Sunday, January 29, 2012

How's the serenity?

A mini-hike in Solstice Canyon, Malibu today...we don't know this area well yet, so just had a quick stroll to check out the trails. We'll be back to do a more strenuous walk, but just getting 40 minutes of peace and space was therapeutic. Plus we saw a woodpecker pecking, a hawk hovering magnificently while searching for a tidbit, and heard frogs in the canyon creek.

Some parts of the trails look out to the Pacific Ocean, and meander through land that has been used by Chumash people and by ranchers for grazing, and inhabited in previous decades before continuous fires destroyed the man made structures. The canyon land was eventually handed over to the public in 1988 and is currently managed by the National Park Service. It's not far at all from the bustle of Malibu and the PCH, so it's not the most immersive natural experience, but if you go far enough into the park it is quiet enough to stop and hear nothing but the scratchings of the little forest birds in the under-brush. And that will do for me!

My next task is to learn more about the native plants and birds I should look for. I have a habit of brushing my hand on a shrub to smell the oils of the leaves - if I do THAT on poison oak, I'll be in trouble.

The holes in this tree's limb are left by the woodpecker.

Leaving the park, here's the view of the ocean across the Pacific Coast Highway.