Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ceonothus and hiking: A photoessay

The ceonothus is in bloom. It's a short window each year, when the hillsides around here are covered in flowering purple bushes; some folks call it wild lilac, which it technically isn't, but it most definitely is beautiful. So on Sunday we went out on a three-hour hike and picnic to enjoy the ceonothus (and the cool weather!) while we could.
See all those lighter patches? Purple ceonothus.
They were swarming with bees; you could hear the buzzing from feet away around each bush.
Of course, this rare moment of green and bloom comes with its darker side.
Yes, that would be our friend the poison oak. It was everywhere.
My three girls.
We stopped to admire flowers along the way.
Including these wild sweet peas. And some monkeyflowers.
We finally found a perfect spot for a picnic (rock to sit on = no poison oak, and no ticks).
Tilly thought it was about time.
After a lovely lunch, we headed home. There were more flowers.
More ceonothus.
A lot more poison oak.
And, of course, my favorite: live oaks.
I think we all would gladly have kept going.
So there you go, a little green for St. Patrick's Day. And a little Irish dance to go with it.


Lynne said...

I love picnics with the family especially looking at beautiful natural areas!

We don't have poison oak in Oz (as far as I know); and oak trees are all exotics!

Nana Sadie said...

What a lovely excursion! And younger daughter looks delightful in her Irish Dance pose...

Poison Oak is a bush? Wow!
(I had no clue)

Mary Lou said...

Beautiful spring wildflowers. We'll get some soon. And nice Irish Dancing without the ghastly wig.

Alwen said...

Mmmm, sunshine and blooming things!

It's still a little too chilly here for bees, but we were outside in the sun in shirtsleeves yesterday. We had to go in because we got too hot!

Poison oak, poison ivy, it's all urushiol to me.

RobinH said...

Lovely photos! Most things here (New Hampshire) are still gray and dead, but I've seen a few bulbs starting to stir, so spring can't be far.

Wanderingcatstudio said...

Looks like fun!

Gwen said...

Ahhh, poison oak. Such a beautiful plant.

Great walk!

EGunn said...

How pretty! We'll miss our (cultivated) lilacs this year. It's so nice to feel spring coming, though. Glad you got out to enjoy it!

Rachel said...

Lovely little outing and all those flowers - beautiful!

I am glad you enjoyed your walk.

I walked along the Mediterranean with my sister last night. It was cool and the sea was quite wavy with splashes that spray you on the walk,,, so beautiful.