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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Hiking With Tia

BJ is on spring break, so yesterday we took advantage of a free Monday morning to go on a hike with my dear friend M!
Once upon a time, in my PK life (Pre-Kid, that is) M and I were big hiking buddies. (As well as being kindred poetic souls -- we met at the open mic that she used to host.) We traipsed about, chatting and soaking up the sunshine, spotting wild turkeys and deer and once, to my horror, a rattlesnake. (While I shrunk back, M noted, "It's a baby one!" and then leaned in closer to take a look. She's fierce like that, fearless enough to be foolish at times, flinging herself into life in ways that are admirable and sometimes a little astonishing. Which is much of why I adore her.)

It had been quite a while since I went hiking at all, much less with M, and even much less with the kids. So I was a little nervous about galavanting about in the woods with the short folks, but I decided to be brave and Just Go. So off we went!
BB might have picked up a bit on my anxiety, because she was very nervous about the Mountain Lion sign. Many questions about What Would Happen If We Saw A Mountain Lion?

Tia M, characteristically, told BB, "Don't worry. The Mountain Lions aren't at home today. They all went to the mall to buy new hats." (I believe it was hats. Though my memory is imperfect. Perhaps the cats were shopping for a different accessory.)

In truth, the worst thing we encountered was Poison Oak, and we managed to avoid that for the most part. BJ brushed against a bit of it, but thanks to Tecnu and a good rinsing, he seems totally fine today. We had a very nice hike, the kids were excellent about staying with us and staying on the path. BB got a little tired towards the end, not surprisingly, but otherwise they had a fantastic time!

We saw lots of wildflowers, including Blue Eyed Grass and California Buttercup. (Alas, my handheld macro shots didn't really come out!)

(And as I mentioned, lots and lots of Poison Oak, which the kids were soon calling P.O. after M's example.)

We saw a few western fence lizards, a red tailed hawk, a hummingbird, and many dusky footed woodrat homes. Once we knew what to look for (thanks to M's help) the stick domes were easy to identify. This one in the crook of a tree was very interesting (tho a bit hard to see in the pic).

Now the kids are asking when they can go hiking with Tia M again! Hopefully it will be soon. Thanks for the great outing, my friend!


tierramor said...

Awwwwww, I feel so speshul! Thank YOU, it was the loveliest hike I had in a while. I especially enjoyed how the kids got all bent out of shape at seeing an ant, or a snail, like it was the most exotic, amazing animal sighting ever. "AN AAAANNNNNTTTT! LOOK, TIA MIRI, IT'S AN ANT!!!!" Now THAT's the way to be, no better way to live life than that.

Oh, and the rattlesnake was a grownup, but he was eating a miniscule mouse, newborn with its eyes still shut. I wanted to make sure it was a rattler, so I reached in and parted the grass down to its tail, which, predictably, rattled, sending both you and I sky-high.

Those were good times. These are too!!

Jen (Mama's Magic Studio) said...

Yes, they were -- and yes, these are! You're totally right about the rattler, of course, now that you say it. You were talking about the *mouse* baby! Obviously I was so scared I can't recall correctly. Etched in my brain is your bravery parting the grass to "Make Sure" -- I can still physically remember my heart panicking in my chest. YIKES!

I'd *much* rather see an ant, any day.

We are all looking forward to the next hike!!!

giki said...

I now nominate M (the wonderful Tia M) as the bravest woman I know. My heart is pounding and I wasn't even in the same time zone.
Glad that the kiddos had such a great time. Tia M will give them such wonderful knowledge about the great outdoors. Hooray for M!

P said...

It looked like an awesome hike!!

Jen (Mama's Magic Studio) said...

yes, hooray for M!

Mom, we'd dial it back for ya if you wanted to join us :-)

P, so nice to see you! you should join us sometime! BB is wondering when she'll get to do water fights with you again...