12 April 2014

Signs of Spring on Mount Laguna

March 2014

Dry winter in Southern California has kept nature in alert. Few rains, and snowing on mountains, has brought some help.

Wanted to explore mountains and observe were there any signs of new life in nature.

Packed daily stuff into a backpack and headed to Mount Laguna recreation area in San Diego East County. Meadows lied on about 1600 meters above sea level. There's been few snowfalls in region. Storm in February brought more rainwater to mountains than near the coast.

Took a familiar route by hiking, from S1 highway on to the trailhead, and followed Sunset Trail to a Water-on-the-Woods pond.  Immediate sight was positive, there's more new, fresh green everywhere; new grass, tiny leaves on trees.

Birds were really active, singing loudly. Many plants had small flowers in them; yellow, white, red, you named it.

Ducks did their washing habits on pond, splashing water all over.  Ground squirrels watched carefully movements of humans.  Ravens cried loudly.

From the pond continued towards north, ascending little higher. Here opened a panorama view towards west.

After reaching the northern end of the Laguna Meadow, headed back south via Big Laguna Trail, staying on meadow.  Mountain bikers, lots of them. Been here with an MTB and it's pure fun, nice single track trails.

Big lake had some water and hundreds of ducks and other water birds.  Looped the lake south side and headed back north, now on the east side of the meadow.

Saw a strange sight, a single Raven tried to dismiss two Red-Tail Hawks would have thought to be opposite. It did succeed indeed.

Took a short cut to a Little Laguna Lake. Lack of water. A nearby camping area guaranteed some children which were playing on the meadow.

Dozens of Ravens were packed on old pine trees, making hell of a noise.

People hiking on groups were common view.  Had nice chats, really friendly people. Learnt new hiking places and especially waterfalls, rear views on Southern California.  Had a lunch break under old pine tree.

Took a trail back by crossing the meadow from south-east side.  Fresh green grass pushed through old one, Bright flowers made it looking even better.  Any stone on the meadow had a ground squirrel or two, seemed to be their neighborhood.

Nice 20km hike proved there were clearly signs of spring, on ground, on rocks, on trees, in the air. Hope there'll be more rain coming before summer.

Epilogue:  After two days of the hiking trip, the same area was covered by few inches of snow, though melting away soon. How versatile mountains can be.

A Few Snapshots

On Laguna Meadow

I wouldn't say it was cloudy

Green green grass

Trail Running

Mountain Biking


A Queue

Plants, Trees

New leaves

A young Cedar Tree gets vital beam of daily sunlight


Majestic colors

Almost hidden

Beautifully blooming in white

Fresh new cones


Glad that we humans have refrigerators and freezers

In bloom


Mountain Chickadee


These tiny little ones knocked trees louder than woodpeckers

Acorn Woodpecker

Like a form of another branch

Brewer's Blackbird

Dark-Eyed Junco

Steller's Jay

Western Bluebird

On border

A single Raven cried out Red-Tail Hawks

Other Living Creatures

Fresh grass near trail, dogs knew it

Believe me or not but this Lizard did push-ups!

Kiss Me Kate