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First Step

I don’t think of myself as being all that old — I’m 56 — but it is only been in the last 15 years that I have made an effort to get outside and see where all the skunks and snakes that sneaked into my neighborhood were coming from. Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park lies a block from my home and I can almost throw rocks at the Cleveland National Forest. The land around here is turning brown: it was a splendid spring despite the widely advertised drought. Chaparral Yuccas shot off their flower stalks around April and species such as golden stars, various Mariposa lilies, mustard, black sage, white sage, and the rare fiddleneck sprang up around them.

Now the heat bears down on us — we’ve had a few days of torrid weather reaching 100° F — and all these wonderful blooms wither. I take heart that the hills will turn to golden and the live oaks and sycamores will hold on to their green. Soon I’ll hunt for lemonade berry to suck on.

I hope you will walk with me through these hills and some of the other places that I go. Lynn and I are looking to visit northern Arizona including the Navajo Reservation in the fall, so it won’t be all boring old Southern California back country. Lots of things remain to be seen and done.

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