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Limestone Canyon, Dripping Springs and Other Weekend Adventures

May 29, 2011

Yesterday was a good day to be out hiking in the Lomas de Santiago (foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains)–elderberry blossoms tantalizing our noses, lemonade berries tangy-ing our tongues, stooping hawking commanding our gaze. . .

Two coast horned lizards crossed our path on the Sand Trap Trail . . . one stuck around for a photo op.

Hmmm . . . when does a hobby (photographing my bare feet with wild critters) cross the line into an obsession?

Moving along . . . there were fabulous patches of Splendid Mariposa Lily (Calochortus splendens) all over Limestone Canyon–hundreds of them swaying in the late spring breeze, with a frequent dance partner being Golden Yarrow (Eriophyllum confertiflorum).

Other spring displays included prickly pear–this one home to some kind of assassin bug?

Destination: Dripping Springs–full of peace and quiet and poison oak.

Any feelings of solitude and being-away-from-it-all evaporated under the fierce gaze of the satellite’s eye in the sky that knew exactly where we were:

That was yesterday. Today’s treat: back to my favorite spot, Santiago Oaks Regional Park, for the million-and-tenth time, but for for the first time with my granddaughters (who proved it’s possible to connect to nature wearing adorable dresses).

We practiced identifying poison oak–there was plenty of it along the trail to the historic dam. And Ranger Henry did a great job helping them make plaster casts of cougar and bobcat tracks in the Nature Center–now open weekends, and full of taxidermied wildlife, pelts, feathers . . . all available for little hands to touch and little minds to marvel at . . .

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