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Back to Barefoot Wandering, Stress Fracture or Not

November 6, 2016


I like to think this alligator lizard was pleased to see me back on the trails surrounding Irvine Regional Park; at least he paused long enough for this foot-selfie before wiggling off into the sagebrush.


The first-sunset-since-we-lost-Daylight-Savings was noticeably early; the shortening days of winter’s approach are upon us.


But the light was ever-changing and lovely as it lit the near-leafless sycamore trees . . . they slowly morphed into silhouettes while the taffy layers of cirrus stretched out and changed colors as well (how could a camera, or words, ever hope to transfer this drama?)


The shattered willow forest (all the trees have been slowly self-destructing, shedding limb after limb as the drought continues) echoed with a syncopated cricket chorus that almost, but not quite, drowned out the nearby traffic rush on busy Santiago Canyon Road, where canyon-cruising motorcycles rumble and roar through their gears all weekend long.

The trail through the willow forest is creatively named: The Willows Trail. I did not discover these peaceful paths until just a few years ago; now it’s one of my favorite places to begin or end a run. Or, since my stress fracture three weeks ago, a walk. (And yes, I stepped in that pile. It’s soft and cushy. For a moving picture of my feet & horse poo, click away


It seemed odd that only a few willow are shedding their furry fruit capsules right now; have they all given up?


Another fuzzy bloomer going cra-cra-crazy: coyote brush (Baccharis pilularis).


Not in bloom, but so striking in the low light, is one of my favorite coastal sage scrub shrubs, thick-leaved yerba santa: fragrant like a fruity popsicle, nicely chewable, much-used medicinally by earlier (smarter?) people. I like it so much, I bought one and planted it in my back yard years ago. It didn’t take long for it to return the love and attempt to take over the well-watered vegetable garden with vigorous underground runners.

Now we only meet away from home.


Even though I haven’t been patrolling “my trails” for the last three weeks of stress-fractured inactivity, there wasn’t a whole lot of trash today. But of course, there’s always someone who thinks it’s a good idea to peel the label off their single-use resource-intensive petro-chemical plastic water bottle and chuck such label into the air, where it will either a) magically disappear; or b) land next to the trail where it will remain until a hungry coyote mistakes it for food, or a hiker with half-a-brain picks it up.


We had a couple light rains in October . . . just enough to send the non-native annual grasses springing into action. It did feel nice to my sensation-seeking feet (read that any way you want 🙂 ). Here’s the lower fibula stress fracture showing a marked decrease in swelling. Thanks be to God!


Even if I can’t run for hours any more, I can walk for minutes, and that makes me appreciate all those miles of free running in the past couple of years.


Don’t forget to mark your calendar for the super moon on Nov. 14! It’s supposed to be HUUUGE. (This will be the first and last political reference as we grimly march toward Tuesday’s showdown.)


Happy recuperating trails!


2 Comments leave one →
  1. lynnehartke permalink
    November 9, 2016 6:42 am

    Good Wednesday morning!

    I was wondering if I could post a paragraph from your above writing on my blog with a link back to your blog for readers to read the rest?

    I am doing daily reasons for gratitude and want to post a blog on Friday of bloggers I read. I would love to link readers to your site.

    • November 9, 2016 7:38 am

      Good morning to you! I am grateful that you found something on my blog you’d like to share, so . . . of course! Share away 🙂



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