A Walk along Los Alamitos Creek

I did a 8 mile walk along Los Alamitos Creek today.  It had been raining here continuously for last few days. Even as I am writing this post, the house windows are being rattled by gusts of wind. The constant drip drip sound of the rain on the roof is putting me to sleep.

Los Alamitos Creek is about eight miles long, originating in the Santa Cruz Mountains and flowing along the eastern side of Almaden Valley.  The creek joins the Guadalupe River after Almaden Lake. Los Alamitos Creek Trail along the creek is about ten miles long.  The creek becomes a trickle during summer but swells after winter rains.  I wanted to see the creek after the rains and was not disappointed.

As I started from my home, it was cloudy with the sun trying to come out from behind the clouds .28e63dac-bd6b-436e-816f-d5a6c5d0b956 The hills including Mount Umunhum in the west were hazy, covered in rain clouds.  The trail itself is well paved for bicycles, hikers and joggers with small detours that lead from the paved trail to the creek banks in many areas.  I entered the trail after walking about a mile from my home.

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Winter rains had turned the meadows near the creek bed verdant green. Trees, bare naked in winter, against the green meadows and a darkening sky was a sight to behold.c46fbf2c-d2cf-40ff-b804-80e8365237e1_resize

 

The creek becomes a trickle during summer but swells after winter rains.  I wanted to see the creek after the rains and was not disappointed. It was full with gushing waters and looked like a small river.5a7199c0-bb35-46d4-916f-d872776fe193_resize

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As I was about to return, the rains started. It was a slow drizzle at first but became a driving rain by the time I was about a mile from home. Then just as suddenly a huge gust of wind blew the rain away though I could still see the heavy rains on the hills.  I hurried home as fast as I could praying my tired legs would not slip on the wet pavements.  Though I was extremely tired after the long walk, my heart was full and satisfied.

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Thursday Tidbits: When Icicles Hang by the Wall

Let me make it clear in the beginning, that title is not mine.  It is the title of one of William Shakespeare’s sonnets from Love’s Labor’s Lost. I will explain below why I chose this title.

During last week of December, 2018 we visited Zion National Park.  There, on our hike on Temple of Sinawava Trail and the trail to the Emerald Pools, we saw icicles hanging by the walls of the majestic cliffs.  This brought back memories from my highschool days , and believe me that was a long long time ago,where our poetry textbook had the poem with the title above  as a required reading.img_4044_icicles3_resizeimg_4100_icicle2_resize Continue reading “Thursday Tidbits: When Icicles Hang by the Wall”

Frolicking Guests of Randol Creek

Rain brings the promise
Nature’s bounty in display
Dry creek starts flowing
Invitation to frolic sent away
Guests arrive from far
It’s play time, nature says
Welcoming creek bosom waits
Opening her heart for guests to play

829c1a57-5326-4356-b436-cb76868dfb60Photo by author, December 16, 2018

The visiting mallards play hide and seek with me.  Whenever I have my camera with me during my walk, they are no where to be seen.  When I have my cell phone they will be out there in force.  Today just happened to be my cell phone only day.  With my dog Skooby in toe, I decided not to go too near.  These birds are skittish and fly really well.  Result is a out of focus photo. Oh well. Hope one day I shall be able to take a BOF photograph.

TIME : Tuesday Photo Challenge

This is Frank’s week 100 of Tuesday Photo Challenge and the prompt, appropriately, is TIME.

In Frank’s own words, “As I test your patience, I thought it might be interesting to make that part of the theme for this week, selecting Time.  Of course, Time can be depicted in many ways, from the image of a clock, or the rhythmic swing of a metronome, to Times Square or whatever catches your creative eye!”

I am trying to depit it very personal way.  The toll that time has taken on my receding hairline.

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My hairline – November 2002

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My hairline, December 2017

What a difference fifteen years make.

Cruelty of time
Paid the penalty with
My receding hairline
In another fifteen years
If I am alive
Sun will shine
Reflection blinding
From non-existant hairline
My spouse will be happy
She won’t need a mirror
To adjust her makeup
She will be just fine
Oh, what fun it will be
To get back the hairline
Of my prime
Alas, not to happen
Toll had been taken
By cruelty of time

Here is another perspective of time, past, present and future in one photograph.

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The three stages of life: Bud, bloom and past its prime.

 

Fifteen Minutes of Fame had No Name

This is my first attempt at writing short story.  Constructive feedback and comments appreciated.

