Waiting for el Nino
During this afternoon’s shoeless run up and down the ridges between Santiago Oaks and Irvine Park . . . it felt like the hills and critters and plants were all waiting, like the wilted black sage (above) . . . holding their collective faded-and-dusty breaths in anticipation of the winter rains.
This being a Mediterranean climate, winter is when we get our precipitation, but for anyone who’s been hiding under a rock for the last several years, our rains have been sparse, and California is in High Media Alert for the all-but-guaranteed-by-meteorologists-who-should-know, El-Nino-induced, Massive Winter Storms of 2015-16.
So I took this “before” shot of (bone-dry) Santiago Creek, just below the Villa Park Dam, to have something to contrast with the raging torrent that should appear in roughly two weeks and thirty minutes.
A bit further downstream is another crossing, near the Santiago Oaks parking lot . . . this lovely riparian paradise has not gone dry yet:
Our brief season of leaf-color continues; coupled with recent pink sunsets . . . altogether lovely:
Another sight that always makes my day: mule deer along the trail (in Orange County these creatures are still rare enough to be considered a treat to glimpse).
What does not bring a smile to my face: trail trash! This sorry lot is from my two-hour trek this afternoon . . . and one of the reasons I carry a small pack when I run–to carry not only food and water (and tape and a whistle and a knife and ID and keys, etc.) . . . but to also have a place to attach all the crap I find along the way. Grrr . . .
There is one category of refuse I refuse to pick up, however: anything that looks liked it’s been used to wipe a human orifice of any kind . . . ick!
Still . . . being able to run our fluff-dusty local trails barefoot for two hours in the early afternoon (meaning few folks out on the trails) did make me jump for joy:
(My new trick for catching guaranteed air in a photo? Set the camera on video mode, then do a screen capture with editing software . . . a lot easier than trying to coordinate my jump with the camera’s timer . . . )
Happy dusty trails . . . let the rain (and MUD) begin!