Back to Barefoot Wandering, Stress Fracture or Not
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.
Happy recuperating trails!