Is it wrong to brag about your home?
Southern California was the center of attention two days ago because of the Oscars; I would contend that the millions of people from around the globe who watched that spectacle of good looks missed the true beauty of our area: as part of the California Floristic Province, it’s one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, with thousands of species of plants (as well as many creatures) found no-where else on the planet.
And in my corner of it all, northeastern Orange County, there are miles of trails to enjoy the native grandeur, with or without shoes. (Disclaimer: of course the habitats have been impacted by centuries of “progress”, but still . . . much remains to be appreciated and preserved.)
Since our last rain a week or so ago, the days have been steadily warming, with 80-degree+ temperatures forecast for the weekend. But yesterday was already brilliant, in many ways, which inspired this poem and the photos that follow:
February Heat Wave in the Foothills
Eighty degrees of separation
from our mid-west friends
with all their stuff to shovel
out from under
means we cannot speak
our winter secret:
how lupine swing their violet hips
to the golden tune of fiddlenecks
while a California thrasher courts us all
from his perch atop the glistening laurel sumac.
My favorite (since they’re the easiest to drive to) trails are those in Santiago Oaks and Irvine Regional Parks, and the Barham Ridge trails that connect the two parks. There’s a trap door spider nest hidden in plain sight along one trail; I check on it after every rain, thinking that one of these days it will erode away. Not yet . . .
After the last rain, we had some significant wind, which scoured the trails of any dust padding and left lots of rocks to test my soles:
Hooray for Hollywood? How about hooray for the native plant that Hollywood was named after?