The dream keeps coming back to haunt him.  Digging a hole, he lies down peacefully waiting for death to come.  He is not sure why this dream bothers him anymore. Continue reading “Fifteen Minutes of Fame had No Name”

One Tree Hill

Today’s Tuesday Photo Challenge prompt by Frank is Hills.  This is a topic near and dear to my heart.

Readers of my blog by now must be familiar with the featured image of my home page. It is a photo of Dana Peak (13000 ft) in the high Sierras taken by me in September of 2014 hiking down Gaylor Peak (11000 ft).  But I am not going to talk about it today.MtDana_1.jpg

My current residence is in a valley (Almaden Valley) inside a valley (Santa Clara Valley / Silicon Valley). As such we are surrounded by hills.  Mount Umunhum (3300 ft) to our west hovers over us and can be viewed from our front and back yard.  But I am not going to talk about it today.MtUm1The white cube seen on top of Mount Umunhum was a radar station in the air force base that was closed nearly forty years ago.  During its heyday it used to keep tab on all flights coming in from the east over the Pacific Ocean. The radar station is still off limits to public due to asbestos hazards, but Mount Um was opened to the public in fall of 2017.  It’s a gorgeous hike up there and on clear days one can see past San Francisco to Mt Tamalpais ( about 75 miles north) to the north and Monterey to the south and whole of Silicon Valley to the east.
MtUm2Mount Umunhum as seen from my back yard.

Now that I have gotten these out of my way, let me come back to the main topic of today.  Near our house is a small hillock (or a knoll ) hardly a couple of hundred feet tall.  The landscape changes with the season.  It is verdant in winter, slowly turning to golden brown with advent of spring.  On top of the hill there are three oak trees.  Looking from the bottom, only one oak tree is seen at a time.  I think that’s where it got its name, One Tree Hill.  Generations of kids have grown up swinging on homemade swings attached to its branches.  Many graduating high school seniors use the plateau on top with the oak tree as a background for their high school graduating yearbook photos. I use the hike up the hill as my excuse for exercise but mainly to let my dog Skooby run around freely on the few soccer field size flat top.  He enjoys the freedom, absolute lack of traffic and gallops, canters or sprints as he feels like.  It’s pure joy to see him enjoying the freedom.
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OakTree1Oak2     Alas, as spring comes the hills will slowly turn golden brown.
This enchanting hill can become dangerous fire hazard if some idiots drop their cigarette butts on those golden brown grass as can be seen from a photo taken couple of years back.
Thank God (and quick responding fire fighters) that no one was harmed and no property was damaged.

Yesterday it rained here, just sparingly.  As the news channels said, it was just teaser rain (Flirtatious Rain Clouds) , harbinger of more rains to come in the next few days.  God knows we need as much rain as we can get.  But there was a forecast of snow at higher elevations.  So come morning, I along with my best friend, Skooby, trudged up One Tree Hill.  It was a gorgeous morning, cool,crisp and clear.  And what a sight it was.  Mount Hamilton (4300 feet) to the east of us was covered with snow.  It was difficult to get a good photograph as the mountain was to my east and the sun shining bright in the morning.

I know I have gone completely overboard with this post.  But as I mentioned at the beginning of my post today, this prompt is very near and dear to my heart. I wish I could have just given you a birds eye view as seen by the falcon flying over my head today.


All photographs by the author.

 

 

 

In My Life: Skooby: Tuesday Photo Challenge

Ah, it’s Tuesday and right on the dot Frank Jansen’s Tuesday Photo Challenge prompt was there in my reader.

This week’s theme is “In My Life” and Frank has posted a adorable photo of one of his Cardigan Welsh Corgis.

It’s true that our dogs are a big part of our daily life.  Our dog, Skooby, for last eight years has become an integral part of our life.  So without much ado, here is a photo of Skooby sunbathing.
Sun bathing Skooby

Don’t be fooled by his innocent face
He is stuck at terrible two
Though he seems to be sleeping
Up his sleeve
He has a trick or two
Keeps us always
On our toes
With all his mischievousness
He is adorable though

After we got Skooby, his morning and evening walks were added to my daily routine.  He takes his time to attend to nature’s call, smelling the roses (Ahem!) on his way.  I try to use that time positively as much as I can by photographing the surroundings.  Below is one such photo taken today morning.
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Migratory Ducks in Randoll Creek
Photo by author, February 13, 2018