There's quite a variety of artistry!

Murals on the Los Gatos pedestrian bridge over Highway 17.

Footbridge artwork - a cat

Leona is the name of one of the towns two ubiquitous cats (the other is Leo).

One young artist portrays our usually sunny weather and the Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad.

The one below is on the ramp up to or off of the bridge.

Los Gatos kids' art on foot bridge

Unfortunately, there has been some graffitti.

Children's art on the Los Gatos foot bridge

By and large, the art has been respected by the public.  These panels are now quite old, and the town is getting ready to have them updated by the current generation of children.

Footbridge mural in Los Gatos with seal for the town.

If you've never had the opportunity to stroll across this pedestrian walkway spanning the Los Gatos Creek, the trail and Highway 17, find a little time to do it.  It's easy to park at either Forbes Mill or at Old Town and make a little detour to take in the views and the artwork.

Pedestrian bridge in Los Gatos looking toward the Old Town Shopping Center.

 

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Have you seen this funny sight in Los Gatos?

Date: Jul. 14, 2012
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Sometimes the quirkiest things add so much to the character of a place.  Some of them are worth pointing out for those who haven't seen them.  Here's a funny sight: a fire hydrant, positioned on pavers, complete with the blue Botts[ dot.  Where is it?

If you haven't seen it or aren't sure, you can find the answer below, cryptically written backwards! 

Where in Los Gatos do you find this funky fire hydrant?

                        .eunevA ytisrevinU no emoh a fo dray tnorF

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Chicks at Ace Rural Supply Hardware in downtown Los Gatos

 Baby chick at Rural Supply Hardware in downtown Los GatosThe Los Gatos Rural Supply Hardware (part of the ACE chain of stores) is now displaying, and selling, adorably fuzzy little baby chicks. This is an annual tradition in late winter, early spring, perhaps to coincide with Easter.   Even if you don't want to take one home with you, it is worth the time to pop in when you are near Lyndon Plazaand the main Los Gatos Post Office to have a view. Could anything be cuter? Warning: if you bring small kids with you, have the talk about buying or not buying these fuzzy babies before you step over the threshold.  (Photo credits: Jim Handy.)

Chicks at the Los Gatos Ace Rural Supply Hardware

A clump of fuzzy young chicks!

Chicks feeding and enjoying the heat lamps

Chicks feeding while others enjoy the heat lamps.  (See, hot chicks!)

Chicks feeding

Chicks feeding neatly.

Chicks up close

Chicks up close.

Two chicks

Two chicks.

Chicks napping and cuddling

Chicks napping and drinking water.

Chicks investigatingIf you are interested in checking out some hot chicks in Los Gatos, be sure to visit the Ace Rural Supply Hardware Store at 110 South Santa Cruz Avenue  Los Gatos, CA 95030 (408) 354-3910.  You can find them and their store hours (but not these little birds) online too.

 

 

 

 

 

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View of hills from Los Gatos in Autumn

A  few months ago I worked with a wonderful couple on their purchase of a home in west Los Gatos on Mistletoe Road (near Old Adobe Road).  Last week I stopped by to visit and see some of the work they are doing & to catch up. The property has beautiful views and I took a photo from one vantage that I thought was really lovely with some of the fall colors showing in the forground.

View of the hills from west Los Gatos (Mistletoe Road) Dec 2, 2011

Apparently it was even more "firey" a couple of weeks back, before Thanksgiving.

This view, by the way, is looking west - downtown Los Gatos would be off to the left side, Saratoga almost straight ahead and San Francisco off to the right.

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Blimp over dowtown Los Gatos - catches the last of the sun's rays

Date: Oct. 22, 2011
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Tonight Jim and I attended the evening Mass at St. Mary's Catholic Church and drove home via Hiway 9, or Los Gatos-Saratoga Road. No sooner had we gotten onto this thoroughfare than we noticed a striking sight: a large blimp, flying low, with the last rays of the sun illuminating it as if on purpose. It was just about 6:15pm (and until then we'd been noticing all the people and dogs in costume for Howling Halloween).
 

Driving east on Highway 9 (Los Gatos-Saratoga Road), we saw a blimp a little past 6pm tonight

The blimp was flying lower than I'd ever seen one here before.  Such a pretty sight with the backdrop of El Sombroso, the large hill shown here, which has the slightest trace of sunlight on the right side. 

Blimp heading north through Los Gatos

 It gracefully, quietly headed north.  In person, it was easy to read the sponsor: Farmer's Insurance.

The blimp advertised Farmer's Insurance.

As we turned up North Santa Cruz, we seemed to be keeping pace with it for awhile before it got ahead of us - and the sun.  Continuing east on Blossom Hill, we saw it pass over Vasona Lake County Park and seemingly follow Highway 17 toward Campbell and San Jose. A fun sight, it felt like seeing a rare bird - big, majestic, and appreciated for its grace.

