Serpentine soils and plant communities afford naturalists a wonderland of strange and endemic plants and some uncommon animals. Serpentine soils form from exposed, weathered serpentinite, a mineral high in toxic metals. The infertile soil creates an opportunity for endemic and uncommon plants to thrive in conditions that exclude weedy competition. Come explore the serpentine foothills of Mount Tamalpais in the Carson Ridge area during blooming season. Learn about the relationship between the soil and the plants in one of Marin’s prime chaparral habitats. Discover such delights as serpentine morning glory, Tamalpais jewelflower, and the dwarf Sargent cypress forest. Listen for rufuous-crowned sparrows, black-throated gray warblers, and – with luck – some of the last remaining California thrashers in Marin County. The Carson Ridge trails provide amazing 360 degree views over central Marin. We will take lunch at Little Carson Falls and look for endangered yellow-legged frogs, keeping our eyes open for bald eagles which nest at nearby Kent Lake. From the serpentine soil to the scenic ridgelines and beyond, this trip covers the waterfront.