March springs forth with welcome rain + wildflowers
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:
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.
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):
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 . . .