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Smokey skies over south San Jose caused by controlled burn

Date: Oct. 19, 2011
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It is a controlled burn near Morgan Hill which is causing the plume of smoke to hang heavily over much of San Jose. Photo below taken from close to Belgatos Park in east Los Gatos.   Read more at the Valley of Hearts Delight blog.

Smokey skies caused by controlled burn near Morgan Hill - image from Harwood Court Oct 18 2011

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Video of Los Gatos - "Los Gatos, My Home Town"

Date: Jun. 25, 2011
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I didn't shoot this but found it on YouTube and wanted to share it - it's a beautiful tribute to our beautiful town of Los Gatos.



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A Sunday Drive Along Kennedy Road in Los Gatos

Today in Los Gatos we enjoyed a day without rain - the first one in 2 weeks.  This has been an unusally soggy March and the town has endured all kinds of headaches on account of the drenching we've gotten.  With the improved conditions, Jim and I decided to get out a little more, so after church and brunch we took a "Sunday Drive" down Kennedy Road. I snagged a few photos to share along the way.

We begain at Los Gatos Boulevard and drove east, for those who might want to retrace our steps.

Stream alongside Kennedy Road

If you have never been down Kennedy Road (or Shannon Road, for that matter), it's mostly a wooded area tracing the bottom of a small valley.  So it's not suprising that creeks are found there. 

An unofficial creek made a small depression its home next to the edge of the road

Normally, though, the creeks stay in the creekbeds.  Here, though, a small trickle of a stream was making its way at a low point at the side of the road. (Apparently there was a lot more water running this course yesterday.)

Small mudslide on Kennedy Road in Los Gatos

We noted that much of the road in the low-lying areas was really covered with a thin layer of dirt - it looked like a few mudslides had been cleared.  But here was a newer one that was spilling onto the very damp roadway.

In addition to the trees and streams, we enjoyed seeing some of the interesting architecture that graces these hills too.  The image below is a pan of 2 photos I took and stitched of a really neat looking place that we usually call "The Water Wheel House" but I think its real name is Villa Rusticana.  (They sport wine barrels at the driveway too so perhaps they are vintners?)  Jim has often commented to me how much he loves the rock wall here so it was fun to snap a photo that included it.

Some cool homes and man-made beauty along Kennedy Road in Los Gatos too

Soon we turned onto Shannon Road, continuing east and emerging from the bottom of the little valley.  As we drove east, it got drier and drier.  The image below was taken from Shannon Road, not too far from Kennedy and almost to Hicks Road. The mustard was in full bloom and it was so nice to see a cloudless sky! 

Vista from Shannon Road (near Kennedy Road) looking toward Mt Loma Prieta

On the other side of the road is a small parking lot to accomodate hikers who utilize the nearby trails.  The following image was taken there, looking up at the Sierra Azule range. (Actually another pan of 2 pics which I stitched together.) The mustard was gorgeous!

View of the mustard covered hill on the Sierra Azule range in east Los Gatos CA.

Next we turned north onto Hicks Road, which follows the Guadalupe Creek (later to become the Guadalupe River).

The muddy Guadalupe Creek was carrying a good amount of water out of the foothills toward the bay.

There were a couple of places where the Guadalupe was close to the road but it didn't look like it had spilled over onto the street, thankfully.   With so much activity, though, the water was not the usual clear but instead a muddy beige.  Too much action for a calm creek!

Thankfully the weather reporters were off about today having more rain in Los Gatos.  We were grateful that it was only cloudy and even that was only part of the day.  Our thoughts and prayers go to those whose lives, homes and workplaces have been badly impacted by the severe weather.  Let's hope that the week's sunshine brings relief all around.

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Spring has arrived - and brought the hail!

Date: Mar. 21, 2011
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Don't like the weather? Wait a minute or two! 

Today change has been the name of the game  As I write this post, the sun is shining and the wind is but a small breeze.  But a couple of hours ago the hail was pounding down and it lasted for several long minutes.

Hail in Los Gatos: Happy Spring!

The first photo is upclose - you can see that the hail is not large, but it did come down with a ferocious, pounding drive.  The next image gives a better sense of the quantity - the ground was white with fallen hail!

So much hail it looked like snow next to the rose bushes in our side yard. (Los Gatos March 21 2011)


We live on the far eastern end of Los Gatos in the Belwood area. Not sure if downtown Los Gatos got the same hailstorm. Anyone care to fill me in?

A few days ago, this series of storms caused the Los Gatos Creek to overflow.  To read about that, please visit Alastair Dallas' blog, "All Things Los Gatos".

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Live in Los Gatos

A blog about Los Gatos real estate, homes, houses, condos, townhomes, housing market, neightborhoods, history, events, businesses, parks, schools, photos, issues, and lifestyle by Mary Pope-Handy, town resident, enthusiast and Realtor.

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Mary Pope-Handy

Realtor, CRS, CIPS, ABR, SRES
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Road
Los Gatos, CA 95030
BRE # 01153805
408 204-7673

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