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End-of-winter wanderings: a few flowers, a few fuzzies

March 12, 2012

The weather’s been a mix of warmth and chill, with 20-degree swings in the high temps from day to day (last week had some days hit 85; other days were chilly low 60s).  Since it’s been a fairly dry winter, the wildflower show is muted, but there are still a few bloomers on my favorite trails.

Parry's phacelia at the mouth of Weir Canyon, Irvine Regional Park

If you smell maple syrup along the trail--it might be this flower: California everlasting

Blue-eyed grass in Santiago Oaks Regional Park

Those were the flowers; here’s some recent fuzzies:

I counted 64 catepillars along the trail at Quail Hill last week.

 

Curious fawn at the mouth of Weir Canyon, Irvine Park

Cottonwood duff on the trail at Santiago Oaks Regional Park

This next photo is the opposite of warm fuzzies and wildflowers–it seems to me to be the epitome of government waste. Out hiking today in Santiago Oaks Regional Park, I noticed miles and miles of trails had been sprayed with weed killer tinted a sickly green color (to mark where it had been applied). Hmmm . . . according to what I’ve learned, the edges of trails are favored spots for wild flowers. So why spray? It’s not as if the wide trails were in danger of being overgrown with out-of-control vegetation.  And the aesthetic unpleasantness of dirt trails bordered with nasty unnatural green-icky spray was a definite downer this afternoon (along with the dogs off-leash, a weekend’s worth of trail trash, and the newly cut trails between switchbacks).

Grrr . . .

Evidence of weed spraying on the Hawk Trail, Santiago Oaks Regional Park

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Catherine Keefe permalink
    March 19, 2012 8:08 am

    I’d love to! Let me know when you’ll be out and about near South County.

  2. Catherine Keefe permalink
    March 12, 2012 6:19 pm

    Thea,
    I love your blog! Kristen Schmidt introduced me to it. (She and I went to Grasemere, England many summers ago for a Wordsworth conference.)

    I’m also an avid hiker and I do smell maple syrup when I’m out! Even better, my hiking buddy dog comes home so smothered in the California Everlasting scent that my office smells like the sweet canyon all day as he lays by my feet while I work. I’d never actually identified which bush it was that carried that delicious smell; I always figured it was one of the sages. So, thank you for answering my mystery.

    And thanks for bringing a little of our wonderful wilderness to WordPress.
    Best,
    Catherine Keefe

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