Saturday, March 27, 2010

howdy neighbors

What a beautiful weekend. It is around 75 degrees today and clear as can be. I took a small hike this morning with some friends, signed Julia up for soccer, and now our family is hanging at home and relaxing. Okay, it is sort of relaxing. I am cleaning and James is cleaning up the backyard, but I am enjoying the time with family at home for once.

Our "neighbors" were home this morning, too.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

O'Neill Regional Park and some polliwogs

I love spring and so do the girls. The weather has been nice. Great polliwog catch and release season. Not too many wildflowers sighted at O'Neill this weekend, but we didn't mind. O'Neill is one of my favorite regional parks. The park is near Trabuco Canyon and it rarely is crowded. A slice of paradise with lots of pretty sycamores and live oaks to admire.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

fremont canyon, have you seen this part of Orange County?

My sister, Kristi, and I signed up for a hike in the privately held land of the Irvine Ranch Conservancy. The hike was six miles, three up and three down. The first three miles were all up hill and it took us about two hours to get to the top. We gained about 1000 feet and the views were spectacular.

To start we drove to the back of Irvine Regional Park and then down a gated road a mile more. The Fremont staging area is right next to the Irvine Lake dam. It was interesting to see the back side of the lake as the damn has grass growing on it so it is nice and green instead of concrete looking. Right off the bat we walked next to a giant pile of coal that must have been there for 100 years. The coal is low grade and not very good. The surface mine at the top only was around for a short period in the late 1800s to early 1900s.

obligatory shoe shot in the "creek" crossing


Kristi hiking into the blue


coal deposits at the surface mine

looking down on the back side of Irvine Lake


Orange County weather station at the top

looking southeast

I recommend this hike for the views alone. Also, this time of year has got to be the best. A few months from now this will all be brown and showing the semi-arid state we live in. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

chaos reigns

The past week or so has been busy. Sickness had a hold of the kiddos this past week, but it looks as if it is done for now. My time has been filled with that plus school and work. I was lucky enough to get away for an hour yesterday morning for a walk in our local hills with a good friend. Here are some lovely pictures from my outing. Spring is almost here.