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?
And some of our noisier residents, the Canada geese.
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.
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").
The panels along each side have been decorated by kids. There's quite a variety of artistry!
Leona is the name of one of the towns two ubiquitous cats (the other is Leo).
The one below is on the ramp up to or off of the bridge.
Unfortunately, there has been some graffitti.
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.
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.
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!
The 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.)
A clump of fuzzy young chicks!
Chicks feeding while others enjoy the heat lamps. (See, hot chicks!)
Chicks feeding neatly.
Chicks up close.
Chicks napping and drinking water.
If 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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
It gracefully, quietly headed north. In person, it was easy to read the sponsor: 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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!
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!
Next we turned north onto Hicks Road, which follows the Guadalupe Creek (later to become the Guadalupe River).
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.
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.
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!
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".
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.
Realtor, CRS, CIPS, ABR, SRES
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Road Los Gatos, CA 95030
BRE # 01153805