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March springs forth with welcome rain + wildflowers

March 10, 2016


Yikes . . . talk about “wild” flowers . . .  the above assault on the optic nerve is a recent result of my never-ending quest for the “ideal” running short.

My chief requirements: so comfortable I don’t have to think about them while running; NOT a solid color (so they don’t show sweat stains); and NOT capable of clinging on to the “eau de locker room” generated by the previously mentioned sweat.

My current store-bought “Moving Comfort” brand shorts are comfortable, but solid gray, and reluctant–even after repeated washings with bleach–to remain smell-less.

While at a local fabric store buying curtain material, I walked by this loud-and-lovely green and yellow print and felt it calling me (the reason why I try to stay out of fabric stores . . . I like to think my fabric-hoarding days are behind me . . . ).

Loosely referring to my Moving Comfort shorts, I made a pattern and then put together a garment that was definitely . . . colorful. But I made them too big, and the swinging of the extra leg fabric was distracting on my one try-out run. They definitely helped me levitate, however:

Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 11.40.09 AM

On my next thrift store visit, I came across a men’s golf shirt with potential in the color (tiny stripes!) and stretchy comfort departments:


Here’s all that was left after making the shorts (using the previous pattern, but doing more adjusting and measuring along the way). I gave them one seam pocket on the right side (for runny nose hanky), and a patch pocket on the left (for bits of trail trash).


I am now happy to have a complete running kit (LOVE this word; thanks UK friends) made out of thrift store finds: a gray wool t-shirt (from EMU Australia) and my gray-and-blue stripey shorts.


This afternoon will be the test drive . . . back to my favorite currently puddley trails at Irvine and Santiago Oaks Regional Parks; the two share a border called “Barham Ranch,” home of some rare native plants as well as the endangered California gnatcatcher.


On the Roadrunner Trail heading toward Barham Ridge.

Below is my first mariposa lily sighting of the season along the Barham Ridge trail this week; we have six species of this delicate bloomer in Orange County . . . this is a Catalina mariposa lily, with a rare plant ranking of 4.2, according to the definitive book Wildflowers of Orange County and the Santa Ana Mountains.


There’s been a lot of recent damage to the trails in this area by someone intent on creating as many bike jumps as possible, endangering plants such as this mariposa lily and her ephemeral friends.

Read the signs, folks:



Two new jumps that magically appeared after last week’s rain:


Trailside damage to get dirt for the jumps . . .


Grrr . . . .

Time to relax with some aroma-therapy  . . .  courtesy of the fabulous California everlasting (Gnaphalium californicum) now in bloom along the Mountain Goat Trail. According to “The Book,” this plants smells like “maple syrup, pineapple, citrus, or curry” depending on the person doing the smelling.  It reminds me of an exotic citrus.


Mmmm . . . I’m feeling a bit less stressed already. Now for a glimpse of the lovely red paintbrush blooming along the Bumblebee Trail, and my blood pressure might find its way back to normal:


Yep. Happy again (and appropriating a bike jump for my own wild purposes):

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One final mud moment to sooth my soles. (Ouch. I really try not to make these kinds of puns, but sometimes it just happens . . . )


Happy (almost-spring!) trails . . .




9 Comments leave one →
  1. Gina Barnes permalink
    March 15, 2016 12:41 pm

    Hi Thea. Thanks for sharing this. You’ve encouraged me to consider creating by sewing. I want to wish you a great run for the upcoming weekend, and I can’t wait to read all about it. I’m not able to make it after all (this year) but I am excited for you and all the participants!

    • March 15, 2016 12:50 pm

      Hi Gina! I was just wondering yesterday if you were heading to Monument Valley or not . . . sorry you won’t be there . . . maybe next time? Many decades ago, sewing was my home-based job (and some-time hobby); it is a great creative outlet, and I’m excited to realize I can just buy pieces of clothing at a thrift store and re-fashion them into other things. A bit cheaper than buying retail fabric, I hope. Happy trails . . . I hope to try the free-running classes at Firestorm in Santa Ana later this spring . . . are you in? 🙂

      • Gina Barnes permalink
        March 16, 2016 5:47 pm

        Oh my gosh. I am in for free-running classes! Email me about what days and times you’re considering. Monument Valley, Hoka Hey! I’m with you in spirit, Thea, and hope to make it next year, God willing! Have a blast!

      • March 16, 2016 8:52 pm

        Thanks, Gina. I’ll be in touch about the free-running class in early April (or more like the second week of April) . . .

  2. March 11, 2016 4:21 am

    I love your posts! They always make me smile. Your enthusiasm, joy and humour warm the soul. 🙂

    • March 15, 2016 12:53 pm

      Thanks, Jane. I adore your blog ( . . . your posts are always fun/beautiful/inspiring journeys into such lovely Australian landscapes (your fungi photos! and tree bark images! stunning!). Cheers and happy wandering!

  3. March 10, 2016 2:30 pm

    To revive stinky hot yoga clothes I soak them in vinegar an hour or so then rinse before washing. This might help you.

    • March 15, 2016 12:56 pm

      Hi Terry! Thanks for the vinegar tip. It needs to happen 🙂 I’ve been enjoying your “other” blog when I get a chance to visit . . . your posts always make me think . . . a gift . . . thanks!

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