oak glade

I slipped into a part of the State Park I hadn’t visited before, and followed a deer trail under overhanging boughs, to discover this secluded open glade within a circle of coast live oaks. I lay down on the thick bedding of dry, prickly leaves, my sketching bag as a pillow, and watched the dappled light dance above me.

For a few minutes, I stopped thinking about what the US Supreme Court did yesterday. I just breathed.

r.i.p. p-54

Reposted from June 2018

One night four years ago, a young mountain lion paid us a visit. She and I locked eyes through the living room window, before she stalked off into the night. We contacted the wildlife people next day, who checked the tracking and let us know it was P-54, an 18 month old female. We felt extremely honoured by her visit.

Last Friday morning, P-54 was struck and killed near Malibu Creek State Park. She was the 29th mountain lion to be killed by a vehicle in the NPS study area since 2002.

I know there are a lot of tragic things happening in the world right now, but this one particularly hurts.

ammannia coccinea

Don’t overlook the teensy ones!

Guided by some online resources, I went looking for this flower by the pond at Rocky Oaks. I was expecting a plant between ankle and knee high (my wildflower book says it’s up to 16″/40cm tall). I scanned about but couldn’t see any likely candidates. Then I had the urge to just sit awhile right there on the bank.

You guessed it! I soon realized I was surrounded by the plant I’d come seeking — tiny (1.25″ high) scarlet toothcup plants with miniscule magenta flowers. Such a delight!