Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Wavamai or Palomar Mountain

Apple tree blossoms in the old abandoned apple orchardThe Luiseños Indians called this area Wavamai. When the Spanish arrived, they named the area “Palomar” (place of the pigeons). Renaming the mountain was the least of the ill-effects wrought by the Spanish on the Luiseños. The disruption of their way of life and European diseases devastated the Luiseño population. But not completely. Today gambling casinos extract the long overdue payment to the Luiseños for past wrongs. (I know. I know. I just like to look at it as some sort of poetic justice.)
Last year's Palomar Mountain fire burned acres in this area.A visit from Boston-area Scott and Don provided the perfect excuse to escape the city and hike the Palomar Mountain area. Palomar Mountain is home to the world-famous Palomar Observatory at its 6,100 foot peak. Hot in summer and snow-capped in winter, spring is a great time to explore the area.
Doane Pond (stocked with trout)We hiked the Thunder Spring-Chimney Flats loop which starts at Doane Pond and climbs through some nice oak-shaded woods. Last October’s fire reached this area and a portion of our hike was through stark remains of burnt oak and pine trees. An abandoned apple orchard was nonetheless blooming. The four-mile hike was a perfect mountain stroll. On this hot weekend (the valley below was in the 90’s) the mountain air was only 75.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Shark warning sign at Grandview

It hits a little too close to home when a local swimmer becomes a shark attack victim. Training with fellow swimmers 150 yards from shore in Solana Beach, Dr. David Martin, a retired veterinarian, died after being bitten by a shark that was between 12 and 17 feet long.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Pretty In Pink

Pretty in pink on the cliffsLeucadia is bursting forth with flowers after a moderately rainy winter. Everyone's garden is showing blooms, except mine, which has lots of weeds. But no where is the color quite as vibrant as along the cliffs down at the beach.
Pretty in pink on the cliffsStairway to heaven.
Pretty in pink on the cliffsHere's a closeup of these lovely pink ice plant flowers.
Pretty in pink on the cliffsPink is spilling down the steep cliffs.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Old VW Bus

Old VW Bus on KauaiI guess I'm somehow collecting photos of old cars. This VW bus circa 1967-1968 is iconic representation of a laid-back hippie lifestyle. And where was this picture taken? On Kauai on Alealea Road, just a few miles before the road deadends at the Kalalau Trail.