Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Spring in the foothills of Mt. Diablo...


     My love and I went on a hike the other day.  It was a glorious blue sky day, not a cloud to be seen, and the air so fresh and light.  We took our water, almonds and cashews mix, brought our pups and headed off on some new trails we had not hiked on before.  


     Two horseback riders were ahead of us which made me miss my horses and going trail riding.  To feel the rocking motion of my horse and hear the squeaky sound my saddle would make on a ride.  The sound of my horse snorting as she would breath in the smell of green grass.  She would try to grab a mouthful of that sweet grass from time to time.  I couldn't blame her since it is so enticing as a breeze waves it's aroma to us.  This time of year she would have been full of the beans as I called it.  Wanting to get moving and not walk along. I would feel those powerful muscles under me, contained by my talking to her and holding her back till the right time where I would squeeze my legs and cluck to her, the okay to move out and into a trot or a canter.  That sensation I will never forget nor my desire to ride.  

     My Love always walks faster than me.  I am slow, stopping often to look around and take pictures.  I like to look at him ahead, seeing Annie our Golden see what is ahead on the trail.  Annie whose tail is plumed out waving like a flag, her tongue lolling out.  She is so happy on these hikes.  She hugs his side looking up at him her leader.  They stop every so often to see where I am on the trail.  Little Stewie and I going at our own pace catching up to them to enjoy the views.  

     At the top is this huge Oak tree.  No sign of leaves as yet and I think about how beautiful it will be when it is all leafed out in the weeks to come.  It is all alone at the top of this rise, majestically standing for us to admire.  

     To my right I see Mt. Diablo cloaked in green.  It won't last long this green as the warm sunny days to come will quickly turn it to golden brown.  For now we admire how it looks and think of Ireland when we were there years ago and how green the hills were.  I wish it would stay green all year!

     The poppies are just coming out and soon there will be so many to see on these hills.  

     As we are hiking along I realize I have ridden these trails on horseback.  I just had come from a different direction.  It feels and looks different walking on 
the ground versus on the back of a horse.  Our trail we are on now is narrow and some parts are muddy.  Stewie takes the high side of the rise above the trail to stay out of the mud.  I notice Annie's underbelly coat has gotten muddy as well as her feet and I am glad we have a towel in the car.  

     I love the shadows the trees cast down the slope of the hill.  The wild mustard is rising up with their small little yellow flowers dappling the hills.  Soon they will be quite tall and the flowers abundant.  I wonder when the cows will be grazing on the hills.  They have had the cows graze here for fire protection though the cows trample and leave their huge cow pies everywhere.  For now it is virgin.  Many parts of the trails we walk on have clover with purple flowers under our feet.  

     There are Buckeye trees with there leaves filling in.  I hope that the next time we come up their white flowers will be on them.  I just wish they would stay green all year rather than lose their leaves midsummer.  They are such beautiful trees.  We had one at our previous home and our girls loved to climb up the trunk of the tree and perch on it's limbs.  

     I love these rolling hills!  We hear all the birds singing around us.  We pass just a few people and another horseback rider.  All are happy today and smiling as we exchange greetings.  The walkers pet the pups and those with dogs stop for puppy greetings as well.  Lots of tail wagging.


     We see Shell Ridge, it's undulating rounded tops that my photo can't capture all of.  We think it looks like a Stegosaurus dinosaur back.

     Our hike ended up being 6 miles.  We didn't plan to be on that long a hike but with it being so pretty it would be worth the soreness in our legs in days to come.  The pups would sleep well that night as well as us.  

     I told my Love that night that I would dream of riding on my horse Banner on the trails I had gone on so many times.  I wanted to remember all the sights and sounds you hear while out by myself.  I wanted to feel a canter on the trail and feel the breeze in my hair and the sun on my face.  I wanted to feel my seat in the saddle.  I wanted to talk as I use to to my horse who I shared so many secrets, dreams, and tears.  To feel my arms around my horses's neck as I would lean over my saddle, run my fingers through her long mane, breathe her in.  Dream....happy trails....


Ms. Moon said...

What a beautiful day! Thank-you for sharing it with us.

Elizabeth said...

How beautiful! I love that photo of the poppy. The color, the fragility of it. I can't wait to see them this year!

Caroline of Salsa Pie said...

Breathtakingly beautiful. The pictures were so lovely, I felt like I was there...

Bethany said...

These photos and your writing took my breath away.
I'm sorry you no longer have your horse. You sound so bonded to her and the memories are so vivid.
I can't imagine living in such a glorious place. Wow wow wow!!!!
Thanks for sharing these.
Brightened my rainy day.
Love the doggies and you're so cute too!


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