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The Barefoot Wandering Never Gets Old

September 1, 2014

Like this coyote I’ve run into the last few mornings crossing Santiago Creek at sunrise, I also seem to be a creature of habit. 

coyote crossing Santiago Creek in Irvine Park

While the hills around Irvine Park are his home, and he needs to make his daily rounds to find food and water, I suppose I could live without my 2-3-times-a-week adventures on these trails . . . but I would surely, quickly, succumb to what Richard Louv calls “Native Deficit Disorder.” 

So, like coyote, I roam these hills looking for sustenance. Here’s a few photos of what feeds my soul as my soles delight in feeling God’s splendid creation:

The sprinklers at Irvine Park  got over-zealous this week, resulting in a few short-lived puddles. Of course I had fun posing my toes in them . . .

The sprinklers at Irvine Park got over-zealous this week, resulting in a few short-lived puddles. Of course I had fun posing my toes in them . . .

Barefoot in a puddle

The angle you view the world from makes all the difference . . . here, it’s the conventional “oh, look down, there’s a puddle, let’s take a foot-selfie” view.

But . . . when I got down low with my camera, and trusted it to record something new, this is the photo that surprised and delighted me when I got home.

But . . . when I got down low with my camera, and trusted it to record something new, this is the photo that surprised and delighted me when I got home.

Where there's puddles . . . there's mud . . . a rare and welcome feeling at the end of dry August.

Where there’s puddles . . . there’s mud . . . a rare and welcome feeling at the end of dry August.

This blog has a fan who appreciates my obsession with bare footprint photos; this one's for you, friend :)

This blog has a follower who appreciates my obsession with bare footprint photos; this one’s for you, friend 🙂

The combination of trail dust and early light inspired this image.

The combination of trail dust and early light inspired this image.

My #2 toes hang out past the big toe, resulting in  occasional stubs like this one last week.  They throb and bleed for a bit, clog up with dust, and heal pretty quick . . . a small price to pay for the hours and miles of shoe-less trail fun.

My #2 toes hang out past the big toe, resulting in occasional stubs like this one last week. They throb and bleed for a bit, clog up with dust, and heal pretty quick . . . a small price to pay for the hours and miles of shoe-less trail fun.

This bit of the  (extensive!) warning sign at the foot of the Chutes trail creates a sort of "found poetry."

This bit of the (extensive!) warning sign at the foot of the Chutes trail creates a sort of “found poetry.”

I wish the signs warned of this much more common trail danger: groups of big-booted hikers and their packs of un-leashed dogs. When the dogs rushed at me ("oh, don't worry, he's just wants a sniff"), it threw me off balance and I tripped and stubbed my whole foot.  GRRR!!!

I wish the signs warned of this much more common trail danger: groups of big-booted hikers and their packs of un-leashed dogs. When the dogs rushed at me (“oh, don’t worry, he’s just wants a sniff”), it threw me off balance and I tripped and stubbed my whole foot.
GRRR!!! (And PS: Hikers . . . why the high-ankled boots? You’re not carrying a pack, the trails are not that rough, and until your dogs tripped me, I was having a smoothly good time running on them without arch or ankle support . . . )

 

Just writing that last caption got my dander up again . . . time to take a few deep breaths and go for a run.

Just writing that last caption got my dander up again . . . time to take a few deep breaths and go for a run.

Today's winner of "beautiful plants that bloom with no rain for five months" :  Long stem buckwheat

This week’s winner of the award for “beautiful California native plants that bloom with no rain for five months” :
Long stem buckwheat

Happy (more coyote and fewer dog) Trails!

 

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