This has been a week for clouds and color! While I wasn’t able to remain until the pink blazing, I did have fun trying to catch the golden glow of the grass this past Wednesday afternoon at the Quail Hill loop. (This fairly level, 1.8 mile trail has been my “rehab haven” as I come back from injury after injury. I’m up to 5-8 minutes of jogging intervals…yay!)
Added bonus that day: a pleasant conversation with runner Christine and her mountain biking friend Gavin. Thanks for listening to me ramble on and on about our local plants and animals!
Here’s shot I snapped of Christine as she crested the small hill. I love silhouettes!
Now for a Quail Hill prose poem, written almost a year ago:
Why Quail Hill
To me it’s White-Tailed Kite Hill—a rare bird in the county, but I’ve often seen them hover here, not far from the turn-off to my work. The single-track loop beckons, always. I have to ignore it. Work = turn-off. One morning last week this gully-cut former cow pasture was laid over with a gauze of October ground fog—not the usual gray smother that rolls in from the ocean and reduces to neutral, but the soft exhalation of low spots where moisture and chill conspire to make the weedy field a Friedrich painting. Even as I drove by, the mist dissipated. It’s a few acres of dead weeds again, next to my freeway exit. An unimpressive drive-by. But at dusk, when my feet feel the cracked clay trail, or when I wander through spring’s brief show of lupine and gold fields sneaking through openings between noxious thistle, when the loop leads to meadowlarks announcing from hidden low roosts the goodness of grassland, call and response until the whole field is filled, overflown with notes worthy of something sweeter than accompaniment by northbound-southbound freeway bombilation—then I know why I’ve ended up here up on this lichen rock, perched on the shoulder of Quail Hill, eye-level with the flickering white-tailed kites.