Lab 8: Signs of Spring

Date: March 26, 2020 

Location: Guadalupe River Park, 37.3433° N, 121.9034° W

Description of site:

  • A three-mile park that runs along the banks of the Guadalupe River in downtown San Jose 
  • Consists of a historic orchard, heritage rose garden, nature preserve, and more
  • Mostly flat but small slope near the river
  • Open grasses with some oak trees (nature preserve) and some maintained areas (community garden, rose garden, etc.)

3 signs of spring:

  • Ground squirrels were running all over the park, going in and out of their holes in the ground

  • A large predatory bird (maybe a hawk) was soaring above and swooped down a few times causing the ground squirrels to quickly dart to their burrows- happy spring.

  • Birds! Saw a couple of blue jays which I have not seen in ages, some kind of quail I believe, and heard a few calls from other birds that I don’t know the species of. Unfortunately, the blue jays were too quick for a photo.

Leaf descriptions:

  • Brown (fallen) leaf, 3 leaflets, jagged edges
  • Green leaf with lots of veins, rounder shape with uneven sides, every leaf on this shrub was a bit different
  • Green leaf from a small shrub, very spiky edges with veins going in every direction, all of the leaves on this shrub were shiny


  • Went on this walk with my mom and brother, which was nice but also frustrating because I am with them 24/7! But my mom always takes any chance to go for a walk. While we were at the park, we made sure to stop by the river (river is a generous term, it’s more of a creek). I used to have a lot of school field trips to this park and we would always do some river and park clean up. It seems like the park has just gotten more trashed the last couple years. Lots of garbage on the sides of the river, random items left behind from houseless people who live there, and the water was very low.

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