It was a beautiful Saturday, and I sought some respite in one of my frequent haunts, the West end of San Diego’s Mission Trails Regional Park.
I spent the day hiking trying to get away from the utterly tragic news from Ukraine. I woke up in the middle of the night on Thursday, and sometimes I will read or do a couple things for an hour before getting the second half of my sleep in. Except, I checked CNN and at 2:30 AM, I was seeing the invasion happening. I wasn’t able to sleep from there, and it was an incredibly sad and groggy day trying to process all of this.
So the truth is this wasn’t much of a peaceful hike, and my thoughts remain with the incredibly brave people of Ukraine. May good triumph over evil, somehow, someway.
Hints Of Spring
At the end of 2021, there was enough rain to hope for a decent Spring Wildflower season in 2022. Those hopes were dashed as our long-term megadrought brought little to no precipitation after December.
This is supposed to be Southern California’s “rain season,” and it has been incredibly dry. We did get a much needed storm on Tuesday and Wednesday. I was hoping that the West side would have some water left in the vernal pool areas. With just a small pool that was already 2/3rds evaporated, that wasn’t meant to be.
There were plenty of grass shoots that looked pretty healthy, so there is water in the soil. This area didn’t show much of any flower development, and it is likely going to be a mediocre season as expected.
The West end of the park is a bit hemmed in by Highway 52 to the North, and power lines and development to the South. So if you think I focus on North Fortuna Mountain a little too much, well that is a consequence of the surroundings.
This is still a nice hike from the Corte Playa Catalina Trail, over to the Rim Trail, where I go until I reach the very unsightly power lines that bisect the very middle of the regional park. As I headed back to the car, a nice sunset developed. I even took an end-of-day photo, something I haven’t done in some time.
As always, thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy the images below.
T.M. Schultze is a San Diego-based photographer, traveller, and writer. He writes, photographs, and draws things of the outdoors that have inspired humans for thousands of years. He co-authored the Photographer’s Guide to Joshua Tree Park which can be purchased here.