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After a brief autumn rain: nice damp dirt, puffy clouds, off-trail knuckleheads

November 10, 2012

Thursday gloom and drizzle gave way to a brilliant yesterday . . . time to hit the trail at Irvine Park/ Santiago Oaks and see what the little bit of rain had wrought.

Steps from the paved loop road around Irvine Park I met: a dazzling White-crowned Sparrow. (It did not pose long enough for me to photograph–birds are a tough subject for my little pocket camera.)

Twenty yards later: the white-tip-tailed coyote who inspired a recent poem. He (?) had a slightly smaller, regular-tailed companion. I spotted them; they returned my gaze, and without changing expression or gait  ambled off in opposite directions, the slight one up the dry Santiago Creek-bed, Mr. Whitetip into the brush downstream.

Ten a.m. on a puffy-cloud Friday morning–glorious! Few hikers and bikers, but plenty of birds, many (most) of whom I could not exactly identify. Was that a Cedar Waxwing or a Cassin’s Kingbird I saw swooping through the oaks? Sigh.

Here’s some unidentified animals I came across; they were way off trail and looking for route around the 15-drop off just below them.

As I took incriminating photos and watched in moderate indignation (life is too short to get intensely indignated about knuckleheads who don’t know how to obey “stay-on-the-trail signs”), they finally turned back to whence they came. If you can identify them them, tell them to stop doing this. The habitats here on the edge of the city are already invaded enough without them barging around in the native creatures’ safe zones.

WANTED FOR TRESPASSING in the homes of native plants & critters: these two oblivious hominids.

Here’s some happier photos from my morning barefoot wandering:

Buckwheat and puffy clouds: sing it, Willie: “Nothin’ but blue sky from now on.”

Delicious damp dirt: a feast for the (bare) feet.

My favorite shadowy hiking companion.

There is always something in bloom in the wild hills of Orange County–even though there’s been no “real” rain for six months. Twiggy wreath brightens the trail even when most all the other plants are dormant and waiting for winter storms to bring them back to life again.

The trail-builders of Barham Ranch installed some logs for mountain bikers, but they’re fun for us runners too. My new cold-weather (brrr . . . it was “only” 60 degrees) outfit includes lightweight woolies. Comfortable AND stylish. (Maybe just comfortable . . . )

Truth-in-barefooting disclaimer: After six weeks of mostly hiking, to recover from some kind of over-did-it-running-this-summer injury, I ran and ran on Friday. And paid and paid for it with some bizarre, never-before-experienced back-of-foot pain all day.  Two ibufprofen and five ice-cube massages and one good night’s sleep later, the pain has subsided.

Will I listen to my body better next time when I’m out on a clear fall morning of perfect damp trails and cool clear air and bird calls singing me on? Stay tuned . . .

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One Comment leave one →
  1. November 10, 2012 4:14 pm

    Beautiful pictures!!

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