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!