Walking with the Spring Bloom

Central California hillside

Native Californians, like myself, grow up with a spring bloom every year. For most of the year, in fact, we can rely on blossoms of some sort. But wildflowers adore springtime, and that is when we go searching. Off into nature I trek, with my hubby in tow.

I had heard of an area east along Highway 58 that we could get to without a lengthy drive. Though I wanted to see the spring bloom, I wanted to spend my time walking among the luster of new flowers, not riding in a car.

Even the drive there was spectacular. We stopped along the way to do a small bit of exploring.

Eagle-eyed hubby spotted a golden eagle and then its nest. We waited close by, but neither our presence nor the noise of the crows in the next-door tree persuaded the eagle to reappear.

Golden Eagle nest

We continued down the roadway. I’d not really thought out this day with detailed planning. ‘A spot east along Highway 58’ is truly as far as my itinerary got. I figured that somewhere along the way, the place would present itself, and we would find ourselves among the spring bloom.

a short side-trip stroll

This is the landscape I grew up with. As a young girl in Sacramento, as a young woman near San Jose, and later in Bakersfield and Fresno, these rolling hills and oak trees were always with me. I want to say this landscape is the most beautiful on earth, but I think that’s my familiarity with the natural decor talking. Much of the year, these hills are dry and forlorn. Your skin will crack with exposure and your eyes will strain with glare from the sun. This territory is synonymous with my life, and I consider it wondrous.

As do so many others.Β East along Highway 58 in central California, we came across this sight:

Our neighbors

With such a stampede of people, I guessed we had reached our destination. We parked, grabbed our hats and walked to discover the views. Of course, there were wildflowers. Common tidy tips, several varieties of lupine, fields of mustard and yarrow.

But there were also many, many people, like myself, who wanted to see the spring bloom before it faded. With packed lunches, multiple generations, Β friends and families, they came. They carried babies, backpacks, cameras and umbrellas. Out in the middle of a land far from any sidewalk, there walked myself and a swarm of my neighbors.

Spring Blooming with people

The views I wanted were there.

You can almost smell the fresh

The views I hadn’t anticipated made me laugh. I’d thought to bring my hat and camera, but I hadn’t thought of picnic blankets, folding chairs and Frisbees for the dogs. I hadn’t thought to bring my dog, either. But others thought of all that and much more.

More than I expected

What a complete surprise my wildflower walk became. Along a creek bed, me and my fellow county dwellers watched a torrent of polliwogs writhe in a springtime dance. We clamored up hillsides. We dodged cars.

Love ’em

At the end of a walk in the middle of nowhere, with nearly half the population of my county, a fitting sign pulled my attention as we left.

Very generous πŸ™‚

There we were, hundreds of central Californians, on someone’s private property. I am going to believe in the generosity of the owners, because I couldn’t have avoided this. On our walk into the area, there had been too many people milling around to notice the sign. Thank you, residents of a place east on Highway 58.




25 Replies to “Walking with the Spring Bloom”

  1. So funny that you would all run to the nearest bit of Springtime glory, Susan! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ You’re right- much of my lovely Algarve is similar, though I managed to find lots of gently rolling hills with not a soul in sight. Your prose is beautiful and your quirks of language make me smile- I presume those are what I know as tadpoles in the pool. Many thanks for joining me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tadpoles! I was trying to remember the ‘other’ name. Polliwog is probably the pre-school version of the word. Anything that results in a frog is okay by me. Thanks for the wonderful compliment of reading my posts – I feel the same about yours πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Is there anywhere you can go to commune with nature and get away from the hordes?? I am amazed by the number of people who want to revel in nature — it’s a good thing, but it kind of ruins the peace and quiet. No? (We have very few golden eagles where we live, but we have a nesting bald eagle nearby and go to check on her and hers on a regular basis. It’s near the Minnesota river, very remote and quiet!) Thanks for the gift of pictures and prose.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hugh – I was truly laughing out loud at my quest for nature, but I can say that everyone shared nicely and the land was adequate to our challenge. What a treat to have a bald eagle near by – it must be fascinating. They are somehow bigger than life, with all that symbolism πŸ™‚


  3. Is there anywhere left on Earth (at least in this country) where we can enjoy nature without sharing our solitude with a bunch of “uninvited guests”? I imagine that everyone is looking at everyone else wishing they would just go away πŸ™‚ It does look like you still managed to have a lovely hike, despite the throngs. Love the polliwogs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. HaHa. It was a happy over-sized group of otherwise law-abiding citizens. Big enough, I think, to vote out any sheriff who fined them for following this springtime ritual. I even think the landowners are happy, welcoming people who would miss us all if we didn’t show up next year!!

      Liked by 1 person

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