A Morning Outing

Yesterday on a neighborhood walk, Claire told me, “I want to show you the world, Mommy. The wonderful world!” She does, every day!

We live so far away from the din and havoc the comes with living in an urban area like Silicon Valley. About five miles from our home is the entrance to the Santa Teresa County Park. (There’s a trailhead about a mile from our house, but I went to the main part this time.) We see the hills from our home, so today I took Claire for a little hike. We wanted to see what nature had to offer.

Summer in California is the season of drought, dust, and death. The grasses turn “golden” (i.e., tinderbox dry and brown), and there is no rain for about five months. It is certainly not California at its prettiest. (I’m partial to the emerald green hills of the rainy season.) Here’s an example of the “hills of gold”:

the spare golden hills

And the poor parched ground:

dry ground

Nevertheless, nature knowns no season. It always exists. It’s always interesting. So we headed out on a trail…

intrepid explorer

Even during summer, flowers manage to bloom.

summer flowers

The view from on high is expansive!

the valley of din and strife

But we also had to keep our eyes sharp for other things.


Looking around reveals interesting shapes…

beautiful tree

And glimpses of a bird soaring high in the sky (that teeny dot in the blue is not dust on your screen!).

hawk in the distant sky

Then we were treated to a surprise! A turkey vulture perched on a dead tree, I guess airing its wings. It sat still for several minutes like this!

hawk airing its wings

Once it flew away, we returned our attention to the path.

looking closer

We found a branch covered with lichen. Such interesting colors and textures!

found branch

And we also found some pinecones and hardened pine tree sap. We brought the rock of resin home for later exploration and research.

crystallized tree sap

At the end of our walk, we ate a snack at a picnic table. On the way home, I asked Claire what her favorite part of our adventure was. She said it was “sitting and looking.” It was so quiet and breezy there. A lovely Monday morning.

Explore posts in the same categories: Journal, Motherhood, Nature, Recreation, Regional

4 Comments on “A Morning Outing”

  1. Kathy in San Jose Says:

    Looks like you had a wonderful time, full of new experiences and discoveries! BTW, the bird in the “hawk” picture is actually a turkey vulture, which normally you only see soaring in the air, riding the thermal columns.

  2. Kathryn Says:

    You know, I wondered if it was a turkey vulture. 🙂 I’ll make the correction. There were many of them soaring.

  3. Mom/Grandma Says:

    I really liked Claire’s observation of her outing favorite “sitting and looking”:-) May there be a little naturalist growing there?

  4. Sister Says:

    I love how you are open to exploring life’s creations with Claire. You make her life so interesting!