California plants are weird. There was a plant with puffballs of seeds; but they looked a lot different than the nettles or dandelions or milkweed in Minnesota. The parachute had sort of a scalloped shape, and the entire seed was very spiky. It was sort of the Klingon version of an airborne seed. Internet research suggested "western salsify" but that doesn't look quite right.
It was a good day for sightseeing from the top. The Bay had a fair amount of haze, but the Golden Gate bridge was clearly visible, and the central valley was as clear as could be wished. The Sierras were just barely visible (I think.)
On the trip east I took Niles Canyon Road, which is always fun due to looming hills. On the trip back I used Crow Canyon Road which is a nice drive too. I do wonder, however, what horrible secret prevents further residential development in Crow Canyon--- there are tons of new housing subdivisions on either end, but somehow the horse ranches, saddleries, and puppy day-care haven't yet made way.
Speaking of new housing, I noticed somebody's huge new house (?) along 680 (in the hills on the east side, around Alamo or Danville.) It was very distinctive, with a lot of mini-towers featuring large windows. But, I probably would not have spent that much money to have a terrace that overlooked the expressway and had nonstop road noise. Maybe all the good spots were taken? (It was downhill from a building that looks like a temple--- maybe it's a conference center instead of a house...)