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Summer birds and barefoot wandering

August 9, 2012

Trail-time in the summer: can there ever be enough of it?

The Little Lakes Valley trail (out of the Mosquito Flats trailhead) is one I’ve loved since I first backpacked it as a kid back in the 1960s. Last Saturday was a little more crowded than 45 years ago, and we don’t drink out of the lakes any more, but it’s still a (insert over-the-top synonym for beautiful here) place.

Classic Eastern Sierra: granite, meadow, mountains, clouds.

That was last weekend. This morning’s run took me back to my old familiar haunt: the hills and arroyos east of Orange.

Birds everywhere were doing their birdy things before another hot summer day settled in.

A little member of a little flock of birds with a little name: Lesser Goldfinch.

I always hear this bird in the prickly pear patches that cling to the steep slopes, but I rarely get such a long glimpse: this cactus wren held still just long enough for me to grab my  camera out of my handy-dandy Nathan hydration vest pocket.

Cactus wren in prickly pear  along the Chutes Ridgeline Trail.

Great Blue Heron looks for fish below the Villa Park Dam.

A wooly darkling beetle leaves an intricate, symmetrical set of tracks in the summer dust.

Me and my shadow, enjoying the blessings of another summer morning on the barefoot trail.

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