Short and Sweet

A short and sweet little break in nature was just what we were looking for. We had the joy of taking care of our eleven month grand daughter this weekend and were looking for a short hike to take her on in a new back pack. We figured we could take turns holding her if she got fussy or didn’t want to sit in the back pack, and decided to go to the Dave Moore Nature Trail near Coloma. We found it to be ideal for our needs.  It’s an easy 1.1 mile trail loop, very well maintained, with a canopy of oaks to provide ample shade.
The trail took up past this beautiful madrone tree,blackberry bushes, wild grape vines, some interesting rock formations, and lots of colorful wildflowers.
 And on we hiked, right to the south fork of The American River. Here we found a small beach to enjoy for awhile, before carrying on with the trail. In no time at all, we were back at the parking lot, just in time to give our sweetie a bottle and a snack. What a great hike for families with little ones, or anyone who wants a quick dose of nature.I’ll leave you with a little lichen heart along the way that brought a smile to my face. Hope it does the same for you too.

River Walking

With family members still in town the day after Christmas, we took advantage of a chilly but beautiful day to go birding along the American River trails. Well, we called it birding, but really it was a nature walk and we noticed not only birds, but majestic trees, brilliant blue skies, interesting bark, rocks and so much more. Come along with us.IMG_7082Can you make out the silhouettes of about ten vultures in this tree?
IMG_7079Oh yes, we had a few heart rock finds!IMG_7073IMG_7070IMG_7074Hard to see, but in the photo below, a white heron is hiding at the base of the tree on the left. You have to take my word for it!IMG_7081A tangle of branches.IMG_7080A nest, safely cradled!IMG_7076Along with many varieties of woodpeckers and water birds, we noticed lots of chickadees, and a deer couple bounding gracefully through the scenery (too quickly for me to capture with my camera).

Another fun find was a natural heart shape in the bark of this treeIMG_7098And speaking of hearts, mine was full with the blessing of a lovely morning out in nature with my dad, my brothers, Jim and Tom, and my dad’s dog, Keeley.IMG_7092“Keep close to nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.”

~John Muir