I’ve been rather housebound for the last few days, busy with this and that, and just plain lazy. This morning, though, with the prediction of a whole day of rain, the allure of a walk in the damp was too much. Our rain has dwindled into a slow drizzle, but it is so welcomed here in our parched California landscape. The sky was a blue-grey, hinting at moisture to come, and it did soon after I started out, more like a misty rain than drops, which is fine when you want to go hiking. The trails were all sticky – my boots sucked into the mud and made a rhythmic noise with each step. Areas of the trail had not yet dried, but when they do, the trail will be lumpy and bumpy for a long time.
When I got to the area I wanted to explore – it’s always new, no matter how many times you go! – the parking area was closed for repairs. I skirted around to where the oaks and cacti and stream and sycamore hang out, just in case it did get wetter. It turns out that the recent rains have caused soil slippage, and some trees have toppled a bit. One oak had fallen and split, so the work crew was waiting for the oak tree specialist (the city has one, as oak trees are protected where I live) to determine whether it needed anything or just a bit of a trim.
Here, a little bit of rain goes a long way, and soon enough the grasses begin to sprout for the upcoming spring. Beige and brown give way to the delicate greens. The cold temperatures have pushed the autumn leaves to golds and reds, so suddenly a dull grey-brown landscape pops into life. The smell of the damp earth, the creeks with running water, and the occasional bird song or insect was all that could be heard. A bit of bliss for a couple of hours! Click a picture below to scroll through them.